I'm afraid that I can only do some general statements, especially where there might be negative statements.
I can say that Brian Wilson is a wonderful, generous funny guy. Ditto Marilyn Wilson....although obviously not a guy. They opened their hearts and their home to us.
Van Dyke and I lived in a garage apartment
- very cool, behind Madame Mensior the hat maker in Hollywood
- and a Yamaha 80 was our only transportation when we started
going to the Wilson's and they started work on Smile. And I will
tell you - definitvely, that Van Dyke and I were introduced to
Brian by David Crosby. We ran into David at The Troubador and
he took us - in his black Porsche up to Brian's. Brain was working
on Sloop John B. Van Dyke had been working with Terry Melcher
- another great underrated
talent and Paul Revere and the Raiders.
I used Brian's Corvette to run around when we were staying with them and clearly enjoy remembering driving with the top down listening to Good Vibrations.
Dennis and Carl were great guys, too. Always gentle and caring.
Plus there were other people there - David & Sherill Anderle....Danny Hutton. Danny stuck with Brian until the very end. Hutton was the only one I can recall going into the studio with Brian late in the game.
Mike Love has never been a favorite of mine and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. And I will say that drug experimentation was going on from time to time among various members of the group....me included.
Importantly, we had a lot of fun. And there is nothing like being in a room when Brian sits down and plays the piano. He has a left hand like no one else.
Hope that helps. Next year after my daughter
Zoenda gets married, she and Dave McIntosh, her husband-to-be,
and I are going to actually go through the storage. Play the tapes...look
at the video....check out the acetates. So stay in touch, let
me know where you are...and how the site is going...and I'll try
to be helpful.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FROM DURRIE 9/22/00
After I sent the notes to you I cruised through the site and wanted to send you a few notes. I hope that you don't object.
The first is to mention Derek Taylor as one of the vital components of the Smile experience....and the elements. You know about those I'm sure. And Derek was the soul of discretion and the person I always refer to when wondering how much should be said. And vegetables.
Van Dyke and I were partial to salads. Strange as it may seem, salads were relatively unknown to Brian. He spent a lot of time with us in our apartment, and then of course we lived with them for a time. I made salads...Brian took to vegetables.
Van Dyke had worked briefly with Frank Zappa - one freak out was enough for us - and Frank was also writing a song about vegetables. We took Brian to meet Frank. That was a fun moment.