The Beach Boys FAQ: All That's Left to Know About America's Bandby Jon Stebbins
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(Book). A half-century after their first single release, "Surfin'," the Beach Boys continue to define California popular culture and the sunshine-infused sound that will forever be its living soundtrack. But beyond innocent harmonies touting the delights of catching waves and cruising to the drive-in, the Beach Boys are responsible for some of the most sophisticated pop/rock music ever made. Brian Wilson's acclaimed production, the 1966 LP Pet Sounds , was both a creative triumph that inspired The Beatles' best work, and a commercial disappointment that was widely misunderstood by the band's U.S. fans. The Beach Boys followed that with perhaps the greatest three-minute rock single ever, "Good Vibrations," which wowed the critics, was a worldwide number one hit, and ushered Brian Wilson down the path of substance abuse and mental illness. Brian then leapt into the abstract madness of Smile , his epic psychedelic masterpiece that was ultimately scrapped in a 1967 sea of paranoia that nearly drowned the Beach Boys as an act. As the 1970s dawned, the endless summer of nostalgia designated the Beach Boys as its favorite sons. They recorded a critically lauded string of albums even while coping with the knowledge that their creative leader, Brian Wilson, had become a semipermanent recluse and a casualty of his own excess. Still, the Beach Boys continued through controversy, conflict, and death, rising again and again to find more popularity and more commercial peaks into the 1980s and beyond. As the new millennium unfolds, the Beach Boys are still here and continue to be a popular concert attraction and one of rock's most compelling and important stories. In The Beach Boys FAQ , Jon Stebbins explains how the band impacted music and pop culture. This entertaining, fast-moving tome is accompanied by dozens of rare images, making this volume a must-have for fans.
- Hal Leonard Corporation
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I can't recall ever reading a fact-style book where the author inserts himself at all, let alone as much as the author, Jon Stebbins, inserts himself in this book... For example, we get to read about Jon Stebbins' summer love named Susan; we get to read about Jon Stebbins' attending a concert where 2 of The BB fought; we get to read about Jon Stebbins attending the filming of a BB TV movie... and attending a rooftop BB show...and at the unveiling of The BB monument. Phew, Jon Stebbins is like Forrest Gump. He's everywhere and he'll tell you about it. :) Also, the photos in the book are a total disappointment! Not one color photo in the lot, and nothing refreshingly new to a true BB fan. If you don't mind any of the above, then buy the book. But for me, it wasn't at all what I'd hoped a "FAQ" book on The Beach Boys would, should, or could be.
Jon Stebbins new book "The Beach Boys FAQ - All That's Left To Know About America's Band" is easily the most entertaining and simply the best book ever written about the Beach Boys. Stebbins has a knack for injecting both humor and incisive opinion into his incredibly readable style of telling the Beach Boys roller coaster tale. This book has a wealth of info that has never been put forth in such an easily accessible way. Plus the author gives everything a personal touch by relating his own experiences as both a fan and Beach Boys insider. There is a honesty to the writings in The Beach Boys FAQ that allows for a fresh insight into a story that's been told and re-told for decades. With Stebbins as the tour guide, the Beach Boys become something new and alive, and fun! This book will make you want to listen to their music again, and while you're listening you'll think about the interesting things that went on behind the scenes. Thanks to Jon Stebbins and Backbeat Books for a great read!