Drugs. What have been our greatest burn out tragedies?

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Jon K
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Postby Jon K » 23 Aug 2005, 20:08

andymacandy wrote:I regret that coke took away SRVs best years, although at least he did clean up in time for us to catch some of him at his best.
Paul Kossoff. We can only guess at how good Free could have been if he had been on top of his game.They were pretty feckin good anyway.
Im never sure about Little Feat and Lowell.Was it the drugs that finished
him?I really like the later stuff anyway, so I dont know what would have happened, and how different they would have been.


Yeah totally agree with Kossof. Having seen the guy when he was just perfect and also when he was a shambling wreck I often wonder what Bad Company would have been like with him invloved. He was originally going to be involved but apparently turned up to a rehearsal out of it and blew his chances as Rodgers wanted a little more reliability.
I would also mention Tommy Bolin in the great guitarists burnt out list. Very like Kossoff in many ways in that no matter who they were playing with you always knew who was on guitar as they both had a very identifiable sound and style. Not even Clapton managed that :D

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Postby Snarfyguy » 23 Aug 2005, 20:14

Jimmy Jazz wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:
Jimmy Jazz wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:
Jimmy Jazz wrote:Most people won't have heard all of those albums
preceeding pet sounds, including me.


What does that have to do with anything?


that it's hardly a benchmark, that ps was the 13th album


Of course, the number isn't important. What's at issue right here I thought was the sheer volume of great material he had under his belt by that point.


and I was disputing the volume of great work in the albums upto Pet Sounds


I thought you just said you hadn't heard it.
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Postby The Slider » 23 Aug 2005, 20:31

TheBoyGiraffe wrote: he had a complete breakdown which impaired his ability to function properly in everyday life, suffering chronic depression and recurring aural hallucinations, and therefore had neither the will nor the confidence to continue his musical career as he had beforehand. as has been said above, he churned out the lion's share of a dozen albums in five or six years up to 1966. after that, he wrote a few songs a year, if that.

before the breakdown, music was everything to him. afterwards, he all but retreated into his own little world for thirty years.


apart from when he didn't, and carried on writing music.

It is a weird old 'burn out' to be nominating as "the most significant" then - a sort of half-arsed burn out that allowed its victim to carry on writing music - but not too much of it. :lol:
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Postby Matt Wilson » 23 Aug 2005, 20:41

Jimmy Jazz wrote:Yes I did, didn't I. Anyway I have heard some of that without being able to reproduce titles etc ( an anyway I hate all that surf stuff), but it is peculiar that not many of those albums , apart from a number of isolated tracks,preceeding pet sounds have gained the same appreciation as PS if it was all that great.


It's also peculiar that Piper at the Gates of Dawn hasn't gained the same appreciation as Pet Sounds.

Maybe because Piper isn't all that great.
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Postby Tonto Papadopoulos » 23 Aug 2005, 20:44

The Slider wrote:It is a weird old 'burn out' to be nominating as "the most significant" then -


when did i say that? this is what you said:

The Slider wrote:Nobody that I can see still had much to give except Syd and possibly Jimi.


i was merely disagreeing with you by suggesting that wilson also had a lot to give but was fucked up by a number of factors, acid being a very significant one. simple really.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 23 Aug 2005, 21:05

Jimmy Jazz wrote:Maybe because Piper isn't all that great.


.....and you'd be surprised how many people would think otherwise[/quote]

Not really. I'm well aware of how big the cult of Syd is around here.
Bigger than the cult of Roky and Skip put together I reckon.
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Postby The Slider » 23 Aug 2005, 21:06

TheBoyGiraffe wrote:when did i say that?


Forgive me I misinterpreted your comments referring me to the thread's title as being indicative of your opinion on Mr Wilson's standing in that catagory.

TheBoyGiraffe wrote:i was merely disagreeing with you by suggesting that wilson also had a lot to give but was fucked up by a number of factors, acid being a very significant one. simple really.


Fair enough.
I still don't think we were denied anything by it, though.
The fact that he did carry on writing (and judging by the weird tree mallarkey on Surf's Up he certainly didn't feel he needed to reign in the more outre of his compositions) is what leads me to this conclusion.

In the cases of Syd's retirement and Jimi's death, the matter of drugs curtailing their creativity is beyond speculation. With Brian it is possibly more ambiguous as he lives and breathes and still exists (and always has done) as a creative force.
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Postby Charlie O. » 24 Aug 2005, 01:36

Jimmy Jazz wrote:Most people won't have heard all of those albums
preceeding pet sounds, including me. If 50% of that
output would have been great, they would indeed have been bigger
than the beatles, which they certainly are not.


Yes, and Nick Drake wasn't as big as Harry Chapin because his records weren't as good as Harry's. And The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society obviously wasn't as good as In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, since it didn't sell anywhere's near as many copies. And The Velvet Underground, well, they just never even existed.

Okay, I'll calm down. The Beach Boys had a number of strikes against them that the Beatles didn't - chief among them being that they were pretty much a one-man show (in terms of creativity). But they also couldn't compete image-wise, they weren't as witty in press conferences, they had Mike Love, etc., etc. And, as I noted, their albums were for the most part not very consistent, compared to the Beatles'.

But you're also overlooking the fact that they were, in their day, pretty damned huge. Not as big as the Beatles, maybe; but pretty much all of those inconsistent albums were hits - at a time when rock'n'roll fans generally didn't buy a lot of LPs. The Beatles definitely took them seriously - commercially, as well as creatively.
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Postby Quaco » 24 Aug 2005, 02:13

Jimmy Jazz wrote:
Charlie O. wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:So Brian had a creative burst over two albums and then dried up - forever.

Christ, even Queen made four great albums.....


I'm not going to look it up, but Pet Sounds was something like the Beach Boys' 13th album inside of five years. And yes, there was a lot of chaff on most of the previous twelve, but if you filter that out there's gotta be at least 5 or 6 LPs' worth of genuinely great, innovative, influential stuff. And Brian was producing, arranging, and (except for lyrics) writing it all himself.


Most people won't have heard all of those albums
preceeding pet sounds, including me. If 50% of that
output would have been great, they would indeed have been bigger
than the beatles, which they certainly are not.

As with The Beatles, the early Beach Boys albums were all very popular, and their singles were even more so. For a number of reasons -- the great popularity of the Endless Summer compilation in the Seventies, their non-serious image, the fact that they were considered outdoor in-the-car music -- they are remembered for their singles, not their albums. This likely is what gives you the feeling of "a number of isolated tracks". It's the reason their album titles aren't referenced as often as the Beatles', even though they sold shedloads at the time.

The fact that their earlier albums are not as well-known as Pet Sounds doesn't negate the quality contained in them. The view that Pet Sounds is Wilson's masterpiece is strictly a Nineties phenomenon, based on reevaluation with an eye toward lost albums, and this is what accounts for people having heard of it today. It sold very poorly at the time. The Beach Boys' Today!, despite its title, is certainly on a par with Rubber Soul, as All Summer Long is on a par with (or better than) Help!, whether most people have heard of them or not.

Wilson's retreat after the failure of Smile ended years of quality productivity, not just a couple albums worth.
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Postby linusoli » 24 Aug 2005, 03:42

Ok first of all - speed is what caused the big breakdown in 1967 more than anything else from Brian Wilson. He'd only had about four or five acid trips. The weed was contributing to his paranoia but the speed and crash was what drove him to both that amount of productivity and then the sudden collapse in desire to create. There's a famous story that in 1967 Brian suddenly decided that he didn't enjoy producing records anymore, and well that pretty much says it. By the way Jimmy Jazz is a fucking idiot for making pronouncements on things he doesn't even pretend to know about. Maybe he should go listen to Today, Summer Days Summer Nights, All Summer Long even big chunks of Shut Down Vol 2 before he continues to embarass himself.
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Postby Diamond Dog » 24 Aug 2005, 08:55

I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."

Anyhow - about Brian Wilson. I absolutely do not believe that anybody can show (clearly and factually) that his creative juices dried up because of drugs. I'm of the opinion that Brian's fall was almost entirely due to the rejection of "Smile" by the rest of the band - everything I've seen suggests that is so. He retreated into his shell because he wasn't strong enough, mentally, to withstand that rejection - which was a continuation of the psychological problems he had, based around his father. The drugs were a mere side note - they were not the cause.
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Postby Charlie O. » 24 Aug 2005, 09:24

Diamond Dog wrote:I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."


Well, whether you thought so or not, there are plenty of people (I won't name names) who are of the mistaken belief that Brian Wilson's rep rests solely on two albums. It was worth commenting on, regardless (he said defensively).

Anyhow - about Brian Wilson. I absolutely do not believe that anybody can show (clearly and factually) that his creative juices dried up because of drugs. I'm of the opinion that Brian's fall was almost entirely due to the rejection of "Smile" by the rest of the band - everything I've seen suggests that is so. He retreated into his shell because he wasn't strong enough, mentally, to withstand that rejection - which was a continuation of the psychological problems he had, based around his father. The drugs were a mere side note - they were not the cause.


I don't think it was first-and-foremost the drugs, either (although they probably didn't help, and although he continued to have "drug problems" for the next decade or so).

Besides Drugs, Dad, and Mike Love, factors include:

1. not being able to complete Smile - sub-factors of which include:
    a. his on-and-off relationship with Van Dyke Parks, whom Brian was counting on to do all the lyrics

    b. having painted himself into a corner with his new "modular" method of writing (i.e., all of these little pieces, and no clear vision of how or if they would all finally fit together)

    c. the "fire music" debacle, and other assorted paranoias

2. continuing problems with Capitol Records, who he was trying/hoping to break away from

3. the effort required to set up and maintain Brother Records, his new label

4. the desire to top the Beatles - dashed when Sgt. Pepper beat Smile to the marketplace

5. rejection, on the part of radio and the public alike, of the "Heroes & Villains" single, which he had worked very hard on for a long time (it was the first Brother release, to boot - even if it was via Capitol)

6. general burn-out after years of busting his ass trying to stay in the creative vanguard and at the top of the hit parade



- among other things, no doubt. (When was Carnie born? Starting a family can certainly add pressures to a young man's life.)

In short, I reckon the poor guy was overwhelmed. And probably feeling a tad under-appreciated (and not just by you-know-who). Not unlike his hero Phil Spector after "River Deep, Mountain High" flopped (in the U.S.).

The drugs probably didn't help, though.
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Postby the hanging monkey » 24 Aug 2005, 09:25

Diamond Dog wrote:I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."


You mean about having four great albums? Perhaps some of us think that they did have four great albums. A minority on here to be sure.
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Postby Diamond Dog » 24 Aug 2005, 09:29

The Northern Monkey wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."


You mean about having four great albums? Perhaps some of us think that they did have four great albums. A minority on here to be sure.


Well, I actually do think the first four Queen albums are great. And I've never been scared to say so. My point was, it wasn't the most salient or apt point to make in a thread about Brian Wilson's drug problems, was it? :roll:
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Postby Diamond Dog » 24 Aug 2005, 09:32

As to Charlie O's excellent post - it all confirms what I said. The man was clearly a mental wreck, and the rejection of "Smile" by the group, and "Heroes And Villains" by the public were the things that tipped Brian over the edge. It would have happened with or without the drugs, in my view.
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Postby Tonto Papadopoulos » 24 Aug 2005, 10:26

very enjoyable thread, though.
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Postby the hanging monkey » 24 Aug 2005, 10:56

Diamond Dog wrote:
The Northern Monkey wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."


You mean about having four great albums? Perhaps some of us think that they did have four great albums. A minority on here to be sure.


Well, I actually do think the first four Queen albums are great. And I've never been scared to say so. My point was, it wasn't the most salient or apt point to make in a thread about Brian Wilson's drug problems, was it? :roll:


Probably not admittedly. Although the thread is a tad wider than just BW. I probably thought I was on the other thread about stopping at he right time.
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Postby Tonto Papadopoulos » 24 Aug 2005, 11:07

what sort of state was syd in when he was recording his two solo albums? sorry, i know very little about syd barratt.
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Postby Hugo » 24 Aug 2005, 11:19

TheBoyGiraffe wrote:what sort of state was syd in when he was recording his two solo albums? sorry, i know very little about syd barratt.


I think Malcolm Jones (producer of Madcap Laughs) said he was in pretty good shape for Madcap Laughs, at least. But I don't think Syd's only (or even fundamental) problem was drugs. The drugs probably triggered an already latent problem with mental illness.

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Postby Diamond Dog » 24 Aug 2005, 14:02

TheBoyGiraffe wrote:very enjoyable thread, though.


So that's a concession, then?
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