Sagittarius: My World Fell Down (1966)

 |   |  1 min read

Sagittarius: My World Fell Down (1966)

Elsewhere doesn't go much for conspiracy theories -- although I've been to the Texas Book Depository in Dallas and, hmmm.

But here's one that might be of interest.

LA musician/producer Gary Usher was working on the single My World Fell Down with a bunch of session musicians at the same time as Brian Wilson was meticulously crafting Good Vibrations for the Beach Boys. Usher and Wilson had previously collaborated a lot, and by chance Wilson was now working in one of Columbia's three studios with Usher in another.

Wilson -- increasingly in a state of the early paranoia which would later become severe -- was worried that his tapes might disappear, and that "mind gangsters" would get him.

Maybe the latter did in some weird way -- but the tapes of Good Vibrations certainly disappeared mysteriously, and then just as mysteriously reappeared a few days later.

Good Vibrations came out to great acclaim -- and then Usher's single of My World Fell Down (under the band name Sagittarius) arrived. Some people were, shall we say, struck by the similarity in production and style.

No one would dare suggest Usher had lifted the Good Vibrations tapes, of course. But there were some other weird things about My World Fell Down: the Sagittarius project was in fact an Usher solo project although he was extensively using songwriter/singer Curt Boettcher who had arranged mini-pop symphonies for the Association, although Boettcher didn't appear anywhere on this track.

Those who did however were -- get this -- Glen Campbell and Bruce Johnston who had replaced Brian Wilson in the touring version of the Beach Boys at that time.

Incidentally the song was written by John Carter and Geoff Stevens and had appeared originally as a single in Britain by them under the name . . .  the Ivy League who have appeared at From the Vaults previously for another of their songs which would appear to owe a debt to Wilson.

This version of My World Fell Down was the single which appeared on the Nuggets box set and includes a musical collage in the middle which was removed for the version which appeared on the Sagittarius album Present Tense in '68.

So . . . Brian Wilson, the Ivy League, Gary Usher?

Maybe they were all just the same person in different guises?

Nah, that would be a weird conspiracy theory -- because that was in fact the bloke who sang for the Archies, right?

The story of Wilson crafting Good Vibrations and the famously unreleased SMiLE album is here and here

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Annie Ross: Twisted (1952)

Annie Ross: Twisted (1952)

Annie Ross -- who at the time of this writing is still alive and 82 -- had an extraordinary career for a kid born Annabelle Short into a family of vaudevillians in London. When she was four, the... > Read more

The Newbeats: I Like Bread and Butter (1964)

The Newbeats: I Like Bread and Butter (1964)

This should come with a consumer warning: It's one of those songs you wake up with nagging away in the back of your brain, the song you can't shake and sticks with you all day. So you have been... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN PHIL WALSH tells of a band finally recording a single, four decades later

GUEST MUSICIAN PHIL WALSH tells of a band finally recording a single, four decades later

There wasn’t a lot to do for young teenagers in Morrinsville in the early Seventies. So Kim Murphy, Kevin Smith, another gal (Debbie) and I ended up forming our own little band. I think... > Read more

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD by MARK KURLANSKY reviewed (2004)

1968: THE YEAR THAT ROCKED THE WORLD by MARK KURLANSKY reviewed (2004)

With this 2004 year about half gone we appear to be in a volatile time. Some days you just don't want to get out of bed. In politically precarious North Asia both South Korea and Taiwan are... > Read more