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Messages - owen

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DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Legendary Masked Surfers CD
« on: May 13, 2013, 06:17:10 AM »
And a few track substitutions, if I remember correctly. Isn't a version of Vegetables on the Golden Summer cd?


Most of the album was later released (rather more honestly) as Jan & Dean's Golden Summer by The Legendary Masked Surfers.

One of the sad things about all this is that the album contains what I think is the best recording Dean ever made of one of the best songs he ever recorded: Like A Summer Rain. The version here is much better than the one on Save For A Rainy Day: not just the production but the vocals too.


« on: August 14, 2012, 02:44:23 AM »
Carol Kaye has a very particular point of view, nd seems to dismiss  lot of what she has worked on as just "business". She doesn't even agree that they were ever called the Wrecking Crew. She claims Hal Blaine invented that name in 1990, and that really they were called The Clique.

Talking about working on surf songs she says "Oh, that's easy. That's just doing the drum beat. I mean, you're just doubling up and doing it. You can do that for years, and that's what we did for years." I think she genuinely has nothing else to say about working with J&D other than that.

You can read all this and more in some depth at


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: random thoughts
« on: June 05, 2012, 01:34:48 AM »
With regard to J&D's historical legacy, it is a shame that Dean did not continue using the Legendary Masked Surfers name consistently for the remakes. Its a great name and using it would have avoided confusion.

He has used it from time to time in this way. If I remember correctly most or all of the tracks from Silver Summer have already been re-released on Varese Sarabonde (with the addition of a version of Vegetables) under the name The Legendary Masked Surfers present Jand and Dean's Golden Summer.

Of course, if he had used this name consistently for the last forty years, recording and releasing remakes of J&D and BB hits, we might now be complaining that radio stations and the general public seem to think that LMS were the original band that recorded Surf City and Dead Man's Curve, and nobody remembers it was J&D :)

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: random thoughts
« on: June 03, 2012, 11:56:40 PM »
Silver Summer does contain at least one absolutely excellent track though: track 17 which is Summer Rain. Its a much much better version than the one on SFARD, Dean's vocal is perfect, especially at the end, and the odd thing is that apparently the only reason it is there is that it was included at Mike Love's insistence.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Dean Torrence - new album
« on: April 10, 2012, 02:08:41 AM »
It appears from David Beard's Examiner site that Dean is currently working on a new album to be released under the name of the Bamboo Trading Company:

It would be great if this was genuinely new - I would relish that. However the "working title" is From Kitty Hawk to Surf City, so we shall have to wait and see...


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: what if Jan Berry had died in 66
« on: October 25, 2011, 11:08:31 AM »
You are right. There are two separate issues involved here. The question of how Jan would be perceived today if he had lived hard and died young is, as you say, an interesting one. But in the end an unanswerable one for the reasons you suggest. Some people become mythic figures when they die and others don't. It depends to a large extent on how your career is perceived at the time you die.

Look at the difference in reaction to Roy Orbison's death and the suicide a year or so later of his contemporary Del Shannon. Orbison was ascending in an unexpected second act at the time of his death (partly or maybe largely due to the Travelling Wiburys) and Del Shannon wasn't. Orbison was feted and compilations were put out after a tasteful interval. Shannon was more or less ignored.

As for Dean, California was *not* unfunded and unsupported. If a group allegedly involving Brian Wilson, Bruce & Terry and Dean Torrence is not capable of attracting backing and support then I doubt that this was to do with the fact that Dean's former (at that time) partner was still alive. By the time he and Jan were back together (for the reasons Mark pointed out above - neither of them could draw crowds or money on their own) Dean had had a window of opportunity longer than many pop stars' careers.

Who can say why this window of opportunity didn't open?  All I am saying is that I doubt if it was Jan or the public's fading (at that time) memories of him that kept it closed.


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / California - stoned myth or recorded reality?
« on: October 25, 2011, 12:59:04 AM »
In the thread about how Dean's career might have progressed differently if Jan had died in 1966, I argue that it would probably not have been very different, because Dean actually did do work on his own although it was never commercially successful.

I mention California the group he allegedly formed with Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher as a post-surf supergroup for the seventies. I remember reading several articles about this years and years ago from different perspectives.

They were intended to launch Bruce & Terry's new Equinox label, but nothing was ever released. Some material was later redone and released as California Music but with different singers.

Does anyone know if the original participants in California actually got anything down on tape? Is there any unreleased material that is (more or less) finished, or was the original incarnation of California just a daydream?

I ask because I have always imagined that a "post-surf supergroup" might sound very much like J&D do on Ocean Park Angel - and the prospect of more in that vein is definitely worth hunting down if it exists :)


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: what if Jan Berry had died in 66
« on: October 25, 2011, 12:50:36 AM »
I think we will just have to agree to disagree about this  :)

I think more or less everything that might have happened did actually happen.  To my mind, the idea that Dean was boxed in by Jan's condition is a revisionist myth.

True, Dean recorded SFARD while waiting to see if Jan would recover and then caught a lot of flak about it. After that, though, he led several projects, any one of which could (with a bit of luck) have resulted in a top twenty hit and a new career.

He was present at some of the Smile sessions and, whether or not he actually participated, he was close enough  to have recorded and released a version of Vegetables (with Brian Wilson on piano) before the Beach Boys did.

A few years later he started the Legendary Masked Surfers (which also included Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher) with the idea of having some fun and seeing if there was any potential for a bigger long-term project.

LMS released two singles and then (deciding that the potential was indeed there) morphed into California with the intention of becoming some kind of post-surf supergroup for the seventies.

These projects show Dean involved on his own with A-List Californian musicians and immersed in aspects of what would become the seventies west coast sound. These could have resulted in hits and a new musical career. They didn't-  but that is not because Dean didn't try or was somehow constrained by Jan's condition.

California, in particular, started out as a serious enterprise although, as far as I know, nothing came out of it and it eventually morphed again in California Music which released a single or two (and had a CD compilation released on a small label a few years ago). If they had seen it through and produced an album that shone they we might all think of Bruce, Terry and Dean somewhat differently now.

By the way, does anyone know if the original participants in California actually got anything down on tape? Is there any unreleased material that is more or less finished, or was California just a daydream? (I will make this a new topic to avoid confusion!)

Whether it was a daydream or not, the record clearly shows that Dean was an active participant in a rapidly changing and evolving music scene *before* he decided / agreed to continue working with Jan.  I am not sure how this would have been different if Jan had been dead or permanently retired.


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: what if Jan Berry had died in 66
« on: October 21, 2011, 03:57:58 AM »
Oops, I meant to say "Laughing Gravy" .  I wasn't meaning to imply that Dean was secretly Frank Zappa although, come to think of it, I don't think the two were ever seen in the same place at the same time.


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: what if Jan Berry had died in 66
« on: October 21, 2011, 03:54:26 AM »
I feel that the question of what Dean would have done professionally has already been answered to a large extent - because he already did it.

It isn't the case that all that happened after the accident was that Dean started Kittyhawk and then later rejoined Jan on the nostalgia circuit.

He wrote several songs for SFARD, then apparently never wrote again. He recorded the Lumpy Gravy single. He recorded vocals for, and released, two Legendary Masked Surfer singles in the early seventies. He joined Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnson in the first incarnation of California, which may or may not have recorded tracks for an album intended for Equinox. He recorded the Mike & Dean stuff.

He kept the Legendary Masked Surfers name going for at least one release of the later rerecorded J&D material: Jan & Dean's Golden Summer on Varese Sarabande.

Personally I think that the LMS version of Gonna Hustle You is fantastic (and the best version) but the reality is that none of these projects bothered the charts very much. I see no reason to presume that the outcome would have been much different if Jan had died in the crash, or disappeared completely from public view afterwards.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Top 5 songs that should have been hits
« on: April 26, 2011, 02:17:17 AM »
Here's my five (which are not that different from everyone else's):

1. Three Window Coupe (definitely should have been a single)
2. Bucket T
3. Easy As 1 2 3
4. Ocean Park Angel
5. Summer Means Fun

and bubbling under at number 6... Like A Summer Rain (the Silver Summer version)


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: ...just one of THOSE days!!
« on: March 17, 2011, 11:58:16 PM »
I agree with Mark: its not a matter of either/or.

I was answering a question and the answer I gave wasn't meant to be a side-by-side review of these two albums :)

FWIW I think Ocean Park Angel is head and shoulders above anything on Second Wave, where my favorite track is Spring Break. I think Second Wave suffers badly from all the 60s retreads which IMHO add nothing at all to the originals.

I understand from the net discussions I alluded to in the previous thread that they are there primarily because Jan wanted to show he could do remakes that were better than the remakes Dean had done. He wanted to reclaim the songs, as it were. This may or may not be true (I am sure others know more about this than me) but either way the remakes weaken the album.

However, to return to Mary's point, I suspect than an innocent listener, who knew nothing about J&D and Jan's accident, would say that Jan's vocals on Second Wave were by and large stronger and more powerful than those on Port to Paradise - and I think that Jan's ability to utilise successfully the technological advances that took place between the 80s and 90s are the main reason for that.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan's Vocals Question
« on: March 16, 2011, 03:25:18 AM »
I had a conversation with Rob Kuropatwa on a J&D forum in the early nineties, as Second Wave was being finished. I got the impression from him that technology might be partly responsible for the improvement in Jan's vocals.

They were both extraordinarily patient and the vocals were pieced together line by line and sometimes phrase by phrase. Jan was able to use the recording studio to create the vocals that he heard in his head much more than he was able in the previous decade.

This is not to say that healthy lifestyle choices and regular onstage vocal practice didn't also play a major part in shaping his vocals on what I think is a very creditable album (although I wish personally he had included more new songs and less remakes).

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Rush jobs
« on: March 08, 2011, 11:07:53 PM »
<quote>And of course, Easy as 123 was a Jan Berry production. That would not be considered a rush job. Jan produced and arranged that one.</quote>

I didn't mean "rush job" in a derogatory way, or as a comment on the quality. As I said Easy As 123 is one of my favourite J&D tracks.

I meant it more as "maximising the use of our resources because I have to do this while studying".

Which was also why I was thinking that it would make sense if both versions were recorded at the same session. Jan & Jill must have been there at the same time to record the joint version, and so it figures that they might also have recorded solo takes during the session, either experimentally or as possibile solo singles.

Makes more sense than having them both come back into the studio later to add Jill's vocal to the original track. Which doesn't mean that that's how it happened of course :)

Only Mark's sessionography could clear that up!


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