Friday, 6 January 2012

Beached...


Twenty twelve is finally here and as flying cars and teleportation are still in their infancy we will have to amuse ourselves with other forms of entertainment. While I’m sure many great albums/tracks will be released before the end of the year as well as the return of The Stone Roses there are also some other events and reunion’s that I’m not particularly looking forward to i.e. The Beach Boys ‘Reunion Tour & Album’.

What the hell do they think they are doing? Haven’t they had enough of dragging their behinds across the USA back and forward killing their legacy year after year yet? Brian Wilson stopped working with them years ago and has made some truly outstanding work while Mike Love and the little of what remains of the original group (Drummer Dennis Wilson died in 1983 while lead guitarist and vocalist Carl Wilson died in 1998) have continued blindly touring the greatest hits, for no other reason than to keep the money machine and brand alive. I honestly don’t know why people can’t let go once a band has run its course. High fives all around for R.E.M who recently broke up not because of any inner band squabbling or ‘creative differences’ but just because there was nothing else left to do and the drive to actually bother attempting anything new had died. This option and path is honest and truthful to the fans that now have a wonderful back catalogue to treasure.

The Beach Boys were a great band. Brian Wilson IS a genius and while he is now 69 years old he is still creative and mentally able to create true beauty in the studio (a place where he always shined). The thought of him in some K-Mart Hawaiian shirt looking uncomfortable on stage while he sings back up to songs he wrote when he was in his early twenties seems a pointless task and approaching a circus side show and is something that is truly beneath someone of his talents. I’m sure the rent-a-crowd bunch of celebs and insane fans that can’t move on will be doing the twist and pretending their surfing for the twitter pictures but let’s cut the crap, it’ll be lame, half arsed and a total embarrassment to everyone involved.

Who are The Beach Boys these days anyway? Mike Love is still there obviously gripping the reigns tightly while Brian (who has a successful solo career still going) will now be joining him/the group, after some very tense legal conversations I would assume considering the history between them (Love has sued Wilson numerous times in the past). The line up now includes David Marks (original guitarist for the group) and his eventual replacement and original-original guitarist (keep awake at the back) Al Jardine, as well as Bruce Johnston (Brian’s bass/keyboards replacement on the road that eventually later joined the group full time and writer of the lovely ‘Disney Girls’). This line up will then I presume be backed up by a bunch of bored looking session musicians bashing through the songs with one eye on their watch while the standard top 20 greatest hits are ploughed through, once again.

A new album has also been promised and this is the thing that is most troubling about the whole affair. The group that gave the world ‘Pet Sounds’, an album that is easily top 5 in any greatest rock and roll/pop albums list is now going to try and capture the magic once again? It is going to be awful. Yes Brian Wilson could sit down and write a chord sequence and melody that would knock your socks off and have everyone from Elton John to Burt Bacharach dribbling with jealousy, but what chance does it stand when Mike Love is obviously going to try and crowbar his way into the writing process. Do they really need another song about the “girls on the beach” and having “fun-fun-fun” like the 16 year old school kids on the first day of the summer? Is the world in need of another cliché ridden pop ditty about holding hands with the prettiest cheerleader at the prom etc?

To put things in perspective a little, this is the group that hung out with Charlie Manson and pushed The Beatles to make 'Sgt Pepper', you’d think a bit of maturity may have entered the fold and changed the horizon since then. Please let the sun set on The Beach Boys, the endless summer has most definitely walked its last mile.

Now instead of this tour how about Brian Wilson and his excellent group perform ‘The Beach Boys LOVE YOU’ album in its entirety? The album was, in my opinion, the last great record by the group and one that defines the term ‘Lost Classic’.

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