Brian Wilson Questions

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (seven years ago) link

I didn't think it was out yet

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

yeah not sure why the Paley material was never revisited

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

It was:

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

ah, right. a little bit of it

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

Poor guy.

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

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

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

three years pass...

Tuesday June 14 PBS tv American Masters Brian Wilson episode

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 June 2022 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

My dad is seeing him at Red Rocks this week (shared bill w/Chicago).

Creature Catcher (Live) (morrisp), Monday, 13 June 2022 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

He always looks so stressed and anxious onstage but he keeps touring.

The PBS doc has him reflecting on his career while in a car with his friend, Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine, per the pr,App%20as%20part%20of%20%23PBSForTheArts.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 June 2022 19:27 (two weeks ago) link

watching this now. Jason Fine is his buddy and and very nicely gets information out of him without challenging him. Although that means some of the bad aspects in his life get ignored.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 01:26 (two weeks ago) link

Oh they did deal with the trauma as the show went on

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 03:52 (two weeks ago) link

I saw that in the theater a while back. There’s a pretty affecting scene where Fine plays Dennis’ POB for him while they’re driving around. Brian professes to had never heard it, which is entirely possible.

OG Bob Sacamano (will), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 06:02 (two weeks ago) link

Brian's response to learning of Jack Rieley's passing was one of the heavier moments of the doc. Up until that time, Brian just seemed his usual distant self.

doug watson, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:00 (two weeks ago) link

Also when he stayed in the car outside of Carl's old house, and silently wiped a tear away.

henry s, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 12:16 (two weeks ago) link

it’s been a minute (must have been a limited run last year?) so I may actually be confusing one of those three instances. but yeah, def some heavy moments for sure.

OG Bob Sacamano (will), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 12:50 (two weeks ago) link

Brian definitely heard POB before heh

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 13:22 (two weeks ago) link

More than likely he'd forgotten though.

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 13:30 (two weeks ago) link

Brian looked so much more comfortable playing and creating music in the studio than he does onstage . But he says he likes doing concerts

And yes this was a heavy moment-

Also when he stayed in the car outside of Carl's old house, and silently wiped a tear away.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

Described this doc as Carpool Karaoke meets Twin Peaks: The Return when I reviewed it recently

Piedie Gimbel, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:51 (two weeks ago) link

I really like that review, Stephen. Nice to read similar observations but captured much better than I ever could.

This discussion prompted me to track down Jack Rieley and Machiel Botman"s Western Justice LP, which was recorded after the Beach Boys returned from Holland while Rieley stayed behind. This appears to be his only album. Not surprisingly, the Brother era influence is quite apparent. It's no Holland but if you've exhausted the Feel Flows box set, this might further scratch the itch.

doug watson, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 18:34 (two weeks ago) link

this bit confused me for a bit: "how Pet Sounds became Brian’s own sonic Sagrada Família"

i thought this was a reference to the album _Onda Nova do Brasil_ by Luiz Eca and Sagrada Familia but i eventually figured out you were talking about gaudi

that luiz eca album is really good tho, it probably wouldn't be unfair to compare it to "pet sounds" with the people making up "sagrada familia" being sort of the wrecking crew!

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 18:57 (two weeks ago) link

That's an excellent review, PG.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 19:19 (two weeks ago) link

Here's a streaming link for it

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 June 2022 02:38 (two weeks ago) link

loved this

and yeah, great review PG

def weary of the boring talking heads like Linda Perry … but love seeing Don Was agog at the mixing desk, so it can def go either way.

theres something about just watching the look in his eyes when he talks. it’s like a trapped animal

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 16 June 2022 06:09 (two weeks ago) link

I had a friend text me about what must have been this show, suggesting that Brian seemed even more out of it than usual. I haven't seen it yet, has he gotten worse?

I've seen him play a few times, the first time at Farm Aid in 1998, and for whatever reason this particular performance has stuck with me since then:

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:55 (two weeks ago) link

As usual for 2000s BBs docs, the celeb the talking heads offer nothing of worth. Would have liked nothing but Brian.

PaulTMA, Thursday, 16 June 2022 14:33 (two weeks ago) link

linda perry, taylor hawkins, a jonas brother

aegis philbin (crüt), Thursday, 16 June 2022 16:50 (two weeks ago) link

I'm surprised that the 1988 self-titled album managed 12th place in the Pazz & Jop poll. (According to Christgau, if it wasn't for Greil Marcus's strategic ballot-box stuffing that successfully broke Keith Richards and Randy Newman into the top ten, Wilson's album would've been in 10th place.) I gave it another listen to see if I could hear what I was missing - the album still sounds overdone, but then I found out about the stripped-down re-recording of "Love and Mercy" for the 1995 documentary on him, and it sounds quite wonderful. Too bad this wasn't the sound of the 1988 album.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 14:26 (three days ago) link

Agreed re: the sound. Would've been cool to have had a contemporary Don Was produced Brian Wilson album.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 29 June 2022 19:00 (three days ago) link

I heard that album in 1988, when I don't think I knew any Beach Boys other than what was on the radio and TV. It was weird to listen to it now, and realize to what extent those who were responsible for the creative choices tried to go to both extremes. On the one hand, they've got squealing hair metal guitars and other sonic trademarks of the era; on the other, sleigh bells and kettledrums and other throwbacks to 1966.
It's also striking how eccentric some of the songs are - I can't imagine another rock veteran trying for a late 80s comeback being allowed to record and release such anachronisms as "Little Children" and "Rio Grande".

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 21:28 (three days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.