Larry Poons artistI just bought the brand-new Beach Boys compilation release, “Feel Flows” – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions 1969-1971, and it’s terrific. Listening to its six hours of never-before released Beach Boys songs and studio outtakes, I was reminded of a 1970s visit with artist Larry Poons and a very cool musician friend of his, none other than T-Bone Burnett, in a small Hollywood hotel room.  Poons is a musician as well as a painter, so I was lucky enough to be there for an impromptu jam session, and that was terrific, too.*

T Bone Burnett - Wikimedia Commons imageAfter listening awhile, I asked if they would play a Beach Boys tune. T-Bone knew the song I asked for, and was game. He got pretty far, but he came to one of the harmonic complexities the Beach Boys are famous for, and couldn’t find the chord, so had to stop. We all agreed that Beach Boys tunes are anything but simple.

Maybe to make up for that, Poons went to the empty hotel closet and pulled out some recreational drugs that he had stashed under the paper cover of a hotel coat hanger. Later, we took a drive down Vermont Avenue, where Poons was keen to find a “Tacko!” (taco)

*Poons and T-Bone co-wrote a song, “Song to a Dead Man,” on T-Bone’s 1986 album. Incidentally, I met artist and musician Bobby Neuwirth in LA, and we became friends; he had songs on the same album, and was connected to T-Bone and Poons. On another occasion, Bobby told me it was quite a rush playing to 60,000 people with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review.
Photo of
Larry Poons by Stuart Lisson.
Photo of T-Bone Burnett from Wikipedia.