Material

Hashirigaki
In the double meaning of running, rushing, writing fluently, outlining - it is the first word of the traveling recitative of the Kabuki piece "Death in Amijima", which was asked to be written by the Japanese author Chkamatsu - named "Shakespeare of Japan" - on the occasion of a double suicide by order of the theatre of the same town for a performance on the next day, and which he started to write down - coming from a feast - on the way home itself, still in the sedan...


I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Brian: "It's about a guy who was crying out because he thought he was too advanced, and that he'd eventually have to leave people behind.
All my friends thought I was crazy to do PET SOUNDS."
PRODUCTION NOTE: It was on this track that Brian first experimented with the Theremin (possibly the first time it had been used on a rock record.) Shortly after this track was recorded Brian used the Theremin extensively on GOOD VIBRATIONS.
(The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds - CD-Booklet)


On Steins Americans
After "On the Road", a longer, more extraordinary piece of prose, "Visions of Cody" (1951), makes the breakthrough for Jack Kerouac's development just as Gertrude Stein's great prose experiment, "The Making of Americans", stands for hers. A thousand pages of insane consciousness babble. I don't know if you know that text. Does anybody know of "The Making of Americans" by Gertrude Stein? That's actually I think one of the great prose masterpieces of the century. Stein had intentions very similar to those I've ascribed to Kerouac - she was student of William James at Harvard, a student of consciousness, a psychedelic expert, so to speak, to join it to a familiar reference point for you; she was interested in modalities of consciousness, and she was interested in art as articulation of different modalities of consciousness, and she was interested in prose composition as a form of meditation, like yoga.
And, like yoga, she was interested in the language as pure prayer-meditation, removed perhaps even from its associations. To give an example (if this is too abstract and complicated an idea), like Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in order to get himself in an hypnotic state would repeat the name "Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson; Alfred Lord Tennyson," until the sounds no longer had any association but were just pure sounds in a spacious physical universe, and he would get into a funny kind of ecstatic egoless state that way.
So Gertrude Stein was interested in using prose in the same way, that it both have a meaning and at the same time be completely removed from meaning and just become pure rhythmic structures pronounceable aloud. If you ever get a chance, you can listen to a record she made on Caedmon reciting some little prose compositions about Matisse and Picasso where she has little things like "Napoleon ate ice cream on Elba. Napoleon ate ice cream. Napoleon ate ice on Elba cream. Napoleon ate on cream Elba ice. On Napoleon ice ate cream Elba. On Elba ate Napoleon ice cream. Ice cream ate Napoleon on Elba." Little formulas that go round, round the world, which is how she arrived at her famous statement which as you alle know is "A rose is a rose is a rose." That's the end of long, tong pages of circular prose that exhausts the word rose in many different syntactical combinations.
Her great book, "The Making of Americans", is an examination of the consciousness of one single family. Very few people have read it through, including me - I haven't. I've read, you know, page upon page of it, and read aloud it's really exquisite.
(Allen Ginsberg)


That is what The Making of Americans was intended to be. I was to make a description of every kind of human being until I could know by these variations how everybody was to be known. Then I got very much interested in this thing, and I wrote about nine hundred pages, and I came to a logical conclusion that this thing could be done. Anybody who has patience enough could literally and entirely make of the whole world a history of human nature. When I found it could be done, I lost interest in it. As soon as I found definitely and clearly and completely that I could do it, I stopped writing the long book. It didn't interest me any longer.
(Gertrude Stein: How writing is written)


I found myself at this time wuite naturally usin the present participle, in "The Making Of Americans" I could not free myself from the present participle because dimly I felt that I had to know what I knew and I knew that the beginning and middle and ending was not where I began.
(Gertrude Stein: Narration)


...it was Pet sounds that blew me out of the water. First of all, it was Brian's writing. I love the album so much...
The other thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines on Pet Sounds. If you were in the key of C, you would normally use - the root not would be, like, a C on the bass (demonstrates vocally). You'd always be on the C. I'd done a little bit of work, like on "Michelle", where you don't use the obvious bass line. And you just get a completely different effect if you play a G when the band is playing in C. Thereßs a kind of tension created.
"I donßt really understand how it happens musically, because I'm not very technical musically. But something special happens. And I noticed that throughout that Brian would be using notes that weren't the obvious notes to use. As I say, th G if you're in C --- that kind of thing. And also putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines."
(Paul McCartney - (Interview with David Leaf)


Every ten thousand years, you need one of these projects, 36 minutes and you're cool. When I listen to Pet Sounds, I know that 500 years from now, out of all the great Beach Boys stuff, sonically, I get to be part of a legacy. Because right now, from our classical artists, we're playing music that is a few hundred years old. With Pet Sounds, I get to be part of something that will one day be known as 20th century classical music. Maybe I'm just the oboe solo, but that's okay with me. It would take me many lifetimes to achive what Brian discarded musically."
(Bruce Johnston from The Beach Boys)


I then began again to think about the bottom nature in people, I began to get enormously interested in hearing how everybody said the same thing over and over again until finally if you listened with great intensity you could hear it rise and fall and tell all that that there wasinside them, not so much by the actual words they said or the thoughts they had but the movement of their thoughts and words endlessly different.
(Gertrude Stein: The Gradual Making of the Making of the Americans)


In December of 1966, I heard the album RUBBER SOUL by the Beatles. It was definitely a challenge for me. I saw that every cut was very artistically interesting and stimulating. I immediately went to work on the songs for PET SOUNDS.
I called in a collaborator named Tony Asher and we spent two months working on and off together. He proved to have the lyrical ability to work with me. In January, I started making the instrumental tracks for the album. I made each track a sound experience of its own. I was obsessed with explaining, musically, how I felt inside. This, I thought, could be the beginning of a new type of sophisticated-feeling music. I definitely felt the need to compete with the Beatles. After doing twelve tracks and totally exhausting some of my musical creativity, I proceeded to play the tracks to the boys, who had just gotten home from the road. They all flipped for the tracks and the songs. I did most of the singing on PET SOUNDS because I needed to directly express my feelings to people. It was a special project because the music world had heard from me through the Beach Boys, but I needed to get this one album out to my fans and the public from my heart and soul. I was in a loving mood for a few months and it found its way to recorded tape. My voice turned up sweet this time.
Caroline No was my favorite on this album. The boys filled out the album with me and we had a classic on our hands. I experimented with sounds that would make the listener feel loved. The album was artistically set out in front of other albums and was, in truth, at that time, my biggest and best production. It was the first time I used more traditional and inspired lyrics which emitted feelings from my soul and not the usual "Beach Boy" kind of an approach. PET SOUNDS was an album alone. I think Don't Talk was good for me to make, giving me peace of mind and spiritual satisfaction, knowing that man people would feel like I did...
(Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys - 1990)


Don't talk
(Put Your Head On My Shoulder)


I can hear so much in your sighs.
And I can see so much in your eyes
There are words we both could say.
But don't talk, put your head on my shoulder.
Come close, close your eyes and be still.
Don't talk, take my hand and let me hear your heart... beat


Being here with you feels so right.
We could live forever tonight.
Let's not think about tomorrow.
And don't talk, put your head on my shoulder.
Come close, close your eyes and be still.
Don't talk, take my hand and listen to myr heart... beat...


Listen. Listen. Listen.


And don't talk, put your head on my shoulder.
Come close, close your eyes and be still.


(repeat)

(Brian Wilson / Tony Asher, 1966)

1 January 2000