Brian Wilson, composer, producer, arranger and performer, returns with a stunning new collection of songs co-written by some of today's most respected lyricists. IMAGINATION is a true "event." Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Brian Wilson to AOL!<BR>
AOLiveMC2: Welcome to AOL Live, Brian Wilson!
AOLiveMC2: We're delighted to have you as our guest!
BrianWLive: Hello everyone!
AOLiveMC2: And here is our first question of the evening, Brian: I really love your new CD--I want to express my sorrow at the loss of Carl-I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times, and you twice in 83--I'm having trouble finding certain Beach Boys albums or CDs and both of Carl's solo albums-any suggestions?
BrianWLive: We'll look into it for you.
Question: Brian, what did you think of the punk scene when it first arrived in the late 70's - early 80's?
BrianWLive: I was overwhelmed by the positivity of it all, absorbed it all in, in my soul.
Question: Have you ever gotten into metaphysics to understand the principle?
BrianWLive: It was quite an event, to the new wave of music. Thank you very much. Health has a lot to do with what you put into your body, and exercise. It's very important to watch what you put into your body, and exercise, if you can find time for it.
Question: Brian how did you think up of all these great songs. They Rock and Roll!
BrianWLive: Well, I found that with my collaborator Joe Thomas in Chicago - he and I wrote the songs, some with Jimmy Buffett. The inspiration came from my wife and my 2 new babies - that was my inspiration, to write all that music.
Question: Was there a genuine rivalry between the Beatles and Beach Boys, or was it more a mutual admiration and inspiration society?
BrianWLive: It was both! Both an inspiration and competitive rivalry. It inspired Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Rubber Soul inspired that sound. Made a heck of a good rivalry for us.
AOLiveMC2: We are chatting with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys at this time.
Question: What happened to the tracks (written with Andy Paley) recorded last year for the proposed Beach Boys album? Will they ever see the light of day?
BrianWLive: Those were put on the shelf temporarily, but in my next album I intend to use most of those songs. They rock & roll. You get the beat down pat, you know.
Question: As expressed in your classic lyric "I get bugged driving up and down the same old strip" did you get tired of touring and rock star trappings?
BrianWLive: No that's one thing I never got tired of, touring, I always loved it. It felt good to play for people.
AOLiveMC2: This next question is really an interesting one, Brian: Is it true that you actually brought animals into the studio for "PET SOUNDS"?
BrianWLive: No, I recorded my dog's barking at my house and over-dubbed it onto my tape.
Question: What inspired your great love of harmony at such an early age?
BrianWLive: Almost entirely because of the intricate harmonies of The Four Freshmen, I was able to copy the high singer in the Four Freshman to study harmony.
AOLiveMC2: A question about one of my favorite songs: Brian, I love the song "Don't worry baby". I was wondering where the inspiration came from to write that song?
BrianWLive: The lyrics were written by a disc jockey in LA, and I wrote the music to the words, which is opposite what I usually do, write the words to the music.
Question: Do you plan on touring with the remaining Beach Boys anytime in the future? I saw one of Carl's last performances, he will definitely be missed.
BrianWLive: Yeah. We had a meeting today with the Beach Boys - Mike, Bruce and David Marks will go out, and I will stay home this time.
AOLiveMC2: Here is a wonderful comment from one of your many loyal fans: I grew up in Nebraska, but when I visited California as a kid I saw your songs come alive. You had so perfectly captured the California experience that I almost felt as if I had come home. Thanks for the music, Brian.
BrianWLive: Thank you! I think that's wonderful!
Question: Is there any chance that you will ever release the "Smile" album? I've always heard it referred to as the unreleased masterpiece of the Beach Boys.
BrianWLive: No it was not a masterpiece at all, just little bits and pieces of music, not really an album. Hardly any vocals at all, just background music that's why we didn't put it out.
Question: If you could write a song with any collaborator from any musical era who would it be and why?
BrianWLive: I'd have loved to have written a song with George Gershwin, but that's impossible. I'd say Mike Love would be one of my favorite collaborators. I'd like to do a song again with him some time.
Question: What song - with the Beach Boys or solo - do you never get tired of hearing because it holds a special place in your heart?
BrianWLive: I'd have to say California Girl, cause of the city and its beauty and Mike's voice. I hold that song very dear to my heart.
Question: Brian, as a clarinet player I love the way you have used woodwinds in your arrangements over the years, like in Sunshine on the new album. How and why did you develop this interest in using woodwinds in rock music?
BrianWLive: That was by Joe Thomas; he thought about putting woodwinds on the album. I used woodwinds on "God Only Knows" too.
Question: I was very sad when Carl died. "Girl Don't Tell Me" is still a favorite. What did you think of the Bare Naked Ladies' song, "Brian Wilson"? It seems to capture a very difficult period in your life.
BrianWLive: I haven't heard that. Never heard that one.
Question: I read that there is a new movie about your life, that is going to be made. Will there be any new Brian Wilson songs?
BrianWLive: Some of our songs will be going in the movie, yes, we don't know how many yet, but some will.
Question: Will you ever do a solo tour of America?
BrianWLive: Yeah, in early October and we'll probably do about 15-20 different cities.
Question: Brian, I have been a fan of the Beach Boys ever since I was a child. I read in People Magazine last week that you said that you didn't consider yourself a Beach Boy anymore. Why is that? By the way, I'm sorry about the recent losses of your family.
BrianWLive: The reason I don't feel like a Beach Boy is that I have my solo career now, which means more to me than the Beach Boys.
Question: What do you feel is the public's greatest misconception of you?
BrianWLive: I think they think I'm a big guy with a big club. Actually I'm a puny little guy
Question: Do you think it's legitimate for the Beach Boys to continue without a single Wilson in the band?
BrianWLive: Yeah, I think that's fine, that the people out there will understand. I don't think that's a problem.
Question: What kind of woman inspires you to write your beautiful harmonious music? Describe your ideal woman.
BrianWLive: Ideal woman? That would be my wife! I love her very much and I love my 2 babies too, and my 2 daughters from my previous marriage too.
Question: Brian, how did you feel when you found out that "Sloop John B." had been included in the "Pet Sounds" album without your consent, thus spoiling the theme that tied all the other songs together?
BrianWLive: I thought it fit very well, actually. I didn't mind.
Question: What do you do when you're not writing music? What do you do to relax? Since we can listen to your music to do that, what do you do?
BrianWLive: I exercise when I am not writing, I always exercise whenever I have time.
Question: What do you feel caused your writer's block in the past and how did you overcome the block?
BrianWLive: By getting with a collaborator who knew me very well and that did the trick. I ran out of ideas myself, and so I turned to a collaborator to help me.
Question: Hi Brian. Is it true that The Beach Boys once recorded "On Top Of Old Smokey" with Paul McCartney on bass? Please tell us about it, thanks.
BrianWLive: No, that's not true. That's a misconception.
Question: Did you ever wish that you had had formal musical training?
BrianWLive: No, I got enough training by being totally self-taught. I was never really taught by anybody.
Question: Dr. Robert Moog considers YOU to be *the* musical genius of our generation. If you could 'invent' a new instrument, what would it be?
BrianWLive: I would invent an instrument that would go lower than a bass saxophone, like a tuba-type instrument, if I could.
Question: Was the "Rio Grande" cut on the "Brian Wilson" album close to the kind of thing you were attempting with the unfinished "Smile" album? This is Pat in Altoona, PA.
BrianWLive: No, not at all. That was an original piece of music.
Question: When your daughters broke through with Wilson Phillips, how did their success make proud?
BrianWLive: They sold 10 million albums! So I was really proud of them. I think they are among the best singers in the business.
Question: Have you ever heard another rock and roll group come even close to achieving what you and "the boys" did with your vocal harmonies?
BrianWLive: The Beatles for sure did, and also the Eagles did that too.
Question: I understand Bill Cowsill was once almost a part of the Beach Boys. What was the story there and do you still hear from him?
BrianWLive: I used to hang out with him back in the late 60's or early 70's, but I never heard about him being one of the Beach Boys or was going to be in the group.
AOLiveMC2: Someone would like to know about how to contact you or your fan club. Is there any way to contact you? fan club etc.? that is reliable, that you back personally?
BrianWLive: There's an address:
BreakAway with Brian Wilson
10345 Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Question: After all you've been through, are you a Hero or Villian?
AOLiveMC2: And what a choice!
BrianWLive: I'm a hero! Not a war hero, but a hero. Better than a villain!
Question: Brian: Would you ever want to go back and do an album the old fashioned way, meaning using an old 4 or 8 track recorder as opposed to all digital?
BrianWLive: No, actually I got a taste of digital and that is it for me for life!
Question: COULD YOU SEND US A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO ALL OF US THAT WE COULD KEEP AS A KEEPSAKE? DID YOU EVER THINK YOU WOULD BE TALKING TO FRIENDS ON THE INTERNET?
BrianWLive: I never thought I'd be talking to my friends on the Internet at all, it's an awesome thrill. I'd like everyone to look for my next album (not this one now, but the next one), cause it might start rockin'. I hope! I don't have the name for that album yet
Question: Brian - John from CT here. Imagination is an incredible album combining amazing songs with brilliant performances. Can we look forward to you using the same musicians on your next album?
BrianWLive: Some of them we will use, and some we won't. We're gonna hand-pick the ones we want.
Question: "Pet Sounds" is Paul McCartney's favorite album; what is your favorite Beatle album and why?
BrianWLive: "Let it Be" - that's my favorite Beatles album. Because it's so descriptive of how I'd like to be. I'd like to be like Paul MacCartney - he has a very powerful personality; he's an electric guy.
Question: Brian, I'm studying Rock Music at Syracuse University. When we talked about the Beach Boys today in class, our professor said that you guys were influenced a great deal by Chuck Berry. How great was Chuck's influence?
BrianWLive: Chuck Berry not only influenced our music, but our lyrics. A total creative genius of his time. I learned to play boogie bass with my left hand like he does, with his guitar.
Question: Do you think the history of the Beach Boys would have been different if the group had decided to appear at Monteray Pop Festival after all and had performed material exclusively from "Pet Sounds" and "Smile"?
BrianWLive: Yeah I think so, because then the people would have related the Beach Boys to the other artists a little more. We wouldn't have been so isolated from the other groups.
Question: Brian, is it true that when you wrote songs about CA, it was a California you dreamed about and not what the real one was like?
BrianWLive: Half and half, some of what I dreamed, but some of how it really was too.
Question: What was the greatest creative challenge you set for yourself with the new album and do you feel you met the challenge?
BrianWLive: I was challenged to make another Pet Sounds, and I think I succeeded in doing that, cause I put a lot of love into my voices. People need love.
Question: Brian, which do you find more difficult to create, a song with a lyric or an instrumental?
BrianWLive: A song with a lyric is harder to write than an instrumental.
Question: HEY BRIAN WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER COLLABORATING WITH AN UNKNOWN TALENT IF THE LYRICS WERE GOOD ENOUGH TO YOU?
BrianWLive: Yeah I sure would! I'm always looking for collaborators.
Question: Brian, How do you do it? I mean the harmony tracks. Do you chart or arrange them first and then go to the studio and lay them down or do you just go into the studio and "create" them?
BrianWLive: We write them spontaneously at the sessions. We take them in sections, like 4 bars, then 4 more bars, till it's all done. Usually in 4 bar sections.
Question: Brian - when will we see another concert?
BrianWLive: Sometime in early October!
Question: Brian, how do you feel about the release of Endless Harmony?
BrianWLive: I was proud, I think it's a good one to release. It reflected good background sounds.
Question: Brian, I know you compose allot on piano. Do you still play the bass?
BrianWLive: I did for a while, but I stopped playing it, cause I got a blister on my right thumb!
Question: Brian, what's the story behind "Girl Don't Tell Me?"
BrianWLive: I wrote that in my head in Hawaii in 1965, I wrote the whole song without a piano. I brought it back to the states and recorded Carl on it.
Question: Do you attribute this "new" success in part to your new bride, Brian? She's lovely.
BrianWLive: Yeah I owe most of it to her, for keeping me in a good place. She had a studio in Chicago built for me
Question: Do you find your music making its way back? My 13 yr. old loves your music along with the Beatles, etc..
BrianWLive: I think so, yes. I think this new one should sell pretty well. If you keep working, you should live. We're gonna live and we're gonna work, and get a really good rock 'n roll album together some time. I don't know when.
AOLiveMC2: We have time for one final question, Brian. Have you ever considered working with Paul McCartney? Maybe on a tribute to Carl and Linda?
BrianWLive: Yeah, we have been talking about this for 2-3 years now over the phone and by letter. But neither one of us has the guts to go ahead and do it. But we really should do it, a tribute to Carl and Linda, very much so.
OnlineHost: All good things must come to an end. Time is up for this event.
AOLiveMC2: Thank you, Brian Wilson, for being our guest tonight. You have been most enjoyable.
BrianWLive: I'm very proud of my album, we had a lot of fun making it. I hope everyone enjoys it!
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Grammy chat from 2/22/99 http://records2.tripod.com/GrammyChat.htm
and just for the hell of it, B.W. and Don Was Prodigy chat from August 1995 http://www.surfermoon.com/interviews/brianprod.html