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Bad Vibrations: Brian Wilson Sues Collaborator

Bad Vibrations: Brian Wilson Sues Collaborator

August 24, 1999 12:00 AM ET

After canning his iron-fisted father Murry Wilson as the Beach Boys manager in 1964 and getting a separation order from his psychiatrist/manager Eugene Landy in 1991, Brian Wilson again wants out of a business/personal relationship.

Yesterday, in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, Wilson filed a suit against collaborator Joe Thomas seeking damages and a breakage of their 1997 joint venture. As part of the suit, Wilson seeks a declaration freeing him to work on his next album without Thomas, who helped produce and arrange Wilson's 1998 album, Imagination.

Wilson and Thomas began working together in 1996, when the pair co-produced the Beach Boys tribute album Stars and Stripes. The pair got on so well that they built homes next door to each other outside of Chicago. After Imagination was released, Thomas played piano on U.S. dates with Wilson's band earlier this year, but did not accompany Wilson on his Japanese tour.

Wilson may be announcing more West Coast dates on Friday.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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