THE BEACH BOYS 1961-1963 INCEPTION & CONCEPTION

The FOURTH EDITION is currently being proofed and will be available shortly via https://payhip.com/CmusicBooks.

Like the Third Edition, this new edition features additional information (and images) together with the odd correction.

Stay tuned!

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CANDIX RECORDS

Yes, I know the company was called CANDIX Enterprises, Inc.

So what was the “Enterprises” all about?

THE CANDIX STORY: HOLLYWOOD HITS AND MISSES – the book (now over 250 pages with hundreds of photos) is still progressing slowly. LOTS of NEW interesting facts have come to light ….

CANDIX_Cover USE

THE CANDIX STORY HOLLYWOOD HITS AND MISSES

My current project is documenting the story of Candix Enterprises, Inc., a Hollywood, California based record label that operated for two years beginning in September 1960.

Candix is most well-known for being the record label responsible for releasing the “Beach Boys”‘ first single Surfin’ b/w Luau  and this new book will go into great detail concerning this and in the process present material that this author only more recently unearthed for the book The Beach Boys 1961-1963: Inception And Conception (EDITION THREE) which altered the up until then accepted birth of the “Beach Boys.”

However, THE CANDIX STORY: HOLLYWOOD HITS AND MISSES is much more and delves into the machinations behind the label’s hits and misses and why the label eventually folded; why there was no follow-up single by the “Beach Boys” and lots, lots more; the stories and facts all based on first person interviews (and others) undertaken by the author.

Stay tuned ……..

 

LOVE & MERCY “FILM REVIEW”

To encapsulate my review, there is as much reality in LOVE & MERCY as there is in Brian’s so-called autobiography WOULDN’T IT BE NICE. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice if the real story was told! For a film demonizing Dr. Eugene E Landy, I find it interesting that it is named after a song initially CO-CREDITED to the good doctor and patient Wilson. I did notice that in the film, the authorship of the tune is simply listed to Brian Wilson. What is THAT all about!!!!!

Anyway, you can take Landy out of the title, but as you will read, you can not take Mylandy out of the picture (pun intended).

In fact, a better title for the “bio-pic” should be FANTASY IS REALITY, another relatively lackluster latter day BW composition.

The only way this celluloid concoction may reflect reality is to cut out all the non-‘60s scenes and watch the remaining potpourri which just might make some sense. In fact, the BEST scenes in the entire production are those seemingly left on the cutting room floor, some of which were salvaged and featured as “Deleted Scenes” on the DVD version; the only “Special Features” worth watching. The remaining special features, like the overall film, are full of relative nobodies talking nonsense about something they know nothing about!

The flashback aspect of the production, lauded by those who dreamed it up, is in fact an excellent ploy to inject Melinda Ledbetter subconsciously into even more Beach Boys lore more so than what she has in fact already achieved.

To understand Brian Wilson, one must first accept the fact that he is and has always been a very selfish individual; more a defense mechanism than an attempt – consciously or subconsciously – to hurt people. From an early age, Brian Wilson began to develop a defense mechanism; first against his father and as his fame developed, the media in general. This “defense mechanism” was compounded by the use of drugs and a self-esteem always less than it should be. One classic scene in the film – deleted and included as an extra on the DVD – has Brian approaching Phil Spector and Spector nonchalantly dismissing him and his surf band! For whatever reason – read that as low self esteem, Brian has always bellowed Spector’s praises, conceding that he would never be as good as him; naively thinking this to be the case when in fact the opposite is true. All Phil Spector created was a “Wall Of Sound.” No matter how you view Brian Wilson’s music, he – and read that as HE aka Brian Wilson and NOT the Beach Boys – created a Sound For Summer; something that NEVER existed before Brian Wilson’s presence on the music scene. HIS musical and vocal creation will forever be with us – the vocal side being something that could have – and in my opinion should have – been created by an interchangeable group of session singers and presented by an ever-changing YOUTHFUL group of touring group members.

In one scene in LOVE & MERCY, the character of “Mike Love” even makes the point that the Beach Boys are NOT just Brian Wilson. In fact Mike, the Beach Boys are ONLY Brian Wilson. Even Nick Venet once noted – and could see – that the group itself was holding Brian back; slowing down his creativity. THAT is the reason Brian Wilson started using studio pros because he could tell them what he wanted and they could deliver instantly – not take ages to learn a part or try to change it into something more simple. Even LOVE A& MERCY points out Brian Wilson’s heavy dependence on studio musicians. They were on the same musical level (of a sort) as Brian Wilson and were there for their talent and expertise and not for the fact that they related or friends.

It is also true that Dr. Eugene Landy saved Brian Wilson’s life. He did get him out of bed and his weight down below that of four sacks of potatoes. However, the cost would prove formidable with the good doctor consuming every facet of Brian Wilson’s life – and wealth. This the film attempts to portray, but presents used car salesperson Melinda Ledbetter as the saviour! You do know that if this was not the case,  and the true story told instead – the film itself would never have been made.

Known amongst the “inner circle” as Mylandy, Ms. Ledbetter aka Mrs. Brian Wilson #2, has simply taken the place of the good doctor in many ways and has guided Brian Wilson’s career ever since she assumed the position.

Even when confronted by an “insider” at a special preview of the film, when questioned on the accuracy of the film, Brian simply replied “It’s just a movie!”

And for all those wanting to get a glimpse of some of THE WILSON PROJECT. Forget it. Gary Usher is NOT represented in the film and is not mentioned at all. Here is an individual who “saved” the Beach Boys’ bacon in 1962 (by not giving their publishing to Capitol Records although Murry Wilson wanted to) and who tried to “salvage” Brian in 1986-87 and he is not even mentioned. Nonetheless, it WAS the audio diary kept by Usher that was one of the major pieces of evidence that was responsible for the good doctor losing his license to practise; curtailing his insidious business.

It was during the 1986-87 period that Usher had accepted the unenviable task of trying to get Brian Wilson back into a creative zone and hours upon hours were spent in the studio in such an attempt; during which not a mention was ever made of Brian’s infatuation with Ms. Ledbetter. The session tapes (thanks to Usher keeping a small cassette player running the whole time the duo worked together) reveal no intimate tete-a-tetes about Brian and Melinda, although EVERY other aspect of Brian’s life is discussed in between constant phone calls from the good doctor checking up on Brian Wilson (and destroying any train of creative thought that may well have been developing).

The music of THE WILSON PROJECT period may be criticised – and for good reason, but it was NEVER about the music. It was simply about a friend trying to help a friend and then being more or less let down by him and others at every opportunity.

The film LOVE & MERCY presents Melinda Ledbetter as Brian’s saviour, but in fact she, like every one else, was simply a cog in Dr. Eugene Landy’s “Brian Wilson machine.”

Not surprisingly, Brian also does not refer to Ms. Ledbetter in his Landy-“sponsored” autobiography in which he admits he has severed contacted with Landy, a decision he nonetheless reveals “cost me my business partner, teacher, adviser, manager, protector, voice of sanity, collaborator and closest friend.” Right, Brian ………

The Landy influence lingers as Brian then innocently concedes that “Where have they been for the past five years,” a reference to his brothers, ex-wife and daughters. Earth to Brian … It was LANDY stopping them contacting you. Wake up!

At least in LOVE & MERCY (I still have trouble writing that title), this sort of retro rubbish is kept to a minimum, but the bovine fertiliser is ever present. For example, Brian swimming from a boat to shore! Come on now … It’s a nice love story, but so is SLEEPING BEAUTY and we all know that is a fairytale! Nonetheless, someone’s boat did come in!

After all is said and written down, what did you expect? The truth? This is Hollywood and this is a story about someone with a good grasp of someone else’s …….

I must apologise for the lateness of this “review.” Upon the American release of the film, I was informed by those more in the know that the film was not worth the celluloid (or whatever) it was printed on. Therefore, I was not prepared to fork out $25 to see the film on the big screen, nor order the US version of the DVD which would have cost me in excess of $40. As a consequence, I waited until the film was released on DVD in Australia at the end of October 2015. However, I still had to part with $24.98 … 24 more dollars than it is worth in my opinion. The “Deleted Scenes” are at least worth 98 cents.

And, by the way, the actors are much better looking than the real people involved, thankfully!

Stephen J. McParland

“The Correct Perspective”

BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS – THE GARY USHER ANGLE –

Having finally purchased a copy of the book, I was immediately astounded by how much of the book can be found in my THE BEACH BOYS 1961-1963: INCEPTION AND CONCEPTION. When author James. B. Murphy approached me in late December 2011 (at the urging of his publisher) to get my okay for his use of “quotes” from a number of my books (including INCEPTION & CONCEPTION), I was immediately concerned about his statement “I have quoted extensively from a number of your books”, the word EXTENSIVELY being the basis of my concern. I was assured I would receive full credit, which I have via end notes – for the use of my first person quotes – but many of the facts, new discoveries and even hypothesises found in author Murphy’s book can all be found in my earlier book. Nonetheless, I must congratulate author Murphy on getting most of the facts accurate. His few mentions of Gary Usher are accurate – as just about all of them are based on my quotes from interviews with the man himself. HOWEVER, the ill-informed and ridiculous revelation that Usher stole a microphone during one of his sessions with Brian and this was the reason given why he was subsequently “banished” from “Beach Boys’ circles,” defies comment. As I was finally forced to reveal in the THIRD edition of my book THE BEACH BOYS 1961-1963: INCEPTION AND CONCEPTION, it was BRIAN WILSON who stole the microphone, a point Usher did not want me to reveal in his biography and so the incident was not mentioned, largely because Usher did not want it to reflect badly on Brian. Also, the whole episode is irrelevant. There is only ONE reason why Murry Wilson wanted Gary Usher out of the Beach Boys picture, and that was because he felt threatened by him. Usher knew alot about the then burgeoning West Coast music scene because he had been personally involved in it some years before he and Brian Wilson became friends. Up to that point in “Beach Boys circles,” Murry had presented himself as the mover and shaker. With Usher’s arrival, Murry knew he was in trouble and so tried everything to get the new arrival out of the picture.

In an effort to present the facts, I have included a list of corrections as regarding BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS. These were initially directed to author James B. Murphy:

 SOME INSIGHTS AND CORRECTIONS CONCERNING BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS

 16

Pom Pom Playgirl written by Usher and Brian.

23

Band was The Safaris not The Surfaris

58

Jennie Lee was by Jan & Arnie, not Jan & Dean

78

No release of Let’s Go Trippin’ on Rendezvous Records

“Trippin’ was the name of the dance they did at the Rendezvous which became the surfer’s stomp.

86

You say the group is calling themselves The Pendletones. Any proof? – except 50+ year old memories?

87

It would have been nice to have had a date for the clipping. – Ahh I see you mention it (in a note) on page 143!

93

You criticise the dates, but what else have we. Best to accept the “known” rather than the unknown until something better comes along. I personally feel this is just an effort to inject something “new” into the mixture, but there is no basis for doing away with known/accepted dates unless there is a GOOD reason.

109

All of Saraceno’s – and Gordon’s – stories are rubbish. When I interviewed them in the early ‘90s, they were VERY cagey. I thought it had something to do with the fact that many thought (at the time) that Candix was a Mob run label for laundering money. In hindsight, I think their cageyness (sp?) was because I was talking about Candix and although at that point I was unaware of the Shy Shy Boy/Surfer’s Stomp rip-off, they probably thought I might have had an inkling. Saraceno and Gordon were the crooks, not Candix nor the Dix Brothers. According to the paperwork that I received from Brad Elliott (via the Dix Brothers), the two Mar-Kets’ tunes feature the actual rhythm tracks to Shy Shy Boy and That’s A Lie – to which Saraceno overdubbed some additional instruments! As yet, I have been unable to find a copy of Claire Terese’s single on Corsair, but a version by Anna Valentino of Shy Shy Boy (also on Corsair) has the Surfer’s Stomp chords – although it is a re-recording and does not feature You Told A Lie as the flip. I tried to track the songwriter down, but was unable – most likely dead. I checked all address from social security sources (don’t ask me how!!). Claire Terese is dead (and apparently went crazy). She was Jack Andrews’ wife. A search of her “belongings” by her daughter failed to unearth a copy of the single. I have many stories about Saraceno. He appears a nice guy when you meet him, but don’t turn your back!!!!! I also think he was gone from Candix by the end of December 1961. According to John Fisher, he was summarily dismissed before the end of the year.

117

Regan’s phone call to Saraceno is unlikely. Russ told me the same story. Acetate proves it can not be true. They were ALREADY The Surfers!

120

Brian’s story is unlikely. Does not fit with the facts. If the lyrics/letter of Surfin’ (page 95) with The Pendletones written on it is genuine and not a later day addition, this would be the ONLY evidence that the PENDLETONES existed, in at least name only. Same applies to the master box legend which says PENDELTONS surfing song. I was misinformed as to the actual spelling by Brad Elliott (I think it was; perhaps David Beard) – but the tones/tons scenario as outlined in my book would still apply.

121

Coffee shop story makes sense if the group was called The Surfers and it was changed at the last minute to Beach Boys – even though the go-ahead had been given with The Surfers as the name. This is most likely the way it happened. It had to be a last minute change … on the spur of the moment. My scenario (which author Murphy repeated) of there actually being/was Candix singles/labels with THE SURFERS on them would still apply, especially white label promos. No white label promos of any “Beach Boys” Candix singles have surfaced. It is possible that the promo for 331 actually had “The Surfers” name on it and these were destroyed (probably less than a 100). There would have been no need for white label copies of X-301 or Candix 301 because the single was already charting by that stage.

124

The release date for Surfin’ is not to my satisfaction satisfactorily ascertained – unless you have an ACTUAL release date on Candix letterhead. It appears to be only a surmise. The Delta numbering system is too loosely devised for ACCURATE dating – and just because a record is on a chart does not mean it was RELEASED. I came across this for example with The Hondells. I had the release dates on Mercury cards saying one thing and the records’ first appearance on a Top 40 chart being at least a week earlier! Unfortunately, an end of the month date like you have ascertained could easily spill over into the first week of the next month. Unless you have an actual release date by Candix, I just don’t think you can be so specific. I always felt the December 8 date sat better, apart from it being a Friday. I would have preferred it to have been a Monday. Most labels chose a Monday.

131

If the PENDLETON shirts were such a big thing with the group, why did they not wear them at their first appearances?

142

According to Ginger Blake – Ginger & The Snaps is NOT her!! The Ginger And The Snaps single on MGM is her and the girls. I cleared this all up in both my books SOUND WAVES AND TRACTION (VOLUME 1) and BIKINIS, BLACK DENIM AND BITCHEN SOUNDS and now the MISTAKE has again been reintroduced as fact!!!!

145

Concerning Mike Love’s claim on writing some Beach Boys songs, I was contacted by Brian’s attorney at the time of the lawsuit and I told them I had first person quotes on tape from Usher debunking Mike’s claims, but they ignored them. Great attorneys.

You should also have made it clear that the Usher-Wilson songs that Mike stole, he was only awarded 50% of Brian’s 50%. In other words, the breakdown per songs is Wilson 25%, Love 25% and Usher 50%. Mike would not have dared to pull this if Usher was alive.  Scumbucket!!

157

You make the point that the Randy Records catalogue number “was randomly selected to make it appear Randy had many prior releases.” This indeed is a recognised procedure, American International Records being a classic example – as explained to me by label manager Al Simms. However, on page 128 in reference to the selection of 301 as catalogue number for the new X label, you make the point “a decision was made to assign it number 301, just like Candix’s inaugural release in September 1960.”  Why would not the Dixs have assigned it a more random number to give the impression of a label in operation and not starting operation. I’ve always wondered this – especially if it was an obviously one-off. You should have made this point if you introduced the Randy Records catalogue # scenario later on.

168

The date of the April 16, 1962 for the sessions with Brian, Usher & The Beach Boys is the date that was written on the tape which I discovered in the Usher home some two years after Usher had died.

171

It is Shelley Fabares and NOT Shelly.

199

Beginning Of The End was not written by Roger Christian. When it was later demoed by Glen Campbell for Beechwood Music, Usher gave Christian credit for hopefully placing it. The song predates Usher’s songwriting partnership with Christian, as I explained in THE CALIFORNIA SOUND.

255

Ah … Mike Borchetta. He was introduced to Brian by Usher and DID NOT co-write anything with Usher. He put up the money for the sessions and thought he was due half producer credit and half songwriting credit, not simply half the profits. Brian was most likely NOT at the session, as neither Usher nor Dick Burns said he was there. Al Jardine was definitely NOT at the sessions. I specifically asked the musos present if any OTHER Beach Boys (besides Dennis) were in attendance – and I mentioned them by name. There was a unanimous no!

255

Regarding the “microphone” story.  This is an old chestnut and I am surprised Al Jardine has never brought it up. Usher and I discussed this during my first trip in March-April 1983. Sitting around Usher’s big log fire he was in stitches recalling the event and who the real culprit was! It was BRIAN!!!! Just fooling around in typical Brian form. Brian did it as a joke but it turned into something more and Brian had to throw the mic in the trash a couple of blocks away so he would not be found out. Usher recounted all the stories they worked up for what happened, but they decided to say nothing. I wanted to include it in the book but Usher felt it reflected badly on Brian. How anyone could have even thought it was Usher amazes. Here is a 23 year old guy who had served his country, worked in a bank and lived a rather straight life and they thought it was him! Why on earth would Usher in particular steal a microphone!!!! The most likely suspect would have been Dennis, but it was Brian (being Brian).

265

Jan Berry never “collaborated” with Usher. Usher however did sing (with Brian) on the LP version of Dead Man’s Curve.

268

The reason there was no other Usher songs on SURFER GIRL was because Usher was involved with a whole lot of other projects. It was not “evidence of their drifting relationship.” Far from it.

299

There was no soundtrack album to RIDE THE WILD SURF. The Jan & Dean RIDE THE WILD SURF LP was just a straight album “made to look like a soundtrack album” because it had Ride The Wild Surf from the film on it. It also was NOT the film soundtrack version.

301

You seem not to make such a big deal of In My Room, apart from quotes from later-day artists. What about the writing behind it?

314

The Vettes produced the LP REV-UP from which the single you noted was culled.

322

Surf Route 101 by Jan & Dean was written by Jan Berry-Roger Christian-Brian Wilson

Surf Route 101 by The Super Stocks was written by Usher-Christian

They are two totally different songs. The title was Christian’s.

GARY USHER AND “BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS” AND “LOVE AND MERCY” FILM

I have been reliably informed that Gary Usher at least gets a mention in the BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS book – as he indeed should. I do have the BECOMING THE BEACH BOYS book and DVD of LOVE AND MERCY on order and will report the true facts – without prejudice – as soon as I have them at hand. As regards the film, I was not prepared to pay the price of admission for something that I have been told is only part fact with a great deal of fiction …. as usual.

Likewise, unfortunately most authors of Beach Boys books and related material never see the broader picture, concentrating as they have always done on the subject with a very blinkered view. As an author that has covered numerous aspects pertaining to the “surf music” world, I have been fortunate to be able to see “in perspective” various facets of all  the topics I have covered, aware that one often influences the other in more ways than most people realise.

As Gary Usher’s official biographer, I hope to be able to bring this “ability” into play in reviewing and examining both REMEMBERING THE BEACH BOYS and LOVE AND MERCY as far as Gary Usher is concerned.

Stay tuned!!