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

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

Johnny Cash: Understand Your Man (1964)

The friendship and mutual admiration in the late Sixties between Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan has been well documented: they did some sessions together in '69 (their duet on Girl From the North... > Read more

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

It's hard to believe, but a radio station in New Zealand -- which always seemed to be playing car dealer ads and 20 year old Led Zeppelin on the rare occasions I tuned in -- had as its slogan... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE LANEWAY 2017 LINE-UP: Who and what you need to know

THE LANEWAY 2017 LINE-UP: Who and what you need to know

The now-annual St Jerome Laneway's Festival has put itself about a bit, and next year drops into a new home once more. This time it will be at Albert Park n the centre of Auckland on Monday,... > Read more

Everywhere Elsewhere: These are grave matters

Everywhere Elsewhere: These are grave matters

Last year another of those annoying e-mail arrived, and it wasn't offering subsequent riches from Nigeria. It seems some years ago I subscribed to a newsletter from the Jimi Hendrix estate... > Read more