Author Topic: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer  (Read 9109 times)

positivemusic

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Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« on: April 18, 2010, 07:43:14 PM »
This would have made an exceptional release. On a disc I put these albums back to back, as I do with all Jan & Dean albums, and the change from one to the next is incredible. To go from the beauty, but dreary songs on Save For A Rainy Day in to Carnival of Sound is something to be heard! After the "Save For A Rainy Day Theme" The intro to "Girl, You're Blowing My Mind" is like sweeping away the worries of the past and going headfirst into the future. Amazing work from both Jan and Dean.

Ban n Bean

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 09:45:57 PM »
It would stand that these (almost) directly post-accident projects would turn out well.  The artists and writers involved with their prior projects were still in place and at the height of their talent.  The music  hadn't changed so much (yet) that the music would sound out of place.  It's a shame that Carnival Of Sound wasn't given a contemporaneous release but I guess by that time Warner had moved on.

I look at the years 1969-1970 think that pop music changed in a fundamental way.  Arrangements (generally) became much less forceful and became much more laid back.  I still hear it today and, to me, it still sounds just as bad.

As a example (totally unrelated to Jan & Dean), if one had watched American Idol last week and listened to the rendition of Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream" -- it sounded positively sleepy.  The American Idol version *paled* in comparison to Presley's even though the band had real drums, brass, bass, etc.  That "Dream" was a nightmare.  It's as if the life had vanished from the song.  I'm not impressed by the American Idol band and it going to Jay Leno after this season is kind of depressing.

Jan & Dean had access to an incredible band.  Who plays like that today?  Maybe Brian Wilson's backing band (The Wondermints)?

End of rant.

positivemusic

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 11:56:23 AM »
I'd agree here. I would go as far as to say some of the "jam bands" are the closest to the depth of music that was created in the mid-60's. You get multi-layered instruments in the songs of bands like O.A.R. and Dave Matthews Band.

Kentucky Surfer

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 04:46:38 AM »
Actually, Carnival of Sound kind of fits both ends of Save For A Rainy Day.  If you lead off with the early version of "Girl You're Blowing My Mind". it sounds very similar to the arrangements on the Folk & Roll LP.  Then you move to "Only A Boy" and "Louisiana Man", which are Jan's final pre-accident productions.   This is where Save For A Rainy Day would fit in.  After the Save For A Rainy Day theme, then "Fan Tan" and the almost retro "Hawaii" would play well.  Then it would be time to start with "Carnival of Sound" as recorded in 1967-68.

I agree with Mark that there was enough music from this era to keep Jan & Dean on the charts.  However, all of the raw emotions from the various interests in J&D's career (i.e., Jan and his family, Dean, Screen Gems, Liberty, Columbia, Warner Brothers) made a bad situation even worse.

I often wonder what would have happened if Jan & Dean had tried to talk things out pretty soon after Jan got home from the hospital. I think they could have salvaged their recording career.

I think Carnival of Sound would have been much more authentic and stood a better chance of success if it had featured Dean instead of session singers.

Relx1

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 08:37:19 AM »
"I often wonder what would have happened if Jan & Dean had tried to talk things out pretty soon after Jan got home from the hospital. I think they could have salvaged their recording career."

While Mark and others probably know more about this, I would think that what you ask, while obvious with the hindsight of forty years, would have been impossible at that time. First off, from what I have read, Jan was in no condition, mentally, physically or emotionally, to have had a rational conversation with Dean about this stuff. Jan was simaltaneously in denial about the extent and permanence of his injuries while also pushing himself to recover and get back to recording music. While I could be wrong, I don't think it was easy back then to sit down and have a calm conversation with Jan, for a variety of reasons.

At the same time, while will never know the true motivations behind what Dean did, recording SFARD under the J&D name was illegal, and Dean had to know that. I mean, he even put a picture of Jan's brother on the cover in place of Jan, which is actually interesting in itself--did some parts of the Berry family support Dean in his efforts? No matter what, Dean did an obvious and illegal end run around Jan, probably knowing that Jan would have said no if Dean had asked him beforehand if he could record SFARD.

The interesting thing here is, would Jan have allowed Dean to be involved in COS if Dean had not recorded SFARD? Or did Jan regard the recording of SFARD as a big "FU" from Dean, and thus no longer want to have anything to do with him afterward?

It really is fascinating to consider their relationship at this time, and wonder how it all fell apart so quickly, and for the most part, permanently. Jan and Dean were actually living together before the accident, so obviously their relationship was fine at that point. In addition, Dean had been content to be the second banana for their entire career, so you have to wonder why he decided to step up so aggressively after the accident? Was he really trying just to keep the J&D name alive with SFARD? Or, had he secretly resented Jan for years, and looked at this as an opportunity to take control of the act? I find it interesting that Dean never attempted any true creative recordings after SFARD, even though the record proved that he had talent. It is as if once Jan rejected his music, he shut that part of himself down forever.

For Jan's part, it seems as if the accident brought out an attitude that Dean was inconsequential to the act, and that Jan and Dean was really just Jan Berry. Again, was this caused by Dean recording SFARD, or was it just a reflection of Jan's attitude all along, which the trauma of the accident allowed to come to the surface?

Kentucky Surfer

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 11:17:10 AM »
Interesting post, Relx1.

The friendship of Jan Berry and Dean Torrence obviously had many facets. 

If Jan had a complete disregard for Dean as a person, I think Jan & Dean as an act might have disappeared before they ever arrived at Liberty.  Remember, Jan released a solo recording in 1961, so Jan must have contemplated being a solo artist at that time.  I'm sure that Jan could have released recordings with multi-tracked vocals and marketed them under his own name--Neil Sedaka and Freddy Cannon, among others, did the same thing.

It is apparent that Jan was the primary creative force behind Jan & Dean.  Jan certainly accepted ideas from outside sources, such as Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and others.  The extent of Dean's participation in the development of Jan & Dean's work apparently varied widely.  At times, it seems that he was just another instrument (voice) on the record. At others, it seems like he took a more active role.


So why did Jan & Dean remain together as an act?  The few examples that remain of their live performances (The Command Performance LP and the TAMI show), as well as the promos released on the "From Surf City to Drag City" set, showed that they had an entertaining on-stage persona.  It evoked the feeling of two old friends who needled each other and understood each other's inside jokes.

And, perhaps, Dean understood Jan's obsession with the music and yieded any role in the creative process for the music.  It has been said that Dean began to concentrate more on the visual and humor aspects of their act.  I am not sure if Jan really cared what the album covers looked like--he just wanted the record to be what he heard in his mind.  However, Dean seemed to appreciate that part of the business a bit. 

This certainly didn't mean that Dean possessed no musical ability.  Aside from the falsetto that marked their records, the live performances reveal  Dean harmonizing very well with Jan in these one-off performances.  So in that sense, Dean was an important part of the live act because they couldn't bring eight background vocalists to emulate what they did in the studio.

When April 1966 came along, I'm sure Dean felt the act was over in the blink of an eye.  However, maybe he felt like he should try to keep "the act" alive at least on record until the extent of Jan's recovery was known.  Maybe he felt that he owed his friend of many years a chance to resume their recording career. We already know about the difficulties the duo faced with Liberty and Screen Gems, and that the contract had just ended.  Add to this in the confusing days after the accident where Jan's parents apparently mistrusted Dean's motives and Liberty and Screen Gems unilaterally made decisions about Jan & Dean's releases, Dean may have felt his back was against the wall and that he should take the reins of "the act".

Once Save For A Rainy Day was completed, Dean could have released it as "Dean Torrence and Laughing Gravy" or whatever he wanted to call it, but that move would not have played well in the music world, as it would have represented Dean as deserting Jan in his time of trouble.  Even after the album was credited to Jan & Dean, Jan and his family apparently felt that Dean had deserted Jan.

It is apparent that Jan's recovery was fueled by his love of music and the desire to get back in the studio.  And one can see where Jan would have felt that the world had passed him by if Dean was now taking Jan's place in the studio, so to speak.

And perhaps Dean was disappointed that Jan did not show a little bit of appreciation for Dean's effort to keep "the act" going.  MAybe this is when he said, "Okay, I'm done!" and refused to participate. 

In the recently released Carnival of Sound, all of Jan's musical creativity is apparent.  However, an essential instrument is missing from many songs--neither Jan nor Dean's voice is heard.  In that one sense, Carnval of Sound is a lesser effort than Save for A Rainy Day.

There are a lot of sources that define Jan & Dean's Phase II career (post Deadman's Curve movie) as Dean's show.  There were a lot of difficulties in that era, many linked to Jan's physical issues and drug use.  However, Dean didn't give up on Jan after Jan cleaned up his act regarding drugs.  There was still a genuine friendship between the two.   

I highly recommend that you read Bob Greene's book "When We Get To Surf City" for an account of Jan & Dean on tour in the later years.  This book will refute your claim that their friendship was permanently shattered.

jdman

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 01:53:07 PM »
THere is another aspect to this that has not been posted.That is Jan & Dean's potential to continue being chart toppers in 1966-1968. There is a reason that I Found a Girl and Batman didn't do as well as they should have. The productions are great! The sound is great! However, I think the public was tired of them, just like the Beach Boys in the late 60's and Leslie Gore in the mid-60's. People just weren't looking for Jan & Dean any more. The TV show could've changed that. A Carnival of Sound release and /or SFRD release in the early 70's could have changed that as well. But I really believe that Jan & Dean were temporarily out of the cool scene at that time. Jan's accident put the icing on the cake, but I really think they would have struggled anyway. Remember, it was Endless Summer that brought the Beach Boys back in the early to mid 70's. Maybe there would have been a break from hits even if Jan wasn't hurt. Now, I think Jan could have produced some great music in the late 60's, but I hesitate to think the hits would have been labled Jan & Dean.

Mark A. Moore

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 03:05:12 PM »
The Bob Greene book is an entertaining read. I enjoyed it. But it's a white-washed picture of the '90s . . . and basically propaganda for some of Dean's views.

Stuff like Dean considering suing for writing credit on "Surf City" . . . Dean cutting Jan's food for him . . . Dean saying he wished Bob knew Jan before the accident . . . Poor Jan. It's laid on a little thick.

"Phase II" was a business arrangement. Dean has recently explained that he dreaded his own shows with Jan, and really felt liberated working with Mike Love so he could enjoy not only getting through a single song, but a whole show.

But after Jan kicked the drugs, Dean continued to have this same view. Dean has publicly said elsewhere that he really didn't spend much time with Jan, and that they had nothing in common.

Working with Jan was challenging, no question.

So the touring operation was primarily a money-making venture. And with Jan not being able to work in the studio and releaese new music as much as he'd like, touring was his remaining option for making a living and connecting with the fans.

Toward the end, Jan was lucky to make maybe $1000 per gig . . . some of which paid maybe 20.

While Jan & Dean's friendship is undeniable historically, it was overall not a benevolent situation in the '80s, '90s, and beyond.

When Jan died, Dean asked a fellow industry celebrity (well known to both J&D) . . . "NOW, what am I gonna do?" . . . to make money.

The higher-paying gigs dried up.

Dean cut back on his expenditures, and doesn't always use the Surf City All-Stars anymore.


Kentucky Surfer

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 09:37:23 PM »
@jdman: I think you are right that Jan & Dean's coolness factor was on the wane, and that the TV show would have provided much needed exposure.  Another factor that should be considered is the contentious relationship between J&D and Liberty and Screen Gems.  I don't think Liberty exactly went all out to promote a release like "Folk & Roll".  And I think that albums like "Batman" and "Filet of Soul" were both outlets for J&D's comedic talents, but also a way to meet contractual requirements.  Jan was recording some great stuff, but I think the first album on the J&D label would have contained some great music.

@Mark A. Moore:  Appreciate your comments.  You obviously have closer knowledge of the situation than I.  Despite what you may think, I am not an apologist for Dean; I am a Phase II fan who enjoys the music and learning more about the stories behind the songs.  That Is why I am looking forward to your book. I thought Greene's book reflected well on everyone involved; this does not neccessarily make it a "whitewash" or "propaganda".  One point you made, about Jan's wishes to sing on stage and connect with the fans, was apparent in the book.  Another point, about Jan & Dean not spending a lot of time together outside of work, was also made in the book.

I am not surprised that the gigs are drying up.  Jan & Dean originated as an act 50 years ago.  And despite everything Dean Torrence, you, and all of us fans do, the fan base is shrinking, just as it is for lots of fifties and early 60's acts.  I think Jan & Dean were fortunate to have a successful run in the 80s and 90s.  Many other acts would have loved to had even that level of success, no matter how minimally financially rewarding it was. 

The essence of Phase II was that fans wanted to see Jan show the world that he did survive Dead Man's Curve.  I am glad that I had an opportunity to see them perform.  And regardless of Dean's motivation--financial, friendship, or his own desire to connect with the fans--I am glad that he and Jan were able to work together during Phase II .  My initial comments were a wish that Jan & Dean could have had the same type of understanding in 1967-68 that would have permitted both "Save For A Rainy Day" and ""Carnival of Sound" to be a real-time part of Jan & Dean's recording legacy instead of belatedly released and appreciated classics.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 05:14:58 PM by Kentucky Surfer »

owen

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 11:57:55 PM »
Can I add a marginal historical note to this thread. One question that has always puzzled me is why Dean had a short burst of creativity in the period of the accident and then apparently just stopped. (We can argue about when this burst starts and stops but for me it ends with the two Legendary Masked Surfer singles.)

However I think that this picture may itself be wrong, or at least misleading.

Firstly Dean made at least one single on his own before the accident. If memory serves it was Summertime, Summertime and was released as by Our Gang. WaS it not Dean who knew Gary Zekely (he played on Dean's single), and thus brought him into the J&D camp? (Zekely wrote a track on Ride the Wild Surf several years before he wrote Yellow Balloon.) So he had some musical ambitions of his own before Jan's accident.

Secondly, the LMS singles were supposedly a rehearsal for something much more ambitious. After they had been released Dean, along with Bruce and Terry, started writing and recording with the intention of releasing music on B&T's Equinox label as California. I am unsure of the details here (perhaps Mark knows more) but I distinctly remember reading something about this thirty or more years ago in the british ZigZag magazine.

My understanding, from what I have read, is that it was record company politics that made Dean bitter and cynical about "being creative" and not his relationship with Jan. In othe words he blamed Liberty and Screen Gems for what went down, and possibly the lack of any concrete results from the California sessions (because Equinox was also battered by record company politics).

Which raises a question for those interested in 70s post-surf music: did the California sessions ever actually produce anything? Are there any interesting California tracks waiting release, or was it just hype and self-delusion by a group of former stars who never got anything together?

Mark A. Moore

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 07:42:28 PM »
WaS it not Dean who knew Gary Zekely (he played on Dean's single), and thus brought him into the J&D camp?

Not really. Jan Berry's association with Gary Zekley went back to at least 1962, when Jan and Gary co-wrote (with Vic Diaz) "Ace of Hearts" for the Matadors. That song came out in 1963 (arranged & produced by Jan), but there were sessions for it as early as 1962.

Kentucky Surfer

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 02:58:15 PM »
My Landy, the things I learn reading these posts!

Speaking of "Summertime Summertime", is there any evidence that Jan participated in the "Our Gang" recording?  the "It's Summertime..." vocal doesn't quite sound like him.  Any facts or opinions on this one?

Mark A. Moore

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Re: Save For A Rainy Day/Carnival of Sound Two-fer
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »
My Landy, the things I learn reading these posts!

Speaking of "Summertime Summertime", is there any evidence that Jan participated in the "Our Gang" recording?  the "It's Summertime..." vocal doesn't quite sound like him.  Any facts or opinions on this one?

No, Jan wasn't involved. That was a Gary Zekley thing financed by Dean. You can read some of Gary's comments about the project here:

http://jananddean-janberry.com/boards/index.php?topic=166.0