THE BEACH BOY VIDEO JUKEBOX
October 10, 2012
In 1960, while the kids in my predominately black Bronx neighborhood, were listening to songs by doo-wop groups I was listening to “SURFIN USA” by the THE BEACH BOYS.
Although I never wanted to be in a group I learned each harmony part for “IN MY ROOM”, just in case I met the group sometime in the future and they needed an emergency replacement!
I met my first Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston, in Ed Silvers office at Scepter records, where he played a song he had just written, ”DISNEY GIRLS”, and announced that he was going to join THE BEACH BOYS.
HUNTER GEORGE ADDS…”The Beach Boys came to Raleigh in either 1964 or 1965 and played to a soldout crowd. This was at the height of the British Invasion and American singers were getting clobbered on the radio. I will never forget the excitement and electricity of that evening. These were the original Beach Boys…pure and raw. To understand the excitement I and thousands of others felt, watch this clip from the T.A.M.I. Show.
“IN MY ROOM” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usuu-xu75dI
“DISNEY GIRLS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63NBh0NqaLY&feature=related
“HELP ME RHONDA” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=102p2kItKSI
The next time I saw Bruce, I was watching TV with my new bride Sheilah, and saw the BEACH BOYS singing “CALIFORNIA GIRLS”, on the Ed Sullivan show, only a block away from our apartment. I’m not one to let an opportunity slip by, so while a commercial was on, I took a sip of champagne, kissed my wife goodbye, and made it over to the studio.
I ran down 53rd street, one of the windiest streets in NY, in my shirt sleeves even though it was the dead of winter and I tried to con the guard on the backstage door into thinking I’d already been inside and had just been locked out.
Fortunately, Bruce Johnston, saw us arguing and came over and vouched for me. Then he invited me upstairs to meet someone special…and I hoped it would be my hero Brian Wilson!
He knocked on the dressing room door, Ed Sullivan answered and thanked him “and the guys” for doing the show, then Bruce proudly introduced me to Ed as the security guards cleared the backstage area of all visitors.
“BARBARA ANN” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=654H4xfDYKM
“SLOOP JOHN B” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdov2UIjUpY
On my first trip to California, I checked into the Sunset Tower West on the Sunset Strip, across the street from the Continental Hyatt House. I don’t know how to drive, but fortunately my friends don’ mind driving me around. My first night in LA, singer/ songwriter, Jason Laskay takes me up to a party at Beach Boy Mike Love‟s house. I have seen wall to wall carpeting of course, but I had never seen carpet go all the way up the wall to the ceiling! But this was Mike Love’s house and I guess he could have anything he wanted
I met his wife Suzanne, who had been a high school sorority sister of my soon to be ex-wife Sheilah and she introduced me to all of her bikini cIad friends. I even learned how to do the Surfer Stomp from a genuine beach bunny, while sipping margaritas and smoking the best grass I ever had! This was Mike love’s house after all, and he could have anything he wanted.
“DON’T WORRY BABY” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9E1by7PocE&feature=related
“FUN, FUN, FUN” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgS_Wf5i38k
“LITTLE DEUCE COUPE” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXFFLuoaMzM
“WOULDN’T IT BE NICE” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E4FRtrD9aQ&feature=related
I’D gotten tired of writing songs in NY and by third time I go to California, I’m ready to move there. This time I stay on Jay Laskay’s couch in Studio City in one of those houses that are built on stilts and cling precariously to the side of a hill.
One night Jay and I rode into Hollywood, and went to the Aware Inn, where we ran into Bruce Johnston having dinner with singer/songwriter Patti Dahlstrom. While we were waiting for our table, Bruce kept raving about the tracks he was cutting for a new album.
The next day, Bruce brought Dennis Wilson by Jay’s house after a recording session and played two new songs Dennis just wrote and sang lead on, “FOREVER” and “DIEDRE”. Although I heard that Bruce had produced the group after Brian Wilson had his meltdown, these tracks proved to me that he could keep the hits coming, until Brian was able to take charge again
“SURFER GIRL” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhuWooSAiRc
‘I CAN HEAR MUSIC” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqyx4TW4Ptw&feature=related
Van Dyke Parks called me to congratulate me on my new position and to ask for a substantial songwriting advance on behalf of Brian. I put him on hold, and arranged for a check to be drawn up right away! Then he put me on the phone with Brian Wilson [who I had never met] who said he liked Olivia Newton Johns cover of “God Only Knows”, which I got her to record on my first day at the company!!
Needless to say I was thrilled to finally connect with Brian if only by phone! I told him an idea I had to update one of his old songs “Good Vibrations”……that included changing one of the most recognizable lines in musical history!!! As I talk/sang my idea into the phone, I could hear Brian laughing on the other end that ended with an, “Okay, sure…try it!!
A few weeks later I got my friend TROGG producer, Larry Page to record and release it with the Troggs. It started, “I love the summer clothes you almost wear……..and how the sunlight plays upon your hair……”
Although I wasn’t with the company very long, I’m proud of the fact I was able to get the ball rolling and subsequently help Brian get MILLIONS OF DOLLARS from all of his songs in the Sea Of Tunes catalog which his father, Murray sold to Irving/Almo Music without properly compensating Brian.
“GOD ONLY KNOWS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YIgod
“ALL SUMMER LONG” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tytTebj8ic
“HEROES AND VILLANS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptxwWt2JeGQ
EVEN THOUGH THE 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF THE BEACH BOYS ENDED ON A SOUR NOTE THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, AND FANS ARE PRAYING FOR A QUICK RECONCILIATION. THESE ARE TROUBLING TIMES FOR AMERICA AND WE NEED THE MUSIC AND THE SPIRIT OF THE BEACH BOYS TO HELP US THROUGH.
MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA…AND MAY GOD BLESS THE BEACH BOYS!
REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE
SPECIAL THANKS TO HUNTER GEORGE FOR HELPING PUT THIS ARTICLE TOGETHER
Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
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THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/