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NOTES FROM DURRIE PARKS

For those of you who are very familiar with the Beach Boys' Smile period (and I know there's a lot of you out there), Durrie Parks is a familiar name. Durrie was married to Van Dyke Parks during the '60s and '70s, and they even lived with Brian for a while before Smile was shelved.

Since Durrie has been very busy and the demand for this "interview" has been so high, Durrie has summarized her answers for us instead, so that we may post them sooner. However brief the following notes are, they are nonetheless insightful. We hope that when Durrie has more time we will be able to conduct a more in-depth interview. Please send your thoughts to her via our guestbook and we'll make sure she takes a look at them.

 

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.

Durrie

 

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.

Later
Durrie