Brian Wilson Honoured With Lifetime Achievement Award at NXNE

SPINNER "Brian Wilson will walk away from next week's NXNE festival in Toronto with a Lifetime Achievement award. The master musician and Beach Boys founder is an obvious choice for the prize and has the distinction of being the first person honoured with the newly minted award."

Brian and the Boys Gettin' Lei'd In Hawaii

Brian Wilson On Fire

Mike Love's Beach Boys Nostalgia Revue Limps Through Canada

TBN NEWS WATCH A sample of Mike's "humorous" on-satge banter: Mike says to John Stamos: “John, I ask you now, do I make fun of your mullet on Full House?”

Here's another "choice" nugget of wisdom from Mike: “This is wonderful. Now we’d like to take an intermission – followed by a nap. That’s what you get for coming to see a slightly used rock act.”

YAHOO CANADA NEWS notes that the "Beach Boys and Brian Wilson both tour Canada this week, separately as ever."

Brian Wilson prefers to let the music to the talking

METRO NEWS "Having a conversation with [Brian Wilson], like I attempted to do a few weeks ago, is the exact opposite of what it’s like to listen to his songs. His music is always thickly layered with complex harmonies and instrumentation — the more you listen to, say, Pet Sounds, the more you discover. Talking to him is almost like listening to silence."

Brian Wilson rocked the Ridgefield Playhouse

NEWSTIMES 2 "From practically the first notes to fill the air, the audience at the Ridgefield Playhouse Wednesday night was rockin'. And I mean rockin'. Brian Wilson, co-founder of the Beach Boys, skilled songwriter and innovative musician, was on stage with his band for two and a half hours of rock 'n' roll. And Gershwin."

Brian Wilson at the Highline Ballroom

EXAMINER.COM "Brian Wilson played the Highline Ballroom last night as part of its sister club's month-long Blue Note Jazz Festival, and though the two-set show featured his entire current Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album of Gershwin standards, it wasn't jazz, really, but no less demanding--and rewarding."

Carl Wilson's Screaming Guitar

GUITAR.COM has a 1982 interview with Carl Wilson.

MOJO Magazine Special Edition Includes Beach Boys SMiLE 7" On Yellow Vinyl

According to a post by Beach Boys scholar Andrew G. Doe on the SMILEY SMILE DOT NET MESSAGE BOARD "OK, the Mojo 45 - 'Cabin Essence' is as per 20/20 but in mono (mix ? fold-down ? no idea)... and 'Wonderful' is as per the 1993 box. Except. The first set of bvs have an extra layer, the 'yodelling' bvs, at 0.53. otherwise, as per."

Famous People Hanging Out With Their Vinyl


The Brian Wilson interview

LONDON FREE PRESS Q: This is your first true Canadian tour. What took you so long?

A: I don’t know. Who knows? The important thing is, we’ll be there, right?

Q: And doing Gershwin. What did you learn from him?

A: He taught me a lot about harmony. And he taught me a bit about how to play the piano. Stuff like that.

Q: What made you want to reimagine his work?

A: Well, the Gershwin people asked if I’d do an album in his honour. I said I’d love to. So we took 25 songs he and Ira wrote and whittled it down to 12.

Q: What obligation did you feel to the music? What did you feel you could and couldn’t change?

A: It wasn’t a case of change for change’s sake. It was a case of doing each one separately and appropriately. I honoured each song and treated it as if George was there to hear it.

Q: You also wrote two new songs from Gershwin’s unfinished music. Was that also a matter of putting yourself in his shoes?

A: Yeah. We started with 104 unfinished piano songs. It was just a bunch of music he played all at once — different kinds of songs. And we dwindled it down to just two. We just took the chords and put melodies around the chords and put words to the melodies. That’s it.

Q: After decades of playing your own music, what’s it like to play someone else’s?

A: Well, it’s not just his music. It’s our music now. It’s like presenting his music through my music. It’s Gershwin-Wilson.

Q: Are there other composers you want to reimagine?

A: No, not really. I think this sums it up, with George and Ira and me. I don’t think there’s anybody half as good.

Q: Who would you like to have reimagine your material?

A: Wow, good question. I have no idea. I wouldn’t know.

Q: Is there nobody you think would be up to the task?

A: Not that I know of, no. Maybe Paul McCartney could do my songs. But I’m not sure.

Q: Why not?

A: Well, I haven’t asked him.

Q: Of course not. But you think he has the talent, right?

A: I think he has the talent. But I don’t think he’d be interested in doing McCartney Sings Wilson.

Q: Well, maybe you should ask him and see what he says.

A: All right, I will!

Q: What’s this talk about you giving up touring?

A: That’s not going to be real soon. I’ll probably be touring for a little while yet. A couple of years at least.

Q: Is it still enjoyable?

A: I don’t look forward to all that travel. That’s hard. I just look forward to the audiences and how they clap and how they yell ‘Hey Brian, we like your music!’

Q: You’ll be turning 69 years old in Ottawa on this tour. What do you want for your birthday?

A: A cake. A chocolate cake with ice cream.

Q: After this tour, what’s next?

A: It looks like we might be doing a rock ’n’ roll album. We’re going to do songs inspired by Phil Spector and Chuck Berry. You know how Chuck Berry goes: (starts singing) ‘Hey baby, baby, baby, rock ’n’ roll music.’ And Phil Spector has the drumbeat and the good piano and guitar sound. So it’s going to be that. Half will be original and half will be covers. How’s that sound?

Q: Pretty cool. Where did that idea come from?

A: From me.

Q: Right. But where did you get the idea from?

A: From me.

Q: I know it was your idea. But were you reading about one of them, or listening to their music, or ... ?

A: No, I just thought, ‘I want to do an album like Phil Spector and Chuck Berry.’ And I’ll be damned if we’re not going to do it!

This interview is republished here: TORONTO SUN

Beach Boy Meets Gershwin at the Wellmont

MONTCLAIR PATCH "[A]t the Wellmont Theatre Thursday night, you couldn't take a step without bumping into a die-hard fan of ["Pet Sounds"] -- and the man who recorded it. Although the hall was only half full, the ones who were there clearly loved Brian Wilson. Those fans, many of them musicians themselves, were willing to forgive Wilson, now 69, when his performing skills faltered. When pressed, one such performer and songwriter agreed that Wilson's voice wanders from off-key to out of tune, but still praised the performance. Although Wilson’s demeanor was impassive and his eyes stayed mostly glued to the prompter, he seemed to be happy to be there and showed how it meant to him that his fans were dancing to his tunes."


NOW TORONTO quotes Brian Wilson on waltzes: First, “I don’t really like waltzes." Then, “I like waltzes."

Listening For The Perfect Beat

Q&A: Brian Wilson On His Gershwin Influences, Working With Van Dyke Parks, And The Smile Reissue

VILLAGE VOICE has more excerpts from a late May interview with Brian Wilson that served as the basis for a cover story.

You've talked about listening to "Rhapsody in Blue" as a child, and last year you released your album of Gershwin standards. What is it about Gershwin's music that has proven so impactful throughout your life?

Well, his harmonies I like a lot. I learned a lot about music from him.

What specifically in the harmonies is so resonant with you?

His violins.

Your love of Gershwin certainly answers the question from "When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)": "Will I dig the same things that turned me on as a kid?" What else from your childhood do you still love today?

Chuck Berry. Phil Spector.

For your Gershwin album, you were allowed to access Gershwin's estate and select two unfinished piano pieces. How did you choose the ones you did, and how did you approach finishing them?

We found the harmonies—the ones that had the best harmonies. We put the melodies to the harmonies.

How did that writing process feel to you?

Good, it was good. I was nervous.

You told the Evening Standard earlier this month that you may retire from touring next year. Are you still considering that?

Yeah, I probably will, yeah. I dunno, I'm just getting older. If it feels good, I'll probably keep going for another two or three years, you know?

Have you had any shows, recently or in your lifetime, that you remember as a special concert?


The debut of Smile?

Yeah, yeah.

I saw the documentary Beautiful Dreamer. It looked like a powerful performance. How was it, debuting that music?

It was a kick. I loved it.

Was there any song in particular you played and were very happy with?

Just all of them. All of them were good.

There's been talk about possibly reforming the Beach Boys next year to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

I don't know anything about that. I don't know.

Do you have a relationship with the other members right now?

No, I don't. Not really, no. I'm not really interested in them.

So you don't have plans to reunite for the 50th anniversary?

Right. No.

Are the original Smile studio sessions still coming out later this year?

Yeah, they are.

How do the original studio sessions differ from the Smile album you recorded in 2004?

They're not quite as good. They're just little bits, fragments, shorter pieces, 20-second pieces and 30-second pieces.

Is there anything on there you're looking forward to the public hearing for the first time?

Not really, no.

Are you excited to release it?

Yeah. I think people will like it.

How did you feel about releasing Smile in 2004?

I thought it was a kick. I was thrilled.

The other Beach Boys' initial dislike of Smile led to a troubled period in your life. How does it feel to hear those initial studio recordings today?

Well, it kind of brings back a bad memory because I like the music but we took drugs during those times, and that's the bad memory of it all.

A bad memory? How so?

It made my head feel cloudy, you know? Dizzy. As I was taking them.

Your friend, journalist Michael Vosse, said that he thinks your drug use has been wrongly blamed as a main reason for your post-Smile nervous breakdown. Do you agree with that?


You do think your drug use has been misunderstood?

Yeah. I don't know, I can't really answer that question.

What song in your career left you feeling most satisfied after you had written it?

"God Only Knows." It's just a good love song. I like it.

When you come to New York, are there any places you're looking forward to visiting?

Central Park.

What can we expect from your concerts in New York?

Gershwin songs and Beach Boy classics.

In the documentary Beautiful Dreamer, you said that you were worried about how Smile would be received, just as Gershwin was worried about "Rhapsody in Blue"'s debut in Paris. Do you still have those concerns for Smile's release?

Yeah, yeah I do. I feel nervous. I'm not sure, I don't know if it's going to sell or not. I really don't know if it's going to sell or not. If it sells good, I'm hoping people like it. That's all I can say.

Have you talked to the other Beach Boys about its release?

No, not at all.

Was it your decision to release it?


Smile, of course, has been a long time coming since you recorded it. Why did you decide to finally release those sessions this year?

Ah, I don't know. I just thought it was time to do it, you know.

Pet Sounds was inspired by the Beatles' Rubber Soul. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was inspired by Pet Sounds. Which artists have inspired your recent works—the Gershwin album, That Lucky Old Sun?

No one's inspired it. We inspired ourselves to do it.

And you worked with Van Dyke Parks for That Lucky Old Sun.

Right, I worked with him. He's a great writer. Great.

How was it to work with him again after some time apart?

It was quite a thrill. It really was. I had a good time.