Mark Moore ~ Jan’s career archive provided much of the documentation. As a business man, Jan had kept impeccable records before his accident. Financial statements, legal correspondence, business contracts, studio invoices, original music scores—all were carefully filed and kept. This was a smart move, given what happened to him later. He held onto that stuff over the years, and even though it was rifled through and pilfered, enough remained to provide a solid underpinning for my efforts. Having this material was invaluable. It absolved me of being accused of basing my narrative on the memories of a post-accident, brain-damaged Jan. From there, I had to go looking for what I still needed. I researched the musicians’ union contracts with the help of archivists and staff at AFM Local 47 in Los Angeles. I conducted a vault/tape box inventory with the help of staff at EMI-Capitol/Universal. The crash pics were provided by the Berry family. I’ve created lots of maps for publication over the years, so it was natural to create a diagram for the book. I reconstructed the car accident and site using details from the official police report. I created the base and measured distances with modern mapping resources to present an accurate layout, as described by law enforcement. Jan had a number of original session tapes in his possession at the time of his death, and that’s where the studio dialog transcriptions came from. The military/Selective Service information came from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The medical documentation was part of Jan’s personal archive. Gertie Berry (Jan’s widow) did some legwork whenever I needed a family connection to get material, such as Jan’s school transcripts from Westport Heights and Brentwood Elementary schools, Emerson Junior High, University High, UCLA, and the UC-Irvine School of Medicine. Bill Berry (Jan’s father) also provided me with documentation. For example, after the accident, Bill kept diary-like notes that were enlightening and helpful. So these are basic research methods, putting all of this stuff together. Documentary evidence is crucial for any in-depth historical research endeavor. And adding to it, of course (the crowning touch), is all the commentary from family, friends, colleagues, and business associates—the people who lived it.
Mark Moore ~ The book is Jan centric by design. (Dean is writing his own memoirs, which is something we can all look forward to). I wanted to tell Jan’s story on a level that had never been done, and I especially wanted to focus on his pre-accident life and career. The format allowed me to present in-depth biographical information while also diving down into the weeds with minutiae. My perspective on Jan is that he was a brilliant, driven, and tormented individual. He was a rebel in school—an attention-getter not challenged much by his studies. His friend Brian Bruderlin called him an anarchist. Jan juggled his music career with college and medical school. He had a magnetic personality that attracted people to him. At the same time, his self-assured cockiness also bred resentment in some. But most of the people around Jan liked him, and he was close to Hal Blaine, Bones Howe, and other colleagues. The studio musicians really respected him. Jan was free-spirited and made his own rules. He labored under no one’s thumb but his own. And he was flawed, as we all are in some way. He never considered himself a great artist, but he was meticulous about arrangement and production. He was one of the pioneering record producers of his era. Self-produced artists were rare in Jan’s day. That phenomenon had just started coming into play. Few, if any, of Jan’s peers co-wrote their own music, arranged and produced their own hit records, wrote their own music scores, and were signed to a major music corporation as both a songwriter and a record producer. Jan did and had all of that by the age of 22. By virtue of his corporate contracts, he also co-wrote hits for other artists, and arranged and produced records for other artists.
PrayForSurf ~ The first time I heard I Found A Girl jumping out of my Made-In-Japan transistor radio in 1965, I was amazed to hear the DJ identify it as a new Jan & Dean song. It sounded like a new direction in their sound.
A "What if?" or "If only" (and the implications of that circumstance or decision)
The most underrated Jan & Dean song:
• 200+ rare Beach Boys videos @ www.YouTube.com/BB45s • Visit www.PrayForSurf.net