The Andy Paley Sessions/BB Reunion Timeline

by Charles LePage

Much thanks goes to Andrew Doe for his web site and research, to Eric Aniversario for his Beach Boys Set List site, and to DJ M and his superlative Uncanny site.

Please review the Whatever Happened To Andy Paley? and The Aborted Beach Boys Reunion, circa 1995 message threads in the Library.

January 28, 2001 Per AGD, "Brian plays an 11-song set at the China Club in LA, backed by the house band, with Don Was guesting."
February 7, 1991 Carl, Audree, Wendy and Carnie Wilson start a lawsuit to remove Brian from Gene Landy's care and to appoint a conservator.
June 9, 1991 Brian Wilson performs at a benefit for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, with Don Was in his band.
October 1, 1991 Wouldn't It Be Nice?: My Own Story, Brian Wilson's "autobiography," is released.
December 13, 1991 The conservatorship case is settled out of court. Jerome S. Billet becomes Brian's conservator, and Gene Landy removed from Brian's life.
February 20, 1992 Brian receives a Lifetime Achievement Awared at the 1992 Pro Set L.A. Music Awards. He performed Brian and California Girls. His band featured Don Was and Gregg Allman. He was quoted as saying "Dr. Landy's a hero."
August 3, 1992 Summer In Paradise is released by the Beach Boys, with no participation from Brian. It does not chart and is thought to be the worst selling Beach Boys album ever.
July 1993

Jellyfish band members on their meeting with Brian Wilson:

Sturmer's (lead vocals, guitar and drums) and Manning's (keyboards, guitar and vocals) skills have also been noticed by others in the music industry. They contributed to Ringo Starr's last album, have worked with Curt Smith of Tears for Fears and, through connections made with noted producer Don Was, also collaborated with Brian Wilson for the ex-Beach Boy's upcoming solo album. Sturmer enjoyed the experience but also alluded to Wilson's ongoing mental problems.

"We did a couple songs with him, one which he'll definitely use called I Wish It Would Rain. The other one doesn't have a title yet. Brian's an amazing guy and still has a lot of musical ideas. Him being one of my musical heroes, it was amazing to sit in a room with him and at a piano and write for a few days. People ask me what he's like, and I've said he's like a really powerful computer with a really bad printer." -- Rocky Mountain News, July 1993

Andy: At least I know that many musicians like us. My mother told me that she had seen chris Robinson from the Black Crowes on MTV and when he was asked with which band he'd want to go on tour with he inititally named us. We have Also written two songs with brian wilson shortly after the Ringo Starr album. Don Was - the producer of Ringos LP - had introduces us.

Mag: Could you explain that? It has been said that Brian Wilson has an LP finished which hasn't been released because the songs were too extreme?!

Andy: That's not so astonishing. Brian has gone through a lot in his life. When he writes songs he does it in order to deal with his life. The unreleased songs indeed were very strange and had absolutely no mass appeal. The only person that could relate to them was Brian Wilson himself. Sometimes he reminds me of a huge computer with a very small output. When we were in the studio with him he had outragous ideas but when it came to executing them it became extremely difficult to communicate with him. That is his biggest problem because musically he still is the same genius that recorded "pet sounds". We really witnessed that at one moment he jumped up and down enthusiastically and the next moment he wanted to go to bed. In opposition to most other guys who were around him and never dared to contradict him, we kept on pushing him. I like his music too much to let him produce something which is not really great. After the separation from his psychatrist Eugene Landy and his record company it's a complete new beginning for him into Brian Wilson nowadays. -- unknown source

A excerpt from Peter Whitfield's essay that was posted on the Brian Wilson message board on 02/18/06:

Thanks to Darian Sahanaja I was able to speak by phone with Roger Manning at his home in the San Fernando Valley a few nights ago, and during our hour-long conversation I brought up those hoary old Brian Wilson stories that had refused to go away. He was more than happy to look back with pride on a time which he remembers as being stressful but not without its surreal moments. Roger and Andy were regarded in the business as two of the hottest new kids on their block, a fact that hadn't escaped the attention of Don Was, who at that time was firmly in the Brian Wilson camp.

Don asked them if they would rendezvous with him and Brian at what Roger recalls was a warehouse/storage facility with a small studio attached, in Santa Monica (sounds like the old Brother Records building that I visited back in '85?). After the introductions were over, Don retired to a back room to take a long telephone call. During this time the other three sat uncomfortably around a small table and exchanged the occasional grin, until an assistant entered and switched on the TV, which was showing a programme they all liked, and this helped to break the ice.

Don returned and they adjourned to the studio where Roger sat at the piano and began playing a melody that he and Andy had worked on the previous day. With no lyrics at that stage, Roger began repeating a simple phrase, "Wish it would rain" which seemed to galvanise Brian into action. He pulled up a stool next to Roger at the keyboards (Roger describes it as the most nerve-wracking moment of his life, especially since there was no daylight between them and, as he puts it, "Brian was sitting closer than my girlfriend had ever gotten to me"). Brian agreed that the words were a good fit, and began singing a backgound vocal behind Roger's lead, consisting of the same phrase. Gradually, they found a groove and Brian's voice began to soar at full volume. Then, straight out of left field, Brian changed the whole complexion of the song by shifting it into a doo-wop celebration, singing "Oh I wish, I wish, I wish it would rain..." which completely fried Roger's brain. He was now in heaven.

Needing a bridge, and sensing that Brian was cooking on all thrusters, Andy and Roger asked him to oblige. Brian's reply was quite unexpected: "O.K., let's insert Surfer Girl bridge here..", which left everyone else nonplussed but as Roger later reflected, the song had by then developed a feel not unlike the Beach Boys classic. However, the anticipated creative evolution of the bridge then failed to materialise, meaning that they were stuck, quite literally, with the bridge from "Surfer Girl". After minimal tweaking, no amount of coaxing would persuade Brian that any further work on the bridge was necessary. Roger recalls laughingly, "It wasn't at all what we expected - we were looking for a great hook and he ended up giving us something that sounded like it had come straight out of The Beach Boys Big Note Songbook, something a new music student would probably learn in their first week". Undeterred, they pressed on until suddenly, another assistant appeared behind Brian, tapped him on the shoulder and said "Excuse me Mr Wilson, it's time for your nap". At which point he rose to his feet, shook hands with Roger and Andy and explained "Sorry but I have to go - I have to continue with my recuperation". Don Was assured the guys that Brian would be back to finish the song, but needless to say it didn't happen. He was seemingly courting all manner of Hollywood celebs at the time, and he did return at a later date, showing up at Roger's with Kim Basinger, wondering if they would be interested in kick-starting her musical career. They passed on that one.

So, ultimately, it didn't really amount to a hill of beans in the Jellyfish story, but it was an episode that Roger remembers with great affection. More importantly perhaps, it stands as a further example of the baby steps Brian would continue to make on his way to becoming the accomplished solo performer that he is today. The original tape of that session from August 1992 still survives, and although not in the Highest of Fi, it serves to reinforce what we all know to be true - the studio is where Brian is truly at home. So, what of "Wish It Would Rain"? Roger never forgot about it, but it lay undisturbed for more than a decade until last year when he finally finished it. It appears on his new album "Solid State Warrior", minus unfortunately Brian's contribution. The CD is available from next week on Japanese import only, until later this year when a new deal with Warner should see it released more widely. Also check Roger's website for links which will enable you to legally download the album from the internet.

August 1993

John Tobler reports on Don Was' recent and future work with Brian Wilson.

Since 1990, there have been several rumours concerning a Wilson solo follow-up, but nothing concrete was known until Channel 4's Friday Night At The Dome showed him working with Don Was of Was (Not Was). Was gave his side of the story about their liaison to Mike Grant and Nick Guy of the eclectic Beach Boys Stamp fanzine.

"It was probably Landy's impetus. I was working with The Knack, who are Brian Wilson fanatics and turned me on to the Smile bootlegs. That was also when the Pet Sounds CD appeared, so I got that as well. Although I'd always dug Brian's work, I hadn't listened to it much in years, but when I heard those albums I realised he was the greatest of them all... he just invented impressionism in rock'n'roll music.

"After playing what there was of Smile for six weeks, I went to a party for the Red Hot & Blue album (the album was released October 30, 1990), and there was Brian behind me, gathering food. I'll normally talk to anybody, particularly at a party, but I couldn't even go up to him until someone from Capitol Records who knew us both introduced us. Brian had no idea who I was or what I'd done, but we began talking, and he invited me to come and hear the album he was making, Sweet Insanity. I later discovered this to be his usual procedure – he wanted outside opinions, so he'd been bringing all kinds of people over to hear it. I think Landy knew who I was, and thought I might be of help to Brian, so he pushed me to come and listen – not that I needed much coaxing.

"I saw Brian periodically then for about a year, and it became clear Warners weren't going to release the album. I don´t think, actually, that it represented Brian as well as it might have. Once you got below the surface, he clearly had his musical chops together – you knew he had good musical ideas, could make a record and write arrangements. It was difficult, though, listening to it with him, because although a few of the hooks were good, I truthfully didn't like the songs. Sweet Insanity is well crafted, but kind of lazy at the songwriting end. My dilemma was that if I told him I didn't like it, he'd be pissed off, but then a year later might remember that I was the only one who told him the truth. So that's what I did, without being brutal.

"I felt that musically he was going to fairly obvious areas, with no risk involved, and it just wasn't hip enough for him. lt sounded as though there was too much stuff on the there – he'd done a lot of overdubs, and the tracks weren't mixed, so he hadn't sorted through what to use. I felt he wasn't singing right, either; he was either shouting or trying to croon. I think sometimes he feels compelled to sing too well, but his best vocals are the close, soft, simple ones. I told him all this, and said a rap record was beneath him – he needed to still be an innovator, not someone reflecting what someone else was doing and getting it wrong!

"I played some gigs with him, little one-offs like an outdoor benefit for pediatric AIDS at Yosemite. We did just three songs there: 'Good Vibrations' and 'Help Me Rhonda' were almost perfunctory, throwaway performances, but when we did 'Love And Mercy', he said he saw God coming up over the mountains, and he was transported. He got so deep inside the song, became at one with this piece of music; it was phenomenal."

At the time of this conversation, Was expressed uncertainty about the likelihood of "rescuing" any of the Sweet Insanity material ("Hopefully, Brian will write ten better songs instead"), but mentioned an ongoing collaboration with Carole King, while Was and Wilson have co-produced a version of John Fogerty's Creedence oldie 'Proud Mary', which Wilson arranged. Brian added a rough vocal to a backing track featuring a drummer (the late Jeff Porcaro), two bass players (Hutch Hutchinson from Bonnie Raitt's band, and celebrated sessioneer Jerry Scheff), two guitarists and an assortment of keyboards, all playing live from Wilson's arrangement sheets.

"There are things in there like 36 bars of hi-hat only – which he said were for spacing – and that's a painfully long time for all those musicians to be sitting there looking at each other and doubting whether Brian knew what he was doing. But when he started filling in the spaces – which he does in one take; he hears it all, knows what he wants to play and just does it– it dawned on me that the way he did 'Good Vibrations', where he recorded 45-second segments and slotted them in, was now planned in advance, so that things sounding like edits really aren't at all. He knew when to shift from a full choir to a jews harp and an organ, and he heard all these textures, and we did more sonic overdubs. Whatever troubles he's had in his life, they don't enter the musical arena. No matter how uncomfortable Brian may be at a dinner, he's right at home in the studio; a different guy, so relaxed."

Another project being planned is a documentary along the lines of D A Pennebaker's Dylan film Don't Look Back: "A hand-held black-and-white kind of thing, concentrating on the rehearsals for a concert, and along the way we'll capture Brian performing ten songs. Elton John's already committed to it, Ringo and David Crosby too" says Was.

Wilson has also been writing with Jellyfish, one of the more interesting newer US bands. "We went over to the studio for Brian to meet them, and he said: 'Jesus, it looks like a cartoon in here', because it was all these nutty keyboards with psychedelic things painted all over them. They played us two tracks sounding like they were right off Smile, with banjos and the whole bit, and it was all so Brian that it was really weird. I think they're going to be great for him, because they love his work so much."

Was believes that the errant genius is constantly gaining in confidence, "though I think he has less belief in himself than I have in him! But I truly believe Brian's best to be still ahead of him - and I'm not bullshitting, I see no reason why it shouldn't be true. I make six to eight albums a year (production work with the likes of Dylan, the B-52s, Elton, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy, etc.), and I see nothing different about Brian's situation from anyone else's. I've seen him do vocals, do backgrounds, come in with arrangements – the guy's totally with it, so there's no reason for it not to happen." -- Record Hunter 1993

September 1994 Don Was states in a September 1995 interview with Brian that he made his documentary "a year ago."
November 1994

Per AGD, this is when the Wilson/Paley sessions took place. In April 2005, Andy Paley told Billboard magazine:

Paley also has been busy working with Wilson on a project that may develop into a Wilson solo album, a Beach Boys album, or a combination of the two. "Brian and I have been in the studio over the last few years whenever we have spare time, just recording stuff, and we've got 30 things in various stages of development," says Paley. "Sometimes Brian says, 'Yeah, let's put the Beach Boys' voices on this,' and other times he's not so into it, so I don't know how it's going to work out. But this is something we've been doing because we've wanted to do it."

Around this same time, Andy Paley introduced Brian to April March, and they recorded some songs together:

Soon after, I began publishing demos and movie soundtrack recordings. Then we began to write together, Andy and Brian Wilson are great friends and writing partners, so Andy play Brian the songs we'd been working on, and Brian flipped. When we were recording "Boomerang" Brian came into the studio and told us that it could number one in Motor Trend magazine. After that, Brian wanted to record something. So we did "Sweetie" together. Brian played piano, I sang. Was I terrified? Yes. Was it fun? Very. http://www.dustbrothers.com/ideal/aprilmarch/friends.html

Also during that period Blake did work with Andy Paley, Jonathan Richman and the God himself, Brian Wilson. Her work with Wilson has yet to see the light of the outside world, adding more legendary mystery to Wilson's persona. "The stuff we did together was very old school Pet Soundsy type things," said Blake about her recordings with Wilson. "There were no synths. The songs sound like old girl groups because I'm singing and Brian is singing back-ups." http://ctomag.com/may16cto/blake2.html

MD: I'm a Beach Boys freak, so I have to ask: What's Brian Wilson really like, as a person and as an artist? AM: He's really sweet and very shy. I remember the first time I worked with him obviously, I was completely dumbfounded and terrified, and I'm pretty shy, but I could tell he was more shy. Yeah, he's very childlike not childish, that's different. He's guarded but very playful. The demos are there, in the vault. mustangdaily.net

December 12, 1994 A federal jury found Mike Love deserved credit on 35 Beach Boys' songs. The trial was instigated by comments in Brian's "autobiography," as well as the Brian Wilson lawsuit against Irving Music in 1992. He is awarded $5 million.
January 17, 1995

Brian and Don Was tell the Los Angeles Times about the proposed Beach Boys album.

Wilson says he has 25 songs for a Beach Boys album and is eager to work again not just with brother Carl, but also with Mike Love, despite their lawsuit battle, which was resolved last month with a U.S. District judge ordering Wilson to pay Love $5 million in cash and future royalties on 35 Beach Boys songs.

"The lawsuit ripped my heart right out," Wilson said. "But it turns out that the trial was actually a godsend, because it totally put (Mike and me) together."

Said Was, "We were talking the other day in terms of the lyrics (for a new Beach Boys album) that maybe could tell the story about what these guys have been through. Most people in America come from dysfunctional families. And here's one family that's been through as much adversity as one group can go through. But if they can pull it together..."

Wilson turned toward Was and nodded. "It's called a miracle, Don," Wilson said solemnly. "It's a miracle."

January 25, 1995 I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, a Don Was documentary on Brian Wilson, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.
February 6, 1995 Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter get married.
February 1995

Bill Holdship of MOJO interviews Brian Wilson and Don Was.

It's Don who first brings up a Beach Boys reunion when asked about future projects. So, why? "Well, I spoke to Mike about a week ago," says Brian. "The first thing he says is 'I really wanna get together with Don Was'. I said that's what I've been after you to do for about a year now! There was so much enthusiasm in Mike's voice. So we're cool now. Mike and I are just cool. There's a lot of shit Andy and I got written for him. I just had to get through that goddamn trial! I totally went crazy over that! Lots of stress! But I got through it. That's how it works. You've got hurdles, you know? A hurdle to me represents lots of mental effort and extreme mental stress. It's like a woman having a baby. What stress! To go through that! And for that big baby to come out of that little vagina. NOBODY KNOWS HOW THAT'S DONE! Someone can try to explain it, but you see the woman afterwards and she's cool. With artistic things, it's the same thing. Art doesn't come easy. It never did!"

March 27, 1995

Steve Appleford reports on the Beach Boys working together.

Suddenly, the vibrations seem good again. Pop maestro Brian Wilson, 53, brother Carl, 50, and cousin Mike Love, 54, are gathered round the microphone, just like old times, singing one of those unmistakable harmonies that so often lifted the Beach Boys to the top of the charts. But this is no oldies show. The three are actually working on a new song, happily crooning, "Meet me somewhere out in Malibu!"

"We're putting Carl's guitar on next," announces Brian Wilson, "which will make it even more raucous. It might even fly away. It's good enough to totally fly out of the universe."

Back on earth, in a Glendale, Calif., studio, the big surprise is that these guys are even speaking to one another. Just six weeks ago, Love won more than $5 million in a federal lawsuit against Brian Wilson, claiming that he was unfairly denied credit and royalties for "California Girls," "Fun Fun Fun," and more than 30 other Beach Boys hits he cowrote. And that doesn't take into account the darker side of the Beach Boys' history: Wilson's two-decade bout with mental illness, drug abuse, and various disputes with family, attorneys, and a former psychoanalyst, all of which have kept him mostly estranged from the band he once led.

Ironically, says Love, it was the lawsuit that brought them back together, finally lifting the burden of unfinished business from their lives. Four weeks ago, he invited Wilson to his home in Lake Tahoe for their first serious songwriting session in two decades. "We're back to square one," says Love, whose 6-year-old son, Brian, has added his voice to today's chorus. "In a studio in a garage making demos towards a new crop of songs...only it's 25 years later."

Still, there's a small disagreement brewing. The song is tentatively slated for submission to a new syndicated TV spin-off called Baywatch Nights. But Wilson is so pleased with the results, he's reluctant to let it go for anything other than a Beach Boys album. "We need this kind of a song," he insists. "You can't throw away your ace."

Wherever the song ends up, Love and Wilson hope that this is merely the first step in a renewed period of activity for the Beach Boys. Except for 1988's "Kokomo," which was recorded without Wilson, the group hasn't had a No. 1 single since 1966's "Good Vibrations."

"Only the voices will be the same," says Wilson of the new songs. "The tracks are a little more hard-driving. I'm trying to get used to our new thing, and I think I will. It's so hard, you know. I feel like I'm on the spot, and I don't like that feeling."

March 28, 1995 Till the Night is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus is released, which includes a Wilson/Paley recording of Sweets For My Sweet.
April 1995

Bill Holdship of MOJO interviews Brian Wilson and Andy Paley.

LATE APRIL 1995. ANDY PALEY CALLS ONE SATURDAY afternoon to say that he and Brian have time for a brief talk between the studio where Brian's been working on Orange Crate Art with Van Dyke Parks and a radio interview. They're set to begin rehearsals the following day for a Las Vegas gig with the Beach Boys that Brian's promised he'll do the following weekend – provided that Andy can join him onstage. Brian says it's his first Beach Boys gig in seven years.

The notion of this show strikes me as especially weird. Andy had told me earlier that the first recording session with the reunited Beach Boys hadn't gone well at all.

"Man, I hated that," Brian told Andy afterwards. "I'll write the parts; you record them; then I'll come in and help mix it afterwards. We'll do it that way."

Brian's looks a little unkempt today, unshaven, but probably no worse than lots of people who've been spending a lot of time in the studio.

So, how's it going with the Beach Boys, anyway?

"Very cool," Brian says. "It's getting a little better. It's actually a lot better than it used to be."

So Mike hasn't been taking control?

"No. Mike is just very ambitious, and he wants to see something good happen again for the Beach Boys. But I do, too. I want the Beach Boys to be a group that everyone likes."

April 28, 1995 Brian performs with the Beach Boys in Las Vegas.
May 1995

Bill Holdship of MOJO interviews Brian Wilson and Andy Paley.

IT'S SEVERAL WEEKS AFTER The Beach Boys' show, three weeks after our lunch, and Andy says things have changed again; that Brian felt uncomfortable in Vegas.

"They were nice," Paley says. "I mainly talked to Carl and Bruce. Carl asked what I wanted to do. I said, I'd rather do nothing, but Carl said, 'You have to or Brian won't go onstage'. So Brian sang ´Don't Worry, Baby´, ´In My Room´ and 'Surfer Girl´ in the middle of the show, and then we came back out for the encores. I felt OK, because they ended up with like 20 people onstage – John Stamos, Billy Hinsche, Ed Carter, Mike Kowalski. Mike Love's son. Al Jardine's son. The cheerleaders! So, I just hid behind everyone!

"But Brian said that he didn't really enjoy it. He said he thought Mike Love got pissed off because Brian got two standing ovations both nights. He said, 1 think he holds it against me, but I can't help it!' I said, 'Yeah, I know, Brian'. I don't even know that that's true."

Well, you mentioned earlier that there was a problem in the studio.

"Yeah. Everything seemed fine during the session. But Brian told me afterwards that he hated it. Never wanted to do it again. And he couldn't explain why."

Didn't Mike want to rewrite the songs?

"Yeah." Paley laughs. "But. I'm still a fan. I mean, everyone tells me Brian is the way he is due to Mike. But when I think of these people, it's like they influenced me big time when I was a kid, so sometimes it's hard to relate to them as real people. It's so strange, because even though Brian is my friend, I grew up thinking the guy was, y'know, some weird cartoon character. Not someone I could relate to. Mike still has that status with me. It's like when I produced Jerry Lee Lewis, people were asking, 'Don't you know what he did to his wives?' Well, I don't know, and, I don't think about it. He's a great musician. So I have to admit that Mike Love made contributions to pop music that have influenced me."

So, is Brian on form?

"Yeah. He's like an old pro. And if he feels like showing off, watch out, he's great. If he wants to, he's really, really got it. And he still has great writing chops. And incredible memory for details. We were in the studio today and he's coming up with these incredible parts. He occasionally comes up with some amazing songs, and he's putting everything on tape. Tons of stuff. And he's paying for it all. Which is really good because no one's telling him what to do.

"We've just been doing what he likes to do – the kind of records he's always liked; I don't try to change anything in any way – his vision of what he wants. When he says 'Do this." in the studio, I do it. I don't question it. If he knows what he wants, I do it or get somebody who can."

Ultimately then, he doesn't need the Beach Boys.

"I know," says Andy. "But I can't make up his mind for him. It's too controversial. If I gave my opinion... I don't know what my opinion even is at this point! I just want to see this record come out. I'd love to hear the right voices on the tunes. And if Brian thinks Carl, Mike and Al are the right voices, well, great!"

May 9, 1995 For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson is released, which includes a Wilson/Paley recording of This Could Be the Night.
August 1995

Soundtrack for I Just Wasn't Made For These Times documentary is released. Brian states in an online interview on Prodidy "We (Brian and Mike) wrote a song called Baywatch Nights, but I didn't record it with him. That's it so far."

Brian Wilson tells Lewis Shiner in an interview:

When asked what he's working on now, he says, "I've been trying to write some songs that are right for my group."

That group is not producer Andy Paley, and the musicians with whom Wilson has been recording again, in the spontaneous, pick-up-the-phone-and-book-a-studio manner he used so often in the sixties. No, he's talking about the Beach Boys.

"We think," Wilson says. "We don't know. The guys won't respond. We put out little feelers, 'How would you like to get together and have a listening party?' and then they all called up and canceled.

"The thing with the boys is, they're great, professional singers. It kind of hurts to feel like I'm going to lose them, or that they're not gonna take my trip. Hurts my feelings a little bit."

Don Was tells the Philadelphia City Paper how the BW documentary came about:

a.d.: How did the Brian Wilson thing come about? Was the BBC involved?

DW: The BBC were the first and only people to put up some money, but it was gonna get made anyhow. It started with a fan letter, when all is said and done. It's funny how with Disney, the soundtrack and everything, it all seems like brilliant cross-marketing but it just started as me meeting him and playing a gig with him. We did "Love & Mercy" with me on bass and him on piano. He nailed that fucker. That was the last straw for me getting to know him personally, I found he was a totally lucid cat, nothing like people had described to me. Very funny. I expected him to be musically braindead, drooling all over himself.

a.d.: Do you have any favorite films that might've given you visual cues?

DW: Yeah, Stardust Memories is one. I remember it playing with the concept of time. When it first came out, I was making lots of 12-inch dance singles and I think I tried to apply the same type of montage notion onto recording and mixing.

a.d.: Without harping on this, did you ever speak privately to Eugene Landy or Mike Love?

DW: I met Brian while he was still with Landy [the psychiatrist who spent every waking hour with Wilson, now deposed], so I knew him. While I was making the film, one day out of nowhere he says "I want to make a Beach Boys record. Will you go talk to Mike?" I thought maybe there was a chance for reconciliation and get that into the film. Wilson is looking to reconcile every aspect of his life, the things he missed out on. I went down there and they were thrilled, especially Love; he's got a good cynical sense of humor.

I was expecting to meet the evilest man in the world. His complaints, the chip on the shoulder, is valid: it's "the genius and the four assholes." That would make anyone vitriolic, so any preconceived notions I had got turned around. I learned a lot about myself while making this film, that humans don't have the wherewithal to judge.

September 1995

In an interview with Brian Wilson, Don Was says Brian is writing with Mike Love.

DW: It's pretty Inspirational to see you guys get It together again after years of anger and legal problems - just sit down in a room and have a good time writing songs. You got any thoughts about that?

BW: Well, Mike gave me the high sign, and he wants to work. He's gonna help the Beach Boys create a new trip. It seems like I need leadership. When I was younger, there was nothing I did better than go into the studio and say, "Here, you sing this" or "You sing that" and "Engineer, punch this button and bring that knob up and bring those voices down and bring up the mike on the lead" - that kind of thing. Nowadays, I don't really take charge as much in the studio, which is more indicative of how I live. For example, I haven't driven for three and a half years, and when I go to the studio it's the same thing. I'm convinced now that collaboration is, like, sixty times better than working on your own, because you have checks and balances. I was considering working with Mike as a producer, but I think it would blow his mind if I told him. [laughs]

DW: When we did the sessions for Proud: Mary [an unreleased Wilson-Was collaboration] a couple of years ago, you seemed a little unsure of yourself. But once you got loose with the idea that there were fifteen guys sitting in the room and you had to tell them what to do, I saw you get more confident, and I could Imagine what it was like to work with you twenty years ago. There's no doubt in my mind that you can still do all that stuff.

BW: I can still do it, I know I can. I just don't want to get into a trip where I act like an idiot in front of a bunch of people.

DW: I've never seen you do that. Meanwhile, as the producer on your next album, I've been trying to leave you room to write the songs you want to.

BW: Oh, we've been writing our asses off. We have at least thirty songs. There are a lot of songs that, honest to God, you would not believe how good they are.

DW: Do you think you're writing songs now that are as good as anything you ever wrote?

BW: Yeah. We've got one called In God We Trust. You should hear that. It's so great.

DW: I think It's Not Easy Being Me is as good a song as you've ever written.

September 7 1995

A report from Dan Lega:

With all the discussion over whether Brian should tour or not, especially after his Farm Aid appearance, I thought I would post the piece below which I originally wrote and sent in to the fanzine Endless Summer Quarterly. The time is September, 1995. This was a few months after the release of the documentary I Just Wan't Made For These Times and Brian had already had a couple of these type of appearances under his belt. I believe he had done two in New York already, and I wouldn't doubt if he had done some in California, too. The Walter Reade Theater is a very small place. It probably only holds 500 or so. And I was in about the fifth row I believe so I had a great view in an intimate theater. It was a real treat. So, on with the show!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BRIAN WILSON AT THE WALTER READE THEATER -- LIVE!

On September 7th, I was one of the lucky few without a preordained pass who made it into the Walter Reade Theater in New York for a screening of the movie, "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and a performance by Brian Wilson and friends afterward! And I do mean LUCKY!

It started out with Don Was introducing the film and announcing that he would answer questions after the screening. So we all sat back and enjoyed the film, (the fourth time for me,) and everyone gave it a huge round of applause at the end. Don Was then came back out and answered questions; the most important answers being:

(1) that he was trying to talk Brian into releasing a four hour CD-ROM of "Smile",

(2) that Brian has written 40+ new songs with Andy Paley,

(3) and finally, that Brian wanted to record an album with the Beach Boys in the fall! (Unfortunately it is now the middle of November and we haven't heard that anything of the sort has been happening, have we?) The question that prompted this, along with the question about why the Beach Boys, other than Carl, didn't participate in the film led Don to tell this story: it seems that as they were halfway through the filming of the documentary that Brian, apparently getting a bit fired up (for whatever reason,) asked Don Was if he would go and meet the Beach Boys and ask them how they felt about recording some songs with him again! Now Don, as he explained, had never met the Boys before, and after hearing "numerous stories" of the relations between Brian and the group, it was with much trepidation that he flew down to see them at a concert [San Diego(?)] expecting to meet Evil Incarnate! But he was much surprised to find them all very pleasant! He chalked up all the horror stories he had heard to regular group dynamics, the same that he has experienced in every group he has ever been in. He thinks that Brian and the Boys would have gotten together sooner and on their own, but that the lawyers for all the various lawsuits have kept them apart.

A report from The Beach Boys Setlist Archive:

The contributor writes about "Do It Again" being performed twice: "Brian was not happy with the audience hand claps the first time around. He thought they were too fast and did it again telling them to `Clap like it's the slowest song you know.'"

A report from Richard X. Heyman:

I had the honor of performing with Brian Wilson on two occasions. Andy Paley, who produced my album "Hey Man!", gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in playing and singing with Brian. The gigs were to promote the documentary film "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". Of course I jumped at the chance.

The first show took place at a club called S.O.B.'s over on the west side of New York City. After a quick rehearsal on stage, we went back to the dressing room. My wife Nancy was with me and we were both thrilled to have the opportunity to sit and chat with the most talented and influential American rock composer of all time. Nancy complimented Brian on specific songs that meant a lot to her.

She'd say, "I really love Please Let Me Wonder'", to which Brian responded as only he could: "Yeah, that's a good song." " Girl Don't Tell Me'". "Yeah, that's a good song." " I Get Around'". "Oh yeah, that's a good song." Brian Wilson, aside from his musical gifts, is a one-of-a-kind personality. I know it's not fair to assume that I know what he's like based on two gigs, but it's all I have. So keep that in mind. For all I know, he might have been putting us on with his childlike innocence, but I don't think so.

The second gig was at a movie theatre in Lincoln Center. For this one we did a rehearsal in Brian's hotel room. The suite was well appointed, with a baby grand piano and a spectacular view of Central Park. Paul Shaffer played the piano, Don Was was on bass. Andy Paley and Billy West were on guitars. The drummer from my band, Kurt Reil, played percussion and I was on drums.

For this rehearsal, there were no amplifiers for the electric guitars and bass. They just plucked and strummed unplugged, barely emitting any sound. The main accompanist was Mr. Shaffer on the piano. Brian sat behind a desk and sang while we all contributed harmonies. While everyone was in a jovial mood, cracking jokes and having a good old time, Brian sat stone faced, showing no emotion one way or another. In the sunlight cascading through the large window, Brian appeared rather pale. He reminded me of a corpse at an open-coffin funeral. Don Was, notable record producer, suggested quite seriously that we perform the show just like we were doing it in the hotel room. Electric guitar and bass with no amplifier, Kurt shaking sleigh bells and me playing on my thighs with a pair of drum sticks. My heart sank as I saw my big chance to play drums with the legendary Brian Wilson sink to making a fool of myself banging my legs black and blue. It took some doing, but we talked him out of that brilliant idea. He said he thought the vibe was so right. Yeah, maybe in a hotel room, but not on a stage in front of a couple thousand people.

As we were wrapping up the rehearsal, Brian went up to Kurt and asked if he could borrow five dollars. This seemed a bit odd, but Kurt, not wanting to offend his hero, fumbled through his pockets and gave him what was essentially all the money he had on him. Five bucks. Why was millionaire rock star Brian Wilson bumming a five spot off my drummer? Strange behavior. Kurt didn't even have enough money to get his car out of the parking lot.

Later that day we met at the venue for a final rehearsal. One of the pure joys of my musical life was when, after we ran through "God Only Knows", Brian turned around and said out of the side of his mouth "great drummin', man".

The show was a blast and Brian seemed pleased and upbeat. As we left the stage, he said to Andy Paley, "hey man, that was the best God Only Knows' ever." The impression I got of Brian Wilson is he's not your normal guy. I've never seen anyone act the way he does. He's definitely a 60's person, still using expressions like "far out". As far as I'm concerned, and I believe I speak for most of my generation, Brian Wilson can act and be however he likes. We are all immensely grateful for the beautiful music he created.

Kurt never did get that five dollars back, but we just chalked it up to the eccentric genius that goes along with being Brian Wilson. -- City Beat, March 2001

Sometime in September 1995 The Beach Boys at Studio C at Western, with Don Was producing, record vocals for the Wilson Paley sessions for Soul Searchin' and Still A Mystery. During background vocal sessions for Baywatch Nights AKA Dancing The Night Away, Carl Wilson walks out and the reunion ends.
October 5 and 6 1995

The Warmth Of The Sun for Stars And Stripes Volume I is recorded in Austin. Apparently this is where Brian first met Joe Thomas:

"We met -- Joe and I -- in Austin, Texas, at Willie Nelson's ranch," Wilson said. "And we eventually hit it off and began writing songs that same day we met. And eventually we wrote together the whole album ('Imagination'). "Joe's from here," Wilson continued, "and one day he and his wife and my wife were cruising around and came across St. Charles. They came upon a pair of houses that looked real nice, and we bought 'em." Thomas lives in the house across the street from Wilson's.

Per Bob Hanes from PSML on 03/09/2001:

Why and how of SS The story I was told goes something like this: Brian had trouble getting cooperation about doing the "Paley/Wilson" material. Melinda loved Willie Nelson's voice and was a fan of his. She suggested to Brian that perhaps Willie would do a good job on the song Warmth Of The Sun. David Leaf was asked or volunteered to make the deal with Willie's people and pave the way. He did so, with Brian to do production and backing vocal work. Mike Love caught wind of the proposed collaboration. He approached Bri and Mel through BRI about the BBs doing a whole album, and using an MOR/AC co producer named Joe Thomas, who had, had some success, reviving old rock n rollers, fading careers. The idea was to use BB songs and various c/w/ac artists with the "boys" on backing vocals. The deals were "cut" and so was the cd. The rest is history.

October 1995 Do It Again from I Just Wasn't Made For These Time is released as a single in the UK with This Song Wants To Sleep With You Tonight from the Wilson/Paley sessions as the b-side.
October 7 1995 More recording for Warmth Of The Sun in Nashville.
December 14 1995 Little Deuce Coupe for SAS is recorded in Chicago.
Just before Christmas 1995

Stuart Coupe interviews Brian Wilson.

When we met Wilson had just returned from Chicago where he's been reunited with the other Beach Boys and working on a new project - a Beach Boys country album. "It's the Beach Boys backing up twelve different and separate country artists," Wilson says whilst I'm wondering what a 'separate country artist' is. "We recorded eight background things in Chicago - In My Room with my daughter Wendy singing lead, The Warmth Of The Sun with Willie Nelson singing lead, I Get Around With Travis Tritt. Kenny Rogers is going to do Caroline, No. "It's the most fantastic album idea that's come along in a long time. It's a very heavy conceptual album that's kind of like bringing people together. That's the power of music. It's also very frightening for me. I've never done anything like this in my life and I wouldn't know where to start." This new album is scheduled for release mid -year, but Wilson reckons it might even be finished earlier. Before then there's a few other guest vocalists they want to enlist. "We're going to try and get Dolly Parton who I adore," Wilson says before articulating exactly what it is that attracts him about Dolly. "I think Dolly is one of the greatest . . . of course, very big breasts . . . very alluring . . . she's a very alluring girl. And maybe we'll get Julio Iglasius." What about George Jones, I venture. "Who . . . maybe . . . is he a country singer?" Informed that The Possum is in fact probably the greatest living country singer on the planet Wilson goes, "Oh yeah, right, right . . . and what's that guy's name who was Entertainer Of The Year for two years . . . Garth Brooks. We're going to try and get him too. Can you imagine us with all those country people? CAN YOU IMAGINE IT? It's almost impossible to understand. I think it'll be wonderful." Indeed it might.

After the interview, whilst Wilson is in the next room banging away on the piano, his wife takes me into a music room to play me the Willie Nelson contribution which is truly breathtaking. As are a bunch of rough demos of new Wilson songs that she puts in the tape machine before explaining that this year might also see a version of Smile, interpreted by a symphony orchestra, released. She also tells me that in the New Year the Beach Boys are going to Europe to record a version of Fun, Fun, Fun with Status Quo. Go figure. Wilson seems genuinely excited about working with the Beach Boys again - something that seems all the more remarkable when you consider they're probably the most litigious and, at times, downright nasty family in popular music. Christ, the make the Jackson's seem positively fun lovin'. "Yeah, yeah, yes, YES, it's very good," gushes Wilson about the reunion. "The guys were all just very good and practised and they knew all the songs because they'd been doing them on the road for 33 years. "It was basically a test to see if we could still hang together - and we passed the test. We passed with flying colours. I'm cool . . . I'm in one piece. . . I've been around. It was tough for me to be with those guys. We've got a lot of memories, a lot of bad memories of course . . . we never broke up but we might as well have broken up, the way we got along with each other. But that's all in the past. I was happy to go back there and work."

Good golly, Wilson's not even dismissing the possibility that he might perform live again as a Beach Boy. But there's something about his manner that suggests it's a long shot. "Oh yeah . . .depends how it feels. If it feels lousy I probably won't but if it feels good I'll do it." Does he miss the onstage experience? "No," he laughs. "No. I never did. Mike (Love) always scared me. I've always been afraid of Mike. He's good at it. He scared me. I think I'm better off at my piano than I am onstage because at my piano I can write a song and keep busy and keep my head into something." Wilson explains that he's writing a few new songs. There's one called Turn On Your Lovelight and he's working on a version of Proud Mary, the Creedence Clearwater classic. "We're doing a version of it," he says. "The boys haven't put their voices on it yet. It's going to be like . . . I'll show you.

January 1996 The Beach Boys, including Brian, record and peform with Status Quo in England.
February 13, 1996 Caroline, No for SAS is recorded in Hollywood.
February 27, 1996 Don't Worry Baby for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
February 28, 1996 Be True To Your School for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
February 29, 1996 I Get Around for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
March 7, 1996 409 for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
April 10, 1996 Sloop John B for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
April 15, 1996 More recording for Sloop John B in Chicago.
May 14, 1996 Long Tall Texan and Fun, Fun, Fun for SAS are recorded in Nashville.
May 15, 1996 Help Me Rhonda for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
May 19, 1996 More recording for Long Tall Texan occurs in Chicago.
June 12, 1996 I Can Hear Music for SAS is recorded in Nashville.
June 14, 1996 The Beach Boys, including Brian, perform at Fan Fair in Nashville. They perform the songs that will appear on Stars And Stripes Volume I.
August 1996 Stars And Stripes Volume I is released, produced by Brian Wilson and Joe Thomas.
September 8, 1996 Brian performs on stage with the Beach Boys for the last time, in Chicago.
Fall 1996

Per AGD, Virgin Records approaches the band with a proposal for an album. Some accounts state it was Bruce Johnston's idea to involve Sean O'Hagan of the High Llamas. The project falls apart.

Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys was so impressed by this record (Hawaii) he invited Sean O Hagan of The High Llamas to fly over to the States regarding the possibility he work on new recordings by The Beach Boys. Sean arrived at the airport and was apparently immediately called a faggot by Mike Love. Brian Wilson, upon hearing 'Hawaii' said ( of Sean O Hagan ) 'he obviously likes Pet Sounds', but Brian had no interest in working with Sean, or the other Beach Boys either, for that matter. Thus, the prospect of Sean producing a new Beach Boys record fell through. -- Adrian Denning

While O'Hagan is retro-minded enough to qualify as a potential fixer for the Beach Boys -- even if Mike Love apparently had the same foul reaction to O'Hagan's ideas as he did to Brian Wilson's in '66 -- he has a distaste for contemporaries who rely on dated conventions. "Like in Britpop," he says, "there is the whole thing of 'Oh, the song is back.' And I hate everything that Britpop represents. I hate the arrogance and I hate the personality-based music. I just recently made a connection between personality-based music and songs, where you can see the face of the songwriter, and then you hear the song. And I really wanted to get into this vibe where there is this anonymous protagonist, and the music is almost like a visual. -- Eye Weekly, 11/17/96

Last year, he was summoned by the reclusive/unhinged pop genius himself in an attempt to reconcile the Beach Boys to produce something more than bandstand renditions of Kokomo. The results, as anyone familiar with the soap opera surrounding the decade-late release of the Beach Boys' Smile box might imagine, weren't pretty.

"The Beach Boys were fans of Hawaii, so I was supposed to bring the band together to make an artistic record," O'Hagan groans. "The band wanted me to be artistically involved. Brian Wilson's bunch -- his wife and some very peculiar producers he's hanging out with -- didn't. I myself had no intention of getting that involved. I didn't want to go down as the person who finally finished off Brian Wilson! "As is the great habit of the Beach Boys, they didn't get it together. I spent three months flying around the U.S. with various members of the band and then reporting back to Brian. It was all so ridiculous that I recommended that the album not happen." -- NOW Entertainment, Nov. 1997

Johnston is disappointed that the O'Hagan-Beach Boys project didn't happen. "We had a really interesting offer from V2. Jeremy Pierce and Richard Branson, who are huge Beach Boys fans, said, 'Hey, Brian, let's get The Beach Boys and pick up where Pet Sounds left off.' The negotiations were complete; we even had the Highest of the High Llamas on our side. But I think Brian was a little intimidated by Sean, in the same way that Gershwin may have been intimidated by Oscar Levant. I'm not pointing my finger at Brian, but it was an amazing miscalculation on his side not to have done that V2 deal. I mean, he could still have done his solo album - they told him he could! But after The Beach Boys' record. A successful Beach Boys album would have drived a Brian album a lot better than Brian coming out in front of a Beach Boys album."

He is even more direct when we adjourn to a nearby restaurant, remembering his exasperation as the attempts to record the Wilson-Paley material fell apart. Johnston considers Wilson's fear of Sean O'Hagan inappropriate. "It's time Brian grew up. He's not a kid any more."

"Bruce Johnston contacted Jeremy Pierce (head of V2) after Bruce heard Hawaii", O'Hagan recalls. "The he got it to Brian and the other Boys. Apparently, Brian was really impressed. He understood what I was doing. Ita all seemed fairly genuine, and a meeting was fixed up with Brian and Melinda. So we went to Brian's house, a huge kind of Spanish-type ranchero with big open-plan spaces, like a giant Barrett home. Anyway, we walked in, and Brian was standing thre, holding a blanket for some reason. He looked fine - I never liked the Landy-thin Brian. The guy's 55, he's a big bloke, he ought to be fat. Fat Brian suits me."

"His face contorted, he looked confused. Plus, because he's deaf in one ear, he speaks out of the corner of his mouth. Trouble was, he couldn't work out how come we'd come all the way from Britain. Or how the last 30 years happened. But the interesting thing about the Pet Sounds box set (the inter-song dialogue) was just how in control Brian can be in the studio, how confident he is within those parameters. But you can tell that was also the start of the absurdity and the nervous laughter. And the drugs..." "Melinda Managed to conduct affairs fairly well and the idea of the record was tabled. And Brian's like 'Wow! A record? You want me to make a record? Whoa!' We said, 'We want you to make a Beach Boys record.' And he's, like, 'Whoa! A Beach Boys record? Will they let me?' It was as though the possibility of making a Beach Boys record hadn't occurred to him unril we mentioned it." "Brian goes, 'Can I have Hal and Carol on the record?' And then he went, 'Whoa! I'll give you a Number One.' And I said, 'You don't have to amke a Number One record - just make a record you really want to make.' Brian looked confused by this. 'You don't want a Number One?'"

Melinda said, 'Brian, we want you to make a record, and Sean will oversee it.' And Brian says, "who's Sean?' Melinda said, 'He's the guy who made that record you like, Hawaii.' And he says, 'The Hawaii guy? Are you the Hawaii guy? You made that record? Too much! Far out! Music, man. So much music!"

O'Hagan's next meeting with Wilson was at a dinner in Chicago, where Brian recently built a second home - and a studio - next door to Joe Thomas, the producer of Imagination, the record that will achieve what Sweet Insanity and the Paley-Wilson sessions failed to do - get in the shops.

It was during this period that Brian was being coerced away from ANdy Paley (by wife Melinda, according to observers), toward Joe Thomas, a former WBA wrestler, co-founder of the Adult Contemporary stronghold, River North Records, and producer of, as O'Hagan puts it, "real right-wing country artists." Wilson's lack of interest in the O'Hagan project manifested itself at dinner that night. "I could already tell it was never going to happen," says O'Hagan. "the whole thing was absurd. As far as I can see, Joe Thomas hasn't got a clue about Brian Wilson or his legacy. It's all just 'Little Deuce Coupe' to him. He wanted Brian to make a big Eighties ballad record, all cavernous snares. He kept referring to Brian's potential as an Adult Contemporary crossover artist. I sad, 'Don't you realise Brian Wilson is essentially a 20th-century avant-garde pop genius?' And he went, 'Avant-garde? Not the Brian Wilson I know' "I don't think Brian really wanted to work with him - but he had no choice, he was being pulled in that direction. He just wants to feel safe and comfortable, and Joe Thomas is a father figure. Plus, Melinda likes him, and he's dependent on Melinda.

"The album with me wasn't particularly high on Brian's agenda that night - ice-cream was. All he wanted to do was eat icecream. He was just sitting there in his baseball cap while all these discussions were going on, goin, 'Munch, munch, munch.' He loves eating. He'd agree to anything as long as he can eat. Someone would ask him, 'Would you agree to Sean overseeing the record?' And he'd go, 'Sure, sure!' The Melinda would say, 'No, no.' And he'd say, 'No, no.'"

O'Hagan's encounter with the Beach Boys was no less unsettling. Picked up at the airport in a limo, Bruce Johnston, - who saw this as his opportunity to be the liaison officer for the Beach Boys' Last great album - told him: "I'm going to teach you how to talk to The Beach Boys. Be corporate. The Beach Boys love corporate.' Then he said, 'You'll come over, you'll bring your girlfriend and you'll settle in California.' This was after five minutes! What was going through my mind was, 'How quickly can I get out of this limo, get back on the plane and go back home?' I was just catapulted into this mad situation."

It got madder. Sean was told he was to play live with The Beach Boys in front of 60,000 rednecks in a stadium in Cincinnati, surrounded by pink balloons and ra-ra-skirted cheerleaders. Carl Wilson, already undergoing treatment for cancer, was friendly enough, as was his wife, Gina, Dean Martin's daughter, who O'Hagan recalls cringing at the whole overblown charade. Mike Love as less than hospitable.

"He called me a faggot straight away, because I'm from England. 'You're all faggots,' he said. I was stunned. But it's weird - he's totally homophobic, but he struts about like a Seventies camp queen, doing his little arse wiggle. "Why all the gay moves, Mike?"

Before the show, Sean found Love meditating in a shower cubicle while the other Boys held a meeting in a changing room. "There was," he says, "something spooky in the air. It was dark, strange." Love introduced O'Hagan while the poor sap waited at the edge of the stage. "He goes, 'Hey, apparently we're cool with the young people again,' and the audience starts yelling, and he says, 'as if we've never been cool.' Then he says, 'We've got Sean O'Hagan here from The High Llamas!' I mean, I don't mean shit in America. It was ridiculous." -- Uncut Magazine, 1998

O'Hagan is frequently compared to Wilson, so much so that he was even invited to hang out with the Beach Boys a few years ago in hopes of a possible collaboration.

"I didn't go out of my way to meet Brian, and I wouldn't have wanted to," O'Hagan recently told Bandwidth. "I'm happy enough to have been influenced by Brian Wilson and to still listen to and enjoy the music he made. Plus, Mike Love was pretty much an asshole to me." -- New Times, Oct 2000

Gideon Gaye was described by Q magazine's David Cavanagh as "the best Beach Boys album since 1968's Friends" and 1996's Hawaii album gave O'Hagan the chance to meet and work with his idol Brian Wilson. "The band were out of a deal and Bruce Johnston had heard Hawaii and loved it. Brian heard it as well and was into it and so I went over to Los Angeles to meet them. Next thing I know, I'm with Brian Wilson at his massive showhouse. The thing is, he's not really responsible for his day-to-day life, he's totally dependent on other people. He wouldn't be able to live life on his own.

He's not mad, but he's got a kinda weird adult autism. "I asked him what sort of record he wanted to make and told him he could have strings and brass, and I was witness to him running around his house shouting 'Too much!' and 'You're blowing my mind!' over and over. You try to tell him that he wrote the best records of all time, but his attention span goes and he's not aware of what he's done. He'll never make a good record again." -- Intermusic.com, 09/17/01

June 1997 Andy Paley tells Request Magazine Brian Wilson can't get a record deal. He also expresses hope that the Wilson/Paley recordings will eventually be released.
November 1997 The Beach Boys will finally have their day in court regarding after filing a lawsuit against bandmate Brian Wilson and book publisher HarperCollins three years ago. The Boys are claiming that false statements made about the group in Wilson's autobiography, published by HarperCollins in 1991, caused them to somehow lose $16 million in tour revenue.
http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news/12063396
February 6 1998 Carl Wilson passes away.
May 9, 1998 Bruce Johnston performs with Brian Wilson, and Al Jardine performs at his last Beach Boys concert.
May 1998

It's been thirty-seven years since Mike Love and Brian Wilson collaborated on the Beach Boys' first minor regional hit, "Surfin," released on the long-defunct Candix label. Now, Love says the two may reheat their decades-cold songwriting partnership for a new Beach Boys album. "We've talked about it," says Love, 57. "But I'm not gonna bother him right now because he's busy doing all the things they make you do when you release a solo album." Wilson's third solo effort, Imagination, is due June 16 on Giant Records.

The first cousins penned two songs together in 1995, one for Baywatch. But that reunion didn't take, and the volatile duo have not collaborated extensively since the 1980 Beach Boys album, Keepin' the Summer Alive. Legal and personal differences, exacerbated by Wilson's involvement with controversial psychiatrist Eugene Landy, have been widely blamed. "But we're real close now," Love says, adding that Wilson will "definitely" play with the Beach Boys on stage in the near future. (Exactly how near is unknown, although the band has a tour of Latin America penciled in for October through December.)

Love's revelation comes three months after the loss of founding Beach Boy Carl Wilson to lung cancer, and concurrent with the release of a new studio project from the veteran band. Love, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine et al grace two songs on mariachi band Solde Mexico's Acapulco Girls album,due May 19 on EMI Latin. (The title track is a Spanish-language retake of "California Girls." "Kokomo" is also driven south of the border for an overhaul.) Setting the stage for a possible reunion, this past Saturday Wilson trotted Johnston outduring a mini-concert at the Norris Theater in St. Charles, Ill. Footage shot there is planned for a Wilson documentary being compiled by John Beug. Love says he's confident that when such promotional activity for Imagination slows, Wilson will redirect his energy to the Beach Boys. "His mind will go to other things," he says. "He's a Gemini. His mind is always active."

For his part, Love says he enjoys Imagination and Brian's other solo work. "But I collaborated with him on the biggest hits the Beach Boys ever had, so I'm prejudiced. I think he'd be better off working with me -- purely materialistically, and I think conceptually, too. And possibly lyrically." Beach Boys management consultant Michael Scafuto stresses that reunion plans are not solid. "It looks like it's going to happen," Scafuto says. "Brian and Mike get along very,very well, and Brian's never not been a Beach Boy. He didn't retire. He just decided not to tour. "But you can never tell what will happen," he says. In fact, a spokesperson for Brian Wilson professed no knowledge of the matter. ROLLING STONE

June 16, 1998 Imagination is released by Brian Wilson, which includes Where Has Love Been by Brian, Andy Paley and JD Souther.
July 1998

Brad Elliot explains on PSML why Soul Searchin' was not on Endless Harmony:

In the case of "Soul Searchin'," there were just too many parties involved and contracts would have had to be done with all of them to establish the proper basis for royalties on the song. Remember, the instrumental track was produced by Brian and Andy Paley, and the vocal sessions were produced by Don Was. The Beach Boys didn't have clear control of the recording. If we'd had another couple of months, it's likely the track could have been included.

March 1999

Brian tells a reporter he'd be in favor of a Beach Boy reunion:

Still, for all of the positive things happening in his life right now, there is one thing missing: The Beach Boys. It's a complex relationship made all the more distant by Carl's passing. And it's clear that it's something Brian would like to see patched up. "It's pretty much out of touch at this point," he says of his relationship with Love, Jardine and Bruce Johnston. "Because Carl died and, of course, that kind of loused us up a little bit. But it's OK." Wilson says he would welcome a reunion with his former bandmates, adding he has "a hunch" that one day they will perform together again. "There's no plan," he says. "but if all goes well, I'll do it."

April 9, 1999 Brother Records Inc. files a suit in Los Angeles federal court to prevent Al Jardine from using the Beach Boys name. Take a look at Ivan Hoffman's analysis of the lawsuit.
August 23 1999 Melinda Wilson files a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court to disolve the professional relationship between Brian Wilson and Joe Thomas. Joe Thomas later countersues.
November 1999 Beach Boy attorney Mike Flynn announced he would try to put a stop to the advertising of a Al Jardine New Year's Eve show, scheduled in Huntington, N.Y. Full-page newspaper ads and radio commercials have advertised the show by stating, "Bring your family and friends to celebrate with the Beach Boys Family and Friends." Flynn said that fans are being misled into thinking that it is a Beach Boys concert.
January 3, 2000 A preliminary injunction (US CD California CV 99-3829 HLH) is passed down by U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp in Los Angeles to stop Al Jardine from using the name "Beach Boys Family & Friends" until the time of trial, tentatively scheduled for some time between May and June. Beach Boy attorney Mike Flynn insists Jardine has been using the "Beach Boy" name without the proper license from BRI, and also claims audiences at Jardine's shows have complained they were expecting a "traditional" Beach Boys show.
June 29, 2001 Alan Jardine filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Melinda Wilson (Brian's wife), Bernard Gudvi (director of the Carl Wilson Trust), and Brother Records, Inc. (BRI) for breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory relief. Jardine's lawsuit claims, in part, that he's been "wrongfully excluded from rendering his personal services in connection with live concert and touring aspects of the Beach Boys business." Jardine is fighting to continue use of the name "The Beach Boys Family and Friends," the moniker he's been touring under for the last several years. In 1998, at a BRI board of director's meeting, Mike Love was given permission to use the Beach Boys name, despite objections from Jardine. BRI attorney Ed McPherson said the company voted in favor of giving Love permission to use the Beach Boys name at the time because he was the lead singer of the band for 30 years, and was most associated as a member of the group, while Jardine sang lead vocals on one song. Jardine is the only original member of the Beach Boys in "The Beach Boys Family and Friends," which includes his two sons, Matt and Adam Jardine, and Brian Wilson's two daughters, Wendy and Carnie Wilson. In the spring of 1999, BRI filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles seeking to prevent Jardine from using the Beach Boys name. Jardine's new lawsuit also states, "Jardine has suffered damages in a sum according to proof at trial, but substantially in excess of $5,000,000. Jardine is further entitled to prejudgment interest on all sums awarded according to proof." And in summary, the suit states that Jardine is looking for "an award of compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial; an award of punitive damages within the jury's discretion; for costs of suit incurred in this action; for declaratory relief; and for such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper." http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news/12056349
July 2000

Almost a year after Brian Wilson filed suit against one-time collaborator Joe Thomas seeking damages and a break-up of their 1997 joint venture -- and Thomas' counter lawsuit, filed ten days later -- the two former partners settled out of court. Neither side would disclose the particulars of the settlement.

When asked about a BB reunion, Brian Wilson tells a reporter "A reunion of the Beach Boys? I don't think so. After Carl died, it sort of messed us all up. We're not really talking. There's no real inspiration to talk to each other, I guess. It's not happening. It split us up. Carl was our peacemaker."

February 21, 2001 The Beach Boys receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy ceremony. All the band members attend, but do not sit together.
2001-2002 Andy Paley appears with Brian Wilson in concert from 06/09/2001 to 02/27/2002. Sometime later, Andy Paley and Melinda Wilson have a falling out, and Andy and Brian no longer work together.
June 5, 2002 Al Jardine filed a lawsuit against his attorney and his firm in regards to a 1999 Beach Boys trademark-infringement case. Jardine filed a lawsuit against Vincent H. Chieffo and other related defendants in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. The matter goes back to a 1999 litigation in which Jardine was sued by the Beach Boys' Brother Records for trademark infringement stemming from use of the Beach Boys name. Jardine filed a counterclaim asserting a breach of contract claim. Chieffo and the other acting attorneys advised Jardine at the time to amend the counterclaim to assert an additional and different claim for breach of fiduciary duty. Jardine authorized the defendants to do so, but for whatever reason, the defendants failed to file a motion for leave to amend the counterclaim until the spring of 2001. In April 2001, the court denied the motion because it was not filed in a timely fashion. As a consequence of the defendants' conduct, Jardine was unable to file the breach of fiduciary duty claim in the federal action, which Jardine alleges would have resulted in an award of damages. The suit alleges that, as a result of the defendants' legal malpractice, Jardine has suffered general and special damages believed to exceed $1 million. Jardine is also seeking damages for emotional distress. http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news/12057032
December 2002 Brian Wilson tells a reporter "Nobody has asked about one (a Beach Boy reunion), but there's got to be one sometime. I'm hoping we can get back together in the future. It will be the 39th year (since the California group was organized) in January 2003, and who knows about the 40th? We're not on speaking terms now. We don't talk about each other or to each other. We were talking for a while. But not now."
January 28, 2003 The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismisses Al Jardine's appeal (9th US Circuit Court of Appeals No. 01-57095), barring him from using the Beach Boys name. Read Marty Schwimmer's analysis of the decision.
April 21, 2003 Case BC294377 is filed in Los Angeles Supreme Court, Brother Records and Mike Love vs. Alan Jardine; Jardine Tours, Inc.; Richard Duryea; Duryea Entertainment; William Monot, Howard Silverman; Paradise Artists. The suit seeks to have Jardine found liable for breach of the indemnification agreement and to have damages of $2,021,236.81 awarded. The suit also seeks a declaration of Jardine's duty under the indemnification agreement, punitive damages for his alleged breach of his fiduciary duty as a director and shareholder, both in litigating and in usurping corporate opportunities for concert income. Separately, the suit seeks $2,021,236.81 in damages under California's unfair competition statute.
October 6, 2003 The United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Al Jardine.
October 29, 2003 A three-judge panel states Al Jardine has a right to argue his breach of fiduciary duty claims (breach of contract) in the lower court. A L.A. Superior Court judge dismissed Jardine's claim in July 2002, saying that the decision in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California addressed the breach of contract issue. In the latest decision, the California Court of Appeal ruled that Mike Love acted wrongfully in freezing Jardine out of touring under the Beach Boys name.BRI previously won the trademark dispute in court. Al announced he would later seek a financial settlement.
June 22, 2004 Gettin' in Over My Head is released by Brian Wilson, featuring Soul Searchin', Gettin' In Over My Head, Desert Drive, and Saturday Morning In The City from the Wilson/Paley sessions.
May 20, 2005 Al Jardine, David Marks and Brian Wilson attend the unveiling of The Beach Boys Official State Landmark.
June 29, 2005 Al Jardine named Brian Wilson, Mike Love, the Carl Wilson Trust and Brother Records Inc. (BRI) as defendants in a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to Jeffrey Benice, his attorney. "Al's position is that no one Beach Boy could vote to exclude another Beach Boy from touring and using the Beach Boy name," Benice said. "He's been wrongfully excluded from touring with the Beach Boys. He's a Beach Boy, always has been. He's a 25-percent shareholder of Brother Records Inc., and he's been wrongfully excluded by virtue of BRI giving Mike Love – instead of Mike Love and Al Jardine – the exclusive right to tour as the Beach Boys." Benice also noted that the $4 million figure is a low-end number, and the suit could amount to much more once the receipts from Love's tour, which grossed $18-20 million by his estimation, are calculated.
July 2005 Mike Love tells a reporter "Yeah, it´s (a reunion with Brian Wilson) been proposed, and I would be open to doing something like that. But it would have to be a two-way street. I´m not saying it´s around the corner, but you never say never."
September 2005

During a meeting, Mike Love advises Al Jardine and Brian Wilson he believes the other Beach Boys are entitled to a cut of the BWPS profits, and that Brian should have allowed the surviving Beach Boys to finish SMiLE with Brian. It's noted that if BWPS had not made a profit, it's unlikely Mike Love would have such opinions. Brian later this month announces on his message board he's going to take an extended break from touring.

Al Jardine tells the Sacramento Bee, after seeing the Eagles in concert last month, he was inspired to reunite with the rest of the Beach Boys. "I just went to an Eagles concert and they reminded me of our own great harmonies. I thought, 'We could do that if we put everybody back on stage, the way it ought to be." He seems to think the key to a reconciliation with Love is through former group member Brian Wilson -- who also left the band in the late '90s. Jardine said, "If Brian Wilson wanted to come out of hiding and be a Beach Boy, we could put the band back together pretty much the way it was and do a good job. So that's my mission right now -- to get Brian to be a Beach Boy." Al also says, perhaps referring to the above meeting: "I'm sorry for Brian. Poor Brian's under the Mike Love guns again, let's put it that way."

Mike Love tells the Marin Independent Journal "It's a little weird because the people around him (Brian) have him focused on a solo career, so he's going off and doing his Brian Wilson solo endeavors. That's the direction they've chosen to go in. It's OK, but I'd be open to doing something with him if the opportunity presented itself." Asked about the state of his relationship with Jardine, Love admits that "it's a bit strained. There's some residual things going on with the lawsuit that he lost. But he has some things on appeal, and until that plays out, there will be this distance between us. Once that's resolved, we can re-approach our relationship."

October 2005 Bruce Johnston tells a reporter he misses hearing Al Jardine on stage as part of the group's nightly harmonies: "Al Jardine has a voice, a terrific voice, but he's got some notes there that nobody has. Y'know he just has a range that puts the song away, it's so good. It's stunning and traffic stopping. I couldn't sing like that!"
November 2, 2005 Mike Love files a lawsuit in federal court (US CD California No. 05CV7798), accusing Brian Wilson of promoting his 2004 album, Smile, in a manner that "shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love's songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the Smile album itself." Love objected to a promotion in which 2.6 million copies of a Beach Boys compilation CD were given away to readers of The Daily Mail on Sunday newspaper. The lawsuit said the giveaway undercut the band's sales. More details can be found here and here.
December 19, 2005 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals No. 04CV55096 -- The District court advised did not abuse its discretion when it declined to enjoin state court lawsuit brought by ex-Beach Boy based on previous federal litigation.
December 2005 Mike Love tells a reporter "There's always that possibility (a reunion with Brian Wilson). There could be some really nice stuff to come out of that, were that to happen. He's still surrounded to this day by people who manipulate him and get him into things that are not the best thing for him, I think. But with Brian, I feel he has certain abilities that complement my abilities and anytime we were to get together, those basic natures take over and transcend any issues and problems and what have you. Whenever Brian and I are together, we have a lot of fun."
April 21, 2006 It's announced on the Smile Shop Board by Dr. Tim "Two parties were let out of Mike's case (Big Time TV and Associated Newspapers). Brian and his companies have appeared in the case and are set to file answers to the complaint next week. A hard-fought motion to disqualify Mike Love's lawyers from representing Mike was denied. No details on what the grounds for the motion were. Both Melinda and Mike (among many others) filed statements regarding that motion. The remaining motions to dismiss by David Leaf and others will now be heard on May 15. Again, to date only a handful of the court documents (mostly one-page court orders) have been posted on line so there's not much further detail to report."
April 22, 2006

Al Jardine tells a radio station that there is a possibility of a reunion based around the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds. Jon Stebbins announces on the Smiley Smile board "I had a long talk with Al today. It seems everybody is talking again in the BB's world... who knows if it will last...but...Brian and Al are talking regularly...they've both spoken with Mike recently and it was all positive...David is visiting with Mike and Bruce tonight...anything is possible."

Founding Beach Boy Al Jardine has announced what many Beach Boys fans have been hoping for -- an onstage reunion featuring himself with Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston.

In a world exclusive, Jardine revealed to us that plans are in the works for the group to reform later this year in London, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their 1966 Pet Sounds album. Jardine said that if all goes well, a possible reunion tour might follow: "Actually, a reunion tour is not out of the question, because with this Pet Sounds anniversary coming up, it's a very good possibility that we'll be performing it live in London in November. It would be like a Pet Sounds reunion. Mike is open to it and Brian appears to be open to it and you never know what might spring from that. So if (a reunion tour) is in the cards, we'll do it. You never know. It might just work. "

Jardine and Brian Wilson have been in various legal battles with Love over the past few years, and have not performed with the group since 1998 and 1996, respectively. Love and Johnston continue to tour under the Beach Boys name.

Conspicuously absent from the reunion is Beach Boys co-founder David Marks, who has been performing joint gigs with Jardine over the course of the past year. Jardine explained that although Marks was a co-founder and played a crucial part in most of the group's early recordings, the reunion show would only feature group members who participated in the actual Pet Sounds sessions. Marks quit the group in November 1963 after performing on their first five albums.

Jardine did not give a date when the concert plans would be finalized, who would be backing the group onstage, or when the concert would be announced.

Pet Sounds, which was released on May 16th, 1966, featured such Beach Boys classics as "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Sloop John B.," "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," and "God Only Knows."

Jardine and David Marks will team up with Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean for the "Cruisin' With The Legends Of Surf Music" cruise, set for October 2nd through 6th.

April 22, 2006 Per David Mark's MySpace blog "The weekend before last, David met up with Mike & Bruce and the band at West Point, NY. They played a solid show with a ton of songs. David sat in on the last few - Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann, Surfin USA and Fun, Fun, Fun. It's good to see him up there playing alongside Mike like he did was he was a teen."
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=61924274&blogID=116554898
May 25, 2006 Per Al Jardine "(Brian's) got some charity work this year, apparently he's got some events that he's invited me along to do something, I guess on that level, but not financially or anything like that. It more of a charity work. And then we might do a couple of recordings together, 'cause, y'know he still really enjoys my voice. He thinks I have a good voice."
June 13, 2006 Per Jon Stebbins "From the rooftop of the historic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood...Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston...on June 13, 2006 the Beach Boys were together again."
http://jonstebbins.wg-net.com/reunion.html

Founding Beach Boys Reunite

By Steve Gorman

Three of the original Beach Boys appeared together in public for the first time in a decade on Tuesday to toast their musical legacy and hinted at the possibility of a reunion performance.

Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine, along with Bruce Johnston, who joined the touring lineup in 1965, gathered on top of the Capitol Records office tower for the presentation of double-platinum plaques marking U.S. sales of more than 2 million copies of the band's 2003 collection, "Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys."

Also on hand to uncork champagne with the band was David Marks, who briefly filled in for Jardine in the early 1960s.

The three original band members have not performed together in years. But, asked about the possibility of sharing the stage again, Wilson replied, "There's a chance of that."

Added his cousin, Love, with whom Wilson was often at odds in later years: "We've got tough management."

The focus of the event was to promote reissues of the band's catalog and celebrate the success of "Sounds of Summer," a 30-track set featuring hits like "California Girls," "I Get Around" and "Surfin' U.S.A."

The album, released in 12 countries, spent its first two years on the Billboard Top 200 chart and has since ranked among the top 10 biggest-selling catalog albums of all time.

"I want to thank everybody involved that helped us get that album ... going and going," said Wilson. "And I thank the Beach Boys themselves for being great, great artists to produce. I'd rather produce those guys over any other artists in the whole world."

Johnston, who became part of the group when Wilson quit touring to focus on studio work, paid tribute to Wilson's brothers and fellow founding band members, Dennis, who drowned in 1983, and Carl, who died of cancer in 1998.

"I wish Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson could be here with us," Johnston said, to which Love added, pointing up at the sky: "They probably are, because this is pretty close."

Organizers said the last time the original Beach Boys appeared together in public was around the time that "Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1," a collection of Beach Boy covers performed by various country music artists, was released in 1996.

Capitol Records, a unit of EMI Music Group, also announced plans for a 40th-anniversary release June 27 of a deluxe CD single of "Good Vibrations," featuring five versions of the band's seminal 1966 hit and its original U.S. B-side.

In late August, Capitol also plans a 40-year commemorative reissue of the band's landmark "Pet Sounds" album in a CD/DVD package that includes mono, stereo and digital Surround Sound mixes of the music, plus previously unreleased promotional and documentary footage.

Reuters/VNU

Up On The Roof!!!

Posted on June 14, 2006 at 02:14:11 AM by Bruce Johnston

I just returned to Las Vegas (we have a private concert here at the Wynn in three hours....97 degrees outside & clear!) from the Capitol Records press conference and I must say that it was great to see the band today. We all caught up with one another in one of the large offices before the 'event' and then we went up on the roof and received the awards. There were lots of TV and still cameras covering the presentation and then questions from the press. The 'reunion' issue came up and the band dialogue was pleasant, polite but also noncommittal.

Al and I had a quiet discussion about a Beach Boys reunion tour and I pointed out to him that I thought the best approach would be to first book a 'controlled' venue and hope that a DVD, CD and TV special came out of a BB concert and in turn that might create some sort of mass interest in a possible US tour. I also reminded him that the Beach Boys music is available in concert live year after year unlike the Eagles being in musical moth balls and you would have to look at some sort of practical financial BB concert fee for the band. You don't want to burden a concert promoter with huge concert guarantees but loads of empty seats because the venue is too large.

I'm not saying that just because we spoke a reunion tour will take place-I still feel that this was the last time we would all be in one place at the same time together. Sadly there are always many issues in the way. One more thing: We all made sure that Dave Marks stood with us in all the photos though some of the 'younger' Capitol Records employees did not know he was!

Bruce Johnston
Las Vegas
June 13, 2006

June 30, 2006

Two weeks ago, Mike Love found himself on the roof of the Capitol Records building in L.A., a little closer to the sun that inspired so many of his hits. Standing next to him was his cousin, a man once as distant to him as the city street 13 stories beneath his feet.

But on this warm Wednesday afternoon, Love and Wilson -- along with fellow Beach Boys Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston -- got together for the first time in 10 years to commemorate the success of the 2003 best of collection "Sounds of Summer," which had recently been certified double platinum.

"It was quite a nice event," Love says. "It was cool, because everybody was on their best behavior and we were all getting honored for our parts in creating some really good music. Brian was saying. 'Hey, I'm leaving for Hawaii tomorrow, and I'll be back in two weeks. I've got a show in Vegas on the first.' I said, 'Yeah, I know, we have one on the second. That'd probably be a good place to get together.' He's expressed an interest in getting together a few times and doing some music."

This is big news for anyone with an appreciation for multi-part harmonies as rich and creamy as buttermilk. Love and Wilson are one of pop music's greatest songwriting tandems, at one point penning 11 top 10 hits in five years.

The two play distinct roles in the studio. Love is the consummate lyricist, his words so starry-eyed, you'd think he invented teen romance. For his part, Wilson is one of the most talented vocal arrangers ever and a pioneering producer whose tracks sparkle like gemstones.

Together, they patented a sound that was the rare combination of immediacy and depth, marrying populist appeal with an audiophile's attention to detail.

"There's some very arty things and some very commercial things as well, but I've always erred to the side of commerciality in the sense that I wanted the lyrics to relate to people," Love says of the Beach Boys catalog. "Like in 'Good Vibrations,' when I first heard the track, it was so mystical and so weird, I said, 'Wow, people who like 'Fun, Fun, Fun' and 'I Get Around,' they're going to think this is weird.'"

"But everybody knows the attraction between boy and girl," he continues. "So I came up with, 'I'm picking up good vibrations, she's giving me excitations.' 'Excitations' is probably not a word," he chuckles, "so sue me."

But despite their knack for crafting pristine pop together, Wilson and Love have had a tumultuous relationship at times, strained by Wilson's LSD use in the '60s and his increasingly mercurial vision of what the Beach Boys should be. The two haven't collaborated with one another in years.

"Brian and I have never been uncomfortable around each other," Love clarifies. "It's the people around him -- Dr. Landy (Wilson's psychiatrist), his dad Murray, his current administration, management, etc. -- they're the ones who have always tried to insulate Brian from myself and the group. But I think this too shall pass -- if I may wax biblical."

Love speaks in wistful tones as he says this. You can hear the desire to re-connect with Wilson in his voice, which is soft and meditative.

"We go back to DNA together, we go back so far," Love says of his cousin. "We grew up together as children. The Wilsons would come over to the Loves' house -- our house had a grand piano, an organ and a harp in it, and we'd spend a lot of time together musically. We'd go to youth night at church, and on the way home we'd be singing Everly Brothers songs. We'd always be singing together. We have that rapport. That kind of stuff is hard to forget."

Who knows, with both the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson in town this week (Wilson plays The Club at the Cannery tonight), Vegas could be the city where Love and Wilson rekindle their creative relationship. Love says that Wilson has already sent him a song to write lyrics for, though Love prefers to get together and start from scratch.

Love still seems to believe in Wilson, maybe even more than Wilson believes in himself these days.

"He's innately musically gifted," Love says. "If he's in the right circumstances, in the right environment, with the right person, musically speaking, I think there's no reason to rule out some pretty cool new things."

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Jun-30-Fri-2006/weekly/8072221.html