By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
But those vocals ultimately were released.
"I know that!" Paskowitz exclaims. "But for him, it's like, y'know . . . he works in strange ways. He thought it was an individual thing for his record and at the last minute he thought we'd used it in such a brilliant way that he said okay." When asked if they ever approached Brian about laying down live vocals, Paskowitz intones grimly, "Brian is very much in his own world and we were very fortunate enough just to have him let us use the samples."
Wilson's mythical world of sand and surf collides quite frequently with Paskowitz's reality, yet The Flys have never fully exploited that fact in their press or their songs until now. Besides the Beach Boy sampled songs (none of which mention sand or sea), the album contains "My Day," a kind of "Suavacito" at the beach number which also features an extended aloha Hawaii finale. Previously Paskowitz and the boys have posed for CD covers wearing heavy coats and hats, but this time around, the short sleeves and surfboards are out of the closet. (The group plans to market its own Flygear surf and skateboards through its official Web site shortly.)
Not only do three of the four Flys surf, Paskowitz used to compete professionally and his family is something of a surf dynasty in Orange County, where his dad still runs a surf summer camp. "My Dad's a doctor who gave it all up to marry my mom, who's a crazy Mexican lady, and raise nine kids in a camper. My dad is like 80. He's still a doctor, has a license and surfs every day. He's got one sign that says 'Dr. Paskowitz, M.D.' and the other side says 'Doc Paskowitz, Ding Repair.'"
The younger Paskowitz also has a jones for super-charged autos that would make Big Daddy Roth proud and has even lined up corporate sponsors like Ford Motors, which donated a cute little car, the Ford Focus, which the group dutifully pose around like the Beach Boys, rock's original car salesmen. Does this mean the Flys might also go in for later Beach Boy preoccupations like transcendental meditation and vegetarianism?
"I'm not a humongous fan of the later years, you know the whole John Stamos thing," he laughs. "When Mike Love got into the whole hippie-Zen-grow-your-beard-cowboy-hat weird deal. I wasn't that into that either. I was into the Beach Boys when Brian was freaking people out with his sound. Smile. Dumb Angel. Totally. Brian Wilson off his rocker ruling the roost."
That's another thing you should know about Paskowitz -- having clocked in many hours listening to and chopping up Pet Sounds doesn't necessarily qualify as sensitivity training. Paskowitz loves the put-on as much as the put down and has an unshakable deadpan delivery, even over the phone. Witness these other sarcastic pearls:
"I'm working up a cover version of 'Bye Bye Bye' by 'N Sync. It's called 'Adios Adios Adios' -- it's for an all-gay Web site -- I'mgay.com!"
"You should see the dance moves we have for this tour. All choreographed by that little pig that used to be with the Lakers, Paula Abdul." (The ex-Mrs. John Stamos to you!)
All this whimsy simply pales compared to the way Paskowitz endlessly ribs his beleaguered Trauma Records publicist Michael Taub as if he were Mel Cooley to his Buddy Sorrell. Taub is sitting in on this conference interview, which pretty much degenerates into a roast of Taub. On the subject of the song "Outta My Way," which harangues cops, losers, poseurs, granola eaters and people who don't eat meat in a frenetic in three and a half minutes, the singer insists that "people take themselves so seriously. You just have to call them out on stuff like that. The 'don't eat meat' people and all that. I asked my dad, he's a big-time health guy, about eating meat. He says there are tribes in Africa that only eat meat Like the Michael Taub tribe. Holy Toledo! Look at that gut! We should do a liposuction benefit for Michael Taub."
As they say in their CD, "Welcome to the Family." Here's a quick peek at the Flys family album so far. Once upon a time, a couple of the guys in the Flys were in a prog-metal band modeled after Queen called Mozart. Rechristened The Flys, the band then had the brilliant idea of calling its first independently released album 25¢, only to see shop clerks promptly deposit it in their bargain bins.
"It's so funny. We sold 50,000 copies of it. You could find it for 99 cents, you could find it for 25 cents. But now it's hard to find any and people are actually paying 25 bucks for it."
The single caught the ear of Masters of Reality's Chris Goss, who brought the band to the attention of Trauma Records and recorded The Flys second album Holiday Man at his Palm Spring digs, Monkey Studios. Surrounded by a community of old people throughout the making of the record was a sensation they would repeat when they found themselves playing for mature and incontinent audiences on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge tour.