Graham Reid | | 1 min read
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?
For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.