I attended the Brian Wilson concert at the Hard Rock Casino on Aug. 5, 2011. This was the very first time I’d ever seen him in person, and it was well worth it.
He sang well, and interacted with the audience. His band was really great, very talented group of singers/musicians.The audience loved him and shouted that out repeatedly. We danced in the aisles.
Brian Wilson. I saw Brian Wilson. In person.
1960s: I grew up listening to my brother play Beach Boys albums, along with The Association, Three Dog Night, Cream…my brother was the ultimate clean-cut, loafer-wearing young man. His high school band (he was a drummer) was called The Pandemoniums and the group uniform was white khakis, loafers and a pink button-down with a turtleneck underneath. Wow.
I of course idolized my brother, so I liked what he liked. I liked the Beach Boys.
1970s: Sorry, too much into David Bowie, Ramones, Iggy Pop to be interested in the Beach Boys.
1980s: Sorry, too much into Duran Duran and the Talking Heads to be into the Beach Boys.
1990s: Hmmm. My brother’s been going to Beach Boys concerts for years. A pal fills me in on the story of Brian and his brothers. Interesting. I want to read more.
I continue my research. I read through the Murray years, the sand-under-the-piano-in-our-living-room years, the LSD years, the Eugene Landy years.
I buy Brian’s “Imagination” CD. I like it. I listen to it all the time in the car and learn all the songs. I really like it.
Into the 2000s: I read that Brian is recording more and touring a bit. I see a documentary about him getting married, adopting children (I thought, ‘What?!’) and finishing the “Smile” album. The film showed him performing it in London. Paul McCartney was in the audience.
Today: The Beach Boys represent a great deal to me. They represent my 60s childhood in South Florida, the beach, good times, surf movies…Brian Wilson is the creator of all that. He went through so many hardships and yet created such beautiful music.
I am a better person for having been in his presence, if only to finally come close to someone I admired so much. It’s a good feeling.
Smile, peace and love, Brian.