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Psychedelicatessen

Topic: Who's Got the Tapes?



SMILE TAPES?

Replying Original Article:

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Wouldn't somebody would have had to transport the instrumental track reductions done at Western or Gold Star to Columbia or Sunset for vocal overdubs? Unless there was some special bonded courier service, I suppose it would be the producer's responsibility to transport, and in this case that would be Brian. Or is that not the case?

Wasn't there a press report of H&V tapes being stolen from Brian's Rolls parked at a movie theatre [I'm at work so I might be making that up]?

Desmond, wasn't that what you were saying, that track reductions were done wherever recorded and taken to Columbia where vocals were recorded; these vocals would probably be mixed with the track at Columbia and apparently stored there? SO probably any SMiLE track that had vocal overdubs recorded probably had a mix done, whether for the whole track or for the various selections, at Columbia.

I'll bet there were several ¼" masters made in Dec and Jan and they were/are just sitting at Columbia waiting to be assembled. I agree with those who think IF Brian did dispose of tapes it was some or all of these ¼" mixes.

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Replying to Original Article:

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My understanding is that it was routine practice to leave the tapes at the studio for safekeeping, including instrumental and vocal tapes. After all, those tapes will be used in that studio (or picked up and taken to another studio) for overdubs and then final mixing. The final mix would be taken by Brian, but he wouldn't have much use for the instrumental sessions or vocal overdub sessions at home.

That this was routine is evidenced by how many other tapes have been either thrown away by the studios or "found" by enterprising bootleggers in the garbage bins - The Who's New York Lifehouse sessions, many Byrds instrumental sessions 1965-1966, Dylan's Nashville sessions, etc. Artists did not have the storage space capability in the 60's to store these tapes. Brian later having a home studio was the exception, but even then, I doubt he had the storage capacity to keep al of his session tapes.

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Replying to Original Article:

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I agree with your theory about Brian actually walking out with the multi-tracks or mixdowns he was working on, as these seem to be missing. In recent interviews Brian's memory isn't as bad as everyone presumed it would be. SMILE as HE knew it probably was partially thrown away and burned. I guess this way, no one can totally reconstruct SMILE as to what he thought it should be. Be interesting if Brian HAS some of those tapes in his archives to this day! He did come up with that demo of H&V/CHILD/BARNYARD for ENDLESS HARMONY and that piano demo (title escapes me) for the PET SOUNDS box set. Wouldn't be surprised he's sitting on SOME of those tapes and doesn't even realize that???

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Replying to Original Article:

I'm confused about a couple of things, and hope someone more educated here can help.

If the Brian (or whoever) went back to Columbia to retrieve the multi-tracks for "HV" and "Vegetables" for use on "Smiley Smile", why didn't they get the OTHER multi-track masters at the same time?

I'm a little hazy on the "who has physical possession of the tapes" question. The Columbia-has-tapes theory works very well in explaining the missing "Smile" vocal tapes…but I really don't understand how that would have happened. Let's say Brian goes into Columbia (or Western or wherever) and has a tracking session. Great. At the end of the day, WHO RETAINS THE TAPE? Why would the studio retain it, since a) Brian would need the tape for overdubs, etc. at the other studio, and b) Brian paid for the session. And if he was doing vocal overdubs, even more reason to cart the multi-track back to the "home" studio for final mixdown. Another possibility, I think, is that - just as I said - at the end of the day somebody hands Brian a multi-track and says "here you go, Brian! Have fun!" and Brian walks out with it. The scary part of it is that multi-tracks are not safely at the "home" studio, but carried about by Brian from place to place. Is it possible that some masters are lost because Brian has been telling the truth for 30 years and actually DID destroy some tapes? After all, if they were in his possession, what would have stopped him from dumping them in the nearest garbage can if he felt like it?

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There was some interview (I'm sure someone here knows, maybe IJWMFTT?) where Brian quotes Barnyard with "Barnyard Billy loves his chickens". As Brian's memory is remarkably sharp, in spite of everything, I'm guessing that line was part of the second verse of Barnyard. Brian hums the next verse in the H&V demo and says afterwards "haven't finished this yet".




If you have any comments on this topic, psychedelismile@yahoo.com and I will try to promptly post any interesting replies.