I Am Brian Wilson

I Am Brian Wilson

A Memoir

Book - 2016
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They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.

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.
Publisher: Boston, MA : Da Capo Press, c2016
ISBN: 9780306823060
0306823063
Branch Call Number: B WILSON BRIAN
Characteristics: 312 pages, [16 unnumbered pages of plates] : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Greenman, Ben

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m
Me_Tarzan
Dec 24, 2017

Not that long ago, I watched a documentary-DVD about #1 Beach Boy, Brian Wilson called "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". At the time of this presentation Wilson was 53 years old. And it was very plain to see by what one was shown that Wilson was (indeed) a very troubled and unhappy man, to say the least.

Now (20 years later and Wilson being 74 years old) - Our ultimate Beach Boy delivers this much-anticipated autobiography, making it quite obvious that neither his troubles, nor his unhappiness has improved one bit over all that time.

And, so - I ask you - Would it be any surprise if I were to say that I was tres disappointed (indeed) by the apathetic, lack-lustre, and bored fashion in which Wilson told his life's story?

Anyway - In conclusion - I'd like to say that I have always enjoyed much of the Beach Boys' music. And, with that in mind - I, for one, think that Brian Wilson certainly owed his fans a more lively bit of storytelling than the likes of what he gave here in "I Am Brian Wilson".

And, because of that - I can only give this book just a below-average rating, at best.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Oct 19, 2017

This is one of the most moving autobiographies that I have ever read. Brian Wilson, who is one of music's geniuses has finally written HIS story. I've read several books on him before this. Brian verifies many of the stories that I have read or heard, but clarifies others. And he does it with a kind and loving heart.

m
MplsTA
Jun 09, 2017

For someone who had drug and alcohol problems not to mention a possible mental breakdown, his memory is amazing. He recalls detailed relationships regarding girlfriends, marriages and the influences on him as a songwriter. He also writes about the troubled relationship with his father.

After reading the book, I still don't understand what happened with Dr Landy. WIlson writes that he was not only Dr Landy's patient but much of his life was under the strict control of the doctor.

I was disappointed Brian did not write more of his relationships with the band and his brothers. Especially since his brothers Carl and Dennis are now gone.

k
kneice
Feb 10, 2017

This is a really great book with lots of Brian zingers and a humble appreciation of his strengths and weaknesses and his continuing love of music and all its possibilities.

r
Razor289
Feb 03, 2017

Its gonna be a great read.
Loooking forward to reading Brian's memoirs.

v
VcrRocker
Dec 29, 2016

Brian hits one out of the park. If you know, or even love The Beach Boys you'll NEED to read this book. He is eloquent in his storytelling. Lots of tidbits from the recording studio, and of course the psychiatrist's couch. Interesting that the stories we think we know about Brian doesn't really pan out according to Brian. This book is all the wonderful and not so wonderful moments you didn't know. Songwriters take note - there's a lesson or two in this book for future rock stars as well. You'll be humming Beach Boy songs all week. I wonder if Mike Love's book measures up. We shall see...read on surfer girls and surfer guys...

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