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Old 11-02-2004, 11:31 AM
astro astro is online now
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What's wrong with Brian Wilson of the "Beach Boys"?

I knew he had problems in the past, and in a recent interview I saw he just seems very ... "off" I guess is the best way to say it. Is it drug, burnout, mental illness.. what?
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Old 11-02-2004, 12:17 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Old 11-02-2004, 12:17 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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What happened? The most popular story is that the fragile sand castle that was Wilson's psyche was kicked over and trampled by arch-rivals The Beatles, who upped the ante by releasing Sgt Peppers just as Wilson was close to completing Smile. Factor in a violent childhood, relentless arguments over musical direction with the other Beach Boys, monumental expectations raised by Pet Sounds and the fact that Wilson was eating LSD tabs like jelly beans and smoking an ounce of strong Californian pot every day, and by mid-1967 it was time to call some men in white coats.

Wilson spent the next 20 years as mad as a salted snake. Confined to his Beverly Hills bedroom, heavily medicated, attended by since-discredited psychiatrist Dr Eugene Landy, Wilson has written that he spent those two decades doing little other than "eating, sleeping and masturbating". His weight ballooned to more than 140kg. The famous sandpit in his room, housing his grand piano so Wilson could run his toes through sand while composing, had to be dismantled. Without Wilson there to shoo them away, his dogs kept crapping in it.

But time, as they say, is a healer. By 1988 Wilson was well enough to release his debut solo album - featuring truly terrible pop-psych lyrics by Landy - followed by a steady trickle of patchy solo works (one named Sweet Insanity) and well-received live shows.

Now 62, Wilson retains the precarious gait and permanently bewildered expression of a man who has spent too many years taking strong anti-psychotics and shuffling around in his pyjamas. But he talks to people again, writes music, tours, and a year ago decided he felt strong enough to revisit the album that broke his spirit all those years ago.

Covers it pretty well, I think. He never was too stable, consumption of mind altering substances and the pressures of his early career certainly didn't help, and he wound up being treated by Landy, who medicated him to his eyeballs for 20 years.
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Old 11-02-2004, 12:53 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Does this account for Wilson's odd manner of speaking?
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:13 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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I know a guy who like to lie in bed like Brian Wilson did.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:34 PM
B. Serum B. Serum is offline
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Originally Posted by Lord Ashtar
I know a guy who like to lie in bed like Brian Wilson did.
My cat's breath smells like cat food.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:45 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
I remember lots of Beach Boys concerts and albums coming out during this period. Was Brian involved with any of it? I definitely remember a Saturday Night Live appearance in 1976. He palyed "Good Vibrations" solo.

They let him out sometimes, but I guess they kept him on a pretty short leash.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:45 PM
aaslatten aaslatten is offline
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Given his past excesses and battles with mental illness, I'd say he's lucky to be alive and as "together" as he is. It's not like he's totally incoherent, after all.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:51 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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What's weird is that Dennis Wilson drank plain old alcohol, Carl Wilson smoked plain old cigarettes, and Brian did every known drug. And Brian is the only brother that survives?
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:01 PM
xash xash is offline
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Moved to CS.

General Questions Moderator
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:08 PM
fishbicycle fishbicycle is offline
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His odd manner of speaking is partly due to being deaf in one ear, the result of a hard right by his father.
(This also explains why he mixed The Beach Boys' albums in mono. He can't hear stereo separation.)
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:54 PM
thwartme thwartme is offline
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It's a matter of instinct, it's a matter of conditioning,
It's a matter of fact.
You can call me Pavlov's dog
Ring a bell and I'll salivate- how'd you like that?
Dr. Landy tell me you're not just a pedagogue,
cause right now I'm
Lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did
Well I'm lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did.

Nothing really to add. Just thought I'd chime in with a snippet of lyric from the only decent Barenaked Ladies song ever.

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Old 11-02-2004, 03:02 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
There was a fascinating documentary on Brian Wilson and his attempt to finally finish Smile on cable a few nights ago.

The pressure to write hits, the pressure to compete with the Beatles, his inability to really finish the album, and the other Beach Boys' disdain for the material finally proved too much for him, and, as he put it "I checked out." His LSD use added to the mix.

Now, he's fairly stable but still prone to crushing moments of self-doubt and episodes where he hears voices.

Nearly everyone interviewed for the film (including George Martin and Paul McCartney) think that Brian Wilson's work is just head and shoulders above what anybody else was able to produce. They seemed to be in genuine awe of him.
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Old 11-02-2004, 03:14 PM
tisiphone tisiphone is offline
Join Date: Apr 2000
Originally Posted by acsenray
Does this account for Wilson's odd manner of speaking?
I'd say so, personally. A little something called tardive dyskinesia, which occurs in a fair percentage of those prescribed psychoactives (for the nit-pickers, specifically neuroleptics) - especially those who could be considered overmedicated.
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Old 11-02-2004, 06:31 PM
Made in Macau Made in Macau is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
I'd agree that he is remarkably together considering all of the above; he's not a journo's dream, but then he seems, by his own admission to have done too many drugs and then spent a quarter of a century (approx for exaggeration) being drugged by some twat. that he does what he now does is astonishing to me.
BTW - I have always thought that the ambivilence of the opening line of God Only Knows is the truest line in any love song.
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:28 PM
Roland Orzabal Roland Orzabal is online now
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Well, here's one man's take on the life of Brian Wilson. Not mine, but that of a man you'll recognize.

Lyrics for "Brian Wilson Said", by Tears For Fears. Really, you'd be better off listening to the song, since the emotional tones contained in the lyrics are far better expressed through the music than the words themselves, but there you have it. Seems both relevant and poignant to me.
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Old 11-02-2004, 07:31 PM
percypercy percypercy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Ha, at least I know who the Barenaked Ladies are talking about now. Dr. Landy, not Brian Wilson, I'm not that out of it.
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