Tony Asher at 8:04pm ET
I am glad to be hear and waiting to hear the questions you
have to ask.
Moderator at 8:05pm ET
Let's begin with this one ...
Wayne S. from freepcrus.com at 8:05pm ET
This is an interesting discussion. Well Tony, did you come
up with the words first or add words to Brians music or
both. Also, were you able to be at the recording sessions
and assist in the Beach Boys production? Also, did you
work with Van Dykes Parks at all?
Tony Asher at 8:06pm ET
Well the answer to the first part of the question is that I
either wrote lyrics to music that Brian gave me, or we
wrote the songs together. I did participate in production of
some of the tracks, the background tracks, but I was not
in most of the vocal recording sessions, I was in a few of
them, but I actually played instruments on a few of the
Tony Asher at 8:07pm ET
Yes, in fact Van Dyke and I just exchanged email
messages a few days ago. We didn't write any songs
together, but we were friendly with each other starting
back in 1967.
Bobby at 8:07pm ET
Was collaborating with Brian difficult given his emotional
state was subject to intense mood changes?
Tony Asher at 8:08pm ET
The answer is that most of that kind of instability occured
after he and I finished the Pet Sounds album. It wasn't an
John B from ipt.aol.com at 8:08pm ET
How was it to work with Brian again a few years back?
Was it the same as before, and had you been in touch
with him at all during all the in between years?
Tony Asher at 8:09pm ET
I was in touch with Brian off and on, a few times, but
during most of that period he was really not emotionally
available. However, when I worked with him two or three
years ago, it was almost like the old days. He really is
doing very well now.
David Savage at 8:09pm ET
Hi Tony. Do you believe Brian Wilson still has it in him to
produce another "great" album?
Tony Asher at 8:09pm ET
Simply, yes, absolutely. I think he's in a really good place
now as a result of the tour that he has just been on.
Bill T at 8:10pm ET
My favorite song on the album is "Sloop John B". What is
the song about?
And who wrote the music ? Brian or you?
did it take a long time to write? What was the inspiration
for the song?
Tony Asher at 8:10pm ET
Bad news for Bill, I didn't write that song. It's a traditional
folk song. I don't think anyone knows who wrote the
song, it's that old.
rico from choice.net at 8:10pm ET
hi tony, can you describe the resistance other members of
the beach boys had to the music of "pet sounds".
Tony Asher at 8:11pm ET
In a word, monumental! Actually, they wanted to continue
to put out the same kind of things they were well known
for, and Brian and I really took the music in a different
direction. I can't say that I blame them. As it turns out,
they might have been right because the album was not a
huge success when it first came out.
Bjorn from disney.com at 8:11pm ET
What's your favorite song on Pet Sounds, and why?
Tony Asher at 8:13pm ET
I guess probably "God Only Knows." Because it's been
recorded by a lot of other people, and that has been very
gratifying. And also because I really like the lyrics,
because it starts in an unusual way for a love song. The
opening lyric is, "I may not always love you," which is sort
of an off-the-wall way to start a love song.
Moderator at 8:13pm ET
Ziggy asks: Do you ever feel like you've never got enough
credit outside of the industry for your contribution to 'Pet
Tony Asher at 8:14pm ET
Not really. I've just always been grateful for the
opportunity to work with Brian, and I can't say that I have
any regrets about it.
Pamela from dynamic.ziplink.net at 8:14pm ET
What happened to Landy?
Tony Asher at 8:15pm ET
I know essentially nothing about Landy. He was involved
with Brian after Brian and I finished the album, and all I
know about Landy is what I've read.
G. Turkington from ozonline.com.au at 8:15pm ET
Which cover versions of PET SOUNDS material have
you found to be particularly compelling, if any?
Tony Asher at 8:16pm ET
That's a good question. I guess I'd probably say David
Bowie's cover of "God Only Knows."
Moderator at 8:16pm ET
Ken writes: I've read about so many people who no
longer get a penny for the songs they wrote, even though
they still sell. Is this true in your case?
Tony Asher at 8:17pm ET
That's interesting. I think a lot of that is maybe largely a
myth because of the copyright laws are very clear, and if
you're a member of either BMI or ASCAP, those
organizations see to it that you get the royalties due to
you, so I continue to get compensated.
Rob C. from dialup.cornell.edu at 8:18pm ET
I was curious about your opinion about Brian's work in
recent years. Specifically, he has always relied on strong
collaborators, such as yourself. But it seemed as though
he was always the driver. On his most recent releases, it
seems he is much more reliant on those he works with,
and the final product is much more generic because of it.
What - or who- does Brian need to bring out the best in
Tony Asher at 8:19pm ET
First of all I agree with that assessment, and what Brian
needs to bring out the best of him is a producer who will
let Brian do what he does. So far, he hasn't found that. He
has a lot less self-confidence than he used to, but that
maybe changing because he was so well received in this
latest tour that he's been on, and I'm hoping that that will
jason T from das.mcgill.ca at 8:20pm ET
dear tony, is there any chance that a record company will
release the songs that you and brian made in 1994? are
you looking for a record deal?
Tony Asher at 8:22pm ET
We're not looking for a record deal - I'm not, Brian may
be - but I should say one of the songs Brian and I wrote in
1994 was called "Everything I Need," and it was released
on an album made by Brian's daughters that was called,
the group was called The Wilsons, and was two-thirds of
the group formally knows as Wilson Phillips. Another
song that Brian and I wrote in 1994 is called "This Isn't
Love," and will be featured in an upcoming prequel of the
original Flinstones movie, if you can believe that! And that
movie should be out in May.
Moderator at 8:22pm ET
Rob writes: Brian has spoken often about how he felt the
Beach Boys were in creative competition with the Beatles.
Did you have similar feelings? What other artists inspired
you at the time of Pet Sounds?
Tony Asher at 8:24pm ET
Well, at the time of Pet Sounds I was definitely most
influenced by The Beatles - there's really no question
about that. And as for the influence they had on the writing
of Pet Sounds, I can simply say that when Brian and I first
got together to write, he played the Rubber Soul album,
and said "I wanna do something that is better than this
album," which was an incredible challenge, but that's what
we set out to do. And then the story goes that The Beatles
Sargeant Pepper album was in response to Pet Sounds,
so I think it's fair to say there was some friendly
competition going on.
Jeff (in England) from ipt.aol.com at 8:24pm ET
Hi Tony, What did Mike Love think of your lyrics, were
they surfy enough for him
Tony Asher at 8:25pm ET
Well, he wasn't crazy about them, and I can only guess
that one of the problems was that they weren't surfy
enough for him. Another problem might have been that he
didn't write them, although he managed to get his name on
one of the songs as co-writer.
Brad Elliott from nts-online.net at 8:26pm ET
Were there any other songs, besides "Everything I Need"
and "This Isn't Love," that you and Brian worked on in
Tony Asher at 8:26pm ET
Yes. There were probably four or five. And as far as I
know they are still just in the demo stage.
Darrell in Seattle from
seattle-01-02rs.wa.dial-access.att.net at 8:26pm ET
Tony, what do you know about the song, "Soul
Searchin'"? It's got a beautiful Carl vocal - did you write
Tony Asher at 8:26pm ET
Nope, I didn't write it, but I love it. I really do like it.
G. Turkington from ozonline.com.au at 8:27pm ET
Have you heard the Sony Japan release, SMILING
PETS, in which a variety of international artists cover
tracks from PET SOUNDS and SMILE? And what did
you think of Brian's SMILE material?
Tony Asher at 8:27pm ET
No. I didn't even know it existed. I'd love to hear it, but I
can't comment on it. I thought Smiles was uneven, but
there were moments of brilliance.
Jeromy Hernandez at 8:28pm ET
First off, let me thank you, and Brian for giving everyone
the gift of Pet Sounds... As for a question, "Is there a
chance that you and Brian will ever write together again?"
Tony Asher at 8:28pm ET
Yeah, I think we will continue to write. We talk to each
other often, and we'll probably write some more songs in
the next few months.
Moderator at 8:29pm ET
Thanks for your time this evening, Tony. Any final
Tony Asher at 8:29pm ET
I'm currently putting together a collection of songs that I've
written where I've done both lyrics and music, and I'm
hoping to produce those and perhaps release them in the
next year or so. I want to thank you guys at the chat - it
Thank you and goodnight!