What is it that makes Brian so special - question...

What is it that makes Brian so special - question...

Joel S on Monday, September 6, 1999 - 11:09 pm:

Good job Mike, you've had a fine turnout of well wishers to this new board already.

I thought to spark some Brian interest, I'd pose some perennial questions -

'When was the first time you realised that you were affected by Brian Wilson's art, and what song was it that did it to you?'

and for those who want more of a challenge -

'What do you think makes Brian Wilson's & The Beach Boys music special to you (and others)?'

I think the first time I really noticed his genius was when I bought a copy of one of the numberous greatest hits a few years ago (for the greatest hits only), and was overawed by 'Don't Worry Baby'. Countless CDs, vinyl and box sets later, that vocal still chills me.

By kiwinot the surfer on Tuesday, September 7, 1999 - 01:19 am:

I've thought about this a number of times and i'm still not sure. I think that what draws me to the music of Brian Wilson is that he, IMHO, like no other artist he opens his soul to the world. his music is accessible and moving and worthy of far more respect thsn it gets

By Jeanne on Tuesday, September 7, 1999 - 04:21 pm:

I'm a new fan. I became aware that people like Paul McCartney and Leonard Bernstein had said some pretty respectful stuff about Brian Wilson. Sure I liked the BBs back then, but I hadn't thought of them since then, and I was always prette ignorant about music--you know, I "don't know music, but I know what I like" kind of attitude. then I ran into "Wouldn't It Be Nice" at the library, read it, and bought Pet Sounds. So that was it. I was astounded by the beauty of it and the way it made (makes) me feel. And what is that feeling? Better writers than I need to answer that. (That's why I love to read reviews and interviews of Brian-cause good writers are being so articulate about it.) Part of it is knowing what he's been through, part of it is respect and awe for his talent, and part of it has got to be a chemical reaction. There is just something about those particular voices, and those tunes, that causes a physical reaction inside me. I see that I am rambling on and not getting much said. But Brian himself always reached for the spiritual in his music, and maybe that's it. Even when he is talking about something as mundane as teen-age problems, it somehow rises to earth-shattering importance. Oh well, this is too hard to explain.

By Big L on Tuesday, September 7, 1999 - 10:47 pm:

"This Whole World." i bought some of the Warner's/Reprise Loss Leaders albums, heard that cut, and I was gone. i had always liked BBs songs like WIBN, GOK, GV, Wild Honey/Wind Chimes, but was never blown away until then.

Also from those albums, "Picture Book" made me a Kinks fan.

A dollar well spent.

By Chip on Wednesday, September 8, 1999 - 05:36 am:


Interesting topic. I think the song that first turned me on to Brian's art, more than just the hit songs, was "The Little Girl I Once Knew". I never could understand (at that time anyway) why it wasn't a bigger hit. The structure (with the stops) was just too weird for commercial radio. But the fact that it was different was exactly what turned me on to it. It made me listen more closely -- to the words, to the sounds of the instrumentation, to the chord structure, to the blend of the voices. Pretty heady at the time for a fifteen year old!

Now as to what makes Brian's -- and the Beach Boys" -- music special to me, I would have to say that it's the feeling of youth, of innocence, and of joy, that the music still brings to my ears even today!

By reginald on Thursday, September 9, 1999 - 01:33 pm:

I heard most of the "greatest hits" when I was growing up but didn't take much notice. I remember I liked "In My Room" because of the tight harmonies.

However, it wasn't until two decades later that I got hooked - that is, all of five months ago - after buying a digitally remastered CD of Pet Sounds (which I'd heard of but never heard), quite on the spur of the moment. The second track "You Still Believe In Me" blew me away totally, and the rest, as they say, is history...

By SMiLE Convert on Wednesday, September 15, 1999 - 04:26 pm:

What a great question- really makes me stop and reflect a little. I guess I have always liked the Beach Boys music, ever since I was about 10 and would listen to my brother's 45's. I remember trying to sing "Wendy" and "Don't Back Down" at the top of my lungs! And I have owned assorted Gr hits albums over the years. But I guess what really brought me back was the GV boxed set- just so much stuff, it was like re-discovering a lost friend! That made me go back and listen to Pet Sounds for the 1st time as an adult (I owned the album for years but never really took to it as a teenager)and I was completely overwhelmed by it. I think Brian's music is like all great art- either it clicks for you or it doesn't. Luckily it also happens to be entertaining as hell, so even people that don't "get it" can still enjoy the songs. Not many artists can do/have done that. And I agree with Joel about "Don't Worry Baby"......just awesome. Really gives me goosebumps.

By kbeetle on Wednesday, September 29, 1999 - 05:41 pm:

I'm surprised nobody mentioned it yet..."God Only Knows"...that song brings out emotions I forget I have, and that's something unique to Brian's music, that he's so willing to bare his soul, with no reservations, while most people who have been through what he has would otherwise try to hide it all..., it brings out a deep humility at the realization that not only is there someone who can create pure beauty, but that there is a force out there that allows a mere mortal to do so.

By Right On on Thursday, September 30, 1999 - 04:21 am:

You said it!

By Jeff on Thursday, September 30, 1999 - 04:18 pm:

Great thread. I've enjoyed reading every response. I first heard the Beach Boys back in the mid-70's. I guess I was about 15 when my buddy, Randy, turned me onto them. He was a couple of years older and had been listening to them for a while. I used to hang out at his house and he'd put one this Beach Boys album or that one and for a while it was just background noise. Then, finally, I heard the music, I mean really HEARD it and I guess it was like the Big Bang inside me -- the echoes go on forever. I wish I could remember what song or songs first hit me, but I don't. I guess it was probably the surfing music, but it wasn't long before I couldn't get enough of anything and everything Beach Boy related.

As to what makes Brian so special, I read a lot of good answers in the above posts. About all I can add is that, whenever I listen to Brian's stuff it almost invariably seems like he's performing it just for me. The music is so rich and immediate. It may seem simple at first, but good lord it cuts right to the bone.

I'll make a strange comparison here: Brian Wilson's art isn't all that different from Charles Bukowski's (great and prolific American poet, novelist, ect.; author of the screenplay for Barfly). Both are criticised by the uninformed for being simplistic, but both can rip your heart out with a simple turn of phrase. For me, that's what art is all about.

By Jeanne on Thursday, September 30, 1999 - 04:55 pm:

your second paragraph-- On the Pet Sounds liner Brian writes "this album is personally from me to you." And I believe him.

By re- awakened fan on Friday, October 1, 1999 - 09:31 am:

Great topic, the first time I was aware of the Beach Boys I was a 5 year old child. It was early in the summer of 64 and I shared the bedroom with my ten year older brother. I woke up every morning to "I get around" and really liked it. From that point onward..... What makes Brian so special? So many things, His music is so catchy, infectious, it just draws you in. His wonderful, beautiful, perfect falsetto , done in only a way that Brian can, no one else comes close. His remarkable songwriting ability. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys from childhood, through my teen years, and now that I'm an adult, I feel like his music is almost part of what makes me what I am!

By bwfan on Friday, October 1, 1999 - 10:16 am:

When I was still in grade school songs like Surfer Girl and In My Room. There great harmony, the emotion (yea even then).

I feel as if I grew up with Brian's music. The emotional ties are there for nearly every life experience. It is truly the soundtrack of my life.

By John W. Proctor on Saturday, October 9, 1999 - 05:43 am:

The innocence of the Beach Boys. Such purity. I am a Christian and even though there are a few themes that lyrically do not go with Christianity, there are so many songs that move me spiritually. "You Still Believe in me" and "Don't Worry, Baby" come to mind. I was first drawn to the BBs after hearing a dance band do a rousing and very faithful version of "I Get Around" at a dance when I was a 7th grader. It so blew away all the rest of the top 40 music that the band was playing (this would be 1973) that I was musically captured for life. I would love to correspond with any Beach Boys fans at ssgproctor@hotmail.com. Wouldn't it Be Nice?

By Jeanne on Saturday, October 9, 1999 - 07:25 am:

The early BBS, pre Pet Sounds, make me feel joy, lift my spirits. Innocence is the right word. No notion of the pain to come. But starting with Pet Sounds, there is another element, which Greg Panfile discusses eloquently at his site. Sadness. The later stuff can make me cry. Not out of joy. And I don't know whether I've benefitted or not by reading the biographies. Maybe It would be better if I did not know so much about the Wilson boys. Sometimes I CAN'T listen to the BBs because I'm overwhelmed by the sadness. Even when listening to the early stuff. I guess it's the mood I'm in at the time. Does anyone else find this to be true sometimes?

By Leo on Tuesday, October 12, 1999 - 09:32 pm:

I realized that I was affected by Brian's art when one november day in 1995 I came across the book while working at the library. I had always been intrigued by the stories that I had heard about Brian's life, because his music didn't seem to reflect that pain, rather, the music transcended the pain. Every time I heard about Brian Wilson, or heard his music on the radio I always remembered that Brian was deaf in his right ear. Since I have been deaf in my right ear ever since I was 6 months old this fact about Brian intrigued me also, so I checked out his autobiography after work that night.
It was while reading his book that I realized what song did it for me. I couldn't get it out of my head. This certain song made me want to buy the boxed set that changed my life.
The song? Good Vibrations

By Iain Boyle on Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 06:24 pm:

WOW great thread, I first heard the Beach Boys from my older cousins albums when I was about 10 or 11, ( 1965-66) the pre PetSounds stuff take me to a happy carefree world and they capture what every young man has in his heart, sport, cars then girls. I loved the feel of Pet Sounds even back then but it was not till Pet Sounds was re-released in 1972 with Carl and the Passions so tough that I really started to take notice of this masterpiece. This album can still make the hairs on my body stand out with its emotion, Brian laying open his soul bare and letting me know that it is okay to feel emotion no matter what kind of emotion it is.
That is also what makes Brian Wilson so special his ability to take music and make it reflect emotion. I believe he has done most of this with his inovative bass chords, Brian was thinking in terms musically with those that others are just grasping today, more than 30 years later. God only knows is and always will be my favorite song. Recently though laydown burden can invoke the same kind of emotions from me.

Love and Mercy
Iain B

By Jeanne on Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 06:34 pm:

I love this thread. It just won't quit.

By BasicMark on Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 08:41 pm:

Brian has the ability to touch the heart in a way that resonates with our times and yet is timeless. His songs can be two-and-a-hald-minute symphonies. Look at "I Get Around." (Better yet, listen to it.) He introduces a theme, develops it, introduces a second theme, plays with it, throws in an interlude, and then sums it up with a recapulation of the original theme. Not entirely unlike Mozart or Beethoven. Seriously! And he does so using melodies and hormonies that resonate with the human spirit. Certainly with mine, that's for sure.
Mozart and Hayden touch my mnd, Brahams and Tchaikovsky touch my heart, Bach touches my spirit. Brian Wilson touches my whole life.

By jbbjr on Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 10:12 pm:

Jeanne said:
"Sometimes I CAN'T listen to the BBs because I'm overwhelmed by the sadness. Even when listening to the early stuff."

I'm never saddened by the early stuff, or in fact, any Beach Boy album, except Pet Sounds. There it is, that harmony like no other.

I can listen to any song individually on PS individually, but as a whole, Pet Sounds now saddens me with its unique beauty and its way too young, artistic peak for Brian.

What also saddens me is Brian, Dennis, and Carls' solo albums. Carl's because he's no longer here and because he had more to give. (Carl's solo albums should be called "The Great American Male Divorce and Middle-Age Growth Album") Dennis because he drove his talent to its maximum with his album, only to crumble a few years later. And Brian's because his talent peaked in the mid-sixties, and his voice, which should have hidden his talent's decline, declined quicker than his talent.

By jimsel on Friday, October 15, 1999 - 11:16 pm:

Las Vegas Concert:
I'll be going. I bought Pet Sounds last year and listened to it and put it away- the BB were always surfer music to me and I was confused. One day I played Pet Sounds again under a different mindset and I was floored. I could not understand how an album could have been recorded and not known of it. I have Sgt. Pepper etc. but I was laying on the ground after Pet Sounds. I have not been the same since.
I will be in Vegas for the concent; anybody else?

By Jeanne on Saturday, October 16, 1999 - 05:00 am:

What someone was saying about bass chords: Before I rediscovered the BBs, I never really heard bass. someone(always a guy) would say, isn't that bass great? and I would say, what bass? I was just never aware of bass. Then with Pet Sounds, I became VERY aware, and now that's part of what I really need to hear, in addition to his soaring(it's overused to describe his voice, but what other word is there?)voice and the rest of it. The bass just does things to me, I guess the way the high voices lift you, and then there's that bass doing things to you underneath. But isn't that what we all love about his music, it's a feast, its 7 simultaneous aural courses.

I also never heard drums until I rediscovered The Doors. The drums in God Only Knows, in the chorus at the end, are exactly perfect. And that's why we end up on the floor; just when you think it can't get any better, something else is added that takes you over the edge.

By LT on Sunday, October 17, 1999 - 05:13 pm:

When I was young, Brian's music connected to me as a youth. Timeless, exuberant, energetic. Innocent. As I grew towards middle age the very same music connected me in a different manner- deeper, textured, provocative, sad, optimistic, shadows and light. That, my friends, is the essence.

By Wild Honey on Sunday, October 17, 1999 - 11:22 pm:

well, for me...it's Would't it be nice.....it draws me.....can't explain...but i do feel brian's love in his music....i reaches out...and he holds you with his music!!! it's incredible! ic an't believe how much emotion he puts into those notes!!! it holds your soul...and kisses your heart....it's amazing...and sometimes you can't put it into words.....*S*

By Jivin' Johnny Etheredge on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 09:24 am:

There's no single song that first attracted me to Brian's music - it was the whole Beach Boys experience. In 1966 I attended my first Beach Boys concert. I was 15 years old and only a casual rock fan up until that night. It was a life-changing event for me. I was absolutely thrilled, and I have been a hardcore fan ever since. Not being a musician, I pursued a career in radio just so I could be close to the music I love. I have been hosting a weekly oldies show in Eugene, Oregon, since 1971, and I put the ultimate responsibility for that right on the Beach Boys doorstep. The song "Rock'n'Roll to the Rescue" pretty well sums it all up for me.
Over the years I've attended thirteen more Beach Boys concerts and have seen the band in all its incarnations, including the recent Mike & Bruce band. I was even lucky enough to meet Brian at a 1968 concert when he was sitting directly in front of me in the audience. He autographed his picture in the program book for me. Years later, when my ex-wife put a bunch of my stuff out in the rain, that program book got soaked and all the pages stuck together - all of them, that is, except for the page with Brian's autograph, which came through in fine shape. If I were a religious man, I might take stroke of luck this as proof that there is a God!
In all those Beach Boys concerts I only saw Brian perform one time. The year was 1976. He was pretty much out of it, and his contribution on stage was minimal. In fact, when he did take a vocal, it was embarrassing.
Then came last night. I saw Brian perform at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon. Geeze, it was great - better than my highest hopes and expectations. Two sets, each over an hour long, great band, and Brian in the best form vocally than anyone could have hoped for. He was visibly nervous, but he toughed it out and gave his all. Jeff Foskett does a wonderful job of filling in the falsetto parts that Brian used to sing, but that does not detract from the fact that Brian's voice is still soulful and beautiful. The show rocked as well as any Beach Boys show I've ever seen. From the show opening "Little Girl I Once Knew" to the second encore "Love and Mercy," every fan in the house was as happy as could be.
A couple of weeks before the show I did a 30-minute telephone interview with Brian, and at that time he invited me backstage. The interview was not the easiest one I've ever done. Brian is not real comfortable with interviewers. But he eventually warmed up to the conversation, sang "Surfin'" into the phone, discussed the future of the Beach Boys, and generally gave my listeners plenty of good conversation and insight into his feelings. He made good on his invitation - the passes were waiting for me at the box office. He posed for photos, and signed concert programs for my wife and daughter. He was as gracious as he could be - a real gentleman.
By the way, Brian is back at the Aladdin for another show tonight, October 18th. Tickets are still available. If you are anywhere, say, west of the Mississippi, you should go.
Love and mercy to Brian and to us all.

By David C. on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 10:38 am:

It is so wonderful to hear the very same sentiments expressed by the West Coast fans that so many of us shared when Brian did the Midwest and East Coast tours.

Isn't it a terrific and very spiritual thing how the majority of fans feel SO MUCH ALIKE??? It's almost scary, but instead it's actually an incredibly special thing!

With all who were fortunate enough to attend, it's really heartwarming to hear so much of the same things..."Brian seemed nervous but gave His all, sang his heart out, started out weak and grew very strong as the shows progressed", etc. I love it!!!

There was one beautiful moment when he played the Beacon in NYC that I will always treasure. On his second set, after Sloop, everyone was going crazy and it really affected him. He began to laugh and then started with some woo woos to the audience and then just reallly took it all in. And his face was beaming!!! Hey, I have the video and it was real. SO WHAT if he uses the keyboard to rest his hands and keep time only, so what if he doesn't hit every note perfectly....JUST SEEING BRIAN is enough for all of us. Will there ever be a better year? Only if there are more concerts.

David C.

By Steve on Wednesday, October 20, 1999 - 04:09 pm:

What can I possibly add? As I read all the comments in this thread, I found myself constantly nodding in full understanding and connection to the point where I only saw my monitor bouncing up and down as I scrolled. To me, Brian has always been a spiritual experience. I, of course, knew the BB's music since childhood, but I really took an interest when I saw an HBO special in 1988 on the making of his first solo album(remember those 1/2 hour profiles HBO used to do back then when a famous musician came out w/ a new album?). I heard him singing "Love and Mercy" and a few others and I just became so intrigued by this guy - I remember immediately thinking how this music was so much better than what I had heard out of the Brian-less version of the BBs. Everything about him, the music, the way he approached music, his general view on life - it all fascinated me. So, I bought the album and was blown away. Then, I bought some of his old Beach Boy material and wow!, it was all over. It was like I'd never heard anything in the world like it. I didn't just listen to Brian's music, I experienced it. He has this mesmorizing, utterly unique ability to convey emotional experience through sound. As a listener, you can actually feel what he felt while writing it. You somehow receive some sort of message written in this unspoken language - some otherwise ineffable thing or vision. I feel a strange, but undeniable connection with it like Brian and I are sharing something. And we are, just as with everyone who really hears what he is saying with these sounds. Sometimes, I almost feel like he wants to tell us a secret and, if you listen closely and really pay attention, you can hear it whispered through those intricate layers of chords and harmonies. Then, all of a sudden, you feel like you know - like you just awakened to something you never before realized. I think we all have it. I could see it in the messages people wrote on this thread. We describe it in different ways, but it's there. It's like we're all on to something Brian told us. We KNOW.

By sal on Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 12:26 am:

I had the priveledge of seeing Brian in Portland Oregon both on Sunday & Monday nights. The first night my 7 friends and I sat in the front row center. I think we were at least as nervous as Brian was. We had no idea what to expect - you know, would he possibly end up in the fetal position on the floor. Well, no surprise, he was very nervous. But everybody pulled so hard for him to do well and he did. No he didn't hit every note and he missed some lyrics, but I don't think anybody cared. Brian and the band were just incredible. My wife was never a huge BB fan but by the 3rd song she was simply stunned. We're still stunned.

The second night Brian was uptight during the first song but after that he seemed to relax, smile, laugh, and have a great night. During one rocker he stood up, grabbed the mic, danced, missed a couple lyrics, laughed, picked it right back up, and kicked his left leg up in the air a couple times. The crowd couldn't show enough appreciation and I think he felt it and knew it.

The band with Brian is simply awesome. They sounded better than a recording. The vocals, instruments, etc, were just amazing. I saw many people moved to tears on several occasions including myself. It was a very spiritual experience. "Love & Mercy" "God Only Knows" "In My Room" "Lay Down Burden" "Caroline No" were just wonderful. The music was angelic.

If you can see this show, do. It's so great that I'm heading down to Shoreline for more.

By Jim on Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 03:44 pm:

I was a freshman in high school in October 1963 and I heard "Be True To Your School" on the radio
and have been a Beach Boys fan ever since. Then on one of the first albums there was "In My Room" which was like talking to me. The girls were excited about Dave Clark and the Beatles and wore their pins and stuff, but I could only hear the Beach Boys. That's about all I hear to this day.
I'm going to see Brian in Anaheim on Sunday, because I might not see him again and I'll introduce my giirlfriend to Beach Boy's music, and she has no idea what she's in for.

By John Boyle on Thursday, October 21, 1999 - 06:34 pm:

What interests me about Brian is the childlike innocence that comes across in his interviews. His manner today, at 57, seems to be the same as that mournful voice on Pet Sounds 33 years ago. I think about the tragedy in his life and how his troubles have undercut his productivity over the majority of his adult life. The song that gets me, is Surfs Up, when Carl asks "Are you sleeping, Brother John?" And later Brian responds, that he'll "come about hard and join the young and often spring (he) gave". I'm still waiting for his return, and lamenting those lost years.

By charlie brown on Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 12:17 am:

The harmonies first grabbed me as a teenager in
the mid '70s. At the time, my friends didn't
understand why I liked the Beach Boys. Definitely
not cool, even though the Endless Summer
repackaging was out. I also think I found myself
drawn, as many brooding teenagers are, to the
sound of loneliness in so many of Brian's songs.
"In My Room," "The Warmth of the Sun," Pet Sounds,
etc. But now, as i near 40, I hear the
hopefulness, almost a desperate optimism, under
Brian's lyrics and harmonies. I hear his
struggles, but I also hear the message he wanted
us all to hear. It moves me beyond description

By Jeanne on Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 05:05 am:

John, that's an interesting way of looking at those lyrics. That had not occurred to me. Thanks

By doctorsounds on Saturday, October 23, 1999 - 08:26 am:

she knows me too well was love at first hear; caroline no will be eternally tenderly so dear; this man's genius may rest on a five year career; but it remains unsurpassed in this century's class; a master over all of his peers

By Dave the Rave on Sunday, October 24, 1999 - 09:02 am:

Brian and The Beach Boys touched me when I heard Pet Sounds back in....early 97, It blew my mind to say the least. A wonderwall of beautiful, melodic, spiritual music. I saw the album at number 2 in a classic album book, and I went out and bought it straight away.

Every tune just blew my mind. All the overdubs, and layers, and harmony, and sounds. You just can't get that kind of music anyomore. They don't make records like that in the 90s. My favourite tracks then and now are Don't Talk and Caroline No. The way that Don't Talk starts with that churchy organ sound. And the lyrics to Caroline No. Man, Brian went straight to number one in my idol list.

The next thing was to show it to all my friends. Only one guy agreed, and was converted. The others, especially the girls just ignored it completely. And I say f$ck em. Brian is a music genius, an avator of pop symphonies, a pioneer of psychedelic pop, everything that music is supposed to do, he does. None of that negative for negative crap. He gives us negative for positive or positive for positive music. Spiritual, introspective beauty.

And then came smile, but that's another story.

By Canusay Yomama on Sunday, October 24, 1999 - 11:55 am:

The first song that really grabed me was "God Only Knows". Then I fell in deeper when I saw the behind the music special on VH1. I saw them play a version of cool cool water and was amazed with all the different parts and harmonies going on.

I had to have that song and so I bought the box set. I listened to all the songs. Songs off Pet sounds were masterpieces, but what really caught my attention were songs off Smile.

In the beginning of "Vegetables", it makes me think of them digging and chopping up vegetables with the noises of off-beat clangings. Then for the tempo of the song, they're chewing up carrots.

The things Brian did were so creative,unique, and beautiful(What good wholesome music is made of). He did things know one would ever think of. His music is so futuristic for his time. He took music to a whole new level.

By Grenade on Monday, October 25, 1999 - 01:03 am:

I've always loved the music. Ever since Endless Summer came out. Brian's music is a direct line to the soul. Some people cannot hear it the way we do, it's taken along time for me to realize that. It takes a special ear to listen to the post-Pet Sounds era BB. Some people will never be able to decipher the beauty of the music. For me, that means that I have something that other people cannot attain. An appreciation of something that they cannot hear. Wow. It blows my mind - Brian's gifts are not given to the world, only to those who have been graced to hear it.

By Daniel M on Tuesday, October 26, 1999 - 11:29 pm:

Wonderful thread. I grew up listening to the
Beach Boys, playing their "Spirit of America" LP
into the ground as a kid. As a teen ager in the
80's, the Beach Boys were a secret pleasure, by no
means hip, but they were part of my personal
canon, what was I gonna do?
A few months ago the song "The Little Girl I
Once Knew" popped into my head and I realized that
I hadn't listened to it in-- gasp! -- 20 years.
So I dug it out of the "vinyl closet" and
proceeded to be floored by it, pops, hisses,
scratches and all. Of course I had to go out and
buy the "Good Vibrations" collection, just so I
could hear a pristine version.

"Nice story Daniel, but what's the point?"

Well, a couple of things. "The Little Girl I
Once Knew" just shows how Brian's work manages to
hit at a level that is nearly without words. Two
cords and a brief guitar line and I'm getting the
emotion before the lyrics even start (and don't
get me talking about "God Only Knows").
Ironically (or perhaps typically), the lyrical
content is really rather sparse (two short
verses). By the time Brian closes the song with a
refrain of its opening notes, I'm remebering all
of the feeling of that time in my own life, with
all the urgency that the song implies.
I just can't think of many artists, other than
Brian and the BB's (followed distantly perhaps by
the band XTC), who are so adept at uniquely
communicating emotion on an almost purely musical
level. Like many others in this thread, I've
recently "returned" to the BB as an adult, hearing
them now in a way that I was probably not prepared
to as a child. Brian and the BB's music is truly
a treasure.

By Andor on Friday, November 12, 1999 - 12:25 pm:

i might be a little younger than most of you (hehe old people) cause i am only 19. when i was a little kid the beach boys were my favorite band, but i kinda grew out of it. a couple years ago i got a beach boys greatest hits CD and heard God Only Knows. That was it for me. i think it might be the most beautiful pop song ever written. Brian Wilson has since became my musical idol. I love pretty much anything i hear that he has written (especially stuff between about '65 and '71). It is interesting to learn that there are other Brian Wilson freaks out there -- i was beginning to think i was the only one =)

By Andor on Friday, November 12, 1999 - 12:38 pm:

something i left out... i think Brian experienced the world when he was young and writing music in much the same way i do now. He was, quite simply, a confused youngin' who didnt want to grow up and wasn't ready to make decisions yet. i'm not sure he will ever truly grow up, and i think that is incredible. i really feel like i can relate to him through his music.

By Scott on Thursday, November 18, 1999 - 03:17 pm:

I love this site !!! It's wonderful to come here and connect with so many other BB fans. Young, old, from all walks of life. Many people today would never admit they were a fan of Brian or the Beach Boys. But as obvious from this site, his sensitive music has touched us all.

I attended Brian's concert at Mohegan Sun Casino(CT) in May. While the venue was horrible for a rock and roll show, just being in Brian's presence was so special. We had seats in the last row (big rollers 1st 15 rows) but I made sure to run up front when the chance permitted. I screamed at the top of my lungs after Sloop John B and actually startled Brian. I felt awful because I can only imagine how challenging this touring stuff must be for him.

An added thrill to the evening was Joe Thomas going back stage to get Brian's autograph on the set list. As crazy as this sounds from a 41 year old, I feel like I really came in contact with him.

I can spend the next hour repeating what you have all said so eloquently. I am happy to see so many people having the same thoughts and feelings as I. Long live his music !!!

By Arlen on Friday, November 26, 1999 - 05:39 pm:

I would just like to echo what you all have been
saying about Brian's music. Until I began reading
some of the message boards, I thought I was one of only a very few who "connected" with or was touched by Brian's compositions. I am feeling very good, knowing that I have a "family" out there. In my day to day, live interactions, I really don't run into anyone who appreciates Brian like y'all. My brother, the missionary, commented, "Isn't it great that God brings things into our lives that cause so much joy?"

By Mikael Hyltse on Friday, December 10, 1999 - 09:13 pm:

Brian is the kindest one ever... "It takes strenght to be gentle and kind" -Morrissey

that's it !

By Jeanne on Saturday, December 11, 1999 - 06:05 am:

Andrew, I don't want to see this thread ever go away. It needs to have permanent status. Please dont delete!

By IMPETO on Monday, December 13, 1999 - 04:02 am:

Hi! I'm very brending the brehematurate supercazor with the scapelment on the left and a little palin

By myfistnameisjane on Monday, December 13, 1999 - 06:53 am:

..........iz'nt that the Oscar Mayer technique ? ....urglie...urglie

By J Hinz on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 09:12 pm:

I cannot add much new as I have read my feelings many times over through your words. My first Brian face to face was in the 1st row of a BB concert in the fall of 1962 as an already BB and Brian fanatic. I have never lost my passion for him or his music. Brian's music is good for your sole. Wonder how many people have been able to unwind after a hard day or survive a difficult time in their lives by kicking back and listening to their favorite Brian composition? Who else rediscovered Kiss Me Baby in Brian's concert? I heard him in Minneapolis and realized that I think it is one of his best efforts.

By Snowsurfer on Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 12:01 pm:

I,m one of those who actually went there to check out what they where singing about. I live in the northern part of sweden, I went to santa cruz CA for the first time in74. Since then, i;ve been over for many many times. I saw the Beach Boys live for the first time in 76 at the Oakland Coliseum day on the green, with Brian Wilson in the group, what more can I say. Ive surfed and danced to their music, more than half of my life, brians music makes me very happy, I only wish I could see him live again.

By re- awakened fan on Monday, December 20, 1999 - 08:42 am:

In a nutshell: Brians music is just so infectious that you just can't stop thinking about this great music and it's creator!

By carolineno on Sunday, December 26, 1999 - 01:56 am:

Well-stated, re-awakened fan...!! *S* Mix up some genious, a gentleman, an everlasting innocence (even though Bri's been through sooo much), a lot of sensitivity, a man-child outlook, and somehow music is made like no other music. Bri's music can be written, lyrically/melodically, in such a complex way, though it can grace your ears and mind so simply. That is, if you have the "ear" for it. His music tears open your heart and grabs your soul and clutches them in its fist! Once Brian gets into you, that's it! Hooked! We've all probably lived his songs; he makes it so easy to. Bri makes a person feel as though he's singing "only to you." You feel his pain and his sorrow. No one else can intertwine music and lyrics any better than this Master. I dabble in music writing. When I finish a song, my first thought is, "Bri's already written this, sorta." Who else but Bri can make such a craft seem so easy when it definitely is not? But how he REALLY gets to us, in us, is mystical. A True Wonder of the World. And, we're all surely lucky to have him to enrich our lives.
Surf's Up!

By ambbfan on Sunday, December 26, 1999 - 11:07 am:

To me it seems that what makes his music so special, and him is that it's very "human", very careing and somehow he makes you feel like it was written just for you the (listener). Brians songs re everlasting, you feel like he cares more about the music than himself, he gives us all hope and joy and fun, even his sentimental or sad songs have hope in them. Brian it seems to me plays,sings, and writes from his heart,not his pocketbook. I always noticed that concerts I had attended were special because there was such a mixture of people there. Young and old, I mean I have seen babies even there. When Brian himself wasn't touring with the Beach Boys he was there in spirit always. Brian his music just makes you reach down deep inside yourself to think and dream, to make whats wrong right. Music that has human quality is the kind that affects everyone,yep Rock and roll to the rescue is Brian Wilson.

By Morton on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 07:17 am:

Gee, what makes BWs music so great. Perhaps the fact it encases everything we wish we could be with songs like 'i Get Around' or the fact the songs often verge on being pathetic while still avoiding total melancholy. Years of being- berated by his father, bullied by the rest of the beach boys, underrated by most and hating himself add up to why Bw makes great music. What song did it for me? What song didn't?
Steven Morton.

By chiahead on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 12:56 pm:

It was in 1972 when I smoked and put the headphones on and listened to the reissues (two-fers) of the 60's albums........

By Con on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 05:21 am:

Many years ago, my Dad had an 8-track catridge player in his car. He kept swapping tapes with his friends, and at one point had a BBs compliation..my bro and I loved it, we were eight at the time. A few months later, he swapped it for some dreadful "country-and-Irish" (believe me, you don't want to hear THAT genre).

I grew up, mostly listening to the Beatles.

Many years later, I was in a relationship with a lovely lady. On 98FM in Dublin on Saturday nights a regular oldies show used to keep playing "Break away" and "The little girl I once knew" and I rediscovered the sound.

My girl and I broke up, and in looking for some healing music, I discovered Pet Sounds, properly and for the first time. I started buying the "Twofers" then the Box Set.

Smile just blew me away, especially Cabin Essence. But it was the famous Disc 3, with Wild Honey through to Surf's Up that stayed in my head and my heart.

This is music that heals and it is like no other. Once you allow it into your life, it is very difficult to hear anything else, which is why I periodically leave it to one side "to get out more often" musically.

I am so grateful that Brian has found a way to get new music out: the Imagination album, while not perfect, has that healing feeling to it.

It would be great if the BBs could get it together one more time (don't forget, the Wilson/Paley tapes has Carl) and do that FINAL album. To me, the collected voices have such impact, strength and feeling. Adrian Baker and Matt Jardine are no slouches and can add to the mix.

Then all the legal and personal hassles could be forgotten and the BBs could bow out on a high. Mike could still tour and Brian could still get on with the rest of his musical life.

By Jon L on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 06:59 pm:

to jbbjr:
You said "What also saddens me is Brian's..... solo albums.... because his talent peaked in the mid-sixties, and his voice, which should have hidden his talent's decline, declined quicker than his talent."

What about "Imagination"? While I agree his voice was at his best in the mid-sixties, his vocals on "Cry" or "Lay Down Burden" are stunning, to say the least. And you talk of "his talent's decline" as if there was no getting it back.

Do you dismiss his latest work, or have you not heard it? I personally think it's among the best he's ever done in many aspects.

We'll never get the past back. But we are some blessed to have Brian making (some very good) music here and now.

By Jim on Tuesday, February 1, 2000 - 10:33 am:

Hey, does anybody know where to get videos by the Beach Boys?

By Tony Cole on Wednesday, February 2, 2000 - 05:58 am:

I believe Brian is special because being a music
person myself (I play piano and bass) it appears
to me that Brian sat down at the piano and taught
himself how to play (left hand octave bass notes,
right hand chords). He also developed composing and arranging skills by himself. You only have to
look at the music chords for pet sounds or the
smile track arrangements to appreciate Brian's musical genius. I mean this is a guy who had no musical training, but learnt by ear. What I also find incredible is when producing pet sounds he was only 23 yrs old and doing his spector production thing with the wrecking crew.

By Kevin Flynn on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 03:16 pm:

Like many have said before me... What a great site. I just watched the Brian Wilson segment on Biography and once again I sit here absolutely stunned, blown away... Genius just doesn't describe him to me. His innocence, his guts, his music... Its really all too much... He is a true artist in every sense of the word. I was in Italy when he came through the San Francisco area in October but was fortunate enough to get tickets for the Neil Young Bridge Benifit. After he sang Love and Mercy both my girlfriend and I were reduced to tears. I was so in awe just to be that close to him. It was a special night I will never forget.

On another note... I don't know if any of you saw this in the Biography but a couple of times when they were interviewing David Anderle there was a portrait of Brian behind him. It was just Brian all alone done on a red background... It thought it really captured his essence... I would love to have a print of that picture. If anyone knows where I could get one please let me know at kal-el96@msn.com or Kflynn@oaklandnet.com

Thanx all it was so great reading all your comments. Brian is the Best.

By Scott Myles on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 - 02:38 pm:

Hi: As I sat watching the Brian Biography special Sunday night, I thought about this web site. It is just amazing at the amount of conversation that still takes place about this man we all admire. It's been over 30 years since he was in the spotlight and to this day, we cannot get enough of him. How many other musical icons have this fervant a following these many years later?
In addition to Brian, I also admire Buddy Holly. His sites don't attract anywhere near the type of thought provocing discussions found here. If Brian only knew how he has touched us all. I had the fortunate experience of seeing him in Connecticut in May. I will cherish that night forever.

How would you rate the Biography special? Where does it rank against other BW or BB videos?

By Kevin Marth on Friday, March 3, 2000 - 07:15 am:

I got "Endless Summer" as a gift when I was in the third grade. My parents were rather uptight corporate midwesterners but did enjoy music. i played this LP incessantly and convinced my mother to take me to a Beach boys concert (circa 1973). I listened to the beach boys up until jr. high school when I got into heavy stuff.

A couple of years ago, I got a funny feeling that I really wanted to listen to Endless Summer again. (Specifically "Don't Worry Baby," "Surfer Girl," and "In My Room"). I've been back ever since. I never tire of Brian's Music, old or new. I've subsequently fleshed out my collection of Brian's music and am always looking to find more.

Saw Brian in concert last summer in NYC, which was a dream come true.....

by the way, did anyone beside me notice the stench of Mike Love all over the ABC special?

By Mike Kelly on Friday, March 3, 2000 - 07:56 am:

In the summer of 63', I was a 16 year old hanging out at a Long Island Beach on the opposite coast. Most of us were Four Seasons fans and even though we had heard Surfin' Safari, and liked it, we didn't follow the Beach Boys. Then, one day as I was walking home from the beach I heard "Surfer Girl" playing and a chill went up my spine. I brow beat my friends until they realized there was something magical in that sound. We wore out the grooves of everything they did over the next few years until we all split for college. I guess "Don't Worry Baby" was THE favorite among many, many favorites, and while I never tired of listening to it, I got sick of dancing the cha cha to it. Today I'm 52, and still get that chill when I hear the start of "Surfer Girl." Thank you, Brian Wilson.

By Emily Brandstaetter on Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 07:46 pm:

I knew I first liked the Beach Boys when I heard "Surfer Girl". The ballad was just too sweet for words. But when I heard "Don't Worry, Baby", I felt the true power of Brian Wilson. I heard it for the first time on the radio when I was having possibly the worst day of my entire life. When I heard it, I forgot all of my problems and got so wrapped up in the song. As a 20 year old girl being a fan of the Beach Boys got me heckled a bit but I don't care. I love the Beach Boys the way 10 year olds love the Backstreet Boys!

By Jim Chase on Sunday, March 5, 2000 - 03:43 pm:

There are few things in life that can be referred to as "revelation." In 1963 I was hit by two, one of a spiritual nature and one with music. Nothing can compare with the revelation of God in Jesus Christ but if you knew my thoughts you might be able to accuse me of slighting this revelation by loving the Wilsons, specifically Brian, too much. The second revelation came with the musical harmony of "Surfer Girl". The album was the first I purchased as a teenager. The beauty and harmony of Brian's music has endeared me to him but even more so the pain of his life. To use a much misused phrase he could truly say "I feel your pain" though he never patronized us that way. I always understood the fear of being on stage but not what a nervous breakdown was until about eleven years ago, when I had my own. It's strange when a simple question will bring you to tears.

Now it's just good to see Brian with Melinda and the family so happy. If Brian never writes another song this will be enough.

By emergenceytermpaper on Sunday, March 5, 2000 - 06:16 pm:

If anyone has any info or pictures of the Boys send it to:

Kandi Hayes
132 Skyline Dr.
Lexington Tenn.38351

By andor on Monday, March 6, 2000 - 09:21 pm:

wanna know something wierd? when i was a little kid (about 8-9) i used to have a ton of beach boys greatest hits tapes, and i would listen to them non-stop. i remember turning on "I Get Around" wheever i had to clean my room, because it helped to speed me along. At some point after age 9 i forgot about the beach boys completely. Now i am 19 and over the last year or so i have gotten into them again -- but for totally different reasons. its wierd, i might as well never have been a fan until recently. i used to love all the surf songs (and i still do) but now i pretty much only listen to Pet Sounds and some later stuff.

By Pete on Tuesday, March 7, 2000 - 06:28 am:

I caught the Beach Boys bug after watching the "Endless Harmony" special on VH1. Since then I have bought a couple of Greatest Hits albums, Brian's "Imagination" album, and "Pet Sounds." Interestingly enough, my first experience with a Brian Wilson song touching my soul was also "Don't Worry Baby", as many others have stated. There are at least ten other songs that hit me deep inside, including "Lay Down Burden" which blew me and my girlfriend away the first time we heard it. I can't get enough, and I haven't even heard all of the songs yet! I still have to discover the 70's albums and some more songs from the 60's. I can't wait to experience the rest of Brian and the Beach Boys catalog. Also, I'm holding out hope that Brian tours again this year. Thank you for sharing your "Pet Sounds" with us, Brian.

By fred S. on Friday, March 10, 2000 - 04:22 pm:

OK...my two-cents.

Listened to all the surf & car hits while growing up as a kid in the 60's...thought I liked the Beatles better...but in 1971 I saw the group tour with a full brass section...only 200 people showed up..but what a show.

The song that did it..."Wouldn't It be Nice"....something about the drum crash at the beginning of the instrumental intro...changed my life..went out a bought a guitar.

The final chapter to the whole story happened on my birthday, June 15, 1999 when I saw Brian solo live. Now I can get over Carl's death and say I have heard and seen it all (live).......let's hope more good music is still to come.

By kbanks on Friday, March 10, 2000 - 06:54 pm:

I was at the computer onSunday evening, 2/28/00. My dad was watching cable, and one of the channels advertised the ABC movie. I remembered that it was coming on, but I had not intended to watch it---I mean come on, "The Sopranos" was going to coincide. But then I rememberd, that I could catch "the Sopranos" other days in the week on repeat. So I just plunked myself down on the couch to watch it. After all, I was familiar with Beach Boys music. My friends and I used to sing some of their harmonies that we'd heard on the oldies stations in the 70's. Recently, there was a commercial which used "In my Room." I remember turning to my sister when it was on once, and I remarked to her that the song was really beautiful, and that the Beach Boys were underrated. But who cared?...
Well, it's been 2 weeks since the show aired. I have not watched television since. I have bought Pet Sounds on disc, and two greatest hits compilations. I spent 4 1/2 hours putting together a tape to send my sister in Wash. D.C. I have bent my friends' ears talking about Brian and the music for 2 weeks. Some of them think I'm crazy, but my sister and my friend Okima assure me that Brian sang from his heart and soul and that is why I am being touched like this. And I know that they are right.
Also, I am looking for the ABC show on tape--I need both nights. Can anyone help me? Did I mention that I have read and re-read two books on Brian and the Boys? I cannot get enough. This is really killing me. Also, Brian's voice--can we talk? I have been singing along with him for two weeks and I am hitting notes with ease that I used to strain. Oh yeah, did I mention that I am an African -American woman who grew up on the south side of Chicago? And my favorite singers are Billie Holliday, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and the like? Can you imagine how I felt when I realized that I will be a fan of Brian's for the rest of my life. Oh yeah, when I really have a relationship with an artist, I refer to them by their first name even when I'm speaking of them to friends or family? When I told my father that Frank had had a heart attack, my sister came running out of her room alarmed because she thought I meant our Uncle Frank? Any way, I know I will love Brian's music forever. Also, my sister and I are Beatles fans, and I played her the intros to some stuff off of Pet Sounds over the phone. I asked her what it sounded like to her. She said that it sounded like Beatles stuff. I told her that she wouldn't believe who it was and how they predated the Beatles. When I told her, she let me know that she was already a little hip to Brian's genius. So I made a tape for her last night. I wrote in some explanations, and who sang lead on some numbers (Carl vs. Brian, because their voices are similar to the uninitiated). Any way, you can tell that I am so excited. Please if you can help me with the tape--I need it. God will bless you. Thanks in advance.

By Jeanne on Saturday, March 11, 2000 - 06:31 am:

I can't help you with the tape, but I really appreciate your post and point of view. Nice to know that Brian crosses cultures/ethnic groups, and that he is not just a phenomenon to white guys! kbanks, take a look at the thread called "why don't women like the Beach Boys?" You might want to reply!

By Chipper on Monday, March 13, 2000 - 05:03 am:


What a great post! The Beach Boys were so often criticized as being one of the "whitest" bands around, but posts like yours go a long way to prove that genius has no color, and that what's in the heart and soul is more important than the color of the skin!

I share your taste in singers from Billie and Frank to Stevie, Aretha and Luther. The commonality in all of these talents is their inner soul. Glad you agree that Brian has a place in this mix!

By Marty Blackwood on Sunday, March 19, 2000 - 10:03 am:

Can Someone tell me why Brian did not want "Let Him Run Wild" included on the box set? It's such a classic. I know theres an answer. Thanks.

By NOBLE SURFER on Sunday, March 19, 2000 - 03:37 pm:

He didn't like his vocals on the tune.

By kbanks on Sunday, March 19, 2000 - 05:56 pm:

Somebody. Please. I need a tape of the two nights of the ABC special, "The Beach Boys: An American Family." Will pay or trade. If you can help, please do. God will bless you. Also, Pet Sounds has touched me on a spiritual level. Anyone else? Do you have any ideas as to how I can get the tape? I am desperate. Thanx.

By Con on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 02:31 am:

k, you have the bug, girl! All of us Beach Boy/Brian Wilson fans have got that, and you're very welcome. You are about to set out on a musical journey, you'll still go back to the other music you love but you'll always find that spiritual feeling from the very best of Brian and the Boys' music. Can I recommend the Friends album from 1968 to you? It's to me the quieter and relaxed sibling to Pet Sounds. After that, there is so much music full of love there that you'll be finding out more of it as the years go on.

By anne on Monday, March 20, 2000 - 10:31 pm:

I'm a relatively new Brian Wilson fan. Did he do any of the writing on the Beach Boys albums that were released after Pet Sounds (other than SMiLE stuff)? Thank you.

By NS on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 03:08 pm:

Yes he did, a lot.

By Kurt on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 04:03 pm:

For me, it's always been the ability to find at least one Brian Wilson song to fit every small stage of my life. When I was a teenager, cars and girls were dominent concerns for me, so "Endless Summer" was in my collection as soon as I could afford to buy LP's. "Pet Sounds" was issued on CD just in time for my engagement to my wife, and after playing the promo that was sent to the record store we worked at, I knew it pretty much summed up my feelings at the time. (By the way, I gave her a diamond ring and she gave me the complete set of Capitol two-fers she won in the "Pet Sounds" display contest! Yep, I was hers!)
Since then, there's been odd circumstantial things I've found out. I was brought into the world May 16th, 1966 (the day "Pet Sounds" was released); my original middle name (which I've reverted back to) is Brian, and my wife has the same birthday as Carnie, and her sister's (you guessed it) matches Wendy's.
How many people out there cruised your hometown with "I Get Around" or "Fun Fun Fun" blasting out of your speakers?
How many of you grabbed 4 other guys and tried matching Brian's vocal arrangements in the gym or bleachers after school?
How many of you have been in a transitional period in your life, listened to "Pet Sounds," and realized that someone's been there and had the same feelings as you?
How many of you have felt a times that life was not going your way, listened to "Til I Die" or "Day In the Life Of a Tree" and realized that it could be worse?
How many of you have used the index and repeat features of your CD players to loop the music box portion of "Nearest Faraway Place" to get your crying baby to sleep?
When Brian decided to open his tour last year in nearby Ann Arbor, I had a feeling he might be a little intimidated. Even though I was only one of many thousand there that night, I knew collectively, we were there to show him that we were grateful and wanted to show him in person the kind of love he'd put into his music for us.

By Kurt on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 06:00 am:

Addendum to above message: I know "Nearest Faraway Place" is a Bruce original, but I think you get the point.

By Word Cleaver on Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 06:14 am:

This must be the never ending thread. For me the essence of Brian wilson is captured in both the music and words of the extended bridge to Wouldn't It Be Nice. He realizes that the more he talks with his love about the love they can't yet have, the harder it will be to live with the longing. Yet he concludes, "...but let's talk about it". That's Brian! Don't be afraid to love! It's that sweet longing that permeates his music. Plus the music to that segment leaves me spellbound: the way the vocal harmonies vibrate with the sax and the accordian just sends shivers. Then it's followed by that great drum break, ba dum, ba dam.....almost like a great slap of awarness that leads us back to the question: wouldn't IT be nice? Except now it's sung not so much as in longing for IT, but celebrating IT! Whew! It dosen't get any better than that in pop music! Sleep tight baby!

By moonman40 on Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 10:25 am:

This is very long thread, but the thoughts that are being professed here is wonderful reading. I am new to the web page. Very quickly...I grew up in a day where 70's bands ruled the day, at least in my group, the Beatles were the rock gods of the day, and the BB's were just a blip on the screen. The album that first caught my attention was not Endless Summer, but Holland...Sail on Sailor is still on of my favorites. I am almost 40 now, and only in the last two years, I really have immerced myself in the BB's. What has suprised me is how Brian pours out his soul in his songs...and how all of those feelings of insecuity and despair that all of us felt as teenagers and young adults, but had been pushed deep into our souls as we get spend our time working..raising kids...etc. comes out through his music. Brian speaks in ways that we all feel, but most can never put into words. Not only is the music the best I have ever heard, but it is almost as if the music is born with the words as a whole...

I look forward to being a regular part of the room, and to chat with so many fans

Sailing on

By Jeanne on Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 06:04 pm:

Word Cleaver, I appreciate your post. I also have always loved that line. I know Asher wrote if but it seems so Brian. When I first got into Pet Sounds last August, that is the one I played over and over. (took me a while to get to the rest of the songs!) I was astounded by it.

And Moonman, great to have another voice on board!

By The surfer on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 05:00 am:

I got 20 golden greats when i was eight years old.
I listened to it thousands of times. Shortly after that i got wow, Great concert, The beast of the Beach Boys VOL.3 and All summer Long. About 6 months after that i got tired of those records. But a couple of years later when i bought California Gold, i got into them again. In that period i got today/summer days, Pet sounds and Smiley Smile/Wild Honey. after that i didn´t do much more than sleep, eat, go to school and listen to the beach Boys. Now, it was abot 2 years since i got really fascinated with them, i have 33 albums now. I´ve gotten tired of that to, so I listened to Queen, Kiss and Iron Maiden a lot. But I don´t have one album between 1970-1986, so i´m longing for the 70´s Two-Fers now.
And, I got Imaganation in 1998, and i haven´t gotten tired of that yet. So I´ll probably never get tired of the beach boys completely. I just wish that i could go back in time and watch them in 1972-1974.

By Merrell on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 09:35 am:

Ok, here's my story...*AHEM* (I'll try to give you the readers digest version)

My parents both loved music, but they were like Dharma & Greg. (It scares me) Anyway, her influences on me were Jimi and Janis, CSNY, etc. His was Marvin Gaye, Motown, The O Jays, so between them I was an R&B hippie. This explains why I never really heard the Beach Boys growing up. They sort of got lost between the canyon, so to speak. I've always really loved music, and of course heard the BB, but just never really paid any attention. (now I'm sad that I've missed so many years.)

Enter the movie, American Family. My life is completely and totally changed forever. I will never be the same. The nice thing is, that even though my husband thinks I've totally flown the coop, you guys can truly UNDERSTAND what I'm going through.

I know the movie was a "dramatization", but now that I know some of the story of the Beach Boys the music just sounds different. IT GETS INSIDE OF YOU AND MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN'T BREATHE. Then, when you realize that you do have some air, the goose bumps engulf you body and the hair on your head stands on end. Especially God only knows, talk about haunting!!! Or the intro to Wouldn't it be Nice? I feel like I need help, a 12 step program or something. I am buying books by the armloads, ordering videos online, need I say I've watched the movie EVERYDAY since it aired?

(You guys will also be pleased to know that A and E online was offering a package of the BW Biography with the Pet Sounds sessions, of course I ordered it and then nervously paced every day waiting for it to arrive... I practically attacked the UPS man a few days ago, but all he had for me was some money... Can you imagine my dissapointment? (!) I called AandE to find out what the holdup was... it's now on backorder until late April. I think its safe to say the publicity Brian has been getting lately has created a whole new generation of BB fans.)

Anyway, Brian's impact on the music world just overwhelms me. I think his stone cold genius music has a way of creeping inside of you, if you let it. I heard once in a movie, "most people live on the world, not in it." I think this totally captures how we all feel about Brian's magic. Most people hear it, they just don't LISTEN. What amazes me is how TERRIBLY underrated Brian is with the American public. In my opinion, you can find thousands of Books on the Beatles or Elvis, but in bookstores I only found a few on the greatest musician that ever lived. Why is that? They left a footprint SO BIG on the musical path that all musicians at sometime must walk on, you can't hear ANY music today and not hear influences of Brian's and the BB.

As for KBANKS, I have the movie, and since I am going through the same thing, I will try to figure out a way to copy the tape that I have. It might take me awhile, but I won't forget about you.

To Fred S. you wrote, something about the drum crash at the beginning of the instrumental intro to Wouldn't it be Nice... I TOTALLY agree!!

In closing, here is my final thought: Mike Love's goofy stage presence- $5.00. An autographed LP of Pet Sounds-$500. A rare concer publicity poster from 1962- $2000. The impact that Brian Wilson had on the music world and the gifts he gave all of us...PRICELESS.

By Word Cleaver on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 09:41 am:

Hey Jeanne, isn't it amazing how many times you can play a three minute song, over and over and over, and each time you're hearing new things. It's like a mini symphony. And that vocal harmony with the sax and accordian, I don't know if that even belongs in the world of harmonics. It seems to go beyond to another world outside of space and time. It really is magic!

By Jeanne on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 07:38 pm:

Word Cleaver, I went back and listened again, because I was never aware of an accordian. I heard what must be the accordian, but I would never have recognized it as such. And don't forget the bass! And all the changes-mini-symphony is right.

Another thing I really love lyrically is that at first it sounds like he is talking about living together, but then, after Mike's part, Brian's sweet high voice says so tenderly, "we could be married, and then we'd be happy"--it is so the opposite of cynical(especially in these times) that I just love him for it.

It drives me crazy that the songs are only three minutes long. I hope that in the future PS concert they are all three times as long. I feel cheated by the way they just fade out so quickly. I never get enough. Actually, WIBN is the exception; it feels finished when it finishes. It could be extended for the concert somewhere in the middle. But You Still Believe in Me, and Sloop John B. should have gone on for a much longer time. Don't Talk,--who wants that to ever end? God Only Knows--keep it coming. You know that 9 minute Good Vibrations session? That's what I want to hear for PS. Guess I better get the PS box set!

You know one thing I really love about GOK(in addition to everything else)? The drums in the chorus. They are PERFECT. It seems he used drums sparingly but perfectly.

God, what a gift.

By Jeanne on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 07:44 pm:


Welcome to the club. I heard PS for the first time 8 months ago and I share your feeling of where have I been all my life, especially, as you have also said somewhere, that we will never see them in concert. Makes me sad if I let myself think about it.

By Maria on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 08:03 pm:

I am fifteen years old, and I have been listening to the beach boys and Brian Wilson solo stuff for about a year. I listen a lot to the beach boys, my family is starting to get sick of it. Sometimes I think, why am I doing this? It isn't very normal. And I think maybe I'll cut back a little. But then I listen to Pet Sounds, epscially God Only Knows, I'm hooked again.It's unbelievable what this man is capable of doing. He uses everyone's voice to their perfect potential.All the songs are so honest and they give me confidence, especially songs like don't back down.It's also great because everyone knows what this guy has gome through, so we appreciate it more.

By Mousey on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 08:18 pm:


Try Amazon.com for the A&E Biography video. I ordered it from them and got it in less than a week.

By baobob on Sunday, March 26, 2000 - 10:46 am:

I guess I first heard Brian's music in the form of a medley performed by a high school choir, when I was in 6th grade.
They sang pieces of Surfin' Safari, Surfer Girl and Surfin' USA (of course), and I kept singing them for years. I didn't know the words, but I never forgot the melodies.

In 10th grade I had a friend with a greatest hits CD (the one that ends with the California Dreamin' cover), and four songs on it just blew me away: God Only Knows, Caroline, No, Wouldn't it Be Nice, and Sloop John B. I bought Pet Sounds as soon as I could, and never turned back.
There were times (like when I was majoring in Music in college) when I would begin to doubt the quality of Brian's work. I would be listening to Bach, Beethoven or Mozart, and think to myself, "Pet Sounds can't be that good, or at least not this good." With that in mind, I would go back and listen to it again, and it always blew me away. Every time I listen to it I hear another reason to love it.

Sorry for the length, but I feel that I can never say enough about Brian's work. His unique use of harmony and 'pop' orchestration are like nothing else, he always ties the music to the emotion being conveyed, and very few people have explored the recorded human voice like he has.

By Merrell on Thursday, March 30, 2000 - 07:28 pm:

Hey Jeanne and to Everyone else Hello! Thanks for the welcome. I really do need to find a 12 step program. I can't stop myself from drowning in anything Beach Boys. Watching videos, listening to CD's, looking at information in all of the Beach Boys sites on the internet.

I'm on such a fantastic journey as everything about them is new to me! I've decided that I will try to collect all the old vinyl LP's. It has been really fun searching for them around town. (I guess this means I will have to re-purchase a turn table! I haven't had one since I was a kid!) Someone else on this board said something about liking to listen to BB on vinyl complete with the "pops and hisses". I can't wait.

Hope everyone here is doing well.

P.S. Have you guys heard anything about Brian doing a Pet Sounds tour with a full symphony? Supposed to happen this summer. Probably old news, but since I'm new to all this I'm very excited, even if its just a rumor. Can you imagine WIBN and GOK LIVE with a FULL SYMPHONY? Oh MY GOD!

By magicusp on Monday, April 10, 2000 - 12:54 pm:

I just recently became obsessed with Brian Wilson and his music, even though I never really followed the Beach Boys, because I discovered that Brian shares my b-day of June 20th, and I'm into spirituality and astrology. I'm learning about the similarities of people born on certain days, and I actually share so much in common with Brian it's scary. I'm a singer, songwriter, and I've dealt with my share of emotional/mental problems like social anxiety, being a loner, depression, etc. I'm also quite smart. I just finished reading his book and I know I must meet this man...reading so many of the lines in that book was like hearing my own thoughts. Also, he is the same age as my dad. Right now I look to Brian as my June 20th soul brother, or my rock'n'roll dad...I feel so grateful to have found him and his story because it is helping me so much face my own self-imposed limitations. I don't feel alone anymore in this world because of him.

My favorite tune so far is "I Know There's An Answer". I am looking forward to getting more & more CDs, right now I have Pet Sounds, Best of BB, and I Just Wasn't Made for These Times.

Does anyone know the address to Brian's management? Anyway, I'm so glad to be a part now of Brian Wilson lovers. Who knew someone like me was there all along...thank you Brian for your honesty and courage in sharing your story, thoughts and heart with us.

By astrogal on Monday, April 10, 2000 - 01:36 pm:

Dear Magiscusp,

If you are into astrology, you will appreciate this: Paul McCartney & Brian Wilson were born just 2 days apart, same year. (In my view) the two finest pop composers of the second half of the 20th century make a case for astrology!

By eran on Monday, April 10, 2000 - 04:30 pm:

One roommate is listening to it on repeat, another is offering to microwave it. (30 years
Box Set)
The songs stick like glue to our brains.

What other musical artists are comparable to Brian Wilson in approachability and feeling;
so that we can find other pieces to which we relate (even if in a completely different

I guess everything I was going to say has been said, twice.


By Just a girl on Monday, April 10, 2000 - 10:34 pm:

Why is Brian so special?

His physical being(presence)is surrounded by tiny sparks of light that explode into all the notes on the earth. Plentiful enough for the entire Universe. We, the fan, are but children dancing at his feet, joyously holding out our hands to catch the falling notes. That's my feeling on the innocence of Brian.

His being, surrounds our ears with sounds of perfection that touch our inner soul. Not just once, but everytime the sound is heard our soul sighs and we appreciate the experience over and over. Satisfying our adolescence insecurities that never leave us. That's my feeling on the generosity of Brian.

That's special!

By anne on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - 10:06 am:

nice post justagirl. :)

By Louise Mitchell & Mark Kingsmill on Friday, April 14, 2000 - 07:56 am:

I am writing this for my fiance, Mark, who is working at the moment, but I know that if he were able to see this page now and read everyones comments about Brian Wilson, he would be touched.

He has supported the Beach Boys ever since I can remember, so when it was announced that Bryan Wilson had passed away, I know he felt upset and lost that such a great group were no longer going to be the same.

I must admit, I wasn't a great fan myself of the Beach Boys when Mark and first met, but I can definately confirm that the group's unique harmonies and music grow on you!

I know Mark would have loved to have written a message on here himself about Brian, but I think I've managed to convey what a great loss and a shock it was for Mark when Brian died. Mark is still a strong supporter of the Beach Boys and has promised we will go to America after we are married to visit all the areas that the Beach Boys were based.

I can't wait!

By chimey chime on Friday, April 14, 2000 - 10:07 am:

Louise, that's a very touching message, but Brian's not dead. His brothers Dennis, who passed away in 1983 and Carl, who passed away in early 1998 are gone, but Brian is still with us.

By Neighbor John on Friday, April 14, 2000 - 03:12 pm:

Good lord, my heart nearly stopped.

By just a girl on Friday, April 14, 2000 - 05:53 pm:

My heart pounded, my brain fogged up and I was Frozen with fear. FROZEN

By Jon L on Friday, April 14, 2000 - 07:09 pm:

The misspelling of the name was the clue.

Now there may be some that act as if he's dead...

By Hmmmmmmmmm on Saturday, April 15, 2000 - 08:40 am:


By kbanks on Saturday, April 15, 2000 - 03:14 pm:

Who said that you may pick up your other music, but Brian keeps calling you back? It's so true. I am still unable to concentrate on television. I can go see movies, I am a huge movie fan, and I can rent movies. But the triteness and brain-numbingness of sitcoms and all of that other foolishness I just can't take. Not only that, I hear Brian in everyone's music now. I have ABBA on the CD Rom as I write this, and I hear Brian all over these songs, from the harmony and arranging of the voices, to the tambourines and accordians being on the same page and playing the same lines. I just love it. I am a fan of all kinds of music--huge gospel fan, Frank, Billie, hip-hop. And I still listen to my CD's, but every night, when I turn in, where I used to let Frank or Luther serenade me to sleep, now Brian does it every night. I just can't help it. He has received my ultimate honor--"California Girls" is on my answering machine. Here's the irony...I've had a couple of complaints about the song, you know, my friends giggle, and ask me what the heck I'm doing with the Beach Boys on my machine. But here's the irony--they're all chuckling and asking me why I have it on there, yet they know automatically who it is. A couple of weeks ago, I had "Good Vibrations" on it, and my girl left her message and ended with, "I'm not even going to comment on the Beach Boys." Now if it's so ridiculous, why do all of these non-Beach Boys fans know those songs instantly? Because the songs are ubiquitous and a part of our very consciousness. It's like democracy, those of us born here have always had it, it's a part of us, we know how it feels and can identify it, even though we don't know it. But I thought i was nuts, but I cannot get over this music. "I Just Wasn't Made for these Times" is my life. How did Brian eavesdrop on my life? Or better yet, I wasn't even born yet, so what is he, a prophet. I tell people, and I am not trying to be facecious, I really believe God wanted me to watch that ABC special. I hear God when I listen to BB's music. I hear innocence and purity. It just feels like Brian couldn't be deceitful or dishonest or anything like that if he tried. He's a true vessel because I can't even fathom anything in him but music. To imagine him driving, or eating, or sitting a sofa watching tv, or signing a check, or going to a lawyer's office seems to mundane for him to do. It's almost as if he's a spirit housed in flesh. But what we need to remember, or for some of us, learn, is that we are all spirits in flesh. If we all let our honesty and light and love shine, we would have the same effect on people, in whatever facet, that Brian has had on us. May God continue to bless and keep all of those who read this site. Also, please, still looking for help on getting a copy of the ABC Special--both nights. Also, does anyone have th Biography special on tape. Also, I hear there is a special on tape entitled, "I Just WAsn't Made for These Times." I apologize for the length. The girl can't help it. Also, for you Prince fans, there's a song on his "Parade/Under the Cherry Moon" soundtrack called "Would U Lie?" I listened to that CD for the first time in a long time, and I almost fell out. The song is pure Brian. Also, here's why I can't watch TV anymore--it doesn't inspire me. Brian has opened my eyes so much, he INSPIRES me to no end and I just need to be stimulated on this level--a spiritual level, and if I can't, I don't want any part of the activity. Am I the only one?

By Jon L on Saturday, April 15, 2000 - 05:36 pm:

There are a few others here that feel the same way...you're not alone.

I'm not a huge Prince fan, but on that VH-1 top 100 artists thing he was about the only other one (other than Brian) that's held in such high regard by the other musicians intervewed.

So how about a Prince/Brian Wilson collaboration? :) just kidding I guess


By Jeanne on Saturday, April 15, 2000 - 05:55 pm:

Hey, white board, someone answer KBanks' plea! I know one of you guys taped the movie!

KBanks, there's LOTS of us that feel that way!! I'm sure most on the board do. Thanks for posting; wish I could help you with that video but I didn't tape it. You know what though, you are only the second person who has referred to Brian as a prophet. A male friend of mine said that once in an e-mail. He was saying that if another prophet has come along since Brian that he was maybe just too white and priveleged to notice it. It was a lament. He was meaning that today's music doesn't speak to him a whole lot. great post and I'd be curious to know why your friends don't like the BBs. How do they see it?

By just a girl on Saturday, April 15, 2000 - 09:53 pm:

Hey Jon

I like your Prince/Brian Collaboration idea. Would that be a Brian motivator or personality combination thats out of this world?

I can't get past the High heal boots

By Louise Mitchell on Monday, April 17, 2000 - 12:15 am:

Thankyou chimey chime, and the others of you that pointed out my mistake - I told you I was not a real fan - unlike my fiance Mark!
The message I was suppose to add to the list should have been about 'carl' and Brian's great loss as a brother.
I apologise guys, sorry...

By Merrell on Thursday, April 20, 2000 - 01:57 pm:

I just had my first official heart attack. Don't scare the hell out of me like that!!!

Kbanks, I wrote a while back that I would try to help you with the ABC movie thing. I need a little more time, though. I did find the cables I thought I needed, and spent about an hour trying to get it to tape, but no luck. So I'm back to Circuit to ask a "tech" guy what I'm doing wrong.

To all BB concert veterans... I've never seen the Boys in concert, found out they were coming, and ended up with 3rd row seats. (!) I realize the show will be incredibly lackluster without Brian, but I've never had a chance to see any of them, and even though my personal opinion of Mike Love is not that great, if I died tomorrow, I'd kick myself for not going. Anyway, here is my point... My four year old LOVES the BB's. Maybe because that's all she hears... I know she would LOVE seeing the concert, but I am concerned about the volume when sitting so close. I realize this is no Metallica concert, but I still wonder about the sound. It will be in an amphitheater, but do you typically see a lot of children at Beach Boys concert considering the age of most fans? Any advice you could give would be wonderful! Thanks!

By Chipper on Friday, April 21, 2000 - 04:42 am:


People of all ages attend Beach Boys concerts, more so than BW concerts. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the volume...as you say, they're not Metallica. And, for the most part, the majority of speakers are on either side of the stage. So, if you're in the center section in front of the stage, you shouldn't have much of a problem. Enjoy the show for what it is...a celebration of great music with a couple of "real Beach Boys" trying to keep the spirit alive. I'm sure you, and your daughter, will have a great time.

By John on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 01:14 am:

At about 17 years of age I heard (I mean took notice) of "Good Vibrations", and because I play instruments, I was blown away by the masterpiece. One of the first masterpieces I heard was "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, and then with "Good Vibrations" it got better. Musically "GV" is magnificant, and so is it lyrically. But that's not all that is for offer, there's also the innocence of "Wouldn't Be Nice", that somehow reminds me of how simple life should be. Then there is the melodic "God Only Knows", which is of course the most spiritual. In my opinion this is what the Beach Boys is all about, not so much the Surf, Cars, and Babes. Sure, it was part of their image initally, but BBoys have more to offer then their earlier more well-known hits. 'Darlin' is so rich in sound, just like "Wild Honey'. The beauty of Carl's voice in these two tracks make it so powerful. Brian Wilson, is certainly the modern Mozart, and there is not a time that goes by where I don't think of his music when I write.
E-mail me about anything you like or I have said.

By Kev on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 07:18 pm:

Well, I had all but given up on this board but I'm glad I've checked back in. The posts on this thread are excellent. €€€ The first time I knew I was hooked: (I've written more extensively on this in the past but I didn't save the text) it was probably when I was 7 or so (1977), I would, hour after hour, play good vibrations until I was able to sing all the parts along with the record (incidentally the cd version of the song is a poor mix compared to the vinyl. Some integral parts disappear and are sorely missed). Before this I had loved the car and surf songs but was really creeped out by the rawness of "In my Room". After going through my teens (and succumbing to musical peer pressure in the form of Def Leppard et al and learning to play onanistic Steve Vai-style guitar and hardly ever listening to the BBs and Beatles) I came back to the beach boys in a big way. I remember throwing my hot-rodded guitar onto its stand and heading upstairs to play the piano that I had learned on as a kid (forced to take lessons from 6-12 yrs old) and just sitting down and realizing that I hated the crap I was listening to and playing. I found and plunked my way through a bad transcription of CG, then stopped to gather my thoughts. Then I went over to the stereo, found and put on GOK. And THAT WAS IT. I was in for life. I played GOK over and over and over, fascinated. (especially by those intertwining melodies at the coda). Then I put on GV and it was beyond perfect, intense, rich , intricate and dominant and sweet and eerie and spacious and filled to the breaking point with emotion. I went right back to the piano and began down the dire road to honest personal expression. €€€ A couple of years later an artist friend of mine turned me on to Pet Sounds. And then I went through the conversion phase that so many have described on this thread, where I had to know and hear everything and wallow in it. (It is like a religious conversion isn't it, a baptism of beautiful melancholy) I couldn't get enough and I couldn't stop listening, almost to the exclusion of everything else. I remember the wide-eyed realization I had that from Surfin' USA to CG to GOK to GV there was this ASTRONOMICAL (!) progression of beauty. I thought, man, Brian Wilson is Icarus and his wings are fuckin rockets! And I HAD to find out where he was going. If there was music further along the path he was on, it must be ridiculous! I was a mad, insatiable detective on the hunt for the next piece of the progression. I was NUTS! Once again I went to my Pet Sounds friend for answers. He put on H&V! Man, I flipped! Pschedelic Barbershop! And those arrangements! I wanted more! That song was done over 30 years ago! Where's all the in-between! €€€ Then, soberly, I was sat down and told the tale of the fate of BWs progression. And the legend of SMiLE. And I tell you, no more interesting Sunken Treasure Tale could ever be told. I could not believe it. The rocket had blown up! The sun was never reached. The progression had just... ceased. Ikarus, true to form, had burned up. €€€ My everything sank. And I returned to my life and my own music. And time passed. €€€ Then I heard about a BB album that came out in the 70s. And quickly I found the album. And on this album I came upon the song, "Til I die" and after it was over, I picked up the needle from the record and stood there and man that song was shattering to me ... beautiful, obsessive, and so melancholy. And I thought to myself, here is the closure. Here is what happened to the promise of Brian Wilson, this was the answer. An apology -- an explanation by our fragile pop music Icarus for his failure. This was his ode, the tale of his sad fate. No he didn't make it to the finish line, no, he never reached the Sun, and with all the soul and heartache the world has ever known, he was sorry. It was all he ever wanted. And now he is so, so lost and so, so very sorry. The shame of it, the utter overwhelming loss just ripped me open and I stared down into the abyss in my heart. And I began to cry. And I don't even know for how long I cried, just standing there by the stereo. But I cried long and hard and I just let it all out, every last bit of my life and my troubled soul. Finally, I just wiped my eyes and dropped the needle back down on the record. And there was Surf's Up.

By Barbie on Monday, May 1, 2000 - 10:16 pm:

The world can never give back to him what he has given to "us" Talk about the 60's "Love" era. He invented it and maybe he should have been the head "Beatle" You cannot imagine the world without the BeachBoys, the lifestyle he created. If you dare to in the millenium, if you dare to let your...."IMAGINATION"!!!! work, then it will!

By Rainwoman on Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 07:44 am:

I like your 5/1 message, it rings true.

By Barbie on Sunday, May 7, 2000 - 09:34 pm:

Thankyou, and I love you for saying so.

By Tox on Monday, May 8, 2000 - 11:16 pm:

Wow! I've kinda avoided this thread for several months, assuming by it's title that it would be full of unnecessary fluff. But i've been truly touched by the posts here! Brian has been a big musical influence on me, and I could only dream that anything I could write would ever reach people as it obviously has with his music. Thank you all for sharing!! For the record, Endless Summer was my first BB experience...That's all it took to show me what a special talent Brian had (even as a child, I would read the songwriter credits on the albums)...But when I later found Pet Sounds..well, let's just say it's great to find others who know exactly how I first fealt when I heard it! As for the TV movie, It is wonderful that it exposed many new people to the BeachBoys, but PLEASE remember that it is a severely flawed portrayal of Brian Wilson. I highly suggest you get the true facts through many of the well written biographies on the subject, which are listed on other threads on this board. Brian was/is much more than the drugged-out paranoid freak they made him out to be. And either way, he has always shined as a beautiful human being.

By BJ Wilson on Tuesday, May 9, 2000 - 06:01 am:

I always loved the Beach Boys and their music, but
as I got really busy raising a family, I kind of
lost touch. I never really knew that Brian wrote
all of their music until I watched a biography of Brian's life on the Biography Channel. I'd love to see it again. I don't know why, but I have a renewed interest in Brian and the Beachboys all over again. In fact when I go to the gym every day, I use tapes of their music to keep me moving.
Noone will ever replace them and their music!!

By kimmy kola on Friday, May 19, 2000 - 01:07 am:

"The Warmth of the Sun". Brian pulled the pain out of my heart and laid it down on vinyl. Brian is the C.S. Lewis of surf music.

By Maria on Friday, May 19, 2000 - 02:55 pm:

i think it was you're so good to me that initially knocked me out. and kiss me baby. i didn't know they could write songs like that.

By Just a girl on Friday, May 19, 2000 - 06:20 pm:

Try "Please let me wonder". I love that song. I LOVE it!

By pjgirl on Monday, May 22, 2000 - 05:18 pm:

Oh the beautiful music of Brian Wilson. I started liking the BB's in the 60's, but appreciated them more in the '70's when I got to see them in concert 3 times. The hits just kept on coming & I was amazed at all of them. Brian as an individual always impressed me. I particularly adore "Don't Worry Baby" and "God Only Knows". How anyone could write lyrics like: "I guess I should have kept my mouth shut when I start to brag about my car" sounds so sweet & melodic is pure genius to me. God Only Knows is one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL SONGS I have ever heard, or shall I say "experienced" in my life. I read the book Wouldn't It Be Nice & was truly amazed that my two favorites in the world Paul McCartney & Brian Wilson were born just days apart. I didn't think God created that many geniuses in one week way back in '42. Finally saw Brian perform last summer in Boston & will be seeing him again this summer in Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Casino. Can't wait. I got chills all night at the Boston concert, and truly appreciate the genius that is Brian Wilson. His life is inspiring & his music beyond compare. Imagination is simply marvelous. Love you Brian!

By Tracy on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 06:51 pm:


It's good to read all of the wonderful messages here. I thought that perhaps I was getting a little obsessive with Brian, but you all have convinced me that its NORMAL to react that way.
I too was inspired by the ABC BB movie, so I went out and bought Pet Sounds. In the last month I have spent over $300.00 in CDs, DVD's, and books, and there is so much more to go! It warms my heart to see that Brian has had such a wonderful impact on so many people, not only with his music, but with his life story. What a testimony to the human spirit

By Calvin Christensen on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 09:19 am:

Hey World,

Well I'm 17 years old and I love the Beach Boy's. My life is very much like Brian I'm enggaged and going marry my 1st true love and she is my surfer girl!!! The best song of them was In my Room and Fun Fun Fun!!!!! I have all the abulms!!!! ! 1 thing left to say the Beattles suck!!!!

By Bob Duncan on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 10:46 am:

I just read all the posts in the thread in one sitting, while listening to Brian/BB music. This is almost like reading the Bible! The soulful, spiritual theme seems to be a constant. And it is very encouraging to see than many of these posts come from many of the younger people.

When I was a young teen in the 60's, the Beach Boys were always all over the radio, plus my sister had lots of 45's of the singles and some albums, so I never bought any of my own. There was never any "epiphany" regarding this music, as it was part of the soundtrack of my life.

I bought a bunch of the Brian-less BB albums in the 70's and early 80's and remember getting into an argument with a local radio DJ when he broadcast his opinions about Brian being the "biggest waste case" in music. He ended up loaning me that "California Dreaming" hatchet job book, but that could never kill my admiration for Brian. (I've had that great Annie Liebowitz picture of Brian on the beach in his bathrobe with a surfboard in my office for about 15 years; again, the Biblical theme appears, as he seems like Moses holding the tablets)

The "second coming" of Brian for me was after the release of "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times". This new material was a refreshing change to the dreary, negative, angst-filled music of the 90's and provided evidence that Brian was definitely "back". I started buying up CDs of the older material, much of which I had never actually owned in vinyl. I NEVER get tired of any of this music and it always brightens my mood.

I'm going to see Brian on the Pet Sounds tour in Birmingham, AL on July 29 (if the tickets will ever go on sale). I can only imagine a concert full of "true believers", such as those who post here. I don't believe I've been quite so excited about a concert since I saw Fleetwood Mac a couple of years ago. They'll probably have to carry me out of there after the show.

By Bungalow Bill on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 08:19 am:

pjgirl , see ya at Mohegan Sun . Can't wait , either . Course , this time there it won't be Brian's birthday .

By Eric G on Sunday, June 4, 2000 - 05:52 am:

Brian is special obviously for the incredible talent he has.He is also special because he seems like such a loving person and gentle soul.It is a wonder Brian made it through the mess he had to put up with.

By Marmita13 on Sunday, June 4, 2000 - 10:17 am:

Great thread, here's my story. Have been
listening to the Beach Boys since buying my first
single in 1963 when I was 12 (SURFER GIRL) and
living in Michigan. Totally didn't get Pet Sounds
when it was released, didn't like CAROLINE NO or
SLOOP JOHN B, but they redeemed themselves on
DARLIN', SAIL ON SAILOR, etc. Moved to California
in '68 when I was 16. My rediscovery of Beach
Boys was stimulated after seeing the movie
SHAMPOO, where WOULDN'T IT BE NICE ran over end
credits - a perfect cinematic moment. Suddenly
remembered what a great great song that was.
Bought several of the vinyl albums and spent
Summer of '75 in Pacific Palisades, CA listening
to 20/20, Beach Boys in Concert, All Summer Long.
This was one of the years that Brian spent "in his
room..." - I wish now I'd driven over to Bellagio
and gone to visit. In '78, a friend gave me a
copy of David Leaf's book, which stimulated my
discovery of PET SOUNDS, which I've played ever
since. Another Brian renaissance in the summer of
'88 when BRIAN WILSON was released - played it
daily. Brian's such a part of my daily life now,
can't imagine NOT hearing his music every day.
Summer of '97, I was working in London, where the
Beach Boys are revered - heard WOULDN'T IT BE NICE
in a trendy clothing store on Regent Street. Ran
to Tower Records Picadilly and bought the box set.
Play CD 3 nearly every day, have created several
different CD's for driving including ULTIMATE
for driving. For the last six months, my work
commute has been from the San Fernando Valley to
West Hollywood over Mulholland. BW/Beach Boys are
perfect driving music. I know Brian lives off
Mulholland (don't know where) and Dennis lived in
Benedict Canyon (Yoakum Drive I believe) with
Karen Laam. It's a really cool experience driving
in that magical LA twilight through the hills and
canyons where so much music was created listening
to that very music. BTW, I did follow the BUSY
DOING NOTHING directions to the Bellagio house.
They work. Interesting aside - my husband and I
were coming back from the Dennis Wilson book
signing a few weeks ago at Chez Jay in Santa
Monica. We decided to go check out the Bellagio
House (My husband is also a big fan, very tolerant
of my BW obsession) decided he wanted a closer
look, so he went and peeked through the gate. Out
came a security guard - I thought to chase us
away. I sat in the car idling at the curb as the
Rolls and Jags passed us. There was my sweet
hubby chatting away with the security guard - who
was about our age (baby boomer). The security
guard had been working in Bel Air since the late
'60's and was a graduate of Hawthorne High. He
had known Dennis and Carl and proceeded to tell
several stories about the 60's and '70s in that
part of Bel Air - back in the days when there was
no security and the Mamas and the Papas threw big
parties and anyone could walk in. (Unfortunately,
making things easy for people like Charlie
Manson). Amazing things happen around the Beach
Boys and you find fans in the most amazing places.
Brian's influence is amazing. Only yesterday, I
was driving down Benedict Canyon to a baby shower
and discovered a cut at the end of CD4 of the box
set - AIRPLANE. So sweet, an amazing little BW
solo "The sun shines down on the great big
beautiful sea..." made me cry. I love Brians
amazing soul and all he's given musically to us

By Gina on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 04:34 am:

Andrew, seems to me sime of these stories would make a nice birthday gift to Brian. Wish he could see some of them.

By Just a Girl on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 07:37 am:

Maybe we should send an e-mail to the David Letterman show and invite them to come read our posts. They could read some of our posts to Brian on the air.

Just a thought.

By Bullman on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 01:02 pm:

.....and a GREAT thought it is! Chase that one, Just a Girl, it's only a few clicks away and I'd be willing to bet you (we) would see some type of mention of it. There's a ton of soul on this thread and it's a terrific crosscut view of the psyche of Brian's fans. Go for it!

By Gina on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 03:36 pm:

Providing that he only read the ones that honored Brian. Remember, Letterman goes for laughs.

By Elena on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 07:59 pm:

Brian's work reminds me of some things I studied in my American Literature class this year. I wrote a paper about Ernest Hemingway's writing and its ties to Imagistic poetry and noh. All three of these seem simple at first but are actually complex, just like Brian's work. The brain actually has to process the information a little differently than usual, and the person ends up with more of a sense or feeling of its meaning rather than a concrete idea. It's not as verbal. Am I making any sense? Maybe I'm not explaining this well.

Someone posted that God Only Knows brings out emotions that they forgot they had. I'm only 16, and sometimes Brian's music brings out emotions I didn't realize I'd developed yet. Hemingway wrote that he wanted to "make people feel something more than they understood," and Brian's music does this to me more than any other.

By Just a Girl on Monday, June 5, 2000 - 09:59 pm:


For you, I have chased the thought and Gina, for you, I have asked for respect. We will see what they think.


From this day forward, cherish every breath that you take and make wonderful memories. It's only just begun girl.

Wouldn't it be nice.......

By Andrew Gladwin (Andrew) on Tuesday, June 6, 2000 - 06:42 am:

thanks for the thought, "Just A Girl", and the caution, Gina. Being deprived of some aspects of American culture, I don't know what David Letterman is all about, though the same is familiar.

this has been a great thread, and if it does ever run out of steam or become unmanageable, it will go straight to the archive. certainly the "spirituality" of the music is a recurring theme. interesting note, just reading a description of the 1999 tour on the official site, it described the touring group having prayer sessions just before going onstage.

By kgd on Tuesday, June 6, 2000 - 08:58 am:

Elena -- I bet your paper scored top marks. Applying Hemmingway's comment, ("to make people feel something more than they understood") to Brian's music is a great insight. I kind of sensed that, especially when listening to Pet SOunds, but never really formed the words to accompany the feelings I get from the music. I understand how I feel a little better now, having read your post.

For me, listening to The Beach Boys and especially songs written and arranged by Brian, is a different experience to listening to any other music -- even the Beatles. With other music that I've been "into", I start out thinking "that's a great song", which then becomes "an excellent song" and then after a finite number of listens, I've heard it enough and understood and eventually get a little bored with hearing it too often. WIth the Beach Boys, I must be honest, I haven't always been "wowed" on a first listen. But the more I listen, the more -- NOT the less -- enthralled I become. It goes from good, to great, to outstanding, to perfect the more I listen, and I never tire of hearing Friends, or SMiLE or Wild Honey or Smiley Smile, or gems here and there like "the Night is So Young" and I also love the early albums. I feel like I've never had enough. I haven't really listened to anything apart from The Beach Boys for the last 8 months, and I'm still getting excited by new sounds I notice, new instruments, a subtle vocal nuance I hadn't really appreciated before. That, to me, is where the difference lies. I can wear out other music relatively quickly by playing it all the time -- after so long I don't want to hear it anymore. Not so with Brian's music. I don't know if and when I'll ever think "no, I wont play that. I've heard it too many times".

Brian's music helped me through a time of deep despair. I'll always be thankful I discovered the music at that time, because it was healing and beautiful. Still is.

By Chipper on Tuesday, June 6, 2000 - 09:08 am:

One of the things that amazes me about this board, and about Brian's music, is the constant turnover and discovery by new fans.

It's wonderfully amazing that an intelligent sixteen year old girl found the perfect words to describe what we long time fans have been having a hard time verbalizing.

Elena -- you're a special young lady....and you have great taste in music. Welcome! Surf's Up!

By Gina on Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 04:38 am:

Yes, and not only does Brian's music make you feel new things and in a different way, it drives people to try to explore those feelings in writing, and we get these great posts.
And thank goodness we have a forum for them.

By Elena on Wednesday, June 7, 2000 - 12:55 pm:

Thanks for the big welcome! You're right, kgd: my paper did score an A+ . . . :) I think it's awesome how many things can be analyzed through literature. Just a Girl: can't wait to "cherish" and "make wonderful memories!"

This is a great thread. It's so nice to have a place where we BB freaks can congregate!

By Surfin' Avenue D on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 05:21 pm:

I've been surfing past this thread for months, reading but not knowing how exactly to answer it for myself. But I'm sitting here at work today, spinning Pet Sounds Sessions while I work, and I think I finally have an answer. It's pretty simple, actually. Brian's music makes me feel good, not only about myself, but the world too. There is hope for us as long as there are those who can write and perform such beautiful music, and those who can appreciate it for what it is.

By Bob Duncan on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 10:01 pm:

Ditto Chipper's comments on Elena. Every time I see some young teen getting into my kind of music, I always think "there's hope for the world yet." I'm always amazed at how BW's music transcends generations, proof of his genius and to paraphrase one of the other poster's "today's Mozart".

Bob Duncan
Madison, AL

By Bungalow Bill on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 11:44 am:

We really can't attach 'age' to Brian's music . Oh , some arrangements and lyrics might date it and because it was released it the '60's we associate with that period . But unlike most music of that decade , it still feels fresh in 2000 . Those gorgeous melodies alone , would shine through in any century in any clothing , ingeniously designed for the times . Those gorgeous melodies were sent from heaven which has no clock . They would've dazzled any generation even if it were just Brian's voice and a piano....or klavier or synth . I see no surprise in new generations enjoying them and no surprise in the older generation never tiring of them . If man-made religions can endure , heaven-sent music surely will .

By Benducci on Tuesday, July 11, 2000 - 04:42 pm:

This is a great string topic because we all have been posed this question before. What we like so much about the Beach Boys, or Brian Wilson…not that the two can be separated. I was asked this by my niece one summer vacation when she came to enjoy her time off from school in Colorado here with her aunt and I under the California sun. The tone of her question to some may have seemed from a too hip for BB way of thinking. I told her my thoughts on the unique sound, the distinct harmonies, Pet Sounds, the influence and the amazing body of work. As I spoke with her I began reading between the lines I realized that she was really asking me the question and not making a statement. She REALLY wanted an answer because she wanted to feel okay about enjoying it too. I had given her the text book answers yet I didn’t really feel convinced myself and I could tell she wasn’t sold either. Then, one day we drove on down to Newport Beach. I went into the ocean…dropped head first into the swell and then stood there just past the first break…waist high with my hands gliding through the water. She caught up to me, boogie board strapped to her wrist, and found me smiling there in the warmth of the sun. She was smiling too…teeth chattering a bit from the cold. I told her that “THIS is what it’s all about…the best of times.” I then reminded her about asking me why I liked the Beach boys so much and then told her because hearing them makes me feel this good. She looked out at the ocean like she was soaking in the memory of it. Funny thing…we both got the answer to the big question at the same time I guess. On the way home I put the ragtop down, popped in a personal favorite BB tape and cranked it up. Not only was she not embarrassed but surprised me by knowing all the words. Funny thing about music how it connects to a moment and takes you right back to the best of times. She returned home to Colorado with a bit of understanding…and oh yes..my tape. A hundred years from now it’ll still be an endless summer.

By Andrew Bee on Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - 09:29 pm:

Easy question to answer for all us BW fans, without going into all the details that everybody knows. Brians lyrics, sounds, arrangements, harmonies, instruments, and compositions, are all truly a combination of messages from the heart.

I now 'know there's an answer' after hearing Brian Wilson.

By Clay M. on Friday, July 21, 2000 - 08:59 am:

I became aware of Brian Wilson in 1991, about the time his "autobiography" came out. I saw an interview or two with him (which were quite disturbing) and began to piece together the plot in my head -- demented genius, beautiful music. I saw the book in my hometoqn library soon after, but stayed away -- the Brian presented in its pages was rather dour and angry.

I heard interviews and features about Brian and the boys on NPR in 93 (with the box set) and 95 (with the two Brian albums of that year). I finally decided to get pet sounds and the Good Vibrations I CD. I also picked up "IJWMFTT" and Orange Crate Art.

I liked it all, and there was no mistaking--while I appreciated the talents of the others guys in the band (Carl's voice and surf guitar licks, Mike's canny lyrics) I was a Brian fan from day one. I also knew from the beginning of my fandom that his voice had changed, that HE had changed--as was obvious from the 95 disks. Quite frankly, I didn't get into Pet Sounds too much then. I appreciated it as a brilliant feat of arranging and production, but it didn't click. I far preferred the craggy vocals on "IJWMFTT."

The summer of 96, I finally picked up the boxed set, which was my official entry into BB fandom. It changed the way I listened to music, and I loved it (still love it) all. The enxt step was Brian's 88 solo album. What was left but gradually aquiring twofers, the critical Brian bootlegs, etc. etc.? The collection, and my appreciation grew. I saw the group in the summer of 97 (Carl's last tour). 1998 was dominated by Brian's new solo record, and I subsequently picked up tapes of his solo shows. Early 99, I saw Al's group.

Now I have the Roxy, drove three hours to get the 70's re-releases, and am going to go to Denver to see Brian in September.

But why?

Well, Brian speaks to me as a musician and a human being. I'd love the music without the man, and I'd love the man without the music. The quirkiness of the 88 album would attract me without the painful story of its creation. I love the textures and feelings of the music. I love the painfully honest lyrics Brian wrote. I lvoed the way the music and meaning is honest, but playful, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes nearly unlistenable. But it all fits together somehow, the crappy and the purely brilliant, all giving this kind of musical thing life and breath and emotion.

I don't know if I've ever heard such perfect music (and that goes for some of Brian's most recent work, like "This Isn't Love" or "Some Sweet Day" all the way back to "Lana" and "Surfer Moon.") Along the way I was turned on to Dennis and Carl, who both managed somehow to tap into the same thing compositionally, albeit for a shorter time. It reaches out uncritically to me, and I accept it and listen and love it. Brian calls it "spiritual," which isn't a word I like to use because the frequent repetition of it in both the BB and context of popular culture make it disturbingly vague.

But their is an open-heartedness to the songs, there are hooks, there are soulful, pained, broken or joyous vocals. They refelct nearly all musical styles, all moods, all levels of quality. The songs relate a story of their creators and they relate our stories too. This is USEFUL music, as useful as a bath towel or hammer, or clothing. It refreshes you, calms you down, pumps you up. You hear it in the world around you.

It has become ubiquitous in my life. I listen to it all the time. I'll go away for awhile, but I'm always drawn back in. It is, to me, intensely personal. The music is separate from the group, as if they birthed it, sent it out tohe world, and it is something greater, more meaningful, than any drugs, depressions or infighting could be. Those things only make the loveliness of the music more miraculous.

It has provided my life with love and sound. It is loving music--it asks for my love. And I love it back.

By Gina on Friday, July 21, 2000 - 12:55 pm:

Thanks for that, Clay. I really liked what you said about the music being useful. This thread never ceases to amaze me. No matter how often people answer the question, there's always new, personal insight being expressed.

By Sheila Decker on Saturday, July 22, 2000 - 10:44 am:

I've been reading this thread for some months now, and each time I'd think about adding a post I'd get intimidated...so many thoughtful, articulate people were stating what I felt, I thought whatever I could add would be superfluous. But, I've finally gotten up the gumption to speak, so here goes...
I simply cannot remember a time when I didn't know Brian's music. I was born in Oct. of 1961, and my parents were (and still are!) big fans of both the BB's and the Beatles, so I heard this from my first breath. Maybe this is why I feel it's been woven so deeply into the fabric of my soul. There was a period of time when I moved away from what I then percieved as "my parents'" music, during my teenage years, and then in my early 20's I was busy getting married and raising small children, so my priorities had shifted away from being a "music freak", to being a mom...I was mainly listening to what was getting radio airtime back then. All that changed the day my husband came in the door with a CD and said "Sheila, you"ve GOT to hear this!" Before I could even see what he had, he put the CD on the player, turned it up, and suddenly, there was this song, this amazing, heartfelt song about love and the importance of being compassionate and tender with those around you...I got goosebumps over my entire body, and just started to cry... that was my "Oh, my God!" moment, my epiphany, and I'll always remember that moment with joy because it was when I was reawakened to Brian's incredible music. What makes this music, above all others so special for me? Everyone else on this thread has given answers that ring true for me as well...how it's a magical merging of brilliant musical technique with emotional expression...I also like the comment above about Brian's music being "useful". In the end, though, for me it's the simple truth that Brian's music fills a place in my soul that would otherwise be empty, and that if I had lived my life without ever experiencing it, I'd be a lesser human being. Looking back over what I've written, I think that if's Brian's mission was to put love out there, from him to the world, he's definitely suceeded with me!

By Gina on Saturday, July 22, 2000 - 02:58 pm:

Which song was it, Sheila?

By Sheila Decker on Saturday, July 22, 2000 - 04:47 pm:

Oops, I guess I left that out, didn't I? The year was 1988, and the song was "Love and Mercy" from Brian's first solo album...

By NorCalSurfer on Monday, July 24, 2000 - 02:16 pm:

Clay, that was beautiful!

By Jeff on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 02:09 pm:

Just read the last eight or ten posts on this thread and I'm sitting here, the Surf's Up album playing in the background, and I've got tears in my eyes.

By sonny on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 07:34 pm:

tissue anyone?

By Wayne Pearson on Saturday, July 29, 2000 - 08:32 pm:

Being an old geezer, I first heard the Beach Boys
when they released Surfin' USA. Brian Wilson and the boys have had such an impact on music that it is easy to see the influences in many other artists today. What was so special about the early 60s hits was that nobody, absolutely nobody sounded like them. Sure Jan and Dean were around but the Beach Boys were it. I was 12 when I first heard I Get Around on the radio. It was unlike anything else that was being played. The acapella intro, the harmonies, the sheer power of the music made everything else pale in comparison. Not even the Beatles could match this stuff. The other aspect of Brian Wilson's music and certainly the Beatles also was the incredible rate at which it became more complex, more sophisticated and more beautiful. In about 4 years you would go from Surfin' Safari to Pet Sounds. Nobody does this anymore! You don't see that type of development in a Pearl Jam or even an REM. What makes Brian Wilson so special ? He simply is one of the most talented musicians to ever grace this planet !

By Bungalow Bill on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 - 09:11 am:

Quite simply : I've heard more God in Brian's music than in all the organized religions combined .

By carolineno on Saturday, August 5, 2000 - 12:42 am:

Since I met Bri this past week, (See "Bri Performing PS at Chastain Park, Atlanta, GA" in this "Messages" area) my view of him has been altered for life. (I was already a die-hard "Brianista," but now....) Talking with Brian, he seems "other-worldly." Listening to him, is like listening to God's word thru Brian. Looking at Bri while he spoke, was like seeing God. Bri has always referred to his own music as "spiritual." Well, now I finaly "GET IT!" This is an experience that will take some adjusting to!

Murry was right when he said that Bri, at age 2, was Special!!

Surf's Up!

By Pete Best on Tuesday, August 8, 2000 - 09:20 am:

Gratitude to all for covering much ground on why Brian Wilson's music is special. With a keen grasp of the obvious, I might add a good word on how special his life has been.

In many cases, knowledge of the artist demeans the art. Not so with Brian Wilson. It has been said by various sayers that Brian Wilson is the greatest composer of the last 40, 50, 75 years, depending on who was speaking. Well, the man's bloody biography is one of the greatest STORIES of the last so many years, as well! It's the envy of novelists, playwrights, and screenwriters, and of this I have no doubt!

All-American boy lives a life of extremes: sensitivity and abuse, longing, talent, innocent ambition, commercial success, family drama, artistic ambition, supreme artistic achievement, and a harrowing, bizarre collapse. And the little eccentricities mixed with the melodrama never cease to amaze! For instance, Brian the lost soul to his exasperated wife: "I want to feel what it's like to be a bum and live on the street." Later he's rescued from a bar where he's playing for drinks! There are so, so many unique anecdotes, great and small, chaptered throughout his stunning annals.

If Shakespeare had lived today, he would've followed "Julius Caesar" with "Brian Wilson." Imagine: "Et tu, Mike Love?" (Oh, the cheapness of it! Sorry.) Fortunately, the story probably doesn't end that way. Imagine the drama if Brian Wilson had succumbed and died along the way. Now understand that the plot has been enriched exponentially by the fact that he has survived. THAT is the true twist, the surprise ending! And this man gives to his admirers to this day, even while trying to salvage just a little peace.

What did it for yours-humbly was "I Know There's an Answer" echoing through a record shop. A shock to the old system, that! I felt as Carl did when he heard the playback of "Sloop John B": "There was something so... thrilling about it."

By Kathie on Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - 12:14 pm:

Someone wrote about the decline in Brian's voice before his talent declined. This is so true. But, you know what? We go to his current concerts and we don't care that he can't hit the high notes; we don't care that he botches the lyrics to "California Girls" and says, "Boy, I really screwed that one up," we don't care that he is flat on the beginning of some of the songs.
What we *do* care about is that this is Brian, and we love him, and we are in awe just to be in the same room with this man!

By Anthony on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 03:18 pm:

What a fantastic thread!

I first heard Brian's music in 1963, when my older sister bought "Surfin' U.S.A.' and "Surfer Girl"; I remember how everybody thought it was great how the group had expanded their sound with the "Surfer Girl" and "In My Room" ballads. In 1964, she got the "Shut Down Vol. 2" album, and we loved listening to "Fun Fun Fun!" and "Don't Worry, Baby". Around this time the Beatles got going, and my sister collected their records as well, but the Beach Boys were still very popular, especially at the cottage in the summertime. Along the way, I heard other Brian hits, including "I Get Around", "Help me Rhonda", "Barbara Ann" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice", but it was in December 1966 that something really special happened: My sister brought home a new 45 and said "this record is really going to amaze ˙ou!" and then played me "Good Vibrations" Wow, I really went into another world; this record represented exactly how I felt when I saw a pretty girl- I mean it replicated the feeling,or should I say cloned the feeling in my mind and in my body. I have never again experienced that with any record ( I was ten at the time ).

For her birthday in 1968, my sister got the "Wild Honey album"; we adored it, and it had two hit singles so we didn't realize that the Beach boys were in trouble. We weren't sophisticated enough in production values to recognize the extreme change in production; all we knew was that "Wild Honey" (the song) had that weird instrument (the Theremin) and that this was the follow-up to "Good Vibrations". But by this time we were also listening to Jimi Hendrix's first album and the Beatle's White album, so the times wre changing. I got a rude awakening to this fact when, in 1969, for a class party I brought along "Wild Honey", and it didn't last three song on the turntable. By the time "Here Comes the Night" was playing, there were loud comments being made to "Take that sucky crap off, and put on "Led Zeppelin II"!!"I nearly burst into tears, and could not understand why people couldn't love both Zeppelin and Brian Wilson. But the era where you could bring along Beach Boys music to a party was officially "over". It's interesting to note that this was the same year that Murry wilson sold Brian's songs to Herb Alpert- Murry's opinion that nobody was going to listen to those songs ever again was the majority opinion at the time.

In 1970, I saw "Sunflower"in a record store, and thought "There's the new Beach boys album- they're still making millions of dollars"; I still didn't understand that they were in big career trouble. the folowing year (1971), I remember the Brother Reprise ad campaign that promised a free copy of their new album "Surf's Up" if you sent a copy of "Surfin' Safari" to them along with one penny. I searched through our record collection and was disappointed that we didn't have that early Lp. So, I went to the local record store and bought my first ever Brian record, "Surf's Up".

Since "Surfer Girl", where Capitol thanked Brian for producing the album, I knew that he was the leader, the chief sonwriter, and the creative force behind the band; but I also always believed that Brian was the bass voice in the group ( as he was the tallest one!). Consequently, when I listened to "A Day In the Life of a Tree", I assumed it was Brian who sang the lead. I also loved "Til I Die", "Surf's Up", "Take Good care of Your Feet" and "Don't Go Near the Water" (especially the ending, which reminded me so much of "Good Vibrations"). This became a "cool" lp, and I could actually take it to parties!

"Holland" came out the folowing year, and a friend played it to me, and I admit to liking "Sail on Sailor", but it didn't sound like the Beach Boys to me. And when I heard the "Fairy Tale", I just found it embarrassing; I didn't buy the album.

In 1974, an amazing development took place: "Endless Summer" went to number one on the charts, and everybody was playing it at parties; I couldn't figure it out- every song was pre-1966! In retrospect, this was a key moment in Brian wilson's music: for the first time, it became a pan-generational phenomenon. One of my favourite pictures of Brian is him sitting in his pool, surrounded by floating white flowers and holding a copy of the platinum award for "Endless Summer" with a slightly embarrassed look on his face; perhaps he was just as surprised as his older fans were that his music meant something to a new generation.

In 1976 something happened which would change my relation to Brian's music forever: Timothy White wrote a brilliant article in "Crawdaddy Magazine" which included a career retrospective and recent interviews with Brian, Carl, Dennis and Van Dyke Parks ( among others). This was the first article I ever read which treated Brian as an artist, and not just a pop music phenomenon ( although I now realize that Tom Nolan wrote a similar article for "Rolling Stone" in 1971, and Paul Williams had published a wonderful conversation with David Anderle about Brian in "Crawdaddy" in 1968).For me, this was the watershed, and I thought about Brian and his musc in a fundamentally different way from that day forward.

1976 was, of course, the beginning of the "Brian's Back" campaign, and I bought "15 Big Ones" and "Love You" and was not suprised at Brian's voice, as in my mind he always had the low voice! I watched him just before Christmas on the "Saturday Night Live" show, and I adored his renditions of "Back Home" and "Love is a Woman"; I regretted his attempt at "Good Vibrations". And I attended a Beach Boys concert in Toronto in Nov. 1976, which featured Brian and several songs from his 2 new albums; at the concert, Brian was extremely energetic, running around the stage, hopping over amplifiers, playing his bass on several songs, including "Surfer Girl" and a version of "Back Home" which rocked the crowd!

Then, almost as soon as it had begun, it was over: "M.I.U."came out, and Brian was no longer producing; it seemed as though Mike and Al had taken over the band, and the album was weak. "Rolling Stone" printed a famous story about how the band had had a huge argument at an airport, and that Dennis believed the band to be finished; in my mind, it was the finish of the band, as artists. The "M.I.U.", "L.A." and "Keepin' the Summer Alive" albums came out, and I thought they sucked; they both bombed, and that was pretty much it: Brian slipped under the radar screen once more. For some reason, I felt really burned by the whole affair.

In 1985, "The Beach Boys" album came out, and I didn't even bother to buy it: it wasn't produced by Brian, so i knew it couldn't be very good ( my opinon didn't change after listening to it). And so I wrote Brian off, believing that it truly was over.

In 1988, a friend of mine bought the "Brian Wilson" album, and said I should give it a listen; I replied that I'd been burned by that guy before, and I wasn't interested in repeating the experience. She had to work on me for about a month, and finally succeded in getting me to give it a try- and another miracle happened: I loved it! This was the album I'd been waiting for since "Surf's Up"! The clarity, the harmonies, the melodies, the quirky rhythms, the natural lyrics, the terific production- and of course, Brian's magic- all the essential "Brian" elements were there!! I quickly re-started my Brian collection of Lps, 45's, cassettes and cd's, and I've never again abandoned Brian since that day.

In 1991 I bought his autobiography, and loved it; I still think it's a good ghost-written account of his life. And I eagerly awaited his new album, "Suite Insanity". But of course, everything changed ( again) at that point, and I had to eventually get the album as a bootleg; I don't like bootlegs, as the artist gets no royalties, but it remains one of my favourite Brian albums. To me, there are two sides to Brian's music: the melancholic ballad side and the rockin' side: "Suite Insanity" represents his "rockin'" side, and it also contains some of his best singing in the last 30 years ( not to mention some of his best songs); In my opinion, it's a much stronger album than "Imagination", which sounds too generic to me (except for the older material on it).

I also find the Van Dyke and the Don Was albums to be very bland, but I'm a big fan of the "Andy Paley Sessions" ( again, unfortunately only available as a bootleg).

This year has, of course, been very special in so many ways: the wonderful A&E biography,the fantastic new album( which includes one of the best songs and performances of his career:"This Isn't Love") and the miracle tour. I feel so privileged to have gotten 19th row centre seats for Brian's Toronto show last month, and it was one of the musical highlights of my life: his singing was so strong in some places, it was an absolute miracle. The band is perfect, of course, but it seems to me that it's this tour which has finally established him in the general public's mind as an artist of the ages. To listen to Brian Wilson sing lead on three sets of songs ( one of which was the whole "Pet Sounds" album) in the year 2000, and to hear him sing those songs with such a strong spirit- well, it's just awe-inspiring!

So, hear we are, in 2000, waiting for a new live album, and a new studio album, and maybe some songs from "Suite Insanity" and "The Andy Paley Sessions"and the Tony Asher sessions, all from our musical hero, Brian Wilson, and who could have guessed, back in 1963, that long after I'd stopped listening to The Beatles, and Zeppelin, and Hendrix and so many others, that I would still be waiting for the latest from the leader of the Beach Boys?

Many years ago Alan Jardine said that Brian's songs were made out of steel- they were built to last. And David Leaf called Brian a healer ( a magical healer?). But in all the thousands of words written about Brian, has anyone really come close to adequately describing and explaining the magic of his music? I doubt that it can be done- we must simply listen, and feel.


P.S.: Sorry that this was so long, to anybody who might finish it!

By zippity on Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - 02:46 pm:

What makes Brian Wilson's Music Special ?


1. I can't think of any other individual (there probably are others) who combine superb songwriting with an incredible voice AND have the production/studio skills that Brian did. The Beatles used George Martin as a producer and Lennon/McCartney to write songs. Brian was those three rolled into one. He has a clever understanding of sound and the way in which different instruments combine. He is technically very competant.

2. He never reached his peak. When Pet Sounds came out he was just a kid- 23 years old ! By the time he was 25 he was a mentally ill drug addict, and never the same person again. We never got to hear him at his creative peak. Yet, even in this depressed and dishevelled state, he was able to produce delightful tunes (Til I die, Keeping Busy doing nothing, I went to sleep) that reflected his sad state of mind.

3. His music is somehow uplifting and doesn't sound like other artists tunes- it really is a cut above the 'norm'.

By matt on Tuesday, September 5, 2000 - 04:45 am:

No one else could fill a seemingly harmless, goodtime song like "I Get Around" with hook after hook and so many changes (this being two years before "Good Vibrations") like Brian Wilson! That, in a nutshell, is why I think he is the master - he could play both sides (pop/progressive, casual fans/music scholars...) and make it count. His recordings and songs don't show their age even thirty-some years later!

By Vinegar Tits on Friday, September 8, 2000 - 10:08 pm:

His rich harmonies and sounds make me feel so full as a person. I just love the sound of his falsetto voice and adore his arrangements. I could just squeeze him for all the music he inflates in me.

By joan ferguson on Saturday, September 9, 2000 - 03:33 am:

wentworth detention centre rocks to the boys every week; the scres and cons both love brian

By Doug Erhard on Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - 10:45 am:

I once heard an episode of Shickely Mix (by
Peter Shickely of PDQ Bach fame) that was
done on Pet Sounds. I don't know if you can
get the recording of that show, but it was the
first time I had heard about Pet Sounds (I was
in the tub at the time!), and I went right out and
bought it.

Paul McCartney has said that Pet Sounds was
his inspiration for what he did on Sgt.
Pepper's. So, maybe it was the Beach boys
and not The Byrds that were America's answer
to the Beatles??

By Purple Girl on Friday, September 15, 2000 - 11:09 am:

I have been a huge fan of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys since the early 60's. I have every album and tape I could get my hands on. I fall asleep every night listening to "Pet Sounds", "Brian Wilson at the Roxy", "Imagination" and "Califoria Gold", "Endless Summer",Good Vibration" etc.. I even took them on my recent trip to Scotland. You know when you can't sleep in different beds then your own. My bonus was if I couldn't sleep, at least I got to listen to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys all night.
I got to go to see Brian Wilson in concert July 20 in Toronto and it was awesome!!!! His new band and background singers were great. I think Brian still has a wonderful voice, sure he can't sing the high notes but Jeff Foskett does a wonderful job. Brian is a true musical genius who writes and sings his own music. How many other musicians at 57 sound and look as Brian Wilaon does? My daughter went with me to the concert and wasn't really a Beach Boys or Brian Wilson Fan but after the concert she was. I hope we have encouraged Brian to go on more tours because I was one of the ones at his concert yelling and clapping from the audience to show my devotion to him and his music. By the way I'm over 60 and proud of it. How many of us can say we have accomplished as much as Brian Wilson has in our life time? I couldn't believe I was actually so close to him in person. I was about half way down but wished I was closer. I cried at many songs he sang like: In My Room, Kiss Me Baby, Til I Die (my personal favorite which I've probably listened to 100 times since I went to the concert in July.
Ilove the new songs on the Imagination tape like: She says That She Needs Me, Your Imagination as well as some of his older songs: Good Vibrations,The Warmth of the Sun, When I Grow Up to Be a Man, God Only Knows, Wouldn't it be Nice?
Some of his songs are so sad but his love for his listeners still shines through. I have the video of his life"Brian Wilson, A Beach Boys Tale" which I watch over and over. I also have the 1985 tape" The Beach Boys, An American Band". I didn't like the TV version of the Beach Boys Life, I found it too sad. I really miss Dennis and Carl.
Dennis sang beautifully some songs like "You are So Beautiful to Me" before drugs and drinking messed him up and Carl handled Brian's parts after he left the band and will also be remembered as the peace maker of the Beach Boy. Thank God, that Brian Wilson survived and can still bring us his beautiful music.
If anyone would like to talk to me about Brian Wilson I have an e-mail address.
Purple Girl

By Tony Sharpe from Oldham,England. on Saturday, September 16, 2000 - 08:36 am:

The Way Brian puts his heart & soul into his music. I loved his falsetto and warm harmonies with the Beach Boys between 1963-1967. Im a 23 year old guy who has all the Beach Boys albums from 1962-Stars and Stripes, so listening to the albums year by year, i can feel the joy and pain Brian has experienced in his life through his music. Listening to Brian's demo of Breakaway from early 1969 made me cry, i could feel the pain he was suffering in his voice. It is so great that Bri is now back on the best form he could possibly be, at almost 60. I love the live from the Roxy Theatre album, love and mercy to you Brian.

By Sher on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 09:01 pm:

Him :) Brian Wilson is a genious!!! :)

By Farmers Daughter on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 05:38 pm:

Brian is love. Do I need to elaborate? Ive already proven I can be long winded!

By Andrew Bee on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 02:36 am:

B R I A N \ R U L E S

By Farmers Daughter on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 04:54 pm:

I think by giving us all his heart in his music, that is what makes Brian so truly special..

I agree Andrew Bee.....Brian does Rule!!!!

By Andrew Bee on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 02:21 am:

Y O U 'R E

By Gina on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 06:47 pm:

Hey, that's cool, Andrew. I have never bothered to try out the formatting button. You and Bullman are the only two, to my knowledge, who have. neat-o!

By Andrew Bee on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 08:19 pm:

Thanks Gina, I'm glad somebody noticed it.

By Farmers Daughter on Friday, November 17, 2000 - 04:34 am:

That is true, I love that little face you make!

By Breezy_1999 (Breezy_1999) on Friday, January 12, 2001 - 10:36 am:

I was introduced to Brian Wilson and the Beachboys in the summer of 1971. A mere child of 10, I had snuck into a local teen dance that was meant for 12-15 year olds. The music drew me. I knew that I just had to be a part of it. The first Beachboys song they played was Surfing USA, I was blown away! A wild teen (and pre-teen) energy exploded upon the dance floor. I was in awe. I didn't know it at the time but I was going to be barraged with one Beachboys song after another. I meekly approached the disc jockey on stage and asked him what the name of the band was. He enlightened me, and then told the crowd, grab a partner, snuggle close, last song.........Surfer Girl began to play. My eyes darted across the darkened room, when suddenly I was approached, and heard the words that I was longing to hear. Would you like to dance? Two minutes, twenty four seconds later the dance came to an end. But for me it was the beginning of a life long, love affair that holds true to this very day!