Author Topic: Vegetables by Laughing Gravy  (Read 7538 times)


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Vegetables by Laughing Gravy
« on: November 02, 2010, 05:55:46 AM »
This is a random chain of thought, which occurred to me last night.

In 1967 Dean released a version of Vegetables that (according to various sources) featured him on massed overdubs assisted (or not) by Brian Wilson and  the Honeys. Then in 1971 they all apparently went back into the studio to rerecord backing vocals for its re-release on the J&D Anthology album.

According to ( Brian is credited as co-producing the original, although there is some dispute as to who actually sang on it.

This chain of thought began with me thinking that it is odd that this single is rarely mentioned either in discussions of J&D or in discussions of the BB Smile/Smiley Smile period.

I clearly remember that the single came out BEFORE Smiley Smile, and so was the first time the song had been made available to the record-buying public - and yet it is in a totally different style to either the Smile or Smiley Smile versions.

It is audibly not a throwaway effort on Dean's part, and the question of whether the song was reimagined as a piano-led singsong by Dean, or perhaps by Brian, intrigues me. If Brian gave Dean a completely rethought version then this is an interesting side-puzzle for Smile theorists. If Dean heard the Smile version and then recast it like this, then that is just, well, interesting :)

I am also intrigued as to where it fits in in the J&D singles / Save for A rainy Day timeline. Was it created, for example, by the same group in the same garage as SFARD?

What was Dean and Brian's relationship at this point? If Dean knew the song this perhaps indicates that he was around the studio while Smile was being recorded, or at Brian's house when it was played back.

Perhaps all it indicates is that Dean (and Jan presumably) were indeed part of a loose-knit, overlapping group who swapped ideas and hung out with each other, a psychedelic sequel to the Barbara Ann story...

My chain of thought ended with me wondering if there was any interesting background to this, or if I was just overthinking.

Any thoughts? Even better: any actual information?

« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 06:01:55 AM by owen »

Mark A. Moore

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Re: Vegetables by Laughing Gravy
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 04:06:29 PM »

The Laughing Gravy version of "Vegetables," on White Whale, had the subtext "From the album 'Smiley Smile'" printed right on the label. So there was at least some attempt to associate the two publicly.

In terms of chronology in '67 . . . both of the "Jan & Dean Label" singles came out during the summer.

The Beach Boys' "Smiley Smile" album was released in September, and the Laughing Gravy version of "Vegetables" came out in October.

"Only A Boy" followed in December.

Salzburg Surf Scene

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Re: Vegetables by Laughing Gravy
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 06:27:11 AM »
These are an interesting string of thoughts, and it has got me thinking too. It is clearly a vital missing part of the Smile puzzle.

Infact, the more I think about it, the more I begin to suspect that Dean played an integral role in the entire Smile project. Infact he was probably the key creative force. The humour on Smile is so much more Dean than Brian. The relationship was a long one - ever since Dean had walked in on the Beach Boys Party recording session (after which we can detect a distinct change in Brian's work), he'd been an influence on Brian. I'm begining to suspect that Dean was the key creative force behind both Pet Sounds and Smile. While he been working with Jan, Dean had been more content to take a secondary role; but when was paired with the much more limited talents of Brian, Dean's genius came to the fore. With his typical modesty, of course, Dean didn't demand any credit.

I'm now going to go and post this theory on the Smiley Smile messegeboard. I wonder what they'll think. ;)


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Re: Vegetables by Laughing Gravy
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 08:31:09 AM »
There was also a distinct change in Jan's work . Jan & Arnie are singing to one another and Jan & Dean are singing to the listner. IE Gas Money , Get a Date.... And yes I do take in account Shlock Rod and Submarine Races. No offense to Arnie but they would've never been as big as J&D.
What I wanna know is where was Dean on Nov 22 1963 ! Was'nt he and Lee Harvey in the Army at the same time ?  ::)