Page 1 of 1

Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:02 pm
by Garth Cartwright
I'm surprised no one has writ on this movie here - surely a few of us listen to the Beach Boys? As biopics go the Brian Wilson one is interesting in the way it has a young actor playing Wilson at the height of his powers in the mid-60s and John Cusak playing the washed up misfit controlled by an evil psychiatrist. The young actor resembles the young Brian while Cusak looks nothing like him - but he does convey his vulnerability well. The best scenes here are of Wilson in the studio with the Wrecking Crew - he's not just a great songwriter but an inspired arranger and producer. As a non-musician I sat there and wished I had the ability to conjure up such magic sounds! Oh Adam, you lucky chap! Another thing I liked is that the film focused here on creating music - too many doc's and feature films on music seem to forget the reason we first got interested in the artist - the music! - and go for the lifestyle

The scenes with Cusak and the gifted actor Elizabeth Banks are more soap opera - along the lines of beautiful woman with heart of gold saves genius from evil psychiatrist. Banks has such an expressive face she stops this sliding into mad melodrama.

Anyone else here still listen to the BBs? I know Charlie had no time for them - "too white". But I grew up in a city with lots of sun and a surf/beach culture so was indoctrinated early on. To this day I still can't decide whether their best song is I Get Around or Good Vibrations. Both are perfect. God Only Knows is nice too.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:23 pm
by alister prince
I never listen to the BBs now, but liked a few of their early tracks at the time - Country Air, Barbara Anne (fun wrecked band cover), Good Vibes. Some good pop surf music, But I preferred some other bands (another thread here?). I only saw them live once, at Crystal Palace Park Concert Bowl. They were dreadful, sang really out of tune, in fact tuneless. Their playing was sloppy and uncoordinated. An altogether awful experience. No good vibrations there.
Aly

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:17 am
by john poole
I laughed when Brian and Melinda jumped off a yacht and swam to shore to escape from a minder employed by Dr Landy to chaperone them, but on the whole I found the film predictable and dull. I still love the Beach Boys, or at least the Wilson brothers (Mike Love not quite so much), but apart from the odd exception (notably Todd Haynes' I'm Not There) I am so bored with musical biopics. But from what I have read I appear to be alone in not liking this film.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:56 am
by Adam Blake
It took me many, many years to appreciate The Beach Boys - or Les Garcons de la Plage, as I prefer to think of them. The penny finally dropped with me and "Pet Sounds" when I was about 53. "God! This is brilliant!" I said, to anyone who would listen. "Um, yeah. And? Your point being?" summarised the general response.

Ian MacDonald thought "God Only Knows" was the best pop record ever made and I can see why he might say that. There's about ten or so others that I really like. No doubt, Brian Wilson was some kind of musical genius.

Who knows? Maybe there's still time for me to "get" The Grateful Dead. The other great California band that have, to a large extent, always eluded me.

But I think all those Deadheads and Beach Boys fans should listen to Terry Riley (maybe some of 'em do).......

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:04 am
by Adam Blake
Garth Cartwright wrote: Oh Adam, you lucky chap!


I know, I know. It's embarrassing. I offer gratitude to the universe every day but it seems so inadequate...

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:53 am
by john poole
Adam Blake wrote:But I think all those Deadheads and Beach Boys fans should listen to Terry Riley (maybe some of 'em do).......
I bought "In C" and A Rainbow in Curved Air, but it's the Beach Boys and (occasionally, at their early best) the Grateful Dead that I would prefer to listen to these days.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:13 am
by Adam Blake
Oh, I daresay, John! It's just that I saw Riley last Saturday at the Barbican and he was wonderful. 80 years old and still showcasing new material and still playing piano like a dream. And he's from California.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:17 pm
by AndyM
Anyone who doesn't like The Beach Boys (at their best) doesn't understand pop music.

California Girls, Don't Worry Baby, God Only Knows (the opening song at me & Phil's civil partnership), You Still Believe In Me, Do It Again, Good Vibrations, Sail On Sailor, The Warmth of the Sun, Caroline No, In My Room, I Can Hear Music, You're So Good To Me, Darlin', Wouldn't It Be Nice - that's thirteen masterpieces without me even having to think about it. Not a tally many could match.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:10 pm
by Chris P
No one's mentioned 'Surf's Up' (the song) yet, what is this forum comin' to!
Beautiful music, and endearingly druggy/visionary/bonkers lyrics by VDP


Brian Wilson and wife Melinda on The View, about the film & no pier pressure, the lp:
https://youtu.be/u1fJrpq59qA

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:25 pm
by will vine
AndyM wrote:Anyone who doesn't like The Beach Boys (at their best) doesn't understand pop music.

California Girls, Don't Worry Baby, God Only Knows (the opening song at me & Phil's civil partnership), You Still Believe In Me, Do It Again, Good Vibrations, Sail On Sailor, The Warmth of the Sun, Caroline No, In My Room, I Can Hear Music, You're So Good To Me, Darlin', Wouldn't It Be Nice - that's thirteen masterpieces without me even having to think about it. Not a tally many could match.


I'm not quite sure who is pushing stuff on to my ten year old grandson but he's genuinely buzzed up on The Beatles, Queen, ELO, and good for him. In associating myself with the above comments it occurs to me I ought to shove The Beach Boys his way. I never was a fan in the sense of reading or caring about them but they/he/the wrecking crew sure made some wonderful records.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:08 pm
by Hugh Weldon
'God Only Knows' enchanted me when I was nine. It was the first record I ever tried to buy, even though we didn't have a record player. Unfortunately it was a Wednesday afternoon, which was half-day closing in those days, the shop was shut and the saved up pocket money was frittered away on other things. What a waste.

Re: Love & Mercy

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:34 pm
by Adam Blake
Mind if I post this again? It's very beautiful - and for an ageing musician, somewhat poignant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAAKG-hKdhM