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Brian Wilson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (39) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 20 June 1942Inglewood, California, USA
Birth NameBrian Douglas Wilson
Nickname Genius
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Brian Douglas Wilson was born on June 20th 1942 and has gone on to become one of, if not the greatest, musical geniuses in the world. It was while growing up, while being physically and psychologically abused by his father, that he discovered music as a way of shutting out all hurt and pain that he was feeling at home. As he listened to Four Freshmen records and records of that day, he noticed that he had a flair for writing and arranging music in his own particular style: using his two younger brothers, Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson along with first cousin Mike Love, Brian recreated songs for them to sing along to. Eventually after they had started singing for many years at family parties and in their room, Mike told Brian that they needed to form a group. Along with college friend Al Jardine, they formed The Beach Boys, releasing their first song "Surfin'" to popular reviews. When Brian's father Murry decided that he should be their manager, he set up The Beach Boys with a contract at Capitol Records and help them embark on a seven year contract with the company. Within the first two years, Brian made himself the leader of the group and was, uniquely, writer/producer/arranger/musician and lead vocalist of the band. It was clear from the very early years that Brian was the one destined to take The Beach Boys into the spotlight. Along the way, mainly with Mike Love, he wrote a handful of top forty singles, including "California Girls", "Surfin' USA", "Surfer Girl", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Don't Worry Baby", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "God Only Knows" and the three number one hits in America, "I Get Around", "Help Me, Rhonda" and "Good Vibrations", which was also a hit in Britain, and a second UK #1 single, "Do It Again".

In two years of recording at Capitol, Brian fell prone to a nervous breakdown which came from the stress of all his duties. He decided at the end of 1964 that he would exclude himself from touring and would stay at home and write, produce and arrange the songs so the group could go out on the road and return to some wonderful material. Brian was satisfied for the moment, but with the increase of his use of marijuana and LSD, became prone to spend his time with his drug-filled friends and his sanity was now becoming a problem as he was starting to hear voices. However, that did not stop him creating two of his greatest albums in 1965, "Beach Boys Today!" and "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). It was in 1966 that he finally showed the world that he was the leader of the pack. After being inspired by The Beatles' "Rubber Soul", Brian went on to create one of the greatest albums of all time, "Pet Sounds." This album became a milestone in music and went on to influence many of the greatest artists of the next four decades. Brian's next ambition was to top "Pet Sounds". The album was to be called "Dumb Angel", but he later changed it to "Smile", an album made with the same amount of genius and ambition as that of The Beach Boys' greatest single, "Good Vibrations". "Smile" was never completed and it has since been called the greatest album never released.

Wilson's work as a composer in creating albums -- Side B of the Beach Boys' "Today" album, the "Pet Sounds" and "SMiLE" albums being highlights -- was considered all but lost until his most recent work. In 2008 he released the spectacular song cycle/concept album "That Lucky Old Sun", a love letter to his native southern California; in 2010 he released the remarkable "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin", in which he puts the classic Brian Wilson touch to the only other American rival composer from the 20th century covering many classic George Gershwin pop hits; in 2012 he wrote, produced, and sang lead on much of the Beach Boys' reunion album "That's Why God Made The Radio", featuring another remarkable Side B of beautiful melodies and harmonies. These three recent albums have all been critically acclaimed and have sold well, confirming once and for all the mid-70s cliché that Brian Is Back.

Brian Wilson's pop songwriting has, quite arguably, been featured in more movies than any other 20th century songwriter, from the mid-60s beach movies (if he didn't write the music himself, at least he influenced his disciples Roger Christian & Gary Usher) to recent baby boomer flicks (i.e., Forrest Gump, Love Actually) and Gen Y comedies (i.e., 50 First Dates, Orange County, Happy Feet).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Simon Edwards

Spouse (2)

Melinda Kae Ledbetter (6 February 1995 - present) (5 children)
Marilyn Wilson (7 December 1964 - 1979) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

The "Wall of Sound", popularized by Phil Spector.

Trivia (39)

First cousin of Mike Love.
Father, with Marilyn Wilson, of Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson.
Inducted by Elton John into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Beach Boys) on 20 January 1988.
His songs 'California Girls' and 'Good Vibrations' have been played more than three million times, 'I Get Around', 'Help me, Rhonda' and 'Wouldn't it be Nice' more than two million times, on radio.
Older brother of Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson.
Subject of the hit song "Brian Wilson" by the Barenaked Ladies.
Became a virtual recluse after the "Smile" project was abandoned which, by all accounts, would have been on a par with The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Was a board member for the Monterey Pop Festival.
Confessed years later that one entire album side (from 1965's 'The Beach Boys Today') had been written and arranged under marijuana's influences.
Almost completely deaf in his right ear, from an early accident. While he has never heard stereo music, his ear for balance between sounds is unusually strong; he preferred to mix in mono because he noticed stereo was off-balance unless one was directly between the speakers. (Later productions of his are in stereo, or binaural sound.)
Founded "Sea of Tunes" as The Beach Boys' publishing company with his father Murry Wilson; eventually lost all his 1960s song copyrights when Murry sold the company at the band's late-1960s low point. It was later proved that Brian had been tricked and hounded into signing over control to Murry, and documentation for the company was faulty or nonexistent - and "Sea of Tunes" buyers Irving Music had profited directly from this. While Brian couldn't regain ownership of his early songs, he was ultimately awarded $25 million by a California court, for his loss. Cousin and co-writer Mike Love, in turn, filed for a share of this from Brian, for songs - including "California Girls" - Murry had never credited him with, and was awarded $12 million. (There was reportedly no malice involved in the suit; with the two men unable to come to terms on their own, they turned to the courts to settle the matter.).
Recently revisited his long-shelved "Smile" album (co-written with Van Dyke Parks), finally completing the project, with plans to both release the album and perform it live on tour, with current backup band, Wondermints (March 2004).
The Beach Boys were voted the 12th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of all time by "Rolling Stone" magazine.
With the death of brother Carl Wilson in 1998, he became the last surviving original member of the Wilson family.
Years of smoking six packs of cigarettes a day damaged his voice; even though he no longer smokes, he sings without the range and smoothness of his early days. When he performs Beach Boys songs during shows, another vocalist often takes Wilson's former parts, while Wilson takes the parts recorded by Mike Love. He has referred to having a chest x-ray after he quit smoking as the bravest thing he ever did.
Inducted by Sir Paul McCartney into the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame June 2000
Names "California Girls" his favorite song out of all the songs he has written.
In June 2006, re-united with the original Beach Boys on top of the Capitol Records Building for the first time since 1996, and the first time without brother Carl.
Actually performed the song "Brian Wilson" by the Barenaked Ladies live with slight abridgments to one line, instead of "Playing my guitar and building castles in the sun", he said "Playing my piano and building castles in the sand".
No longer plays bass or guitar, and has played keyboards or piano since his 1985 performance at Live Aid in which he gave a solid performance of "Wouldn't It Be Nice", he first in many years.
Turned in a composition called "Surfin'" to his high school music theory teacher, which got an F, but eventually became a million dollar hit.
In December 2000 at a Christmas party of a friends, when told he could "tickle the ivories" unexpectedly began to play "Heroes and Villians", which he refused to play since 1967. For over 20 years, whenever anybody asked him about the song, he would refuse to talk about it saying "It's not appropriate" or "No comment." After he played the song, someone said "You should do that at the tribute show", a tribute to Wilson was being planned for the spring of 2001. He agreed and for the first time since he wrote it, performed the song at An All-Star Tribute To Brian Wilson (2001). He said that the reaction to his performance led him to decide to finish and perform SMiLE, which had been sitting on the shelf for well over 30 years.
During the 1980s and his crash-diet and when he was at his thinnest, Dr. Eugene Landy had him eating 600 calories a day, or as Brian described it, "One little sunflower seed a day!".
His favorite "Beach Boys" album is "Love You", favorite "Beach Boys" song is "California Girls", favorite "Beatles" song is "Let It Be" and favorite Dennis Wilson song is "Little Bird".
Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture. [November 2006]
Recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipients that year were Leon Fleisher, Steve Martin, Diana Ross, and Martin Scorsese.
Enjoys the music of Phil Spector, The Ronettes and The Byrds.
His favorite singers include Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.
The first single he bought was "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets.
His favorite album of all time is "Phil Spector's Christmas Album". Another favorite is "Sail Away" by Randy Newman.
He and The Beach Boys were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1500 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Has said that the Phil Spector song "Be My Baby", as performed by The Ronettes, influenced him to write The Beach Boys's song "Don't Worry Baby".
Referenced in the song "When God Invented Girls", written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Subject of the song "I Write the Songs", written by The Beach Boys band-mate Bruce Johnston and recorded by Barry Manilow.
Is the subject of the Tears for Fears song, "Brian Wilson Said", from the 1993 "Elemental" album. The touching song is dedicated to the troubled life of the music legend. Much of the song arrangements and vocals were recorded in "Beach Boys" style by singer/composer Roland Orzabal.
Ex-brother-in-law of Karen Lamm.
Performed the title song and "Little Honda" as himself with the Beach Boys in the movie The Girls on the Beach (1965), and sang the solo "The Lonely Sea" in the same film. He is also credited as an extra in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).
Brian and his second wife, the former Melinda Kae Ledbetter, adopted five children: two girls, Daria Rose and Delanie Rae, in 1998; a boy, Dylan, in 2004; a boy, Dash Tristan, in 2009; and a girl, Dakota Rose, in 2010.

Personal Quotes (9)

I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard working guy.
I'd earned over a million dollars by the time I was old enough to vote.
"My new band is better then The Beach Boys".
"The Four Freshmen influenced me the most, with their great harmonies. Whew! The greatest".
For me, making music has always been a very spiritual thing, and I think anybody who produces records has to feel that, at least a little bit. Producing a record, the idea of taking a song, envisioning the overall sound in my head and then bringing the arrangement to life in the studio, well that gives me satisfaction like nothing else.
To be a great producer, music has to be a big part of your soul. And when it comes to making music, if I could invent a way to get it from my heart into yours, without doing all that hard work, I would be very happy.
My mother used to tell me about vibrations. I didn't really understand too much of what that meant when I was just a boy. To think that invisible feelings, invisible vibrations existed scared me to death.
First of all, I want people to understand that I'm here to create for them. To create music for people so they'll know that I'm a source of love. And they can depend on my name.
'Surfer Girl' symbolized a mystical place that I have never been to but sung about. Maybe I was there, I don't know. I could have been and not known it.

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