As a cofounding member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. Read more...
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As a cofounding member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like "In My Room," "God Only Knows," and "Good Vibrations" forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and-finally-thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy, and who finally completed Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, and filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.
- ISBN-13: 9780306823060
- ISBN-10: 0306823063
- Publisher: Da Capo Press
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 336
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-09-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In this charming and powerfully written memoir that will engage a readership beyond the multitude of Beach Boys fans, Wilson honestly tells the story of his life from its humble beginnings in Southern Californiawhere he was raised by a father who routinely demeaned, frightened, and beat himto becoming a Kennedy Center Honoree for his 50 years of musical contributions to American culture. Despite his fame and success, Wilson comes off as a genuinely modest and gentle soul who, with the help of his second wife, Melinda, has come to terms with his ongoing mental illness, his past failures as a father, and the profoundly sad deaths of his brothers, Dennis and Carl, who, with Wilson, were core members of the Beach Boys. He goes into great detail about how the bands dozens of hits were produced and the many music superstars who added to the lush, complex arrangements Wilson is famous for. He recounts the pain of his many breakdowns and stays in psychiatric hospitals, as well as the nightmare years when Eugene Landy, Wilsons psychologist, brutally took control of the artists life, forcing him to produce music for financial gain. Wilsons emotional authenticity is beguiling as he takes readers deeply into his mind, voices and all, to describe his unique manifestation of musical genius. (Oct.)