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beached boys

The latest spat between the Beach Boys during their 50th anniversary tour, as reported in The Independent, sheds new light on the inner workings of a legendarily complex outfit.

Mike Love, who owns the rights to the name ‘Beach Boys,’ has apparently ‘sacked’ original members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks.

So rather than tour the reformed line-up beyond their 50th birthday, Love will use session players alongside Bruce Johnston, who joined in 1965, to play that gold-standard back catalogue of pop classics.

It all seems a great shame, seeing as how the various members were no strangers to the law courts down the years, and yet had managed to settle their differences and even record a new album together.

While the band members were acrimoniously suing each other, session players like drummer Mike Kowalski clocked up enough years service with the ‘live’ version of the Beach Boys to qualify for a silver tea service.

After the death of Dennis Wilson in 1983, Kowalski was the man who gave those immortal songs their backbeat until he quit in 2007.

He’d even played with the Beach Boys in the late 60s around the time of ‘Surf’s Up.’

For Nick Drake fans, Kowalski has a special place as part of the rhythm section on several much-loved songs from ‘Bryter Layter.’

‘At The Chime Of A City Clock,’  ‘One of These Things First,’ ‘Poor Boy and, of course, ‘Northern Sky.’

With bass player Ed Carter, Kowalski was a member of The New Nadir, who like Nick were signed to Joe Boyd’s Witchseason label.

So here a couple of tunes to illustrate these connections – one a Nick original (with fearsome Kowalski hit-hat work), and the second written by Ed Carter for The New Nadir and accompanied by a detailed self-explanatory YouTube commentary.

Nick Drake – One Of These Things First

I Don’t Mind – featuring Linda Peters and Elton John on piano

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