Episode 4 addendum: the concert story I didn’t tell

A picture of Brian taken in…1963?!

Hi there, friends. Sean here. In episode 4, I mentioned a story I have about the Brian Wilson concert we saw at the Garden State Arts Center in 2000. (Well, technically, the venue had long since been renamed, but we wish not to let corporate naming rights interfere with what people had always called the site.) I didn’t want to take up podcast time telling the story, so here we are.

First, here’s a quick recap to catch you up. When the Arts Center schedule was published, Scott Hasick and Casey Bartholomew on New Jersey 101.5 read the schedule. Many of the listed acts, including the Mike Love and Bruce Johnston version of The Beach Boys, were mentioned without further comment, but Casey said something along the lines of, “Well, look at this. Here’s something I think I really want to see.” It was Brian’s Pet Sounds show on September 9, 2000. Let’s leave it at that for now; we’ll get back to Scott and Casey soon enough.

Meanwhile, over on the so-called “Blue Board” on Brian Wilson’s official web page — that is, the discussion forum on the site — a user was making a name for herself. Let’s just call her “Vera.” (not her actual name) She was…let’s just say, a handful. “Vera” caught the attention of Melinda Wilson and even managed to send over a few goodies for the Wilsons’ daughters Daria and Delaney, for which Melinda graciously expressed thanks.

Eventually, “Vera” became…well…I don’t know of a proper word right now to describe her. But she claimed she either dated or was friends with Brian when they were teenagers. Of course, those who knew Brian very well since childhood had never heard of this “Vera” person. Oh, but they definitely did know each other because Brian wrote one of The Beach Boys’ hit songs about her. Uhh…except…the song she cited was a cover of a ‘50s song and definitely not written by Brian. At all. Ever. On top of that, “Vera” claimed that the picture of Brian that’s on the back cover of the Holland album was taken by her mother…in 1963. Oooookaaaaaaaay…

I know I’m forgetting a few more details, but this all happened over twenty years ago. But I do remember that Melinda eventually asked “Vera” to back off a bit, if not completely stop posting on the forum. And that was that.

Now, let’s return to Scott and Casey. The Brian show happened on a Saturday. The following Monday, the discussion topic for one hour of the Scott and Casey show was: what was the worst concert you ever attended? Or at least your worst concert experiences? I remember one caller talked about how she went to a Dana Carvey performance, only to find that it was the exact same content, from start to finish, as a Dana Carvey special that Comedy Central had been airing incessantly. But why did they make bad concerts the topic of discussion?

Well…unfortunately, it was because of Casey’s experience at the Brian Wilson show.

Fortunately, the performance itself had nothing to do with it. Casey had planned to go to the show with his wife, but illness precluded her from attending, so Scott went in her place. As Casey explained his experience at the concert, there was a woman and her friend in front of them who throughout the show wouldn’t stop screaming, jumping, and in other ways being obnoxious. One of those ways they were being obnoxious: they unrolled a huge banner that said “VERA’S BIRTHDAY PARTY,” right in front of Scott’s and Casey’s faces.

Was it the same “Vera” from the Blue Board? Well…the “Vera” on the Blue Board actually posted pictures taken at the concert: complete with the “VERA’S BIRTHDAY PARTY” banner.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t know if there’s a concert I’ve been to that I would necessarily say was bad, but there is one that I sat through and the whole time wished that I didn’t. But that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for listening to our podcast. Lisa and I have a blast recording it, if for no other reason it gives us an excuse to talk about The Beach Boys (as if we need an excuse). If you don’t listen to our podcast but stumbled upon this in some other way, then…well, what are ya waiting for?!

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