1974: ON THE ROAD WITH THE BEACH BOYS
A FILM by BILLY HINSCHE
BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
Billy Hinsche created a time machine and it’s called: 1974.
On tour with The Beach Boys, in 1974, and fresh out of UCLA film school, Hinsche captured an intimate experience with the band on a portable video camera (Portapak). Hi-tech stuff at the time!
With all of the modern equipment today, up to and including pocket cameras that can take video footage, behind the scene and/or concert shots are fairly common – not so in '74.
You have to imagine Billy carrying around the heavy two-piece Portapak to really fully appreciate how cool this footage is to have. The Portapak system was the first of its kind, created in 1967 by Sony, a portable black and white camera with a VCR unit attached.
Dennis Wilson himself commandeers the camera at times to goof around, helping to give this collection a unique and inside charm, but the most interesting aspect for me is the actual time period.
1974 was the year I started buying Beach Boys records and two of their collections were really hot that year:
The Beach Boys in Concert (released November 19, 1973) and Endless Summer (released June 24, 1974).
Both double albums; both essential for any record collection [then and now].
Endless Summer was of course the great “best of” compilation that helped grab the attention of the second wave of major Beach Boys fans. We had all grown up on their music and now this collection felt like it was for us.
In addition, the “Concert” album helped get us hip to the newer sound of The Beach Boys.
The Beach Boys in Concert was recorded in '72 and '73, so the music you hear in the Hinsche film is right after that and essentially the same type of concert, the shows featuring songs from the Surf’s Up and Holland period of The Beach Boys.
You’ll hear: “The Trader,” “Long Promised Road,” and “Marcella,” which is very cool as these are lesser known Beach Boys tunes from a very interesting part of their career.
In addition to the touring Beach Boys of the time: Alan Jardine, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson – the film interacts with all the surrounding Beach Boys characters of the time: Ricky Fataar, Ed Carter, Bobby Figueroa, Carli Munoz, Don Lewis, Rick Nelson, Steve Moffitt, Jim Guercio, and of course, Billy Hinsche.
Hinsche’s there to narrate this experience for us, and it definitely is an experience. If you’re interested in The Beach Boys, music history, or just rock & roll in general – you’ve really got to check this out.
Billy Hinsche, thank you for keeping the spirit of The Beach Boys alive in such a unique and interesting way.
Bradley Mason Hamlin
Mystery Island 2010
BILLY HINSCHE INTERVIEW ::
DENNIS WILSON FOREVER ::
BILLY HINSCHE WEBSITE
"1974 Review" by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Edited by Lucy Hell. © 2010 by Mystery Island Publications. Published: 02.01.10.
Photo above of Bradley Mason Hamlin, Billy Hinsche, and Lucy Hell property of Mystery Island.
All rights reserved.
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