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Topic: The Fabled "Smile Mystery Board" from Brian - authentic? YOU decide...

Subject: The Fabled "Smile Mystery Board" from Brian? Originally Posted January 2000

The truth About Smile

okay. Enough already. Iím tired of hearing about Smile! You act like itís the only thing I ever did! Well, okay Iím gonna just take a moment to fill you all in Ė and then this is it! Really, pass this on to all your friends and stop bothering me about it! Smile was a concept record, yes, in regards to it having themes Van and I were exploring, and the idea that we were creating a modern symphony. That was the main thought about it really, it being a symphony using the modern music of the day, that being rock and roll, or pop if you prefer. Anyway, there was alot of religious significance for me, but hey I canít go recollecting everything here, it was a long time ago and there was an awful lot of drugs going on Ė seriously, just accept that it was a modern pop symphony bent towrds the religious beliefs which I held, and still do, just perhaps in a more rational context I guess you could say. Anyway, I canít believe all the craziness on the internet about this record man! Itís unbelievable! so about the symphony concept, look there wasnít a story line or a plot or whatever Ė it was an emotional piece tied together musically (and lyrically as well I guess) by the themes we had in mind as being those of importance to us, but no, there wasnít a story to follow other than to hear the spiritual message and dig the music. It was just an attempt to take rock to the next level as I saw it Ė religious, I mean I felt thatís where it was headed. I was wrong, but at the time there were higher topics being addressed in pop music (or were beginning to be addressed) by groups like the Beatles. I thought it natural that that was the way to go, that we could approach the pulpit so to speak, but do so in a way that was fun; humorous while perhaps being enlightening Ė and if not, then at least the fun and good music to enjoy so that you didnít have to necessarily ďget itĒ. I mean, letís face it, there was alot to it that wasnít carrying any import Ė that was solely and squarely just gibberish and silly punning or vocal tricks just becaise it was fund and would be (hopefully) for the listener as well.

people are always asking too much what this song means, or what those lyrics were about and on and on, but ya know, donít get caught up on that! I mean, Van maybe would try and tell you, but actually in alot of ways I think heís as clueless as me! I mean címon! Alot of his lrics for me Ė while absolutely brilliant and colorful to the mind Ė ya know, his words kinda really bring images to life and all insde oneís head, which can be cool sometimes, and then sometimes not so much. But he was incredible, but alot of what he was writing was free form based on our talks and ideas we had which weíd spread like a canvas and what fell there remained, ya see? i mean, getting into literal translations misses the point completely Ė and anyway, I think combined the words and music need no explanation, of course just about everyone at the time disagreed, but we thought for a while we had the right idea, were going in the direction we needed to. It just got real confused, and there got to be alot of bad vibes around the project Ė and I donít just mean from the guys, or from Capitol and whatnot, I mean from the stand point of there being witchcraft involved, occult type things which in my ever growing paranoid state really made the heavenly white of the whole turn very dark, until it was as though the music itself were a manifestation of something evil and it freaked me out because I felt I was weilding some sorcery in totally the opposite direction of where Iíd meant to go. I couldnít see around things anymore. Thatís why songs like Vega-tables and Wind Chimes were recut for the Smiley Smile album, I didnít want any of that bewitched music getting out. It was too volatile! Thatís what I felt at the time anyway. There never was a completed master for Smile. Ever. Not in 1967, or í68 or in the early Ď70s, or at any other time itís been reported that there was. I couldnít put it together originally out of fear of what the music would unleash on the world, and later, well that was mostly the guys screwing around but not really able to put it together cos they had no conception of it to begin with! I really got mad when they used bits of it here and there, but now I think okay. I sorta do. Surfís Up was the biggest problem for me, that was, just real difficult, ya know? but I was there for that one! I wouldnít let them try and put that together without my help! I didnít want them to use it, but I figured if they were gonna anyway, I might as well make sure they didnít do some awful to it; not that they would necessarily, but that song, that was my baby. It came out okay too I think. Itís basically how I saw the song from the moment Van and I wrote it, with maybe a few exceptions, but not really too many. So look, will there be a release? What do you really think? I think that thatís all I wanna say about it right now and maybe for always and you can just leave it be! Let it be, right? Thatís good. Just do that.

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