I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – The Beach Boys
They said I was streets ahead. I was making music that nobody else had even dreamed of making. It all came together in my head, and then I had to try and express the emotion and the melodies in a way the musicians and the band could grasp. And that wasn’t easy. I would lock myself away in a studio somewhere and play around on the piano, or with a guitar, just trying to put something together that I hadn’t done before, that nobody had done before.
One afternoon, the guys came into the studio to hear what I was doing. I played a few rough tracks that I’d got to a satisfactory stage and when I finished, there was total silence. I waited for the congratulatory whoops and back-slapping, but they didn’t come. There were nervy looks between them, as if they wanted to say something but couldn’t bring themselves to. Eventually, Mike scratched his head and said – “Hey, it’s different.”
“Different?!” I asked. “Good different?”
“Look, man, what I meant was, it’s not what we’ve been used to.”
“Of course it’s not,” I chided. “I haven’t spent three months in the studio, experimenting, just to come up with the same crap about girls and cars.” The other guys kept quiet, as usual, while Mike and I, the two strongest personalities, battled it out. I could see no-one was going to say anything good, so I picked up the tapes and stormed out, kicking a stool over on my way to the door. To Hell with them, I thought.
As I drove home along the coastal road, I looked out to the horizon and wondered if I was wasting my time. I had put my heart and soul into this new music, and yet the very people I relied on for support and love, were holding back. Maybe they just didn’t get it yet? I arrived home and went straight to the little music room I had at the back of the house. I put the tape on again and listened in darkness, my eyes closed, trying to map out the layers of instrumentation and harmony. Having got it all in my head, I helped myself to a small tab of acid and sat back.
The next afternoon, I woke feeling determined and positive. I was going to sell this to the guys. I got dressed and called round to get the guys back into the studio. I got there first and, with the help of the session band, we quickly knocked about three of the tracks into shape so that they just needed the vocals. Mike walked in first, with a look that said ‘this had better be good.’ The others soon followed and when we were settled, I walked them through the sound I wanted to hear. I sat up in the booth and after the vocals were done, the guys came up to hear the full effect. It was beautiful.