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Pete Atkin >> Music >> Pete and the Beach Boys
(Message started by: Ian Chippett on Today at 17:45)

Title: Pete and the Beach Boys
Post by Ian Chippett on Today at 17:45
Steve wrote

<<I'd say that, if your follow-up concerns the effect of Pete's BBs influence specifically on the Shrinks' music, it should go under Shrinks, but if as I suspect it's more general than that then Music is the place for it. Start a new thread, call it say 'Beach Boys influence?', and if it needs an intro, say something like 'Over on the Shrinks board' or even 'In message <link> on the Shrinks board, <member> referred to Pete's fascination with the diminished minor 13th cadence in Brian Wilson's vocal harmony arrangements on...', or whatever.  >>

Your message as ever elegantly explains the solution so the question is to what extent does (or did) the music of the Beach Boys (or any of the other influences he mentions "over on the Shrinks page") influence Pete's music? There are the slightly wonky vocal harmonies on "Little Sammy Speedball" but that's about all as far as I can see. Unless it's too deep to put your finger on. Th trouble is with influences is when you do find a trace of one, you say "He's copying!" Probably when you've really absorbed someone's influence, you've found your own style. The Band are another case in point: if Pete had said he really hated them OOTSB, I wouldn't have been surprised as the influence of their music seems to have left no traces on Pete's. In fact, I can't think of any musician who has left a trace...

Ian C

Title: Re: Pete and the Beach Boys
Post by Mike_Walters on Today at 18:03
I seem to recall that Pete revealed once that the opening melody line of 'Beautiful Stranger' was influenced in part by the melody of the BB's 'Heroes and Villains', which I can just about see (or hear), though if so it strikes me as a very astute piece of 'borrowing' which transforms it into something quite different.   I can't detect much direct influence by the other artists Pete mentions - though PA/CJ's 'Laughing Boy' might be seen as an answer song to Randy Newman's song of the same name....

I suspect that Pete likes these artists mainly because, in their various ways, they provide examples of intelligent, witty and melodic popular songwriting, and there aren't too many of those around.  Though, given Pete's citing of The Band, perhaps he should reveal to us whether he understood the lyrics of The Weight.



Title: Re: Pete and the Beach Boys
Post by Ian Chippett on 14.10.04 at 22:04
Bit off-topic I know but I wonder what Pete thinks of the recent release of "Smile". A dazzling piece of musical doodling, I thought, with a superb vocal performance by the Wondermints: however, Mike Love was right about the lyrics. Drivel.

Ian C

Title: Re: Pete and the Beach Boys
Post by Pete Atkin on 15.10.04 at 12:10
It doesn't make much sense, I know, but I haven't yet heard Smile.  I've been putting it off for a whole bunch of subjective reasons, but I surely will get around to it.

As far as the Beach Boys' influence on my music is concerned, I don't think it's ever been as simple as trying to imitate them or pinch from them (or anyone else I specially admire) in any way.  I've never seen the point of that, for a whole bunch of objective reasons.   Influence for me is a much more general feeling about the opening up of new possibilities.  To that extent, music which is somehow "finished" or "perfect" is less likely to be a practical influence than music which for some reasons strikes me personally as leaving an idea "unfinished";  but the former stuff can of course still be hugely inspirational, perhaps rather than influential, even when it's stylistically miles away from anything I might come up with myself -- Robert Johnson would be a prime example.

I'm not even sure if I could come up with any other specific examples like the descending opening bit of the tune of Beautiful Stranger, perhaps mainly because they were unconscious anyway;  if I could they'd probably be even harder to recognise even when pointed out.  In any case, I'm afraid I don't really have the heart -- or the time -- for that kind of navel-gazing.   Up to all of you, I think, to find things, and for me to say Yes, No, or Maybe.   And as far as Little Sammy S is concerned, I'm afraid I think it's probably a No.

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