Beach Boys Fan Magazine Editor Produced Band Reunion Song | South Carolina News

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By THÉODEN JANES, The Charlotte Observer

FORT MILL, SC (AP) – David Beard is no stranger to the Beach Boys – and not just because the Fort Mill, SC resident has been the editor and publisher of Beach Boys fan magazine Endless Summer Quarterly since 1993 .

In fact, his relationship with the band members is so strong that over the years Beard has been asked to work on projects that an average fan could only dream of being involved in.

Among other concerts: he was an archive image assistant on the Beach Boys live album in 2006 “Songs from Here & Back”; he helped write the cover notes for the late 30th anniversary edition of “Pacific Ocean Blue” by late band member Dennis Wilson, which was released in 2008; and in 2015 and 2016, he was invited by Beach Boy Mike Love and his wife Jacquelyne to design the group’s touring programs.

But those jobs are pale compared to the one he took on last year.

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During the pandemic, Beard hatched a plan that ended up placing him at the center of one of the most important Beach Boys reunions in recent history.

The collaboration, which he co-produced with Rob Bonfiglio (Beach Boy band member Brian Wilson and husband of Wilson’s daughter Carnie Wilson), involved several Beach Boys – as well as a large number of children of members of the group. The result, an updated version of the 1970 song “Add Some Music to Your Day”, is the first single from a new LP, due April 23, which was also co-produced by Beard.

And the experience of working on the two provided the self-proclaimed fanboy, who is now 56, with pinch moments.

“Being in that producer’s chair and developing the arrangement, (deciding) who’s going to sing where and all that, with the Beach Boys and their kids, was… pretty cool,” says Beard.

“When I got the lead voice of Al (Beach Boy Al Jardine) to start working – to make the other voices heard, to send them to everyone – it was a time when I called my wife in my office and I said, ‘I’ I’m producing a Beach Boys record! ‘ … I kind of allowed myself to be a little kid in the candy store and get a little horny. But then I just came back to earth and got back to work. “

“THE WORLD COULD MEET IN ONE”

The concept started to form in his head last March, shortly after the world started shutting down everything because of COVID-19.

At the time, Beard was working on the Summer 2020 edition of Endless Summer Quarterly, which was to focus on the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys’ album “Sunflower”. More than ever, the magazine has become a respite for him, in this case from the flood of bad news coming out of his TV. And as he immersed himself in “Sunflower,” he found himself supported by two key aspects of it.

One was the third track from side 1 of the record, “Add Some Music to Your Day,” a lesser-known song that serves as an ode to the joyful power of music, with a single line that happily got stuck in it. Beard’s head: “The world could come together as one. “

“Music has always made me feel good,” says Beard. The more he thought about that song and the more he thought about what was going on in the world, the more he “wanted to do something that would be good for people.”

The other source of inspiration for the idea, meanwhile, was the album cover: a photo of the group hanging out on the green of a golf course with their children.

“At this time in their lives, the kids are very, very young,” says Beard. “So like, a tiny little baby Carnie Wilson is sitting on her dad Brian’s lap. Matt Jardine, Al’s son, stands next to Al. Mike’s children, Hayleigh and Christian sit on his lap. These children … they all became musicians. I just thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be great – if we take a song from the album’ Sunflower ‘- if everyone that’s on the cover of that album and still with us could sing on the recording? ? ‘ “

That would be great, he decided. And if they could do it for a good cause, even better, he thought.

So he put his plan in order and began to present it.

GATHER THE BOYS

Beard has interviewed members of the Beach Boys on several occasions for the magazine he runs.

But for the “Sunflower” edition, he said, “it was unusual. Normally they’re on tour. Because it all had stopped, however, I had access to them in a way that I didn’t. normally wouldn’t have access. They’re all sort of just sitting around doing nothing. And so that opened it up in a weird way – in a good way. “

He ended up having several conversations with longtime member Bruce Johnston about the album, which he publicly said was his favorite in Beach Boys canon. This made Johnston the first and easiest to sell.

Then he hooked up Al Jardine, several children of the Beach Boys and Bonfiglio.

Beard, a former morning producer for the now defunct Magic Oldies 96 radio station in Charlotte, had never attempted anything like this before. Instead, he relied on the trust he had built with the Beach Boys and those in their orbit over the past three decades, and his already proven track record of skillfully executing projects. like those mentioned earlier.

Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love has yet to convince.

“I think he just had to think about what we were doing,” says Beard. “When you’re a professional musician… and someone just says, ‘Do you want to do that? I mean, they’re approached with ideas like that all the time. Nonstop. So even if it’s someone they know and love and trust, it might just be a fleeting idea.

With Love, Beard realized, it couldn’t be a fleeting idea.

So he set out to prove that wasn’t the case, starting by asking Bonfiglio to try and put together a first working version of the song. In no time, Bonfiglio asked Jardine to record a main vocal track and sent it to the children who had signed up, so that they could use it as a reference point to record their backing vocals.

Bonfiglio mixed the vocals and added the instrumentation, then gave the draft to Beard, who brought it to Love.

“Once Mike heard that,” says Beard, “he thought, ‘This is a really good recording. It’s done professionally, and I’m on board. “

Shortly thereafter, Beard chose Feeding America as beneficiary and struck a deal with Omnivore Recordings, which specializes in releasing and curating unreleased or long-out-of-print music, to release the single. Beard also followed the suggestion of Brad Rosenberger, the owner of Omnivore, and began putting together additional songs so that they could release a full album.

But one thing was missing: Brian Wilson.

“THEY JUST SAID IT IS NOT AVAILABLE”

The original version of “Add Some Music to Your Day” was primarily written by Wilson (Beach Boys founding songwriter, co-singer and former conductor) and Love.

The vocals on the song were sung by Wilson, Love, Johnston, Jardine and Wilson’s brothers Carl and Dennis. Dennis Wilson died in 1983; Carl Wilson died in 1998. Beard wanted Brian Wilson to be involved in the new version of the song. Wrong.

It wasn’t meant to be, however.

“I was told Brian was not available. I asked twice. We just said he wasn’t available, ”says Beard.

“I guess because of the pandemic. I suppose that. I do not know. I’m not going to search. It’s none of my business. If that’s my business, they’d say, “He’s not available because of this. They didn’t tell me that. They just said, ‘He’s not available.’ … I just – you hear no twice… you don’t want to upset anybody, because if you upset someone or manipulate someone, you’ve lost your intention.

Despite being unable to secure Wilson’s participation, Beard kept Wilson in mind throughout the process. In a deliberate effort to honor Wilson’s original arrangement on “Add Some Music to Your Day,” Beard insisted that a cellist and violinist record the new version.

“Real string players gave him that greater authenticity,” he says, “that deeper quality that made him more faithful to Brian’s composition all those years ago.

Beard also says he incorporated images of Dennis and Carl Wilson into the music video for the song (which Beard directed) because he wanted the video to be a love letter to Brian Wilson.

“This project had to be about anything that fell into place naturally,” says Beard. “The fanboy in me wanted Brian Wilson on this recording. But I wasn’t about to let my individual fanboy – in quotes, “want” – get in the way of helping others. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

THE FINISHED PROJECT … AND A REGRET

Ultimately, the updated version of “Add Some Music to Your Day” features Love, Jardine and Johnston as lead vocals, with additional vocals from Matt Jardine; Christian love; Hayleigh Amour; Carnie Wilson; Ambha Love (Love’s daughter); Justyn Wilson (son of the late Carl Wilson); Wendy Wilson (daughter of Brian Wilson); and Lola Bonfiglio (Brian’s granddaughter).

Mike Love and Al Jardine both have recording studios in their homes. But with everyone working remotely in different parts of the country, in some cases voices had to be recorded on iPhones.

Early Beach Boys member David Marks and Beach Boys touring musician Jeffrey Foskett also played guitar on the track.

The song was dropped on February 26.

The album – released this month and titled “California Music Presents Add Some Music” – will also feature songs donated by Love, Jardine, Johnston, Marks, Foskett and Bonfiglio, as well as a cappella and instrumental versions of “Add Some” Music to Your Day. “

The beard is still pinched periodically. Whenever he considers the fact that, almost on his own, he set the stage for the first new recording in many years with the surviving core members of The Beach Boys.

But while he is at peace with Brian Wilson being visibly absent from the project, he has only one regret.

“The only thing I wish I could have thought of in hindsight, once the video came out,” said Beard, “is that I wish that at the very beginning – the whole, very, very beginning (of the clip) , like the very first thing you see – I kind of wished in my mind that I had put, “Dedicated to Brian Wilson.” Or something like that. Because that’s how I feel.

“It’s not some sort of afterthought, or afterthought. The video is really for Brian. The song is for Feeding America. But the video – for me, personally – is for Brian. It’s just. That’s why his brothers are in there.

“And if the fans like it, then so much the better.”

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