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The Beach Boys Official Website

Dennis was, but Carl and Brian Wilson weren’t really “beach boys”. In fact their first group, along with cousin Mike Love and family friend Al Jardine, was called The Pendletones. A young man named Russ Regan, who later became a successful record executive, is credited with changing the name, without their knowledge, to “Beach Boys” on a batch of single records that were pressed for their first song titled Surfin’.

Turned out rather well, I’d say.

On December 16, 2011, original members Brian, Mike and Alan, and long time members David Marks and Bruce Johnston, announced a 50th Anniversary reunion tour as well as a new album.

The “surfer sound” became a comfortable niche for the group, and no one did it better. Their close harmonies both in and out of the genre produced 36 top 40’s hits. In 1988 The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The bands ups and downs have been well chronicled, but it’s the life struggles of Brian that have generated the most attention. Painstakingly documented in Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin, and available in paperback and Kindle, the substance abuse and interpersonal conflicts makes a reunion concert with these guys seem the most implausible yet captivating event, literally, in decades.

Here’s a rare live version of their hit song Dance, Dance, Dance from the television show Shindig! circa 1964.

Another great clip features a live version of Good Vibrations and includes all the original band members at a birthday celebration for Brian Wilson in 1976 with a cut-in of an intimate party with Paul and Linda McCartney.

Probably the quickest way to get up-to-speed on The Beach Boys is to get a copy of The Very Best Of The Beach Boys: Sounds Of Summer which contains 30 of their original, remastered hits. They also produced a great, one-of-a-kind Christmas album, Christmas with the Beach Boys.

And then there’s SMiLE. Probably the most anticipated album that Brian Wilson almost never produced. Wilson was considered a great song writer, but it was his obsession with every aspect of development and production that made his approach to music so exceptional. Beyond the tight harmonies of the surfer songs, Brian wrote, sang, mixed, arranged, played, edited and produced music.

The SMiLE Sessions and The SMiLE Sessions Box Set are extraordinary recordings that chronicle the development of his music and showcase the unique talents of one of rock & roll’s most remarkable composers.

When a great band breaks up there are always rumors about a reunion that seldom materialize. Even more obscure is the band that produces new music as good as the music they produced at their peak. In 2011 The Beach Boys announced the release of a 50th Anniversary tour and album with some brief interviews and live clips displaying that great Beach Boys sound.

The Beach Boys released their new album in 2012 and it contains 12 brand new songs. It’s called That’s Why God Made the Radio. Also released in 2012 in both DVD and BlueRay was The Beach Boys Live in Concert: 50th Anniversary. And in 2013 they released the CD/Digital version of their anniversary concert called The Beach Boys Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour which contains 41 live tracks. So take out your best Hawaiian shirt, put on your shades and crank up some Beach Boys magic. I doesn’t matter how cold it is where you are, this will make it feel like summer, I promise.

In 2015 Lions Gate Entertainment released the Brian Wilson biography “Love & Mercy”. A movie starring Paul Dano as a young Brian Wilson and John Cusack as the older entertainer, Love & Mercy is still in theaters as of this writing with a combined Rotten Tomatoes rating of 91%.

© copyright anakrino publishing

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Buddy Rich Official Website

I am a bit of a drum snob in that I don’t know a piece of music that could not be improved with some percussion. Classical music included! As a drummer, however, I am surprisingly not a fan of drum solo’s. There is one exception…Buddy Rich.

He had the most wicked left hand that I have ever seen. I’ve watched his contemporaries as well as some of today’s greats and I still can’t find an equal. He did more with 4 skins than some guys do with 12. He played a single bass, but because he was so fast on his 2 floor toms it often sounded like a double kick.

Rich had a style that kept me, and every other serious drummer, glued to the screen in an attempt to dissect his technique. And as you can see from these two videos, it was quite difficult because he was so fast that film could barely keep up.

The first video starts as a bit of comedy with Jerry Lewis and leads into a very early solo that defined his incredible style.

This second video cuts in on the solo from his West Side Story Medley. There is a spot at about 1:38 where he’s playing the hi-hat with his right hand and both controlling the cymbals and striking them with the left hand. If you’re not a drummer you have probably never seen anything like it.

There are lots of great Buddy Rich tie-ins but the three MP3 Albums that I’ve selected are excellent introductions to Buddy Rich as well pure Big Band/Jazz/Swing classics.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy includes Channel One Suite, a favorite of solo enthusiasts but a great jazz/band classic as well.

Big Swing Face is also classic Buddy. If you just wanted a jazz/big band album, this is the one you should have in your collection.

The Best Of Buddy Rich/The Pacific Jazz Years contains West Side Story Medley, considered the quintessential Buddy Rich tune. If you want unadulterated Buddy Rich, get this one.

Buddy Rich: Up Close is the DVD I wanted as a kid. It includes close up and varied angles so you can get a better look at his drumming genius. I have included a link to the DVD below, but Buddy Rich: Up Close is also available for digital purchase or rent at

Buddy Rich Live At The 1982 Montreal Jazz Festival is just that, a great concert just a few years before he passed. Now available only through resellers. A rare treasure.

And something very special, Mel Torme’s biography of Buddy Rich called Traps – The Drum Wonder: The Life of Buddy Rich. Mel was a great artist in his own right, but here he writes about “Traps” in a way that could only be accomplished by a life-long friend.

© copyright anakrino publishing

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On June 29, 2011, I was told that Amazon would be closing all affiliate accounts in California due to a new law that went into effect on July first. You see, Amazon doesn’t have to collect state sales taxes for products it sells online because they don’t have a physical presence in the state…except for me (and about 24,999 other folks). The State of California now says that because I live here, Amazon kinda sorta has a presence in the state so it has to collect the sales tax. Amazon saw the state and raised them by terminating my membership in their Associates Program. So it was all my fault.

The truth is, no one bought anything through my links yet, so the only way that I’d be affected was that I would miss the ability to make those great Amazon buttons, or so I thought. Not to worry, I was assured by a “real” Amazon associate, my link creating abilities will remain but I will no longer make any money if someone uses them.

Actually I create those links because they are a part of my writing style. I research the subject as well as the tie-ins (however extraneous they may be). It’s just what I do. So I’ll continue to include links to great products from Amazon and one day I might actually find a way to get paid for it.

And if you think I can’t find a tie-in for this post, think again!

Here are three of my favorite California themed MP3’s. The first is California Dreamin’ by the Mama’s and The Papa’s. Then, of course, California Girls by the Beach Boys. And a great song by Albert Hammond called It Never Rains In Southern California. Didn’t think I could do it, did ya?

Update 2011.07.19: Amazon is planning to take it’s case to the voters. According to this mention from KBAK they’ve got a green light from the state to put a referendum on the ballot.

Update 2011.09.10: No. Seriously? The state passed a bill to put their previous bill on hold? Really? KBAK has the details.

Update 2011.10.17: So…Amazon is back into me. It seems that the folks in Sacramento passed a law that puts a hold on their previous law that made Amazon turn from me in shame. Yes, that’s right, I said “puts a hold on their previous law”.

When Amazon wrote to me welcoming me back into their Associates program, they used the word “repeal” to describe what the legislature had done, but all they actually did was delay implementation until 2012. Once again KBAK has the story.

There’s a bunch of political wrangling still going on, but as of today Amazon loves me again. So it’s time to celebrate! (Until 2012, I guess.)

Celebration by Kool and The Gang, I Just Want To Celebrate by Rare Earth, and Celebrate by Three Dog Night. Woo hoo.

Update 2012.09.15: And there you have it. Today Amazon begins collecting California sales tax. The story from CBS This Morning, Calif. law ends tax-free shopping for, other online retailers.

© copyright anakrino publishing

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