February 28, 2021
Background for this Blog
I don’t have very much information to share on Jan and Dean. The biographies are mostly out of print and have to bought as used books. If they are in print, I am not going to waste money on a physical book about Jan and Dean. If you read my blogs you will know that I do not like physical books because they are bad for the environment. They take up space in your home and turn it into a cluttered mess. There is no way I would buy a book about Jan and Dean because I am not so interested in them that I would sacrifice my principles to read a book about them. I did watch shows like Jan & Dean: Behind the Music 1998 which is where I got the merger information I do have. This blog was inspired when I happened to hear the song Gonna Hustle You on Sirius/XM credited to Legendary Masked Surfers yesterday. From Wikipedia: Dean released some Jan & Dean songs with new vocal parts by Bruce Johnston (of the Beach Boys) and producer Terry Melcher under the moniker the Legendary Masked Surfers. Terry Melcher worked with the Beach Boys and he decided not to give Charles Manson and recording contract. I once wrote a long blog showing that Terry Melcher was the one to blame for the killing of Sharon Tate. Melcher lived in that on on Cielo Drive house but moved out subletting it Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. But, when I read that Terry Melcher felt terrible about it, I decided I could not place the blame on him. Manson could have gone crazy over another difficulty he had to face (if had not been this particular one) that could have caused him to go insane. It was likely that Melcher left after Manson’s threats, leaving Sharon to her fate in his place. Sorry I had to throw that in, but I can see that many of the people I am interested in have connected lives. I mention Roman Polanski in a blog I wrote about Woody Allen and Mia Farrow.
Jan and Dean
Jan and Dean made records in the 60’s that were similar to the Beach Boys, and they were friends and sometimes worked together. Jan and Dean covered some of the Beach Boys Songs. This all came to an end with Jan got in a terrible car accident and suffered brain damage in 1966. I think of Jan and Dean as Simon and Garfunkel. Jan is the better singer. Dean’s voice sounds great as a back up singer, but when he tires to sing lead vocals as in the Legendary Masked Surfers it does not work out very well. I do know that Jan worked very hard to product and arrange his tracks to make them sound perfect. Jan was even insecure about his voice and would alter it and over dub it in a way similar what John Lennon did with his own voice. Like Paul Simon did, Jan could have gone solo if he wanted to and would have survived well without Dean, but not the other way around. Dean did the best he could possible do with Jan for himself.
In an interview Dean said, “Jan was a music genius with according to Dean had a 177 IG but the accident reduced him to a 78.”
I feel terribly for Dean who was the real victim of Jan’s unthinking and reckless behavior. I heard that Jan allowed terrible people into his life due to his decreased mental capacity to keep them away, until he died in 2004.
On The Run The Unaired Pilot 1966
You can watch this show on You Tube. Looks like they wanted to create Jan and Dean in the style of the Monkees and they told them to just jump around and be mad cap. The accident happened in 1966 before the Summer of Love. Jan missed out of the years of counter culture. Had the accident not happened they may have likely moved into psychedelic songs as they matured as artists following in the footstep of The Beach Boys and the Beatles. Maybe the show could have become a hit similar to the Monkees? The scene in which Jan has a crutch and is jumping around with Dean in front of the Capital building foreshadows the car accident. This was untended at the time as no one knew the accident would happen. You Tube comments say the broken leg was from falling from a train. Maybe it was part of being mad cap and jumping on and off things and playing like children as the Monkees did? I found there was a post accident release of Carnival of Sound which was Psychedelic.
Dead Man’s Curve Movie about Jan and Dean 1978
Watch the Movie on You Tube: On February 3, 1978, CBS aired a made-for-TV film about the duo titled Deadman’s Curve. The biopic starred Richard Hatch as Jan Berry and Bruce Davison as Dean Torrence, with cameo appearances by Dick Clark, Wolfman Jack, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and Bruce Johnston, as well as Jan himself. Jan appears in a concert sequence but I could not really tell if he was singing, lip synching or what was going on. See Wikipedia for further details under Jan and Dean.
The accident sequence comes out of the blue. We already know the accident is going to happen, but rather then look into what may have lead up the accident and why it happened it never even gone into. Since we know the accident happened the footage is no surprise, but it looks like Jan is trying to pass many vehicles and drive recklessly. I don’t think this is way it happened. The scene had a few near misses with cars to try and make the accident more interesting or maybe suspenseful. I don’t know what the directors motivation was in this scene, but it fails miserably. I would assume after a few near miss most people would slow down at that point. Like this movie the director’s website is a complete mess. His so called official website listed on his Wikipedia is defunct because he may have stopped paying for it and updating it. But even the Wayback Machine failed to capture any pages from it. It is likely therefore the website as never up and running or if it was it was only for a short time. Most people give up their website when they find no one looks at them. These websites cost money without making any money to offset the cost of paying for the hosting. Other possibilities could be Dan Rosen has fallen into poor health or has even died. It’s very hard to find out if people are still alive because the social security death index which used to be a reliable place to find out if someone has died has been removed from the Internet. I think Ancestry may have purchased it, but they often do not have much information or even updates unless a family member decides to post and obituary or create a page or entry for that person on Ancestry. Ancestry is too expensive and most people don’t bother to keep it for very long due to the extremely high cost of being a member to of a site which is not often updated. So even older information could be found at a great price on Ancestry, once all the information is collected there is no point in paying money for what you already know. All of this makes it very frustrating to try and find reliable links for Wikipedia. The link to the New York Times that is used on his Wikipedia either does not exist any longer or is down behind a pay wall. Archive Today is not working at this time, and it lacks many older pages. Wayback has a good selection of older pages, but does not have much on Jan and Dean. I found Dan Rosen made a movie called The Last Supper (1996) in which college students in a dorm decide to murder one of them so they rest of them can get all A’s and get into Harvard University. Cringe worthy! Then out of blue I found a really great blog about the movie right here on Word Press.
The New Girl in School Song
I have been meaning to write a blog on the song “Gonna Hustle You” for a long time. The song is much better then the bubble gum song The New Girl in School. Not liking the lyrics in the song Gonna Hustle You, they insisted Jan rewrite and relyric the song into “Get A Chance With You“. The new lyrics don’t sound very good, and I can hear a lack of enthusiasm in Jan’s voice when he sings the changed lyric. This reminded me of when they tried to force Jim Morrison to change the lyric “Girl, we could not get much higher” in the song “Light my Fire.” Naturally Jim refused. “Gonna Hustle You” on a CD called Anthology: Legendary Masked Surfer Unmasked which you can find on Amazon, but it is also used and out of print. It turns out that Brian Wilson and Jan both worked on “Gonna Hustle You”. I really feel the song is a work of genius. The lyrics are a bit creepy, but it’s not worse then songs like Lump. Maybe the song was too ahead of its time?
Dead Man’s Curve
Jan Berry and Brian Wilson also wrote Dead Man’s Curve. The song is a case of a future prediction before it happened. The song was a hit in 1964, but it was written in 1963. The crash was in 1966. However, the crash did not take place on Dead Man’s Curve. Looking back on the song, I was reminded of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. After Freddy Mercury died I analyzed the lyrics to the song and they seem to predict a death from Aids. He is saying goodbye to his mother knowing he is going to face the truth, meeting God and finding out the truth about the after life. But it can also be looked at as facing the truth that he has to leave his wife, Mary, and face the truth that he is gay. Without meaning it at the time both these songs seem to predict the future. I watched an interview chip in which Freddy Mercury says I don’t want to be alive at 70. 70 was just too old in his opinion at the time. In another clip Freddy says, “I will come back to this city if I am alive,” when asked if he would come back. Mercury seemed to know he would die. I don’t know if Jan had a sense of doom about him, but I don’t think he did. The concept of drag racing was not really focused on dangers that could be avoided, but on the romance of dying young in a car crash. The Bohemian Rhapsody idea is not my original idea. Many people posted the same thing about the song online so I was able to build up my theory. However, the song was written in 1975 and no one predicted or knew anything about Aids at the time.