Brian Wilson Questions

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first things first:
1. Had anyone seen the SMiLE DVD that came out and is it worth $30???

2. I read the Wouldn't It be Nice book a while ago. For a while ive been hearing these rumors but can find nothing concrete: who wrote the book? I've heard that the co-writer just made half of it up, and I've heard that his therapist wrote it all. does anyone know what the real deal is and what happened between him and his therapist after the book ends???

tonyD (noiseyrock), Friday, 8 July 2005 03:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Can't answer the second but I'll answer the first. No.

My review (which will flesh out my reasoning for the above answer) is here:

John Justen (johnjusten), Friday, 8 July 2005 03:58 (fourteen years ago) link

1) The double DVD package is available for $18 at Costco if you're a member or know someone who is - seemed worth it to me.

2) Landy pretty much "created" "Wouldn't It Be Nice" from start to finish. As to what happened after the book, the following is lifted from some website and seems pretty accurate:

"Between 1983 and 1986, Landy and his team of assistants looked after Brian while sharing his lifestyle for a fee of some $420,000 annually. Two years later, when Landy requested even more money, a desperate Carl Wilson gave away 25 percent of Brian’s publishing royalties to cover the costs of continuing the program.

By 1986, everything began to unravel for Landy. He was accused of being a “Svengali* who was holding Brian captive.” It was discovered that he was writing songs with Brian as “part of his therapy,” not to be given to The Beach Boys, but for Landy’s own personal gain. After The Beach Boys cut off the money, Dr. Landy got Brian to sign with him to do a solo album. During the songwriting for this album, Brian’s longtime songwriting partner Gary Usher reported that during their time together, Brian told him that he was “... a goddamned prisoner... I have no hope of escape.” Gary turned over his detailed diary to the Attorney General’s office, which had already begun to investigate Landy.

In February 1988, the California Board of Medical Quality charged Dr. Landy with ethical and license code violations. These charged violations amounted to the moral and spiritual rape of Brian Wilson. Landy gave up his license to practice for two years. When he requested reinstatement in 1992, the Board opposed it.

As part of a battle to control Brian’s estate in 1990, his daughter told Rolling Stone, “I think that Dr. Landy has really taken advantage, no question about it. When my dad has been off drugs, he’s whispered in people’s ears, like, ‘He’s really got control of me. I’m afraid to leave him. I’m afraid.’”

In 1992, a lawsuit filed against Landy by the Beach Boys and Brian’s mother, resulted in the barring of Landy from Brian’s life.

At least two practical lessons emerge from this ugly story of betrayal. The first is that even when given all the resources requested, including total control, and regardless of the extensive use of psychotropic drugs and therapy, both psychiatrists and psychologists have failed to deliver the goods — a story which is repeated with frightening regularity. The second is that Landy took financial and emotional advantage of people who trusted him with their own well-being — again something which routinely occurs within the ranks of these so-called “mental health professionals.”

Unlike most stories of psychological abuse, with the loving support of family and friends, the artistic genius and indomitable spirit that is Brian Wilson, has successfully beaten the odds and returned to writing and recording."

me again:

I've met Brian and his wife Melinda numerous times. It's pretty obvious to me that he shifted his dependence on to her. That said, she's cool, tough and classy and really loves Brian and has done really well by him. All in all, it's probably the best situation Brian could be in. Landy is as bad as everyone says, but even his greatest detractors will tell you that he did keep Brian alive in some tough times - he just didn't do so within the boundaries of ethical and professional behavior, and he didn't "ease out" of Brian's life when it would have been appropriate to do so.

Dee Xtrovert (dee dee), Friday, 8 July 2005 04:56 (fourteen years ago) link

1. Yes I've got it and yes, personall I think it was worth every penny of the 18 quid I spent on it - however I was lucky enough to see them perform it live and I think that makes a huge difference (and of course it would have been even better if the film had been made at the gig I was at / if I had been at the gig where they filmed it) so I'm not sure it would have the same magic for someone who hadn't "been there".... although by the same token this is probably the closest you're likely to get anyway....

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 8 July 2005 08:26 (fourteen years ago) link

John's review does make a good point--the documentary plays down his drug use. Well, I don't know if drugs were the main thing or if Brian was worried about the Beatles and Mike Love breathing down his neck. I woulda said fuck the Beatles, I'm as good as them, and then I would've punched Mike Love and told him to get his own group (and I'm not one of those people who *totally* put down Mike Love, he had a lot to do with some of those early hits, but still, without Brian Wilson, Love's words and vocals wouldn't have meant much). The doc is a bit soft-focus. However, I still found it fascinating, and the concert (and again, John's got a point--it does come across as a bit canned, but I would say that it's fairly amazing that the whole thing got performed, quite well too, after forty years) is real good. I've always been a skeptic about "Smile" but I have to admit that it's a pretty great piece of music. Greater than the early hits, or "Wild Honey"? I don't know and don't care, but it moved me--for better or worse, Brian and Parks did manage to express something very American (yeah, I know, a cliché) with "Smile." Flawed and fake-naïve as it is. But maybe it ain't fake, that's the thing I'm willing to believe.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 8 July 2005 13:17 (fourteen years ago) link

nine years pass...

LOVE & MERCY, a portrait of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson unlike any before. The film stars John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti and featuring songs from The Beach Boys’ seminal album Pet Sounds.

Anyone seen this?

curmudgeon, Friday, 8 May 2015 19:25 (four years ago) link

I didn't think it was out yet

Οὖτις, Friday, 8 May 2015 20:08 (four years ago) link

I just got an email about a press screening, so I thought maybe it was out elsewhere already.

curmudgeon, Friday, 8 May 2015 20:27 (four years ago) link

my question: why not just make a record record of all the songs on the Paley sessions? It's not like those are all genius tracks, but as a whole record, I think they're better than any of his solo records sans Smile. Really, even when they're not great, they're perfectly in the spirit of, say, Beach Boys Love You.

Dominique, Friday, 8 May 2015 22:31 (four years ago) link

yeah not sure why the Paley material was never revisited

soyrev, Saturday, 9 May 2015 03:37 (four years ago) link

It was:

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 9 May 2015 04:02 (four years ago) link

ah, right. a little bit of it

soyrev, Saturday, 9 May 2015 12:12 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Sadly, it seems like Brian is going through a rough time at the moment:

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Friday, 7 June 2019 09:21 (three months ago) link

Sadly, much of Brian's life has been a rough time.

When I last saw him with the Beach Boys, for their 50th anniversary tour, he seemed to be in pretty bad shape, needing to be walked to and from the stage. This at least hints that maybe it was his bad back, and not being totally adrift.

I do have fond memories of seeing him at Farm Aid in ...1998? He seemed happy, and each time since then he's been maybe a little bit less comfortable, but particularly the last few years.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 10:26 (three months ago) link

Poor guy.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 9 June 2019 16:03 (three months ago) link

ugh, i can't imagine the stress of going through back surgery when you're already struggling with schizoaffective disorder

Vape Store (crüt), Sunday, 9 June 2019 16:19 (three months ago) link

even in good health, it must be incredibly exhausting to tour internationally. though i know it's the only real way for musicians to make a living, i don't know how people do it. i'd lose my shit playing the same bunch of songs every night, especially if i wrote them some fifty odd years ago. god bless you brian.

meaulnes, Sunday, 9 June 2019 16:19 (three months ago) link

I saw Echo In The Canyon yesterday and young Brian Wilson was so cute!!

brimstead, Sunday, 9 June 2019 18:55 (three months ago) link

aw man, get well soon brian :(

Mack, who is blind (he has no eyes) (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 9 June 2019 20:11 (three months ago) link

(xpost) What did you think of Echo in the Canyon? I was initially wary when I realized most of it was going to be recent interviews and new performances (as opposed to a more historically-inclined documentary), but it worked--I liked virtually all the interviewees (even Crosby, Stills, and Nash were engaging--Nash saying "I don't want to let that go" was kind of moving), and the performances were usually quite good. (Favourites: "Go Where You Wanna Go," "Goin' Back," "Never My Love"--which to me stands apart from that moment, but it's an amazing song nonetheless.) Didn't know what to make of Jakob Dylan--the camera would linger on him for an extra few seconds sometimes, and he'd say...nothing--but I got used to him. Great ending--a good joke even.

clemenza, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:41 (three months ago) link

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