How long have you been a fan of Jan & Dean’s music?
I’ve been a fan since 1979 and the “Deadman’s Curve” movie. Not long after that I purchased the Anthology album, and fell in love with the Jan & Dean sound. I remember hoping that their version of “Surfin’” would be on the Anthology album because the scene in “Deadman’s Curve” when Jan & Dean hit the surf is so cool.
And how long have you known Dean personally?
I conducted my first interview with Dean in 1993, so it’s been 17 years now. I guess that’s the right answer. I feel that Dean is so friendly and personable that it’s hard not to think of him as a friend. Most fans who have had the experience of meeting Dean have the same fortune, so I don’t think I’m in exclusive company. I also had the good fortune of meeting Jan on two occasions and was able to spend some quality time with him in 1997. I would have really liked to have known Jan Berry prior to his accident. Dean speaks so highly of his friend from those days, and according to Dean, he and Jan had a relationship that developed into something that none of us will ever appreciate or understand.
What projects have you worked on with Dean?
We worked together on 2003’s Dean Torrence Anthology: Legendary Masked Surfer Unmasked; 2007’s Dean O. Torrence interview DVD where I interviewed Dean in his home, a project that I directed and produced; 2008’s Jan & Dean — The Complete Liberty Singles, but Dean wasn’t as involved as he should have been. To be specific, he pointed me in the direction of his website when I was in the process of interviewing him for the release. For me, lifting text from Jananddean.com seemed like a cheat, and that wasn’t something I wanted to do.
What up and coming projects are you involved in?
There are a couple interesting projects that are works in progress that will be very cool. But I think the most interesting news that I can share right now is the Spring edition of Endless Summer Quarterly; it features an extensive interview with Dean about his work with Beach Boy Mike Love and the events surrounding the Spring Break Budweiser concert tours. Additional interviews with Gary Griffin and Jeffrey Foskett will be included in the Mike & Dean coverage too.
What other musical interests do you have other than Jan & Dean?
My favourite band is the Moody Blues, the Monkess, Jan & Dean and the Beach Boys, in no particular order. I enjoy music in general, but these are the groups that spring to mind.
Are you musically minded? Do you play any instruments?
I dabble on guitar during the song writing process I’m more of a songwriter… and I have had four songs recorded in Nashville, and three songs recorded by SideB Music artist Chris English, and one song recorded by UK artist Peter Lacey.
The upcoming Jan & Dean title Carnival Of Sound is out soon, little or no input from Dean, and little or no vocals from Jan. Should this be a Jan & Dean release or a Jan Berry release?
I have mixed feelings for this one, it sounds like Jan’s work, but without either Jan or Dean on vocals, perhaps it should be titled “featuring the music of Jan Berry” or something similar. Carnival Of Sound is really a Jan Berry album featuring the “Wrecking Crew,” without them it simply isn’t as powerful. That’s a simple truth about everything the “Wrecking Crew” played on or touched in the studio. For me, Carnival Of Sound is an album that represents the musical Fraternity at its finest. They were a band of brothers who came together to help their friend, because, let’s face it; no one ever believed that Jan Berry was down for the count.
Would you rather a box-set of Jan & Dean to be released, or would you rather they re-release the entire catalogue, including a number of extra discs such as “70’s Masters”, “80’s Masters” etc?
I’d love for a release to encompass the comedy and the hits, creating a one-of-a-kind collection.
On a number of times, Dean has mentioned his dislike of his/Jan & Dean’s album Save For A Rainy Day, quote: “It’s just a collection of old songs”. What’s your take on that wonderful album?
I think Dean’s too close to it to really be objective to it. To This day I find a great deal of solace when listening to it… And like Carnival Of Sound it has great players on it. I think it will be interesting to combine the best of the material from both albums. I’ll include “Vegetables” in that too.
Mike Love once told me in an interview I had with him that working with Dean was “a memorable and fun experience as always.” A lot of Beach Boys fans dislike Mike Love, what do you think of his position as the leader of The Beach Boys name and keeping the name alive?
I feel that you couldn’t ask for a better front man for America’s band.
When I asked Brian Wilson what influence Jan Berry had on The Beach Boys, Brian responded with, “We bounced ideas around, you know? Jan was there with us (the Beach Boys) from 1962 or was it 1963? I had a lot of time for Jan.” Do you think Jan Berry should be noted as an important producer, on the level of Brian Wilson and perhaps Phil Spector?
Without question, Jan is among the best. But I’ll ask where would any of these guys be without their engineers? There are a lot of deserving people. I’ve always been comfortable mentioning Jan’s name in the same breath as Brian Wilson. If you listen to the music production on Jan & Dean Meet Batman, it’s clear to me that Jan was keeping up with Brian. But when you compare Jan & Dean Meet Batman to Pet Sounds the subject matter between the two is… Well, there’s no comparison… Pet Sounds is deeper on every level.
Dozens of Jan & Dean fans email me weekly asking if Dean will ever come to the UK or Europe. Any idea if there is anything in the pipeline for this?
Dean’s always open to performing for audiences of all ages anywhere on the globe, but I’m not aware of anything.
Mark Moore is writing his Jan Berry biography, any chance Dean will have something similar?
Time will tell.
Finally David, where is the best place to catch you on the Internet?
Catch me on www.ESQuarterly.com, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Endless-Summer-Quarterly/
Question by Mark Adams / Answers by David Beard (c)2010