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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #1 

For those unaware, there was a post on the Main Forum last week (since deleted) that dealt with some board issues.

There were some constructive suggestions made in regards to format.

Unfortunately, there was also some misinformation posted about the Battle of the Bands (BOTB) by at least two BW website members who have yet to participate in this forum, and criticism of my chosen role in promoting the forum.

I had neither the time nor inclination to respond to these at that point.

Now I do.

Admin (Michael) has posted a link to an on-line survey this week.

Please go to the Main Forum and read this post: Hello from BW.COM Admin: Our survey to Make Brian's Community Forum the best it can be

The link to the survey can be accessed from there only.

I encourage all BOTB voters to take part in the survey.

Hopefully, those who have yet to participate in the Battle will come to realise that this is a forum that welcomes all members.

Those of us who already do participate know how great the forum is.

I first visited this website on December 8th, 2002.

I could count on one hand the days I have missed checking in with the board in coming up to 16 years.

There are plenty here who have been here longer.

But to suggest I don’t frequent the other forums here is presumptuous and incorrect.

And if one knew the history of the board, one might think more charitably about the Battle and those of us who regularly participate in it, week after week, year after year.

By early 2010, the Community forum wasn’t a very happy place.

There was in-fighting, bullying, trolling, frequent posts by the usual suspects and pure boredom.

The Battle was conceived in February of that year by a Blueboarder named Chris Arellano, under the pseudonym ‘Wow! Great Concert!’, to get us out of that mire and give a democratic voice to us all.

I and others here have unashamedly championed the concept from the start and continue to do so.

Its strengths are many.

Everyone has their turn to compere for a week and put up four songs that mean something to them, for the evaluation of their peers.

At least one of those songs must have a Brian Wilson connection. Some weeks all four do.

We each get the chance to recall personal stories regarding the songs and to rank them.

We are a community.

Friendships have been made through this forum.

Calling it the ‘Battle’ is ironic because, dare I say it, it’s certainly the most civil forum here.

Save for the Guidelines and the annual Gold Play-Off, there are no capital letters LOOK AT ME posts!

There are no right or wrong answers.

We’re all worth 10 points each. No more, no less.

And at the end of the year, we re-visit the most popular songs of the year, recognising the hosts who selected them, with an exciting finish culminating in crowning the Top 3 songs of the year.

To claim the forum is off-topic is disappointing and misguided.

Actually, ‘Battle of the BANDS’ is a misnomer; a name dubbed on it by some participants in the early days and officially adopted when the board was completely refurbished in 2012, and it was given its own forum.

‘Battle of the SONGS’ or even ‘Battle of the RECORDINGS’ would be a more appropriate title because it’s about ranking the four recordings on offer each week, many by non-band entities including, of course, Brian Wilson.

Again, every week contains at least one song that has an association with Brian.

And we are not just talking the regular hits either.

Some of the tracks selected have been obscure recordings, either by the Beach Boys, Brian, or his band members.

There are those of us who have come on board expressly to vote in the Battle; people who started out not necessarily as Brian Wilson fans, but who have gained a deep appreciation for the man and his music through the BOTB forum.

Without this forum, this would not have happened.

Someone recently took umbrage to me promoting the weekly battles on Facebook, encouraging music fans to partake, and was disappointed that I don’t also ‘advertise’ the Main Forum as well!

Firstly, that’s not my job.

And, secondly, if that person bothered to take a look at the effort I put into the record-keeping in the Battle alone, they’d wonder where I find time for my real job!

It’s hard enough to get the general public on board at any time. But for someone to suggest the BOTB should be relegated to a sub-forum under an ‘Off-Topic’ forum shows a lack of understanding of the concept and an under-appreciation of all who have kept it going.

The other criticism was that the BOTB forum is far and away the second most frequented forum at

There’s a reason for that – it’s popular with enough Brian Wilson fans to make it so!

Hardly a reason to do away with it or relegate it to a sub-forum of an Off-Topic section on the board!

Incidentally, the six annual Gold winners have all been Beach Boys classics.

Not exactly off-topic!

Sure, ranking records is not everyone’s cup of tea.

And, yes, sadly there will even be those who choose not to dip their toe in the water for fear they may find they actually enjoy it.

That’s fine but why try to spoil the fun of those members here who hold it dear, some of whom only visit the board to vote each week?

There are a group of voters who have hardly missed any of the 316 competition weeks so far. Two voters have never missed one.

We are all one community here.

Beach Boys fans in factional groups – who would’ve thunk it?!!

The one criticism I can identify with is the proliferation of clips posted in some weeks where there is a theme in danger of overloading the board and making it impossible to log in from a tablet, iPad, iPhone, etc.

Self-regulation is required here by all of us.

We’re now at the half way point of our seventh season of the Battle.

In that time, we have never dropped the ball or missed a beat.

The same cannot be said for other song competitions that were started on this website and never lasted the distance.

One I particularly remember was a ‘listening party’ which was supposed to start with the Beach Boys albums in sequence, commencing with Surfin’ Safari and ending several months later, presumably, with Brian Wilson’s latest solo offering.

A week was dedicated to each album where we were encouraged to listen to it for that week and then rate all the tracks out of 10.

I even bought every remaining Beach Boys album just to participate!

The ‘host’ who was running it meticulously kept scores and it looked like, ultimately, we would know what the most popular songs and albums would be.

Fine idea but the ‘host’ never got past Beach Boys’ Party!.

I was stuck listening to my Party! CD for the next three months (surely some sort of record-breaking achievement), wondering when the tardy host would return, post the results and progress on to Pet Sounds.

It never happened.

Not one week in the Battle has been scratched, and there is complete integrity in the score-keeping and record-keeping.

A big thank you to all the hosts and voters who have kept it running and supported it in that time.

I remain grateful to Chris who got this thing started in the first place.

And very grateful to Michael (Admin) for having the foresight and generosity to allow the Battle its own forum.

And, of course, very grateful to the great Brian Wilson for allowing all of us to populate his virtual home.

We encourage all members of this great website to check out the BOTB forum and participate in voting.

Around 80 of us at this board have voted at least once since 2010.

The most we’ve had in a single week is 28 (twice).

And if you are interested in hosting a week and submitting four songs for appraisal of the group, Pete Simpson has a post entitled ‘BOTB – 2016 Schedule’ on the front page of this forum.

Just put your name down.

The rules for hosting are simple.

It’s basically pick four songs, and make at least one of them connected to Brian Wilson.

There are six songs that you cannot use – the annual Gold winners so far that have been retired – plus any records that have been used already this season (and the list of these is updated each week in a post entitled ‘Season VII’, currently found on page 2 of this forum).

For a more detailed explanation, you can check out the post ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS GUIDELINES….’, also found on page 2, which I and some other Blueboarders put together with this purpose in mind.

Thanks for reading.

Here’s to many more future battles!

Lee Marshall

Posts: 2,378
Reply with quote  #2 
Pretty sure that MANY of us posted completely and totally in FAVOUR of 'the Battle' and its value to the the aforementioned deleted thread.

Darren spends an inordinate amount of time keeping the thread running smoothly and least in the public view.  It takes a lot to make it appear that way.

And yes Darren posts in other forums and also welcomes 'newbies' to the site...all the while inviting them to feel entirely welcome to participate in this fun little weekly musical adventure which always includes something Brian/Beach Boys related... ... ...without fail.

Improvement of the comings and goings here absolutely SHOULD include the Battle of the Bands.
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks very much, Lee. 

Just a reminder to all here to fill in the survey by Thursday, August 4th. 
Cindy Hood

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,517
Reply with quote  #4 
Admin gave me the search box I asked for!  YAY!

Good to see that the BOTB's is still here, too.

It's looking great, Michael!  Thank you so much!


"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
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