The Rieley Factor
While promoting Sunflower, the Beach Boys met DJ and self-proclaimed journalist Jack Rieley. They were impressed with Rieley's self-assurance and ideas for how the band could improve its image, so they hired him as their manager. He convinced them to play at the Big Sur Folk Festival, where they were a smash, and an extended gig at Los Angeles's hip Whiskey A Go Go club, where they sold out all four nights and even coaxed Brian onstage. Rieley also booked the band on a United States tour that ended with a hugely successful show at New York City's Fillmore, where they played with the Grateful Dead. To everyone's surprise, the Beach Boys seemed to be on their way back up.
Sadly, the ride was short-lived. Rieley, who hadn't been honest about his past, proved to be even less of a businessman than he was a journalist. He did influence the Beach Boys' 1971 comeback album Surf's Up, which featured such gems as Bruce's “Disney Girls” and Brian's soulful “Till I Die”; the LP reached number twenty-nine on the charts. But Rieley also convinced the band to move their families and studio to Amsterdam for eight months in 1972 to record Holland, the follow-up to that year's disappointing Carl and the Passions—So Tough. In addition, his mismanagement caused Bruce to temporarily leave the group.
Holland was moderately successful and included some noteworthy songs, including the top 100 hit “Sail On, Sailor” (which Warner Brothers hired Van Dyke Parks to help Brian write) and the nostalgic “Mount Vernon and Fairway” (named after the Los Angeles intersection where the Love family home stood). But the album cost Warner Brothers and the Beach Boys a small fortune to make. Jack Rieley was fired shortly after the group returned to die states.
Their next album, 1973's double album The Beach Boys in Concert, was yet another commercial failure. But things looked up when a greatest-hits compilation called Endless Summer shot up the charts and stayed there for an astonishing seventy-one weeks. Put together by Capitol Records with Mike's help, it made the Beach Boys famous again. They were even named Rolling Stone magazine's Band of the Year for 1973!
Did You Know?
The Beach Boys didn't receive a Grammy Award until 2001. “Good Vibrations” was nominated in 1967 and a Pet Sounds box set was up for an award in 1999, but neither work won. Instead, the group was finally honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy forty years after they first got together to play.