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Author Topic: Brian Wilson interview 1968  (Read 1188 times)
leoleoleoleo
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« on: October 30, 2019, 07:20:22 AM »

A few days ago someone uploaded this interview with Brian from 1968 that I'd never heard before. The interviewer is Jamake Highwater. They discuss Smile, Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, religion, meditation, Beatles, Mamas And Papas, and a crazy new instrument called a synthesizer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3OQ4w77l0g&t=1304s

Apologies if this is well known but I've been a big fan for years and never heard this!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 07:21:07 AM by leoleoleoleo » Logged
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019, 09:19:49 AM »

*That* should be required listening for all fans of the band and Brian. If I'm not mistaken there are more reels of that in the interview series, with other band members (?)...it's been a long time since I thought about it.

But wow - What a great mythbusting interview on several levels.

Consider what is said around 8 minutes in to the interview. Carl is driving Brian and the interviewer around and they start talking about meditation and meeting the Maharishi. This was January 1968, remember. Brian mentions how he was initiated (to meditation practices) a year before. This is a topic we've hashed out in the past, but it absolutely backs up the fact that members of this band were into learned meditation during what we call "The Smile Era" and it didn't just start after that event when they met the Maharishi in the UK.

It just took other members a year to catch up with what Brian and at least Carl had been learning in LA. Not quite the version of history we hear.

Also, note the point when the interviewer gets into Brian's LSD enlightenment experience, but can't come out and say what it is.

And so much for the image of a zonked-out, zombie-like Brian who stayed in bed after Smile collapsed in 1967 and could barely function. In this interview he's bright, intuitive, and introspective...hardly the image that has been put forth in the past.

Interesting too how Brian described the meeting with Paul McCartney as less positive than a lot of fans think. They just didn't hit it off at that meeting, according to Brian just under a year after the fact. "It didn't work."
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2019, 09:32:57 AM »

And my memory was correct: In the archives of the New York Public Library, there is a collection of Highwater's materials which were donated through the years. Included among those in the audiovisual collection is this interview with Brian, along with interviews with Mike and Bruce which Highwater references while talking to Brian...among a host of other rock luminaries including George Martin, Zappa, The Dead, Hendrix, etc. from this same era.

Go to this link: http://archives.nypl.org/mss/1395#detailed   and scroll down to section VIII "Audiovisual Material" and you'll see the list of what's available at the library if you happen to be in New York...

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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 09:54:32 AM »

Great find!


There's also this:


Dennis Wilson On Forever : "What About It!?" (July 1973) • The Beach Boys Interview  (other snippets are also on youtube):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU9up-237J4


The user says:

During a July 1973 interview with The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson is zoning out when suddenly he hears Mike Love mention his tune "Forever."

The full interview is available here - http://www.drdemento.com/online.html?c=e18&s=s
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2019, 10:41:03 AM »

I've heard this interview before and it is indeed something of a neutron bomb with respect to the conventional wisdom about the period. Nevertheless, it is still disorienting to hear Brian glowingly describe the Smiley Smile era as "beautiful" six months after the fact.  He talks about Smile almost killing him and obliquely references his paranoia during that project.  We can talk about all the myriad reasons why Smile collapsed in 1967, but ultimately it does boil down to the fact that a (relatively) clear-thinking Brian Wilson simply chose not to finish it at that time and was happier doing other things.    

From the perspective of fans whose minds were and are blown by his peak Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations/Smile work, it's certainly disappointing that he pulled back and stopped giving us more masterpieces.  But if he felt like working that hard was killing him and he just wanted to take it easy and do stuff that required minimal effort, well, by gosh, that was his business.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 10:42:05 AM by juggler » Logged
MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2019, 10:58:28 AM »

*That* should be required listening for all fans of the band....

Or even "...for all MEMBERS of the band...."   Wink

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clinikillz
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2019, 11:11:49 AM »

I love to hear these old '60s-era Brian interviews. He was so lucid and well-spoken back then.
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juggler
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2019, 07:19:45 PM »

I love to hear these old '60s-era Brian interviews. He was so lucid and well-spoken back then.
The Landy era in the '80s seems to be the point where he became less articulate.
 With that said, it's something of a mistake to equate his late '60s articulateness with lucidity.  David Dalton's story about the Zuma Beach photo shoot in July '67 is a reminder that things were indeed a little "off" (or maybe a lot off) with Brian's mental health even if it wasn't obvious in interviews.
http://www.gadflyonline.com/home/05-06-02/ftr-epiphany.html
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2019, 04:05:09 AM »

I love to hear these old '60s-era Brian interviews. He was so lucid and well-spoken back then.
The Landy era in the '80s seems to be the point where he became less articulate.
 With that said, it's something of a mistake to equate his late '60s articulateness with lucidity.  David Dalton's story about the Zuma Beach photo shoot in July '67 is a reminder that things were indeed a little "off" (or maybe a lot off) with Brian's mental health even if it wasn't obvious in interviews.
http://www.gadflyonline.com/home/05-06-02/ftr-epiphany.html


I'd love to see the other pictures Dalton took at Zuma Beach, that he talks about in the article. Interestingly he talks about Bruce being there and Brian not being part of the pyramide, yet both things seem to be inaccurate.
Are his writings from the Sunflower recording available?
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2019, 06:56:13 AM »

I love to hear these old '60s-era Brian interviews. He was so lucid and well-spoken back then.
The Landy era in the '80s seems to be the point where he became less articulate.
 With that said, it's something of a mistake to equate his late '60s articulateness with lucidity.  David Dalton's story about the Zuma Beach photo shoot in July '67 is a reminder that things were indeed a little "off" (or maybe a lot off) with Brian's mental health even if it wasn't obvious in interviews.
http://www.gadflyonline.com/home/05-06-02/ftr-epiphany.html

Thanks for sharing that link. Truly fascinating.

That article seems to imply there are many photos from those Zuma Beach sessions which we've never been seen. I wonder if they still exist.

Also, I wonder where all those tapes went with Brian talking on his home recorder. Did Brian or Marilyn discard or lose them, or were they kept? Maybe one day we'll find out…
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juggler
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2019, 08:57:35 AM »

Also, I wonder where all those tapes went with Brian talking on his home recorder. Did Brian or Marilyn discard or lose them, or were they kept? Maybe one day we'll find out…

Guessing that the famous "Smog Speech" is part of that oeuvre.
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