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Gregg Jakobson spent several years with songwriting partner, best friend and Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson in the mid-1970s. They worked together to co-write and produce Wilson’s brilliantly crafted, ahead of its time solo album Pacific Ocean Blue, which was released in 1977.

At the time of Wilson’s untimely passing, he and Jakobson were deep into writing and recording Bambu, a follow-up project they felt was not only superior to the first but that would also establish the drummer as a major artist in his own right.

 
Terrible sounding bootlegs of some of the Bambu sessions have unfortunately made the rounds for years, but now, thanks to the participation of famed producer/Caribou label owner Jimmy Guercio and original engineer John Hanlon, newly mastered tracks from this project will be released in March 2008 by Sony Legacy as part of a two CD package with a re-mastered Pacific Ocean Blue.

 

While Gregg Jakobson’s life and musical career will always be inexorably tied to the fortunes of Dennis Wilson, his personal story is equally fascinating all on its own. An orphan adopted by the St. Paul, Minnesota police chief and his wife, Jakobson moved to Los Angeles with his mother at 12 after his father died. He attended Venice High School for a time before transferring to Uni High in West L.A., well known as the school for “movie star kids.” Before graduating, he was doing stunt work for films and had numerous small acting roles, including one on The Doris Day Show. He became friends with Day’s son Terry Melcher, who would become one of the '60s most revered L.A. based rock producers, helming projects for The Byrds (“Turn Turn Turn,” “Mr. Tambourine Man”), Paul Revere and the Raiders, Glen Campbell and The Mamas & The Papas.

Jakobson became Melcher’s musical contractor, booking studios, hiring engineers and producers and putting together some of popular music’s most famous sessions; among the legendary musicians he hired were Glen Campbell, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks. Jakobson met Wilson in Honolulu circa 1966 when he accompanied Melcher and Bruce Johnston, performing as The Rip Chords, to a show they were opening for The Beach Boys and Dino, Desi & Billy. The two spent their days surfing, chasing girls and riding motorcycles and one of rock and roll’s most interesting friendships emerged. The Beach Boys recorded a handful of their early songwriting collaborations, including “Baby Blue,” “Celebrate the News,” “Forever” and “San Miguel.”

Jakobson hooked up with Jim Guercio and John Hanlon in 2000 in the hopes of reissuing Pacific Ocean Blue and the sessions from Bambu, and finally in 2007, all the legal hurdles were cleared to begin preparing for the momentous release.


 



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