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Messages - Mark A. Moore

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DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Tom hanks Interview
« on: November 22, 2022, 05:52:20 PM »
Tom Hanks is almost 10 years older than I am. So, he was a senior in high school in 1974. A pivotal time for him to be listening to Jan & Dean. The Anthology LP had been released in late ‘71, followed in ’74 by Gotta Take that One Last Ride. Jan Berry’s solo career on the Ode label (and later A&M) was in full swing. And Paul Morantz’s Rolling Stone article on Jan Berry was published in September of ’74. Tom Hanks, at 18, was the perfect age to absorb all of that, which led to the Jan & Dean film Deadman’s Curve in 1978, and the beginning of the duo’s tour reunion in ’79.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan Berry Biography
« on: March 19, 2020, 04:18:48 PM »
I’m looking forward to this book! I guess it’ll be explained why it was a no no to work in the studio together. Brian didn’t produce anything for Jan. He just sang some harmony. Not sure why that’s wrong. But anyway. Can’t wait to read it!

It's all about what the contracts stipulated.

Jan's agreements forbade him from working with members of other acts (meaning entities not under the aegis of Nevins-Kirshner/Screen Gems and their affiliated labels). And the same applied to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys with their Capitol contract. Verboten. I don't know the details of the Capitol contract, but there would have been a standard clause about it.

I have all of Jan's contracts from Nevins-Kirshner and Screen Gems . . . (1) Artist, (2) Production, (3) Songwriting, and (4) Liberty Records (which was actually a deal with Nevins-Kirshner and then Screen Gems, undersigned by J&D). So those details are known.

When Dean sang on "Barbara Ann" in 1965 it was in violation of Jan & Dean's artist contract with Screen Gems. And he's lucky they didn't find out at the time. They might well have sued him, Jan & Dean, the Beach Boys, and Capitol Records . . . especially on the heels of Screen Gems's wide-ranging lawsuit against Jan and Lou Adler, et al,  the previous year.

Dean took an enormous risk with that, and it's easy to see why Jan warned him against it.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan Berry Biography
« on: March 18, 2020, 04:28:03 PM »
Hi Mark

On the 'new' but as it turned out temporary website you posted some information about your new biography. Are you able to update us on how its going.
I posted a question about whether it will be illustrated. I've said before how sad it is that the early sixties were just not photographed or filmed enough. I understand why but, as far as I know, there are no pictures of Jan and Brian working together and - part from the Pop Symphony shots very little of Jan in the studio.
 I've read and reread and now constantly reference the Jan and Dean Record which is an outstanding example of intelligent research. I can't wait for the next book....

Thanks Surferbee,

The book is going well and nearly finished. I had to get the deadline extended. It will be well illustrated with photos, maps, and diagrams.

There is a photo of Jan and Brian together, but not in the studio. The reason you don't see images of them working together in the studio is because they were not supposed to be working together in that capacity. It was a blatant violation of Jan's Nevins-Kirshner and Screen Gems contracts.

Their songwriting relationship was permissible, because everything Jan wrote or co-wrote was automatically published by Screen Gems. Any songwriting collaborators who worked with Jan, including Brian Wilson, forfeited any publishing to work with Jan. Brian got a songwriting royalty for co-writing with Jan, but no publishing royalty, which was why Murry Wilson was so upset.

Just to be clear, for those who don't understand, the songwriting royalty for a song, and the publishing royalty for that song, are not the same thing. The writing and publishing are two different revenue streams.

The best shots of Jan in the studio are owned by Dean Torrence and Jill Gibson. Dean contributed a couple of his images for my forthcoming book. And I'll be lobbying the publisher (McFarland) to use one of Jill's images (at least in part) for the cover. But that'll be McFarland's call.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: The Matadors v Sloan and Barri
« on: November 02, 2019, 02:58:18 AM »
I would not characterize the Matadors as having a rough sound, vocally. They were a tight, self-contained combo with smooth leads and harmonies.

However, "Surf City" is not their best Jan & Dean track. Jan's production got so much better after "Surf City." "Honolulu Lulu" was much better, vocally, and the production was superior to "Surf City."

I think "Popsicle" from the Drag City LP epitomizes the Matadors on backing vocals, along with "Surfin' Hearse" and "The New Girl In School."

Their work on the non-single cuts from the Drag City and Dead Man's Curve LPs is strong.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: California sunshine
« on: October 31, 2019, 10:11:52 PM »
This song was originally conceived as "Ginny On My Mind," written by Jan Berry, Tom Sumner, and Alan Wolfson. Jan later changed the title to "Diane's On My Mind," to reflect his new relationship with Diane Osborne in 1977.

The instrumental backing track, performed by Wrecking Crew musicians, was fully finished in the studio. Lyrics were written, but the vocals were never finished.

However, Tom Sumner instigated a re-write, recasting it in the vein of a John Denver song. The new title was "California Sunshine." They changed the lyrics and recorded a rough demo (without the Wrecking Crew).

The original backing track for "Ginny On My Mind" (Wrecking Crew) is strong, and I hope to get it released some day.

Just FYI . . . The backing track for the song "California Sunshine" on the Jan Berry tribute album I co-produced was faithful to "Ginny On My Mind," but vocalist Robbin Thompson changed the melody of the lead vocal to reflect his personal style.

For those who don't know, Robbin Thompson was the lead singer in Bruce Springsteen's band called Steel Mill in the early '70s (before the E Street Band). Robbin then went on to front his own combo, the Robbin Thompson Band. The group had a Billboard chart record with "Brite Eyes" in 1980 (#66).

Backing vocalists for Robbin Thompson's albums included Rick Roberts of The Flying Burrito Brothers and Firefall ("You Are the Woman"), and Timothy B. Schmit of Poco and the Eagles.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan Berry Biography
« on: August 20, 2019, 02:42:12 PM »
Hi Mark

Just touching base again. Any news on the stand alone?


It's wrapping up nicely. It should be out next year sometime.


DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Surf City collaboration
« on: August 20, 2019, 02:41:07 PM »
Mark raises a very interesting point about the credits, and one which suggests that they might not always be accurate. "Old Ladies Seldom Powershift" is credited to both Jan and Dean, but it is an instrumental. Which bit of it did Dean write then?

Several possibilities come to mind. Dean came up with the title, it made Jan laugh, he gave Dean a credit. Alternatively, Dean's contributions were real but scattered across the songs, and Jan credited him with the instrumental because he deserved some songwriting royalties from the album, so why not credit him with this one.

I raise the second possibility because Dean has suggested several places that the atmosphere was collegial, with people throwing in ideas and contributing in an ad hoc way. This might suggest that th credits were not always shared in a musically accurate way, but on a much looser basis.

Of course its always possible that Dean came up with the melody to the instrumental and Jan expanded upon it and it WAS a completely musically accurate credit. Maybe.

In the case of "Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift," Dean came up with the title and Jan gave him a songwriting credit for it.

But it's much deeper than that. You have to understand that "Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift" was originally titled "Mr. Chan," a song written by Jan Berry.

It was later re-titled "Bucket Seats" and released on the "Rally-Packs" single on Imperial with "Move Out, Little Mustang" (also co-written by Jan). But since Jan purposely withheld his songwriting credits in an effort to bypass his obligations to Screen Gems and place the publishing for these songs with Trousdale Music, Jan gave Don Altfeld the credit for "Bucket Seats." Jan arranged and produced both sides, but again withheld his production credit in order to place the production with Dunhill.

This was all part of Jan's scheme to branch out and make additional money through other publishers and other production companies. But Screen Gems found out and busted Jan for it, and the "Rally-Packs" release mentioned above was one of the reasons Jan and Lou Adler were sued by Screen Gems in 1964.

When it came time to flesh out The Little Old Lady from Pasadena LP in late '64, "Mr. Chan," aka "Bucket Seats," still counted against Jan's Screen Gems quota, so the title was changed to "Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift" . . . and Jan gave Dean credit for the title. Thus, Dean got a songwriting credit for it.

The details are in my book. There was much more to the lawsuit.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Surf City collaboration
« on: June 19, 2019, 02:51:21 PM »
Jan was writing toward fulfilling the terms of his songwriting contract with Nevins-Kirshner (which was in the process of changing over to Screen Gems), and they viewed Jan as the principal creator of product for the company. He had quotas to meet. A documented fact. Jan was free to work with collaborators, so long as they understood that Screen Gems would be the publisher.

The fact that Brian was comfortable enough to collaborate with Jan—on a song that originated with Brian—knowing full well that Sea of Tunes would not be able to claim the publishing, is telling. Brian understood that Screen Gems would be the publisher, per the terms of Jan’s contract, which indicates Brian’s level of comfort with Jan’s creative input.

Jan and Brian split the songwriting royalty for “Surf City” 50-50 (the publishing royalty was separate, which is why Murry Wilson flipped out). The copyright for “Surf City” was filed on May 13, 1963, four days before the song was released.

Questions to ponder . . .

There was no way to know that “Surf City” would become a hit, let alone reach #1. So why would Jan want to deprive Dean of credit prior to release? Especially since they had co-written half of their first album together.

Why would Dean get credit for songs like “Bucket ‘T,’” “Schlock Rod,” and “Old Ladies Seldom Powershift,” but not the majority of other songs in the Jan & Dean canon?

If Dean co-wrote “Surf City,” he should have received credit. But there is no basis for minimizing Jan’s contribution. There’s a reason he was the one signed to the production companies as a songwriter, both Nevins-Kirshner and successor Screen Gems.

And remember, Roger Christian also claimed to have co-written “Surf City” . . . after it hit #1.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: fun question about the movie "Christine"
« on: March 18, 2019, 06:38:33 PM »
Stephen King is my all-time favorite author, and Christine (1983) ranks among my favorite King novels, along with The Shining (1977) and Pet Sematary (1983).

Jan Berry and Jan & Dean are mentioned in the novel Christine. King quotes song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter . . . including "Surf City" (Chapter 5) and "Dead Man's Curve" (Chapter 49).

And King mentions Jan specifically in the "Author's Note":

“Lyrics quotes in this book are assigned to the singer (or singers, or group) most commonly associated with them. This may offend the purist who feels that a song lyric belongs more to the writer than the singer. What you have done, the purist might argue, is akin to ascribing the works of Mark Twain to Hal Holbrook. I don't agree. In the world of popular song, it is as the Rolling Stones say: the singer, not the song. But I thank them all, writers and singers - most particularly Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and Jan Berry, of Jan and Dean. He did come back from Deadman's Curve.”Stephen King, from the Author's Note to Christine, 1983

(Beach Boys songs quoted include: "This Car of Mine," "Little Deuce Coupe," "Shut Down." "409," and "Custom Machine.")

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Jan & Dean's Tiki Lounge — Now Open
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:18:29 PM »

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Dean Torrence - Album Cover Hall of Fame
« on: November 30, 2018, 06:59:56 PM »
Dean Torrence has been inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame . . . in two (2) categories: Album Cover Illustrator and Album Cover Art Director (2018). . . . Give us one, Spleen !!

Album Cover Hall of Fame — Class of 2018

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan's stand alone biography
« on: November 30, 2018, 06:51:47 PM »
Hi Mark

I just wondered how the biography was going?

All the best as always from the UK.

Thanks Surferbee. It's going very well, but I had to get the date for delivering the manuscript pushed back until 2019. Too much other stuff going on. I'll post updates as things develop.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: The girls on the cover of Mark's book
« on: October 30, 2018, 02:04:36 PM »
Does anyone know the identities of the 3 girls that are on the cover of Mark's book, The Jan & Dean Record?  According to Dean in his latest book, it seems that photo by his sister took place at Columbia Recording Studio in April 1966. Possibly on the 6th. Mark also confirms that date but there is no mention of the 3. The only vocalist listed were Jan & Dean.

When I asked Dean about it, he said he didn't remember the girls' names. He originally told me he thought the photo was taken by Kathy at Liberty Studios, and that one of the girls was possibly the daughter of someone affiliated with the studio. But after my book came out, Dean identified the studio as Columbia Square when he put the photo in his memoir, plus the one of Jan at the piano in the same studio.

It makes sense. It's 1966 and matches a known session at Columbia.

MISCELLANEOUS / Re: Happy Birthday, Gertie
« on: July 25, 2018, 04:54:32 AM »
Gertie, Just in case you take a peek in here now & then...

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday today.

I spoke to Gertie recently. We're having some work done on the back end to upgrade the main site. For those who don't know, or don't remember, Gertie owns this entire website.

DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT / Re: Jan's coma
« on: July 22, 2018, 10:43:16 AM »
There's no conflicting evidence, just bad information from various sources.

Jan was semi-conscious after two weeks in the hospital. He was conscious by early May and spoke for the first time in mid-May 1966. Documented.

He was released from UCLA Medical Center in mid-June and transferred to the rehabilitation facility at Cedars Sinai.

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