Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues -> Articles in this issue -> View

Book Review

Heroes And Villains


"HEROES AND VILLAINS: the true story of the Beach Boys", by Steven Gaines. £10.95

This is the definitive book on the subject for those who wish to know the following: how Murry Wilson lost his eye; that Brian and Carl both regularly wet the bed until they were 13 or 14; that Brian liked to drink vanilla coke and eat "fries drenched in ketchup"; that Dennis once painted his penis green and wandered round a tour hotel with it hanging out of his jeans; that Brian once dug a grave for himself in his back garden; that his shrink Eugene Landy was costing $57,000 a month in 1983; the place where Dennis tried and faded to dry out just before his death; and so on.

In a sense, anyone obsessive enough to want to buy a book about the Beach Boys in 1987 probably does want to know all these things. I haven't minded hearing about them: but I might like to have heard a little about the music, too.

The strange thing is that despite a mass of interviews, as exhaustive as any ever assembled on a pop group, the musical secrets of the Beach Boys are as elusive as ever.

On the process of songwriting, the distinctive nature of Brian's musical abilities, or the way those giant sessions were run, Gaines has nothing to say at all, except to repeat the hoary old yams about fires in the studio and sessionmen in plastic firemen's helmets.

In truth, his enthusiasm for the music is limited in the extreme. Who wants to read a Beach Boys book by a man who seems incapable of hearing the difference between, say, "Wild Honey" and "Friends"? Or between "The Beach Boys Love You" and "The MIU Album"?

Gaines's chamber-of-horrors approach will not make one jot of difference to the way I feel about the music, nor, for that matter, about the group. Indeed it only deepens the mystery: so ordinary/so extraordinary. Why? There is a real story here, but Mr Gaines is not the man to tell it.



Previous Article in this issue

Distorting - The Truth

Next article in this issue

Calendar


Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

 

Making Music - Mar 1987

Review by John Morrish

Previous article in this issue:

> Distorting - The Truth

Next article in this issue:

> Calendar


Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

Donations for January 2022
Issues donated this month: 3

New issues that have been donated or scanned for us this month.

Funds donated this month: £141.00

All donations and support are gratefully appreciated - thank you.


Magazines Needed - Can You Help?

Do you have any of these magazine issues?

> See all issues we need

If so, and you can donate, lend or scan them to help complete our archive, please get in touch via the Contribute page - thanks!

If you're enjoying the site, please consider supporting me to help build this archive...

...with a one time Donation, or a recurring Donation of just £2 a month. It really helps - thank you!
muzines_logo_02

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy