Catch A Wave

Catch A Wave

The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson

Book - 2006
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Now the subject of the movie Love & Mercy, starring John Cusack! Brian Wilson was the visionary behind America's most successful and influential rock band. And as the leader of the Beach Boys, he sold 100 million records, produced Pet Sounds , and built a catalog of songs that continues to define the sound and feel of American popular music. He also became one of the culture's most mysterious and tragic figures. But after spending years lost in a wilderness of despair, Wilson has fought his way back to productivity. And now with teh release of Smile - the masterwork that nearly undid him - he has returned to music's center stage.

Now Peter Ames Carlin, who conducted in-depth, exclusive interviews with dozens of sources and listened to hundreds of hours of unreleased studio recordings and live music, tells a uniquely American story of the band, the music, and the culture the Beach Boys both sang about and helped create. Carlin brings a fan's passion, a seasoned journalist's objectivity, and a cultural critic's insight to his subject, and the result is a magesterial and authoritative account of the Beach Boys' visionary figure, who has emerged into a new era of creativity.

Publisher: [Emmaus, PA] : Rodale, c2006.
ISBN: 9781594863202
1594863202
Characteristics: ix, 342 p. :,ill.

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lukasevansherman
Sep 28, 2017

"In this world I lock out all my worries and fears. In my room, in my room."
Serviceable biographer of Brian Wilson, the pop genius behind the Beach Boys. Wilson has written his own book, but this is a more objective look at Wilson's achievements, downfall, and eventual comeback. Few bands are more trapped in the nostalgia of their own music by the Beach Boys, who are shorthand for a unique California mix of sun, girls, cars, and boundless optimism. The casual Beach Boys fan will probably know that after Wilson made the great "Pet Sounds," he basically went crazy trying to top it with "Smile," the most legendary unfinished album in rock. This led to a decade plus descent into drugs, seclusion, and overeating, with occasional bursts of music. For a band so associated with happiness, they went through some bad crap, including the abusive Wilson father, an association with Charles Manson, and the manipulative shrink Elliott Landy, who ran Brian's life for years. It's all interesting, even if it's told in a rather bland and un-critical way. Wilson would have his redemption by essentially remaking "Smile" in the 00s, as well as releasing a box set with all of the material. If you didn't know, Mike Love is the worst. Check out the films "Love and Mercy" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times."

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VcrRocker
Jan 22, 2017

Certainly more detail than Brian Wilson's 2016 memoir - especially in the analysis of his song writing and recording techniques. I recommend this book before reading "I, Brian" or watching "Love and Mercy"....

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