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Tuesday 1 November 2016

I am Brian Wilson

Well actually I am not, I am in fact Charity Chic
I got I am Brian Wilson - the genius behind the Beach Boys out of the library recently.
I must admit I was a tad disappointed. It is ghost written by Ben Greenman and it shows.
This  review by the Grauniad is probably pretty accurate.
 I recently saw the excellent biopic Love and Mercy, endorsed by Brian,  and feel that the book doesn't tell me much I don't already know.
It may have been different had I not seen the film.
It focusses bravely on his mental illness and also on the negative influences in his life namely his father and Dr Eugene Landy
Fortunately he appears to have come out the other end and is in a better place than he has been for a while.
It also touches on conflict with other members of the band especially his cousin  Mike Love which I suppose is where his book steps in.

Reading this gives me an opportunity to feature the 12 inch single Love and Mercy which I picked up from the bargain bin in the record shop in Dunbar.
From 1998 it unfortunately  is not that good. Mainly, I suspect because he was probably medicated to the eye balls given that the Executive Producer is Dr Eugene Landy.

Brian Wilson - Love and Mercy

Brian Wilson - One For The Boys

Brian Wilson - He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body to Move


  1. A colleague recently saw Brian in concert. She and her husband have seen him loads of times before and never disappointed. However, this time she said he was crap - never seemed engaged with the show, strolled off stage a couple of times leaving the band to it and disappeared without wartning at the end of the show with no encores.

    Maybe his demons are still present from time to time and this was one of those times.

    His autobiography Wouldn't It Be Nice is a great read and coaxed me into listening to some of the post-Smile records.

  2. I saw Brian Wilson, backed by The Wondermints, in 2008 and felt a palpable sense of unease about the whole thing. Perhaps he genuinely wanted to tour or maybe he was pushed out on the road by corporate bean counters wishing to top up their pensions, I don't know, but his level of engagement and concentration fluctuated noticeably throughout the show. He was clearly not a well man. The Wondermints were fantastic though and very complimentary and supportive of Brian's musical needs. They effortlessly nailed the Beach Boys sound - hairs on the neck moments aplenty.

  3. Mrs CC is a big fan
    Briefly contemplated going to his performance of Pet Sounds at Glasgow at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall but baulked at the ticket prices.
    Glad we didn't now.

  4. Thought Paul Giamatti did a very good job as Landy in Love & Mercy. Likewise Paul Dano as the young Brian Wilson. Those scenes with the Wreaking Crew in the studio were some of my favourite moments spent in a cinema in recent years.


  5. It's strange listening to these songs, it's somehow like he's still writing for the beach boys 20+ years before these songs were made. Or a Beach Boys tribute band but writing their own songs.

  6. Probably in the minority, but I think there are some great songs on the first solo album. There are two problems. One, the instrumentation/production. Brian had not been in a studio for so many years that he became enamored by the bells and whistles of the early '80s that were new to him. Too bad it was 1988. Electronic drums, for example, were a tough pill for many fans to swallow. Two, if you have read the books and seen the movies, it's just too tough to get past the Landy stamp. When you hear the songs you can't help but think about Brian as a prisoner.

    Many of you know there was a second album with Landy that got shelved. If you hate the self-titled solo album, stay far away from Sweet Insanity. The quality took a big dip. One song in particular, Smart Girls, is, by far, the worst thing Brian ever did.

  7. Strange to read comments re recent live outings. A friend of mine, whose knowledge of music is fairly unsurpassed thanks to him working in an aspect of the industry for more than 40 years, told me that the Brian Wilson gig in Edinburgh was a great show that had the audienced dancing in the aisles.