In My Room - A Beach Boys Tribute for the Homeless

(MMCD 1020) (3605 yen)


The track list of "In My Room":

    (Alan Boyd)
  2. SHE'S GOT RHYTHM - Paul McNulty
    (Brian Wilson - Mike Love - Ron Altbach)
  3. GIRL DON'T TELL ME - Ken Sharp
    (Brian Wilson)
  4. DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? - Darian Sahanaja
    (Brian Wilson - Eugene E Landy)
  5. LET'S GO AWAY FOR A WHILE - Sean Macreavy
    (Brian Wilson - Tony Asher; Vocal melodies and lyrics by Sean Macreavy)
  6. LANDY YOU NEED ME - Will Brian and The Shocking Shrinks
    (Brian Wilson - subtle lyric changes by Will Brison)
  7. SOULFUL OLD MAN SUNSHINE - Manfred Schmidt
    (Brian Wilson - Rick Henn)
    (Brian Wilson - Tony Asher)
  9. HEROES AND VILLAINS/ NO GO SHOWBOAT - Elliot Kendall with Sean Macreavy
    (Brian Wilson - Van Dyke Parks - Roger Christian)
  10. WITH ME TONIGHT - Doug Jones
    (Brian Wilson)
  11. HEY LITTLE TOMBOY - Cletus Tidewater and the East Lansing Filharmonic
    (Brian Wilson)
  12. PROBLEM CHILD - Coconut Grove
    (Terry Melcher)
  13. BUSY DOIN' NOTHIN' - Lenny Supera
    (Brian Wilson)
  14. LOVE AND MERCY - J D Smith
    (Brian Wilson - Eugene E Landy)
  15. GAMES TWO CAN PLAY - Lee Dempsey
    (Brian Wilson - Van Dyke Parks)
  16. VEGETABLES - The Surfonics
    (Brian Wilson - Van Dyke Parks)
  17. MY BUDDY SEAT - Brian Gari
    (Brian Wilson - Gary Usher)
  18. LET HIM RUN WILD - The Canheads
    (Brian Wilson)
  19. IN MY ROOM - David Garland with Cinnie Cole
    (Brian Wilson - Gary Usher)
  20. AND YOUR DREAM COMES TRUE - Steve Ramirez
    (Brian Wilson)
  21. IT'S ABOUT TIME - The Golden Penetrators featuring Chuck Harter and Sean Macreavy
    (Dennis Wilson - Alan Jardine - Bob Burchman)

The last CD of 1995 to be released on the M & M label was the various artists CD "In My Room". It is both a tribute to The Beach Boys, and a means of raising money to assist the plight of the homeless in California. Featuring 21 tracks recorded by various Brian Wilson fans, this CD was originally released in 1992 in a much more primitive version, on a limited edition cassette. Since recording tracks for this CD, most of the artists have gone on to record solo or group CDs for a variety of labels. There is an introduction by Brian Wilson's current manager and Beach Boys' biographer, David Leaf, but the hilarious liner notes by witty Englishman Sean Macreavy are worth the price of admission alone! In true M & M fashion, this CD contains a few surprises for the Beach Boys fan. Definitely worth investing in!

"IN OUR ROOM" by Sean Macreavy

This album started life as a very limited edition collector's tape in December 1992, from which all the profits went to homeless people in California. I am pleased to say that all of the great people who contributed to the tape have made it onto the CD, plus a collection of home-spun tributes.

1. EVERYBODY'S WAITING - Alan Boyd. Co-produced and engineered by Steve Rapa at his "Victorian Studio", Campbell, California, USA, July 1992.

Kicking off this collection with its only non-Beach Boys composition, Alan Boyd from Oakland, California has contributed a superb tribute to the 1965-67 music of Brian Wilson, complete with soaring harmonies, sleighbells and "Holidays" piano. An award-winning film and video director/editor/writer and noted archivist of old movies, as well as a naturally gifted pianist and songwriter, Alan has surprisingly only dabbled part-time in music. From humble beginnings as a child glued to his mum's copy of "In My Room" in 1966, he can now boast the world's most brilliant Brian Wilson impersonation - it has to be seen and heard to be believed!

He is currently working on his own documentary on the first movie musicals,entitled "A Song in the Dark". His excellent Beach Boys-inspired songs could well be available on an album soon. If only he could sort out that troublesome sleighbell . . .

"Everybody's Waiting" was used as the official song of the 1992 San Diego Beach Boys Convention, as was Alan's "Down South in San Diego" in 1990.

Produced and performed by Alan Boyd.

2. SHE'S GOT RHYTHM - Paul McNulty. Home 4-track machine.

Hailing from Stevenage in England, Paul's claim to fame is that he was the first person ever to perform solo at a Beach Boys convention (wow!). Since then he has forged dual careers as a computer programmer and a one-man live act in pubs and clubs, performing classic covers as well as his own off-the-wall and thoughtful material. He has released no fewer than three self-penned CD singles on his own label, Chartstuff Records. His new album, entitled simply "McNulty", is out very soon, and every home should have one. music paper NME described him as a mixture between Gilbert O'Sullivan and Victoria Wood, though Paul, like Alan Boyd, would probably rather compare himself to Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout! (OK then, Paul McCartney. Or was it Pete Best?)

Produced and performed by Paul McNulty, UK.

3. GIRL DON'T TELL ME - Ken Sharp. 24-track recording.

Pennsylvanian singer/songwriter/guitarist Ken Sharp lists among his huge gamut of influences the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, the Partridge Family and Eric Carmen: in a word, pop. Music is his lifeblood, he says. "There's nothing better in the world than writing and recording a song that touches somenoe's heart." Hear, hear. Ken hopes that one day his unique voice will become as famous (or infamous) as his superb interview of Mike Love which appeared in Goldmine in 1992.

He's now finishing up his first studio album on M &M which will feature two tracks with the Rubinoos. He's also just published a book entitled "Overnight Sensation: The Story of the Raspberries".

Ken Sharp - lead and background vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, Vibraphone and sleighbells.

Produced by Ken Sharp. Engineered by Bill Fitch at Sound Design Studios, Warminster, PA, USA.

4. DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? - Darian Sahanaja. Home 4-track machine.

If Darian's not lost in a pile of Bob Crewe girl-group 45s while a zero-G striptease from "Barbarella" shimmers from his TV monitor, then he's either at a swap meet haggling with a vendor over the price of a Pacific Ocean Park ashtray, or at a Wondermints rehearsal making sure his harpsichord line weaves nicely in and around a guitar figure played by bandmate Nick Walusko. "When I was younger, the kids used to take turns beating me up for liking the Beach Boys. Oh well, maybe I damaged an ear or something," he says.

He also possesses the mother of all DAT collections. A genius without a brain? Or just a "hardly" working guy? You be the judge. He's done a cracking 1965 arrangement of Brian's Sweet Insanity salsa number anyhow.

Produced and performed by Darian Sahanaja, on Tascam 244 4-track. (Yeah, I believe him . . . )

5. LET'S GO AWAY FOR A WHILE - Sean Macreavy. 24-track recording.

Englishman Sean Macreavy came to Los Angeles in June 1992 after a 2-year tour which took him from his hometown of Wellingborough in the UK to Tokyo, where he made a killing in the streets and subways as a "busker". One young salaryman once gave him 5000 ($50) for a two- minute version of "Kokomo"! His interpretation of Brian Wilson's instrumental from "Pet Sounds" was originally written as his entry to Beach Boys Stomp magazine's competition which had readers compose their own lyrics and melody to the song. Sean's 15 minutes of fame came at the historic 1988 UK Convention, during which Brian popped in to sing and sign autographs, and the Stomp people elected to play his song to Wilson as a special "finale" to the day's events. Naturally Brian wasn't even listening.

This song is featured on his new "Dumb Angel" CD on M & M: a collection of updated and sometimes radically reworked Beach Boys songs.

Sean - Cubase programming, acoustic and electric guitar and vocals. Produced by Sean Macreavy. Engineered by Mike Vindice on 24-track 2-inch analog at HQ, Strangeways, Manchester, UK.

6. LANDY YOU NEED ME - Will Brison and The Shocking Shrinks. Home 4-track machine.

What can I say? I think the press release for this, the A-side of Will Brison's debut single, says it all:

"Just who is Will Brison? It's a mystery. But you don't have to be a cryptographer to rearrange the letters of his name. And who are the Shocking Shrinks? Those four- part harmonies should sound familiar. I hope you agree with me - they're the eye-poppingest , ear-whackingest, swingingest surf vocal group since the Sunrays."

A certain Malibu doctor has reportedly sued Brison for a cool $30 million, claiming that he wrote the lyrics.

The "Sea of Tunes" press release is signed by none other than Murry G Wilson ... We know nothing about Will Brison except that he was involved in an aborted publication entitled "Crap Beach Boys Anagrams".

7. SOULFUL OLD MAN SUNSHINE - Manfred Schmidt. Home 4-track machine.

No, I'd never heard of it either, but lo, there it is in the Brad Elliot Observer's Book of Beach Boys Catalogue Numbers! Written in 1970 by Brian and Murry's Sunrays profege Rink Henn. A lost gemlet, methinks. Manfred is probably Germany's mega-collector. He first encountered the Beach Boys' music at a county fair, of all placed ("Chug-a-lug, Mickey-loser" and all that). After falling in love with the magnificent 1971-73 stuff, he lost track until he heard "Full Sail" on the radio in 1979. (really?) He was hooked, and has since bought everything in his path. Manfred has been the editor of the German "California Saga" fanzine for 5 years but still clings on to reality by keeping up his long career as songwriter, session keyboard player and singer. One of the nice guys.

What price my signed Mike Love jock-strap?

Produced and performed by Manfred Schmidt.

8. I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES - Nick Walusko. Home 4-track machine.

Nick "I Just Wasn't Made for this Haircut" Walusko is better known as Darian Sahanaja's right-hand left-field man in pop combo The Wondermints. While undergoing therapy for his Peter Tork lookalike complex, he threw together this remarkably authentic remake of Brian's Pet Sounds masterpiece. "As each cascading melodic phrase unfurls," he muses, "there is a poignant question - expressing either emotional doubt, or a plea for loving understanding - the echoes throughout the Teen-Ages!" Quite. Nick dips as fervently into the likes of such Brit innovators as The Kinks and Syd's Pink Floyd as he does the tackier side of TV theme music, lounge musique and "sundry psychedelic-surfy-spaghetti-westernised-spy- pimp-sci-fi cruisin' psounds". Uh huh. I think we got the bases covered. Oh, and pass me another of those funny cakes, will ya Eugene . . . .?

Nick Walusko: Roland S-50, Fender Strat and vocals.

Produced and performed by Nick Walusko on Darian's Tascam.

9. HEROES AND VILLAINS/ NO GO SHOWBOAT - Elliot Kendall with Sean Macreavy. Home 4-track Machine. Growing up in Berkeley near San Fransisco before going for gold in the desert studio land of Burbank, LA, Elliot Kendall is a Jekyll and Hyde character: smooth and silky rockabilly lounge lizard by night (when he can get the work) and, by day, a Beach Boys nut extraordinaire with a CD collection that would make your toes curl. He has made a name for himself recently as a much-in-demand liner noter on CD reissues by The HiLos, Gary Usher, The Superstocks and probably his own solo album which is in the M & M release schedules as we speak. This jokey "in the cantina" cocktail of the Smile classic and Hot Rod anthem perfectly conjures up Elliot's effervescent personality. Adding a characteristic twist of lemon and salt, he worked for minutes with Sean Macreavy on the Boss DR-550 drum track and Elvis's "Teddy Bear" bass line, played on Sean's burrito-sized Yamaha DX 100. The 12-string guitar part was recorded in one take and over 3 minutes of recording tape were used! An astrologer was also consulted as to the best time to unleash the song on the world. But the boys went for a Mexican meal instead.

Elliot - guitar, DX100 and lead vocal. Sean - Boss DR- 550 drum machine and vocals. Produced by Elliot and Sean in Sean's Santa Monica living room, USA, December 1992.

10. WITH ME TONIGHT - Doug Jones. Home digital 8-track "ADAT" machine.

Doug joins the ranks of contributors to this tape who have truly taken the Beach Boys music into their own hands! This wacky musician from Burlingham in Northern California has a certain fascination with the "darker side". Besides his spooky "Our Prayer/Mama Said" outro to this cut, he is currently working with Sike Two's J D Smith on a new album. A frequent collaborator with Flaming Groovy Cyril Jordan, his material defies categorisation. So I won't try. His projects have included a new line in horror busts and figurines. We- ird. Watch out for things that go "pouuff!" in the night!

Produced and performed by Doug Jones, USA.

11. HEY LITTLE TOMBOY - Cletus Tidewater and The East Lansing Filharmonic

Growing up in the sunny beach community of Flint, Michigan, Cletus Tidewater has enjoyed a stellar career as a dental assistant, and more recently as "the world is worst concert pianist" according to "Judaism Today" magazine. In order to raise money for his mother's hip operation he has played countless cruise ships, barmitzvahs and children's parties, unaccompanied but for his Wurlitzer organ.

He admits that he had never heard of Brian Wilson before being asked to contribute to this album, but he has since purchased Summer in Paradise, Carl and the Passions-So Tough and MIU, and declared that Brian is indeed a genius.

In a secretly taped telephone interview, Tidewater explained his choice of cover for this tribute: "just hearing the bittersweet melody, I was immediately reminded of the joys of sitting around on park benches watching all those pretty young girls with their soft skin and touching their .. oooh... heh heh heh." Sadly at this point the interview was terminated. All copies of his aborted debut album "A Little Bit of Quality Time with George and Ira Gerschwin" have been seized and destroyed by the Gershwin estate, but he is planning a home demo solo accordion album tentatively titled "Polka Time With Brother Bri" which should be out on M & M anytime soon.

Phone his agent Mellish Spelding Bundercroft and Co Inc for further details. You'll find them in the Yellow Pages under "Used Vacuum Cleaner Bags and Sundries".

Cletus Tidenwater: Accordion, wurlitzer, timpanis, vibraphone, cello, cor anglais, sleighbells, theremin and bicycle horn.

All vocals by the East Lansing Filharmonic.

Track recorded at Goldstar and Western Recorders. Flint, Michigan, USA. March - September 1994.

12. PROBLEM CHILD - Coconut Grove. 16-track studio.

This affable bunch from Newquay, Cornwall, the surf capital of Britain, formed their covers band in the early 60s, playing mostly Beach Boys and Four Seasons numbers. Three out of the four original members are still in the current line-up (which is more than can be said for some bands we know ...). Coconut Grove are Alan Martin and Graham Hicks (guitar and lead vocals), Pete Coombe (bass and vocals), Dave May (keys and vocals) and Neil Sudlow (drums and vocals). Their recent cassette album includes near-live recordings of their most popular stage numbers, including this version of the Beach Boys underrated soundtrack title song from 1990. They played two excellent sets at last year's UK Beach Boys convention performing such forgotten classics as "Break Away" and Chris White's "Spanish Wine". Their tape is available from Graham Hicks, 3 Ropehaven Close, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4DZ, UK.

13. BUSY DOIN' NOTHIN' - Lenny Supera. Home 6-track machine.

When I invited Reno guitarist Lenny Supera to contribute a little something to this collection, before I cold say "gimme a divorce" a tape arrived in my mailbox containing a dozen Beach Boys covers! With this jaunty bossa nova version of Brian's "Friends" ditty, Lenny shows just one aspect of his amazing versatility and guitar technique. Lenny cites among his diverse influences Joe Satriani, Eddie van Halen, Todd Rundgren, Brian Wilson and W A Mozart. Following the release of his cassette "Comin' At Ya" he joined a Nevada-based band called Probable Cause and is in the midst of recording his own guitar instrumental albums "Technical Difficulties" and "Len is Liable to Bossa Nova".

Produced and performed by Lenny Supera at his home lenrecorders studio, NV, USA.

14. LOVE AND MERCY - J D Smith. Home digital 8-track "ADAT" machine.

This versatile musician, singer and engineer certainly keeps himself occupied. He recently worked with Doug Jones for a Zacherle album, as well as hosting his own radio show called "The Blue Moon" on KUSF-FM in San Francisco and even writing a book on the music of the Sons of The Pioneers. Over the years he has picked up the guitar, the piano, the mandolin and the banjo and played with such luminaries as Van Morrison. He somehow found time to contribute no fewer than eight songs to this CD, all recorded on his sparkling new digital Alesis ADAT 8-track. Sadly, there was only room for one.

15. GAMES TWO CAN PLAY - Lee Dempsey. Home 4-track machine.

North Carolinan Lee Dempsey is perhaps the archetypal Beach Boys fan, having worked his way up to Superfan status thanks to his own ad in Billboard magazine requesting Beach-Boys-goodies-and-lots-of-'em. He now practically owns the Beach Boys, and was recently offered $4 million for his copy of a Hawthorne Hotshots bootleg 45' or something. Moonlighting as a super-friendly, mild-mannered executive with a reputable accounting and consulting firm, he is a man of many faces, many jingles and many red herrings, as well as a close personal friend of Will Brison and the Shocking Shrinks. He now edits the excellent US fanzine Endless Summer Quarterly, having taken over from poor old Rick Edgil who had one too many run-ins with Brucie . . . .

Vocals by Lee Dempsey.

16. VEGETABLES - The Surfonics. 16-track studio.

Laying low after the rigours of recording their own cassette album in 1991, West Sussex's The Surfonics were resurrected at the eleventh hour for this vegetarian tribute to Brian's Smile era, Very much in the spirit of that lost album. With ex-Charisma solo artist Chris White producing, arranging, playing and singing, the other members, Bruce and Graham Venton and Chris's brother Nick give their best performance yet: an exclusive to this collection. Special congrats and commiserations to lyrical wizard James Crowther for crunching away on real percussive celery - he hates the stuff!

Look out for Chris, Bruce and Graham making a dazzling appearance on Sean Macreavy's Dumb Angel CD on an a capella version of "Heroes and Villains".

For a copy of their surf/hot rod album of all-original songs write to: Chris White, 14 Dawn Crescent, Upper Beeding, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3WH, UK.

17. MY BUDDY SEAT - Brian Gari Brian Gari began writing songs in 1964 totalling over 700 songs to date. His first song was published by Kama Sutra Music at 15 and recorded in 1969. 1972 saw the single release of his song "Bicycle Ride" on Metromedia Records as recorded by former Critter / Four Season Don Ciccone. Brian signed as a solo artist with Vanguard Records in 1975 and recorded for them through 1976. He wrote the Broadway musical "Late Nite Comic" and off-Broadway revue "A Hard Time To Be Single", both of which were released on CD. Jana Robbins recorded an album of songs he wrote both by himself and with Lesley Gore. His solo CD "Songs for Future Musicals" shows his Beach Boys roots on meny of the tracks. Brian has produced four CDs on his grandfather, the legendary Eddie Cantor. He has also produced and written liner notes for archival projects on such artists as Lesley Gore, Brian Hyland, James Darren, Shelley Fabares and The Colpix Dimension Story. Beat that anybody. This version of the Wilson- Usher two-wheel rarity was turned around lightning fast for this album. Great fun.

Tracks performed by Jeff Olmsted, vocals by Brian Gari. Produced by Brian Gari and Jeff Olmsted. Recorded at Tenacity Sound, NYC, 6/20/94 (Brian's birthday!) (oh God . . . )

18. LET HIM RUN WILD - The Canheads. 24-track studio.

Phew! What a production! Dan D'Elia from Ringwood, New Jersey masterminded this super-faithful reproduction of Brian's 1965 tour de force. Juggling with sick engineers, tight deadlines and vacationing vocal arrangers, Dan agonised for hours over drums, keyboard vibes, piano and lead vocals, all of which he performed himself. He was aided by brother Matt on backing vocals, Karl Alllweier on guitar and bass, and Rick z on tambourine, who also arranged and sang background vocals and co-produced with Dan. The sax parts are by Sal Giorgianni. Dan laments that his throat was almost hospitalised by seven and a half hours slaving over a hot falsetto lead vocal which no-one in their right mind but Brian Wilson would attempt!

After their marathon 24-track affort, the band's name is quite apt: it refers to condition that affects musicians who spend long hours wearing headphones in the studio, which they describe as "an annoying stupid- looking flattened patch of hair across one's head"!

Thanks to Jane Gordon and Guy Kurshenoff for the P-Bass.

19. IN MY ROOM - David Garland with Cinnie Cole.

Home studio.

New York musician and radio producer David Garland recently received rave reviews in the (Greenwich) Village Voice newspaper for his live shows. It praised his uniquely sincere and "urgently comforting" style which, more recently, he has lent to his own tribute album to Brian Wilson. Called "I Guess I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", he tackles some of the Beach Boys most obscure and well-respected songs, approaching them in an off-beat, eccentric way. David re-recorded this cut from his album with a new lead vocal especially for the project.

His minimal arrangement is a perfect mirror of the inspiration behind this album. Imagine being without a room - homeless - without - shelter, a place of refuge, intimacy and privacy. Stark, beautiful and very poignant.

Lead vocal - Cinnie Cole. Strings - Akoshia String Quartet. Produced and arranged by David Garland.

20. AND YOUR DREAM COMES TRUE - Steve Ramirez. 24-track studio.

Steve Ramirez is a Californian railman with a fine ear for four-part harmony. He spent hours of studio time in selecting just the right harmonies to make four voices sound like many more. Steve is also a keen songwriter in his own right and even employed one Hal Blaine to beat the skins on his demo tape! Steve has been planning a Beach Boys tribute of his own, using contributors' original compositions. If anyone can find him, please let us know!

Arranged and produced by Steve Ramirez.

21. IT'S ABOUT TIME - The Golden Penetrators Featuring Chuck Harter. Home 4-track machine; all instruments played by Sean Macreavy (except drums!).

In 1976 "20 Golden Greats" made Sean Macreavy a Beach Boys nut. But, ridiculed by his school pals for such uncool taste, he came close to selling his small Beach Boys collection a few years later. He was stopped in his tracks by the 1980 re-release of "Sunflower". Overnight that album turned him into a Superfan; hence his choice to cover Dennis Wilson's rousing rocker.

The husky Dennis lead and half the backing vocals are handled by Chuck Harter, a seasoned Hollywood "sound man" and pop historian, originally from Virginia. He was interviewed (in four disguises) on US TV show "Hard Copy" , in an episode about Elvis Presley. He has just published the first ever biography of TV Superman George Reeves and is currently working on a compilation of never-before-seen stills of Marilyn Monroe.

Sean has since returned to the UK and moved up North, where he intends to buy a house (anyone got 30,000?), have babies and try to get the Beach Boys out of his life.

Chuck - lead and backing vocals

Sean - Korg M1, guitars and vocals.

Engineered and produced by Sean on Tascam Porta 05 in LA, USA.

Dennis Wilson's lyrics state in this final song, "we'd better start to help each other now". By buying this CD, you have done just that. Aproportion of the profits will be sent to the Salvation Army in Los Angeles, who will put the money toward an improved shelter in Hollywood, an area with an alarming number of homeless people. Appropriately, it is the city where Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys recorded many of the songs on this CD. All of us involved with this project- musicians, writers, listeners, Beach Boys fans alike- will be listening to these tributes in the comfort of our own homes, in our "rooms". The least we can do is give a few homeless people the opportunity to have their own room for the night. Thank you for being of some small help to those who so desperately need it.

Special thanks also to David Leaf for his time at such short notice; and to his two bizalle fiends for the strange "mystery track"; Kathryn Beatt for her patience, typing and co-funding of the original project; Elliot and Chuck for their Stack o' Tracks pose and Richard Stevens for snapping the picture; Charles Orlik and Chris Owens for the "In My Room" that got away and to all the people who sent tapes too late; Matt Fell for his typesetting and graphics on the original tape; Mike, Dave Sheila and the other mike for their expert ears; and in general to Rick Edgil, Ashley Abramson, Paul Ditchfield, Les Chan, the train in Flagstaff, Arizona, and an assortment of unsuspecting cockerels and pigs; all the contributors to this collection - you done excellent! Chu Takahashi and David Ridges for their amazing contribution to the wonderful world of things Wilson, and of course to the Beach Boys for the greatest music in the world!

Sean Macreavy, August 1994

Compilation produced by Sean Macreavy 1992 and 1994.

Equalized and sweetened from DAT and cassette master by Mike Wolf in Pasadena, Dave and Sheila in Rushden, UK, and Mike Vindice at HQ in Manchester, U. K..

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