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  #1  
Old 11-02-2004, 12:31 PM
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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  #2  
Old 11-02-2004, 01:17 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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yes
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2004, 01:17 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.
From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,...4a4500,00.html

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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  #4  
Old 11-02-2004, 01:53 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Does this account for Wilson's odd manner of speaking?
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2004, 02:13 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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  #6  
Old 11-02-2004, 02:34 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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  #7  
Old 11-02-2004, 02:45 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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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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  #8  
Old 11-02-2004, 02:45 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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  #9  
Old 11-02-2004, 02:51 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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  #10  
Old 11-02-2004, 03:01 PM
xash xash is offline
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Moved to CS.

-xash
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2004, 03:08 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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  #12  
Old 11-02-2004, 03:54 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.

thwartme
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2004, 04:02 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
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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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  #14  
Old 11-02-2004, 04:14 PM
tisiphone tisiphone is offline
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Quote:
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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  #15  
Old 11-02-2004, 07:31 PM
Made in Macau Made in Macau is offline
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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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  #16  
Old 11-02-2004, 08:28 PM
Roland Orzabal Roland Orzabal is offline
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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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  #17  
Old 11-02-2004, 08:31 PM
percypercy percypercy is offline
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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.
-Lil
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  #18  
Old 09-13-2015, 09:28 AM
Love and Mercy Love and Mercy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tisiphone View Post
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.
I agree with you totally about Tardive Dyskinesia. It was after Landy (who had no right to administer drugs as a PhD) over and improperly medicated Brian is when the droop to the right side of his mouth began and his speech was affected.

Last edited by Love and Mercy; 09-13-2015 at 09:30 AM..
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  #19  
Old 09-13-2015, 09:34 AM
Love and Mercy Love and Mercy is offline
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Originally Posted by aaslatten View Post
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.
I give his wife Melinda (Ledbetter) Wilson much credit for helping to get him back into a normal life. Landy had him in worse shape (with medications that he was not allowed to dispense) than he was prior. Once Brian met her, things began to slowly change. They married 10 years later and are now married 20 years adopting 5 children besides his 2 biological children Carnie and Wendy from his first marriage to Marilyn.
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  #20  
Old 09-13-2015, 10:29 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Note that this thread was originally from 2004. Between then and now, Brian has been actively performing and recording new music, and while I haven't been paying real close attention, my impression is that nowadays he's doing pretty well, all things considered. Would you agree?
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  #21  
Old 09-13-2015, 11:09 AM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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From some clips I've seen on YouTube, I'd say Mike Love is the truly crazy one in the Beach Boys. What's his excuse?
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  #22  
Old 09-13-2015, 06:17 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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Originally Posted by Llama Llogophile View Post
From some clips I've seen on YouTube, I'd say Mike Love is the truly crazy one in the Beach Boys. What's his excuse?
Love's craziness never approached that of Dennis Wilson, who drowned after drinking all day and diving in the ocean and thinking Charlie Manson had musical talent.
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  #23  
Old 09-14-2015, 09:52 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Rumor mill time: Dennis Wilson hung out with Manson's crew for the drugs and especially the sex. He never thought Manson had any real musical talent, and never promoted his career.

That was all in the mind of Manson (who is a true sociopath).
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  #24  
Old 09-14-2015, 03:34 PM
DrCube DrCube is online now
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I managed to catch 45 minutes of the Beach Boys at Bonnaroo in 2012. I was impressed with them, especially Brian Wilson. He played and sang well, even though he was in a chair the whole time. At the time I was in a rush to catch the Ben Folds Five reunion on another stage and didn't finish watching their set. I now wish I had. Sure you don't get to see Ben Folds Five reunite every day, but I imagine I'll have a lot more chances in my life to see Ben Folds put on a good show than I will Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. At least I saw my favorite childhood band play well for 45 minutes though. And they played "Don't Worry Baby".
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  #25  
Old 09-14-2015, 07:23 PM
Ellis Aponte Jr. Ellis Aponte Jr. is offline
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Rumor mill time: Dennis Wilson hung out with Manson's crew for the drugs and especially the sex. He never thought Manson had any real musical talent, and never promoted his career.
Wilson certainly went through the motions as if he did believe that. Here's a December 1968 article from Record Mirror magazine (UK) in which Wilson mentions Charles Manson by his first name and says, "when I met him I found he had great musical ideas," says he's currently writing music with Manson (this apparently resulted in the Beach Boys song "Never Learn Not to Love") and adds, "He's dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have learnt from him."

https://roxstar777.files.wordpress.c...ag0o1_1280.jpg

As late as May 1969 Wilson was still talking up Manson as an up-and-coming pop star, now referring to him as "The Wizard" and saying "He may be another artist for Brother Records" [the record label started by the Beach Boys]. This comes from an interview with Keith Altham for Rave magazine, dated May 1969.
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  #26  
Old 09-16-2015, 12:27 PM
D18 D18 is offline
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Several years ago, I saw Brian Wilson live. (The tour where the second half consisted of Pet Sounds, start to finish. Amazing.) Anyway, he opened the concert singing the BNL's Brian Wilson. Awesomely self-referential.

Last edited by D18; 09-16-2015 at 12:27 PM..
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