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Author Topic: Drugs: Heroes or Villains?  (Read 3693 times)
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2017, 06:19:59 PM »

I wonder if there are many people turned on to the Beach Boys by the story of the rise, fall and resurrection of Brian Wilson?

An abusive father, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, a poor circle of friends and mental illness all combined to bring this musical powerhouse to his rock bottom. Yet music and talent (and a few physical influences) rescued him to the point where he has put out more solo material than the other members of the band combined. Some of it is pretty damned good music too.

Any time people overcome a substance they are lauded much more than those who never did it to begin with because it represents a longer struggle to the top.

Love and Mercy made for a beautifully emotional story - a story that nearly every Disney movie follows: Something is going along really well; something tragic happens; then the protagonist overcomes the tragedy and prevails. Many of the popular films use this formula. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Finding Nemo...

While I would not call drugs a "hero", they may be one of the villains that allowed the hero to be resurrected, and that resurrection makes for a compelling story. That story may expose potential fans to the music to see what the hype is about.
Brian won't be remembered for the music he has made as a "solo" artist. Night after night, the Beach Boys classics are what he performs, and that's what he'll always be remembered for.
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Rick5150
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« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2017, 03:28:31 AM »

I know what you mean, but for me, the "solo" part is not important. The fact that he went from creating such a prolific body of work, to near death and back is enough.

For my birthday a while back, my wife brought me to the Red River theater in Concord, NH to see Love and Mercy. She is a casual Beach Boys fan and is very familiar with the hits but she was so touched by the story that she could not even look at Paul Giamatti without saying how much she hated him (as Dr. Landy).

Seeing Brian's life prompted quite a few questions and she now listens to some of Brian's solo stuff (she really likes One Kind of Love). Knowing what he went through when you hear some of their music makes it even more emotional.

If Brian went through everything without the bad times, what he accomplished would still be amazing. The fact that he struggled to come back from the depths of hell make it a far more compelling story.
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♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2017, 07:41:09 PM »

Quote
If Brian went through everything without the bad times, what he accomplished would still be amazing. The fact that he struggled to come back from the depths of hell make it a far more compelling story.

Very true.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2017, 07:22:25 AM »

I know what you mean, but for me, the "solo" part is not important. The fact that he went from creating such a prolific body of work, to near death and back is enough.

For my birthday a while back, my wife brought me to the Red River theater in Concord, NH to see Love and Mercy. She is a casual Beach Boys fan and is very familiar with the hits but she was so touched by the story that she could not even look at Paul Giamatti without saying how much she hated him (as Dr. Landy).

Seeing Brian's life prompted quite a few questions and she now listens to some of Brian's solo stuff (she really likes One Kind of Love). Knowing what he went through when you hear some of their music makes it even more emotional.

If Brian went through everything without the bad times, what he accomplished would still be amazing. The fact that he struggled to come back from the depths of hell make it a far more compelling story.

Good points and comments. It is impossible in 2017 to overstate how much of a shock it was to hear the announcement in 1999 that Brian Wilson would be touring and playing live. It was actually the impossible becoming reality, and I think that was as overwhelming to most in the audiences in that first run of live shows as it was to me. After they ran the short video intro, there was audio of Brian running a studio session in the 60's, and boom...then there he was on stage. It was absolutely the impossible becoming a reality. And it was credit to the man's "will" as he likes to say "I'm a Wilson!" that he was on that stage performing after nearly everyone counted him out not too long before that tour. And then there we were again in 2005 watching Smile performed live on stage.

Keep in mind, up to a certain year no one thought anything like this would ever happen or if he would even be alive and well, and that Brian would simply retire and drop off the radar. He's still going in 2017. Tell me THAT isn't inspirational on any level you can think of.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2017, 10:50:29 PM »

 I didn't find it as shocking as most here apparently did. Brian appeared with the Beach Boys periodically throughout the 80's. Even stepped away from his grand piano a few times circa 1985-87. What did cross my mind in 99, though, was "is he strong enough to front a show for an hour, 2 hours?" Of course, that problem was sidestepped by surrounding him with a strong team that could carry the show whether Brian was up to it or not.
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Rick5150
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« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2017, 12:50:07 PM »

Found this interview interesting...

Quote from: Brian Wilson
"I (used) drugs to create 'Pet Sounds,' and they (did) help me and it was an experience for me. Although, at the same time, I was very dismayed at the fact that — not too long afterward — I was ... using drugs much more profusely than I did with 'Pet Sounds.'

And I began to grow up, because I said, "If I can create 'Pet Sounds' on drugs, I can create something (even) greater on drugs." So I made 'Good Vibrations' on drugs; I used drugs to make that. I was on drugs. I learned how to function behind drugs, and it improved my brain, it improved the way I was, it made me more rooted in my sanity.

The only thing is a couple of side effects, like paranoia and b.s., stuff like that. But you can get over that, you know, simply by not overdoing it. If you do it in moderation, you see, I took drugs in moderation (and) I was able to create, I could create. It gave me the ability — carte blanche — to create something, you know what I mean? And that's where it's at; drugs aren't where it's at. But, for me, that's where it was at in 1966. And I got off the stuff. I said: "Hey, I don’t need this anymore.”
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 04:23:59 PM by Rick5150 » Logged
Amalgamate
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« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2017, 09:39:01 PM »

Surprised nobody's mentioned this from the Reddit AMA:

Quote
lsda 710 points 2 years ago
If you could give any advice to yourself at age 18, what would it be?

officialbrianwilson 1997 points 2 years ago
Don't take drugs!

Seems he regards them as villains. And in his case, I definitely think they did more harm than good. Is there an alternate universe where Brian Wilson consumed drugs and it turned out alright? I'd say sure, but that's an alternate universe where so many things played out very differently.
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Rick5150
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« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2017, 04:04:44 AM »

Yes, in hindsight he realized that drugs screwed him up pretty good and he gives the advice not to do them. But it seems that at the time, he found that they served a purpose that may have enhanced his creativity as he was writing some of his best stuff at this time. As we know, too much of a good thing is almost universally bad.
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