BOOTLICKER

Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys

2020-12-22

it’s interesting, because i remember brendan urie’s lyrics in crazy=genius:

“She said you’re just like Mike Love / But you wanna be Brian Wilson, Brian Wilson” and “She said you’re just like Mike Love / But you’ll never be Dennis Wilson.”

i have been delving into the life and work of brian wilson from the beach boys these last few weeks.

the lyrics are ironic, because ryan ross, from panic! at the disco, wanted to explore older rock sounds, (like the beatles, in pretty. odd.), whereas urie wanted to move with the times.

making urie more like wilson, and ross more like mike love—who hated the then- new sound wilson was crafting, and wanted to stick with old standards.

it is interesting how appreciating brian wilson probably makes me quite conservative in terms of my music. i do tend to prefer late 20th century music.

but at this level, i think that it’s a matter of taste, and not beauty. there are plenty of revolutionary anthems and albums from the 20th century!

but yeah, even though i’m 29, you could very safely say i’m into ‘dad rock’

speaking of brian wilson’s work, which was a contributing factor in the change that occurred in western pop music in the 1960s: i don’t find it quite as revolutionary as the beatles, but i do agree with much of the commentary that his music was enormously influential in the US.

much of indie rock looks to brian wilson, and so did a lot of folk and hippie and new age music two generations earlier.

i really enjoy his vocal harmonies. this can be seen in ‘child is the father of the man’ on his now-finished magnum opus ‘SMiLE’, which was supposed to be his follow-up album to ‘Pet Sounds’.

wilson is also a pre-cursor to the computerisation of music production, and experimented with what he called ‘modular’ recording techniques. this was arguably his greatest legacy to the musical industry globally—the whole- hearted adoption of the most advanced technology one can acquire.

wilson suffers from a schizo-affective mental illness like i do. it was very interesting to watch several documentaries on his ‘years in bed’ and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and his infamous predator psychologist.

when i finally discovered that brian wilson suffered from very similar mental illnesses as i do, i figured out what it was that i felt i had so much in common with him.

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