Archive for The Beach Boys

How To Wreck A Nice Beach Boy : “Beat Box” Book Out Today

A story about the missing link to the beginning of the drum machine’s place in music history…
Today is a great day in the music world!  The long-in-the-works book on the history of drum machines, Beat Box, has been released. It is the brainchild of Joe Mansfield, and elusive yet key figure in a lot of exciting things that have happened in hip hop history.  Producer of classics like Ed O. G’s  Be A Father to Your Child and I Got To Have It, Joe would go on to be a member of the Vinyl Reanimators, a production unit that maintains a cult following to this day, before founding Traffic Entertainment Group and the hottest label out there right now, Get On Down.

I met Joe when I was 19 years old and it’s a point of pride when I tell people that it was the likes of Mansfield and a few other excellent people that helped me hit my stride as a producer and arranger. I remember when he let me load up his old floppy disks into his MPC 3000 and voila, a classic beat that I was listening to on cassette in junior high would load up.
It was a couple years ago when he shared with me his plans to do a book on drum machines. I’m so happy it came out as incredible as it did. Makes part of me wish I was on the east coast right now, but alas, I’m on some “fortress of solitude” shit out in Colorado.

Since the release of the book has put drum machines on the mind of man, I figured I’d share a little story that dates back to the turn of the 60s into the 70s.  In the countless press for Beat Box, I’ve seen Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On being referred to as one of if not the first commercial albums to use a drum machine, released in November 1971. A Maestro Rhythm King, at that.

But, there was … another. Take a look at this man.


Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Sure, he doesn’t embody hip hop, in fact he predates it. But there’s a style there, a confidence and machismo that comes through even just from a picture. Also, he’s a legendary drummer, attacking his kit a ferocity. When the band was formed, he didn’t know how to play an instrument so they stuck him on drums. In seemingly no time, you wound up with this -

Dennis was the wild man of the group, though, and some even maintain that he was accident prone. When he severely injured his hand on glass in 1970, it was a blow to the group’s sound when he was unable to play the drums for an extended period of time. It didn’t completely derail his ambitions of a solo album right away though, and it may have led to the earliest use of a drum machine on a commercial release.


December 1970. Almost a full year before Sly drops There’s a Riot Goin’ On. The Maestro Rhythm King makes it’s appearance on the Dennis Wilson & Rumbo 7″ single, Sound of Free b/w Lady, on the b-side-

Oh snap! And by the way, “Rumbo” is this guy -

The Captain from Captain & Tennille. So, did the Cap’n and his colleagues get a head start on setting the drum machine revolution off? Hmmm…

And also, check out the powerful ‘Til I Die, released on the Surf’s Up album in August ’71, still predating Sly’s release and also featuring the Maestro Rhythm King -

Anybody know of any earlier uses of a drum machine on a commercial release? While you’re chewing on that food for thought, head over to http://www.getondown.com/ to grab your copy of Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession!

Special thanks to Stephen W. Desper, a friend who was the engineer for The Beach Boys between ’67 and ’72. His friendships with both Dennis Wilson and The Captain (Daryl Dragon), along with his engineering notes from a lifetime ago, helped make this story possible.

Will C. – Almost Summer – E.P.

Hey man, it’s almost summer!!

The seasons are on the verge of changing and it’s about that time to return with
some new music.  Here’s the brand new E.P. Almost Summer! -

• Almost Summer (E.P.) •

• Almost Summer (Single) •

• Cannonball Pinball (Single) •

Will C. returns with Almost Summer

A prelude to Eli’s Prism

6 DELIGHTFUL,
AUTHENTIC MUSICAL
JOURNEYS
TO THE WORLD OF
SUMMERTIME for the entire family

01. Banana & Louie
02. Almost Summer
03. Metal Flake Paint
04. Long Sands
05. Heatwave feat. Mr. Magic
06. Cannonball Pinball feat. Fernace

And for some instrumental material, check out Will C. x The Beach Boys -
Adieu or Die.  You can download the full contents by clicking the link below!

• Adieu Or Die 

Check out the video below for a preview of the release!

The goal of this project is to rework selections from The Beach Boys catalogue and give
them a new, unexpected aesthetic. I want it to be a means for many to prick their ears up
about an often overlooked larger body of work from one of music’s most interesting groups,
as well as a means for the long time fans with open minds to hear re-imagined versions of
beloved songs.

Featuring takes on material from Surf’s UpSmileWild Honey20/20, Sunflower,
15 Big OnesPet SoundsLove YouSummer Days (And Summer Nights!!) and more.

I have a lot of projects in the works I’m planning to release this year.  It’s a great feeling to no
longer be so dormant in the music realm, and to kick off this new phase with a project that really
clicked on my end when I was assembling it.  To anybody and everybody who hasn’t seen or heard
from me in awhile, I look forward to stepping outside my front door soon and catching up with all
of you.  There’s going to be a lot of good things happening here, so I encourage you to update your
links and bookmarks Today!

- Will C.

Note: Although Adieu or Die is available to listen to on Soundcloud (below the search bar), it is
highly suggested that you download the free release by clicking the bulleted link at the
top of this post.  This will allow you to get the full effect -

• All 20 tracks
• 3 bonus mixes not available on Soundcloud

• 38-page PDF booklet (featuring wonderful illustrations by Rae Murphy)
• Drop MP3s into Itunes for seamless transitions, the way it is meant to be heard

Almost Summer Beach Boys Party Tomorrow @ The Good Life – Boston

For those in the Boston area, tomorrow night is a sort of twofer party, if you will.  Come out to the Almost Summer Beach Boys Party to celebrate 50 years of The Beach Boys and the release of my new E.P. Almost Summer!

This June 13th, join DJ Will C. and The Good Life Bar in celebrating 50 years of The Beach Boys! Take a journey from the striped shirts to the psychedelic era, and witness Boston’s official summertime beach party bash!

The newly reunited and legendary Beach Boys will be playing what is rumored to be their last Boston gig with all living original members of the band this June. To celebrate 50 years of harmony and good vibrations, and to welcome the brothers from Hawthorne CA to town properly, The Good Life has recruited DJ Will C. to put together a Beach Boys party for the ages!

From the early clean cut surfing days, to the “acid alliteration” of the SMiLE era, onward to the lost early 1970s period for the band and the three-hundred-plus-pound Brian Wilson in-bed era, The Beach Boys have had a long and storied career with unmatched peaks and head-scratchingly strange lows. What other band could create a record as beloved and touching as “Pet Sounds,” but also release a selection like “Hey Little Tomboy,” an ode to a young girl who they teach to kiss and shave her legs for the first time? On June 13th, every smash hit and esoteric gem will be celebrated and stitched together into dance floor goodness.

Will C. is fresh off the release of “Adieu Or Die,” a collection of The Beach Boys classic rewired for the computer age. Here’s some of the kind words people have said about it.
“’Adieu or Die’ isn’t a few ‘Pet Sounds’ tracks with new drums on top; it’s a heavily researched, quietly ambitious, and brilliantly crafted work in its own right… the album bursts with personality.” – Boston Globe, Martin Caballero

“Dangermouse became a household name by reconstructing the Beatles illegally, and Dilla himself once took a go at reworking Pet Sounds, but Boston’s Will C. takes his source material to new dimensions of trippy, sun-soaked instrumental hip-hop. The download comes with killer art, intricate liners and bonus cuts, all gratis, which should keep C outta court and bump his profile up a notch or 10. Rating: 9.5 out of 10.” – Montreal Mirror, Darcy MacDonald

“Incredibly thoughtful [and] well-researched.” – WFMU’s Beware of the Blog, Noah Uman

See you June 13th! Free audio giveaways for the night include the new EP, “Almost Summer!” Oh yeah, you could also win all this great stuff!

Carli Muñoz and the Organ Solo That Shook The Earth


Herein this live performance by The Beach Boys lies one of the greatest solos ever recorded!! 2:43 – 4:55 !! 

The early 1970s may be my favorite live period for The Beach Boys.  Live In Concert, their live album from 1973 pictured above, is an absolute MONSTER.  At this time, the official members of the band were Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and two band members they had absorbed from a powerful group called The Flame, Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar. With the absence of Bruce Johnston and the addition of two new members, the group would never sound this way again. Their presence effects the performing and recording, from vocal blend to instrumentation.


(Blondie appears furthest right. Ricky appears behind Al Jardine, next to Blondie)

Brian Wilson very rarely appeared live with the group during this era, and Carl had become a stabilizing force for the group, a band leader for most live concerts.  Dennis had hurt his hand in mid-1971, and Ricky Fataar was holding down the drums many nights.  The Boys’ augmented their talents onstage with many out-of-this-world musicians, including Robert Kenyatta, Billy Hinsche, Mike Kowalski, Ed Carter, and the man responsible for the Hammond B3 solo, Carli Muñoz .


Imagine just going with the music and seeing where it takes you, off the top of your head, and that’s where it takes you!!  Check out 3:48-3:58, which is maybe my favorite moment.  Hear how in synch the drummer (Fataar or someone else?) is with Carli.  Truly beautiful and awe inspiring.  Here’s a comment Carli left about a year back on one of Youtube uploads -

Thanks for your kind words. I must admit it is a really hot solo – I still get excited and get a lot of pleasure when I hear it!

and another…

yeah… I always had a lot of fun with this song… I kind of re-discovered myself – it’s only been 37 years since I did that recording!

Thank you to Carli Muñoz for committing this performance to tape way back in the early Seventies.  You are forever immortalized as a result, and that’s just one solo from one night of your many performances, with The Beach Boys and others!

Here’s Carli later on in the Seventies in Christine McVie (of Fleetwood Mac)’s backyard.  At this time, Dennis Wilson was dating Christine McVie.  Carli himself was kind enough to share the video on Youtube.


(Dennis Wilson and Christine McVie)

Gregg Jakobson, producer and friend of Dennis Wilson, once commented on the heart of roses pictured above -

He had the gardner plant this very large heart in the lawn with all different colored flowers.  And of course it went on Christine’s gardner bill (laughs), but that’s Dennis for you.

As for the You Are So Beautiful video, here’s what Carli had to say on it:

Carli Muñoz on piano, rehearsing “You are so beautiful” with with a chamber orchestra directed by Jimmy Haskell at the backyard of Christine McVie’s (Fleetwood Mac) home in Beverly Hills, California. Dennis Wilson sang it for Christine as a surprise birthday party present.

You can hear what sounds like Dennis’s voice at the beginning, 0:07 in, telling Carli to play slower.  Unless I’m going crazy, Dennis is audible (but very low) at 0:53-0:58 singing “You’re everything I hoped for…”


(Dennis in early Seventies with injured hand)

Here’s the studio version of Leaving This Town, from the Holland album.  Ricky Fataar plays the Moog Synthesizer for the mellower solo on this one.  It begins 2:34 in -


(excerpt from The Beach Boys Holland: The Making Of The Album)

And here’s some more early Seventies pictures of the Boys:

Run, don’t walk, and grab The Beach Boys Live In Concert !

By the mid-Seventies, both Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar would depart from The Beach Boys.  By the end of the decade, Bruce Johnston would rejoin the group.  He remains a member to this day.

I’m looking for more live versions of Leaving This Town.  Can anybody point me in the right direction?

The Beach Boys – Hey Little Tomboy


For those who’s curiosity was piqued when viewing the Brian Wilson interview from 1976 (posted yesterday).  There is a moment where he mentions his excitement about the new track Hey Little Tomboy.  The track wouldn’t be officially released on an album until late 1978, on the M.I.U. Album.

Gotta love the sleigh bells.  I need to go out and buy me some of those.  Here’s what Dennis Wilson had to say on the M.I.U. Album in 1979 -

I hope that the karma will fuck up Mike Love’s meditation forever. That album is an embarrassment to my life. It should self-destruct.”


Dennis only lent one lead vocal to the M.I.U. Album, on the Brian-composed My Diane.

Here he is laying the vocal in the studio -

My Diane is a highly slept on track by the boys… so good.

Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for the Hey Little Tomboy recording session. Out of control lyrics and song concept … for me the personal highlight is Brian’s line, “hey little tomboy, I’ve  had my eyes on you thinkin’ what a girl you could be / Mmmm I smell perfume, let’s try some cutoff jeans, look at all the changes I seeee.”  Well, actually it’s a tie.  Carl singing “Time to turn into a girl / they’re doing it all over the world!!” gets me every time, too.

Fellas, I dare you to cue this one up LOUD the next time you’re with your special lady.

Will C. on WTBU Midnight Marauders (Free Download) – with NEW 7L & Esoteric, Blacastan, More


Peace to MaPa, Mr. Mister Bill and the rest of the crew at WTBU Midnight Marauders.  I always have a great time on the show, but this particular Sunday night was something special.  The bulk of the show contains sounds that have never been heard before… world premieres, if you will.  This includes new material featuring 7L & Esoteric, Blacastan, and one of the most underrated lyricists in hip hop period, Boycott Blues.  Even the joints played off the new Will C. x The Beach Boys record Adieu Or Die are special mixes for this eventful night.  This was the first time I premiered songs from my next project, Eli’s Prism, due out in spring on Brick Records.  So don’t just “download and enjoy,” crank this shit up and get busy.  Full track list and times below.

01. MaPa and Mr. Mister Bill Intro (0:00 – 2:12)
02. Will C. Interview A (2:13 – 3:18)
03. Will C. – Dialation (From Adieu Or Die) – SPECIAL MIX * (3:19 – 6:32)
04. Will C. – Standing There (From Adieu Or Die) – SPECIAL MIX * (6:33 – 9:39)
05. Will C. – At The Roller Rink (From Adieu Or Die) – SPECIAL MIX * (9:40 – 13:18)
06. Blacastan Vs. Cynicism – Produced by Will C. * (13:19 – 14:11)
07. Blacastan – Concrete feat. V-Zilla – Produced by Colombeyond, Cuts by Will C. (13:19 – 18:01)
08. Will C. – Back To Mono feat. DJ 7L of 7L & Esoteric (18:02 – 20:55)
09. Will C. Live Rhyme In Studio – ‘Next Assignment’ beat by Will C. * (20:56 – 22:10)
10. Will C. Interview B (with Will C. beats *) (22:11 – 38:21)
11. Will C. – Eli’s Prism (Intro Interlude) * (38:22 – 39:06)
12. Will C. – Eli’s Prism * (39:07 – 42:49)
13. Will C. – 14159 (Pre-Interlude) * (42:30 – 43:50)
14. Will C. – 14159 feat. Esoteric of 7L & Esoteric – SPECIAL MIX * (43:51 – 46:27)
15. Will C. – The Approaching Of The Dubstep Void (Unreleased) – SPECIAL MIX * (46:28 – 50:13)
16. Boycott Blues – iGot – Production / Cuts by Will C. – SPECIAL MIX* (50:14 – 52:19)
17. Boycott Blues – iSee – Produced by Will C. – SPECIAL MIX * (52:20 – 54:47)
18. Will C. – Mister Love Song (Live In Studio) * (54:48 – 56:03)
19. Will C. Interview C (56:04 – 58:08)
20. Will C. – Synthetic Genetics (Instrumental) (58:09 – 1:01:31)
21. Will C. – Zodiac Extension (1:01:32 – End)

Video Interview With Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys – Mid-1970s





Brian Wilson Interview (18 Minutes)

Keep in mind that this interview will take a minute or two to start playing, as it loads differently than Youtube videos.

Clips of this interview have been used in various documentaries over the years (the one that’s coming to mind right now is Malcolm Leo’s An American Band), and more recently a short excerpt has popped up on Youtube, but this is a full 18-minute interview with Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys from the mid-1970s.  I had originally determined that it was from 1976, but I’ve seen people claim 1975, so I don’t want to confidentially narrow it down to one out of those two years.  However, Andrew G. Doe, who maintains a wonderful site with a wealth of The Beach Boys knowledge lists the Rock And Roll Music 7″ as coming out in ’76 both in the US and UK.  The interviewer mentions that the single had come out already, so I’m leaning towards 1976.  Anywayyyyys…




This is a fan’s dream come true.  It’s the only substantial video interview I’ve seen of Brian from this time period. 15 Big Ones and Love You are in the works. He speaks on so many excellent things throughout the clip, and there are some funny moments too, like when he trips up upon accidentally saying the f word (7:28).  Here are a couple of my favorite moments:

  • 0:33 – On Hey Little Tomboy
  • 2:00 – On Dennis Wilson’s River Song
  • 2:30 – On how he wants to call the new album Brian’s In Love
  • 4:10 – On My Solution
  • 6:55 – On his post-Holland recluse period
  • 9:40 – On his production technique used during Pet Sounds
  • 12:22 – On Smile, Smiley Smile and the Fire tapes
  • 13:50 – On Friends being his favorite album
  • 14:17 – On how he loves Never Learn Not To Love (followed by some incredible awkward laughs)*
  • 14:38 – On Sunflower
  • 16:38 – On wanting to do another fairy tale

* For those unaware, Never Learn Not To Love was a reworked production by Dennis Wilson and The Beach Boys that was originally written by Charles Manson as the song Cease To Exist.

Will C. x The Beach Boys – Adieu Or Die – Trailer No. 3 – “Back To Mono”

Check out trailer No. 3 for Will C. x The Beach Boys – Adieu Or Die!

This trailer features the track Back To Mono with DJ 7L of 7L & Esoteric.  Grab it on Soundcloud below -