Author Topic: Dean Torrence: garage doo-wop with Jan, football with Elvis and living in Surf C  (Read 9830 times)

The Surfer Joe

  • Doré
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
"You sing the high notes & I do everything else"....and then after the Terrible Crash...See...he still wants to be a rock star !

Kentucky Surfer

  • Doré
  • **
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
An interesting interview.

As one of the "nut jobs" with no money to buy any of the memorabilia from the website, I think I would still find a way to buy a well put-together box set on Jan & Dean.  The singles set from Collector's Choice and the One-Way double CD sets of the original albums (with the original stereo mixes) are my go-to discs for listening to Jan & Dean.

I am a second generation J&D fan, and I literally built my collection from flea markets and yard sales in the pre-CD era.  I had the pleasure of seeing Jan & Dean in concert in Kentucky in the 1980s, and that was a great moment as  a fan.

I truly enjoy any new piece of information on J&D, whether it be the long-awaited "Carnival of Sound", the 1996 issue of "Save For A Rainy Day", or the great DVD of "The TAMI Show".  And I will definitiely enjoy the "forthcoming sessionography" ;)

It is unfortunate that there is tension between Admin and Dean Torrence.  Interestingly enough, both of them referred to 1958-1966 as the important era in Jan & Dean's career.  Both Dean and Admin would love to see a box set.  Both Dean and Admin see themselves as custodians of the legacy of Jan & Dean.

So why the rub?

I feel that Dean considers it his legacy because he was THERE!  Dean had made a comment in several interviews that the friendship between he and Jan transcended the music.  That comment always strikes me as being a very sincere observation on the relationship between J&D.  So I think Dean is protective of that legacy.

I feel that Admin is trying to speak for Jan, who could only speak for himself with great difficulty after April 1966, and now cannot speak for himself at all.  That, too, is an important legacy

It would be great for the sake of the fans, who now cannot see J&D in concert and have only their recordings, if a well thought-out and well documented box set was developed and released.  I think Dean's first-hand accounts are essential to such a project.  The Admin has worked hard on a sessionography, which is also essential to a viable box set.   Everyone would benefit by working together.

RockabillyNBlues

  • Doré
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Well said Kentucky Surfer (love the name by the way...I'm from Kentucky myself).  Thanks for reading the interview.  Dean was a pleasure to talk to and a highlight for me from 2011.

Mark A. Moore

  • Guest
Kentucky Surfer,

Working together is absolutely the right thing to do . . . but it has proven to be a very difficult thing to do. I have been advised time and again to never pursue any kind of working relationship with Dean. But I still think it's the right thing to do, for certain projects.

It's true that I've done my share to make a touchy situation even worse in some cases. But I also felt it was necessary in some cases . . . when I could tell, from detailed contemporary documentation, that Jan was being misrepresented.

And sure, I can be abbrasive . . . and yes, I use colorful language at times. It's called engaging and speaking normally. Believe me, I'm tame compared to some of Jan's living contemporaries.

Dean is used to saying anything about J&D without someone like me questioning him, based on hardcore contemporary documentation on Jan's career (from the '60s). And since Dean was not the driving force behind the act, it has been contentious.

When you consider the people that Dean WILL work with, it's only with people who will ask him questions and print his answers as gospel -- without question, and without any allegiance to the actual history, or how it might be misrepresenting Jan.

Jan couldn't truly speak for himself after April '66 . . . and Dean became accustomed to saying anything and everything, seemingly thinking that because of Jan's mental condition, no one would ever know the difference.

So someone like me, and my research, upsets Dean's applecart, so to speak.

And I consider this a normal dynamic -- not surprising at all.

I have an olive branch that can reach from here all the way to Orange County . . . But I've come to realize that I'm really not the problem. I'm just an excuse at this point. In North Myrtle Beach last May, I tried to share some things from Jan's personal collection that were directly releated to Dean . . . but Dean wasn't the least bit interested.

It was a really fun weekend. I hung out with David Beard, Dan Yoe, and David Marks and his wife Carrie. It was a blast. But Dean was a f—king killjoy. If it had been anyone but me presenting Dean-related artifacts from Jan's personal collection, Dean would have been all over it. (Those items are now posted on the main Website).

So I just have to keep doing my thing. The Sessionography is a monster . . . and Dean will benefit from its publication.

surferbee

  • Ode
  • *****
  • Posts: 244
    • View Profile
As someone who has advocated for Jan's legacy for years I am really looking forward to the sessionography. I guess it will answer a number of questions. I had always worried that the lack of historically accurate information on Jan and Dean was because I live in the UK where our radio limited their impact. I have since discovered that this is largely because Jan's accident robbed him of the ability to tell his own story and then Dean's freedom to recast the story his own way. As we have said before on this board this is not unique in the arts let alone in the world of rock music where drink and drugs have an equally damaging effect on memory and the ability to articulate. Just consider Brian Wilson and Mike Love. (Interesting that Mike and Dean ended up working together.)
History is reconstructed from memories but needs documented evidence to root those memories. Dean is not the first or the last. My sadness as a very long-standing fan is that in the final analysis it hurts not just Jan or Dean but 'Jan and Dean'. In my view Dean would only benefit from Jan being acknowledged as the main writer, usually lead singer, producer and arranger of the band during their peak years. I remember how I felt when I heard that the Beach Boys didn't play on many of their great records. That hasn't stopped me being a Beach Boys fan. The sessionography and Jan's biography are the opportunity to rescue Jan but in so doing will promote Dean as well.
Personally, I can't wait.