Star of the Beach — Part 4
Miami Dan and The Hayes Street Band
In this final installment, Miami Dan tells us the story behind “No Fear,” the second track to be produced by Brian Wilson band member Probyn Gregory.
Q: Discuss the history and story behind “No Fear.”
Miami Dan: “No Fear” is essentially the story of the end of my sophomore year and what was supposed to be my junior year in college at Western Carolina University. My high school girlfriend had just broken up with me and I had lost interest in school, and my roommate, Tommy Gilmore, was on the verge of flunking out. Tommy started talking to me about dropping out of school for a year and going to South Florida. Miami had always held a fascination for me and it didn’t take much persuasion to convince me to make the trip. In the latter part of September, 1971, instead of going back to school, we packed my huge 1963 Mercury Monterey with the few possessions we each had and hit the road for the Gold Coast. We moved in with a couple of older ladies who were family friends, but our habit of staying up late drinking beer pretty quickly earned us an invitation to find another place. After getting thrown out, we first lived in a mom and pop motel on the beach in Dania Beach, and eventually wound up in an apartment on Hayes Street in Hollywood. It was late September and we probably should’ve been back in school. Rod Stewart was on the way to #1 with “Maggie May” and we literally played the grooves off the Every Picture Tells a Story album. We also bought the Surf’s Up and Sunflower albums during what turned out to be a nine month long journey – and saw the Beach Boys live for the first time during spring break in 1972 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
I actually wrote the song “No Fear” in the late 70’s, but had never done anything with it. Tommy had a serious stroke in December, 2008. In 2009, while we were recording what turned out to be the Star of The Beach album, I got the idea to revisit the song and re-work the lyrics as a tribute to him and to our trip to Florida. I sent the demo to Probyn telling him I’d like to do it in a Beach Boys style. He came up with the arrangement and the background vocals, which are a combination of the backing vocals in “Do It Again” and “This Whole World.” Jez Graham played piano on the track, my youngest son, Pat Yoe, played bass, and Ross Lindsay sat in on drums for the track. Jez’s son, Bill, and you helped on the backing vocals and except for the lead vocal the rest is all Probyn.
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