"I'm pickin' up good vibrations" The Fun, Fun, Fun surprises in collecting (part 3 of a beginner's story)
I wrote about the bad mistakes I have made, but really I have also been pretty lucky. I have two great musical loves, The Beatles and The Beach Boys.
In December 2013, Brian Wilson's official facebook page was running a "12 Days of Christmas" daily give a away of signed items for likes/shares as a Christmas gift. I was blown away when I got a message from his web team that I had won a Brian Wilson signed SMiLE boxset which arrived to my door on December 21st! Merry Christmas indeed!
I was lucky to have catch one of The Beach Boys 50th anniversary shows back in 2012 as sadly the reunion didn't last as long as was hoped. I was always bummed that I hadn't bought one of the signed merch items as the show. I remember they announced if you bought 10 copies of their newest album (at $10 a piece) you would get a signed copy! However it was later on that I had learned how someone on Brian's entourage was actually forging his signature on many of those Beach Boys items. I guess I dodged the bullet back then...
By count now I have 14 items signed by Brian Wilson, who has one, if not THE greatest musical mind to exist in our generation...And one of the most varying signatures imaginable. From hitting almost every letter in his name to a BW or anything shaky in between, it depends on what Brian you were getting that day.
When I sold that "Paul" McCartney it was via a consignment with Perry Cox. Perry is very well know in both The Beatles/Beach Boys communities. He had wrote guide books for both bands and really knows his stuff.
One album I had always wanted to have signed was The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album. To me and many others this is one of the greatest pop albums ever produced, right up there with Abbey Road, and it all came from the mad genius mind of Brian Wilson.
I was very fortunate in my dealings with Perry Cox through out the years, because even with the $300 loss I took on my consignment with Paul, I made it up with buying my Pet Sounds LP which had been signed beautifully by both Brian Wilson and lyricist Tony Asher. It was signed on on October 8th, 2009 at the Taschen bookstore when he was promoting the book That Lucky Old Son. I spent a little over $100! It was a really great deal to say the least!
I had also picked up around the same time from Perry a fully signed SMiLE LP for around $200, and while it was a rushed B--- W--- signature, it was a nice companion piece to go with my boxset.
Nowadays it seems like everyone has a signed Pet Sounds, which I think is great as a testament to just how well loved the album is. I was happy enough with owning one signed JUST by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher however I rolled the dice to see if I could add anyone else from The Beach Boys, as it did feel incomplete.
I have to add for those who don't know me. I am not a professional autograph hound by any stretch of the imagination, I don't do well with rejection. While most of my autographs have been purchased, meeting The Beach Boys was very important to me.
The Beach Boys have forever been touring around my neck of the woods for years. I live between Pittsburgh/Cleveland/Buffalo which makes it fortunate for concerts.
I decided to take a shot and email the smaller venue Mike Love/Bruce Johnston The Beach Boys would be playing as they had no mention for a meet and greet package at all. I told them about how I was such a great fan of The Beach Boys and it would really make one of my dreams come true if I could meet them.
Not really thinking I'd hear back, it was to my surprise that they emailed me letting me know that they were having a meet and greet and had one more spot if I was interested! I wrote back right away wanting to know the details, how much it would cost, and etc. They replied back that it wouldn't cost me ANYTHING! I was shocked! I was going to meet Mike and Bruce for free!
I had my Pet Sounds ready to go! On the day of at the venue they gave us a list of instructions. We were told to stay to the left and keep out of everyone's way as people were going to be working (this was all happening about 20 minutes before the show actually started backstage.)
The handler for the Beach Boys made the run down of the do and dont's and then said the words which we all dread to hear NO AUTOGRAPHS! I went from being thrilled to completely crushed in that second. While it was still going to be great to meet "The Boys" I needed Mike and Bruce on my Pet Sounds!
While waiting in the line before they started calling people up to take their pictures with Mike and Bruce I told my friend that I was going to try anyways. I couldn't go this far and not at least try.
It was our turn to get our picture and as my friend was giving the handler our phones for the picture with, I tried to hurry up over to Bruce to get him to sign my album before they could see what I was doing. Bruce just seemed to ignore me and just get ready for the pose. I thought for a second he really is going to stick to the no autograph policy and I just pissed him off!
The handler took two pictures, both where I looked like a deer lost in the head lights. I know I was thinking, there it is, I lost my window! As she was trying to hand my friend back our phones, I decided to ask Mike Love really quick if he'd sign my album anyways. He took my sharpie looked at my album for what felt like an eternity and finally started to sign! I was in such a daze at that moment...
I then took it back over to Bruce and I asked him really quietly to sign once again. I was lost in my own little world as I also saw him start to sign, at this point I didn't realize how much I had just royally pissed off the handler who had said no signatures! No one else had even brought ANYTHING to have signed and it felt like a cattle call to begin with which most meet & greets tend to be. After they signed we were quickly led out the door. Luckily I still saw the show, but getting the autographs was the win! Which the moral is, always try no matter what!
I later got the chance to meet Brian Wilson and Al Jardine a few month after. Adding Al Jardine to my Pet Sounds LP. It finally was complete and an item that I could never part with.
How last time I said I had felt no emotional attachment to the "Paul" autograph I parted with, the memory of obtaining this Pet Sound LP and the endearing music attached is something that will always stick with me as a collector.
While I previously have written about my meeting with Brian, I will save that for greater detail in part four.
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA