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Author Topic: Surf's Up podcast with Long Promised Road's Brent Wilson and Jason Fine  (Read 202 times)
Mark Dillon
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« on: November 24, 2021, 07:59:15 AM »

Hey guys - just wanted to let you know that Phil Miglioratti and I have uploaded a new episode of Surf's Up: A Beach Boys Podcast Safari featuring Brent Wilson, director of Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road, and Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine, who appears alongside Brian in the documentary. Brent shared some great stories about the challenge of making this film, like the time Brian kicked him off the tour bus, and when Brian said that back in the 70s he wanted to work out to have "pecs." And how "Long Promised Road" and "It's OK" represent the film's spiritual soundtrack. Jason had some interesting insight on his magazine's evolving evaluation of The Beach Boys over the years. You can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, Alexa, Facebook mobile and here on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-93394161. Check it out and let us know what you think.
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 11:14:54 AM »

Kudos and thank you for an excellent and informative episode and interview! And belated thanks for the great interview you did with Howie. Both are essential fan listening, and very rewarding.

I'd just like to ramble a bit about the "Long Promised Road" interview. Some very enlightening - and perhaps more importantly, truthful - information came out of your discussions.

I'll be as forthright and as honest here as I can without going too far, but what really disappointed me and upset me especially in the last 9 (going on 10) years was the sense that some who were thought to be trustworthy keepers of information and news about the band but about Brian and his life specifically were not being honest with the fanbase. Much information that was coming out about Brian, apparently by people who "knew him" and could supposedly speak from authority, was simply false or distorted from the truth. There were pictures painted of this man specifically during the time frame which is the focus of this film which were giving fans an incorrect image of him and his life. People who truly knew also knew how false and sometimes ridiculous all of the gossip and rumor really was. I'll leave it at that.

How refreshing it is to have a film like this for fans to get a glimpse into some of what Brian Wilson does and who he is, in a more casual and cinema verite way to where the audience watching can view the various scenes and form their own opinions on what they are seeing and witnessing through the cameras. Of course the arguments might center on how scenes were edited, how the filmmaking process tells a certain perspective over another, but ultimately fans can see this man in the film and take from it an opinion formed on their own versus having these perspectives and opinions filtered through others with potential bias and agenda driving their words and actions.

I encourage all fans to listen to Messrs. Fine and Wilson on this episode as they discuss what they witnessed, experienced, and captured on film after spending time with Brian Wilson. What they say at various points is in line with what those who truly know the man and have spoken about their experiences versus those who have claimed to know the man but in reality were more observers (or less) than friends.


One thing struck me listening to the podcast. There is a section where the topic of Landy comes up, and how it was discussed that Brian rarely if ever has a negative word or action toward someone, and in Landy's case - to borrow and old song title - Brian chose to accentuate the positives and mentioned that Landy helped him quit smoking and lose weight, while still being upset at how Landy would treat him and speak down to him.

Is this an example of simply seeing the glass half full, and accentuating the positive? Or is it something deeper and perhaps more spiritual in nature?

I'd guess yes to both.

This past year with all the sh*t going on, I got very invested in following and listening to Bobby Whitlock and his music, but mostly through his personal YouTube channel where he basically talks and tells stories to his fans. There are several moments in his videos of the previous year or 2 where what he says can bring tears to your eyes. Bobby was the son of a Southern preacher, of the fire and brimstone variety, where the only music worthy of attention was spiritual music. Yet that same father had his own demons which would come out in his private life as he was trying to save his church's flock from sin.

Bobby himself has been wronged, stolen from, lied about, and harmed by people close to him and who he thought were friends or people he thought he could trust. He says he could have easily held a grudge, demanded some kind of penance or retribution from and for those people, and he could have carried that anger and hurt with him and let it consume him. Instead, he said the most liberating thing he could do was to let it all go, forgive whoever wronged him, and take that weight off his shoulders so he could focus on living in the moment and looking to the future rather than holding grudges from the past. He said lifting that weight off was the best feeling in the world. And, he also said that those people who wronged him are the ones who now are carrying that burden with them and onto their own karma...he himself washed his hands of them and whatever they did to wrong him, and can move forward.

I saw a parallel to Brian Wilson, again specifically in the past 30 years covered in this film. I don't think he wants to deal with the bullshit or bullshitters anymore, and wants to be happy living life. He enjoys his food and his regular visits to that deli and other restaurants. He likes Marie Callendar's pies and cheese pizza. He enjoys traveling on the road and playing with his band. He could easily hold a grudge against any number of people who wronged him or who still sometimes say or do things to hurt him, but it really doesn't seem to be in his soul to hold or convey that kind of anger anymore. Yes he will speak out, but do you ever see him lash out against someone or something publicly? Does he look like the kind of guy who continually drags up negatives from the past instead of mentioning the good or looking forward to something positive?

For that matter, how many of Brian's songs convey any kind of anger or hate or rage, both in the music and the lyrical content? We're hard-pressed to find examples. He speaks through his music, and just listen to what he chooses to say to his listeners.

I struggle with the issues of holding grudges and holding onto instances where I felt wronged or otherwise. I struggle too with wondering how even what I thought was an insignificant action or word on my part could have had a negative or serious impact on someone for years, and how to make it right. I think many of us might share those same concerns and issues. But when I hear guys like Bobby and Brian, two guys who have every damn right to hold serious grudges, have every right to be angry, and who would have the right to lash out if not seek some kind of penance from being wronged in the past, instead speak of letting go of burdens and grudges, enjoying every day as the best day of their life, and taking in the simple pleasures like eating a sandwich or sitting outside enjoying a nice breeze, it's something to work for. Maybe it comes with a little more age and experience, and even that can give us something to work for. That kind of peace and sense of enjoyment in everyday life that Warren Zevon expressed in one of my favorite quotes "Enjoy every sandwich".

I think if anything the filmmakers captured glimpses of that part of Brian Wilson which fans really, really need to see with their own eyes in order to understand everything else they've heard and read about him. It's pretty inspiring stuff.

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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: November 24, 2021, 11:38:08 AM »

Kudos and thank you for an excellent and informative episode and interview! And belated thanks for the great interview you did with Howie. Both are essential fan listening, and very rewarding.

I'd just like to ramble a bit about the "Long Promised Road" interview. Some very enlightening - and perhaps more importantly, truthful - information came out of your discussions.

I'll be as forthright and as honest here as I can without going too far, but what really disappointed me and upset me especially in the last 9 (going on 10) years was the sense that some who were thought to be trustworthy keepers of information and news about the band but about Brian and his life specifically were not being honest with the fanbase. Much information that was coming out about Brian, apparently by people who "knew him" and could supposedly speak from authority, was simply false or distorted from the truth. There were pictures painted of this man specifically during the time frame which is the focus of this film which were giving fans an incorrect image of him and his life. People who truly knew also knew how false and sometimes ridiculous all of the gossip and rumor really was. I'll leave it at that.

How refreshing it is to have a film like this for fans to get a glimpse into some of what Brian Wilson does and who he is, in a more casual and cinema verite way to where the audience watching can view the various scenes and form their own opinions on what they are seeing and witnessing through the cameras. Of course the arguments might center on how scenes were edited, how the filmmaking process tells a certain perspective over another, but ultimately fans can see this man in the film and take from it an opinion formed on their own versus having these perspectives and opinions filtered through others with potential bias and agenda driving their words and actions.

I encourage all fans to listen to Messrs. Fine and Wilson on this episode as they discuss what they witnessed, experienced, and captured on film after spending time with Brian Wilson. What they say at various points is in line with what those who truly know the man and have spoken about their experiences versus those who have claimed to know the man but in reality were more observers (or less) than friends.


One thing struck me listening to the podcast. There is a section where the topic of Landy comes up, and how it was discussed that Brian rarely if ever has a negative word or action toward someone, and in Landy's case - to borrow and old song title - Brian chose to accentuate the positives and mentioned that Landy helped him quit smoking and lose weight, while still being upset at how Landy would treat him and speak down to him.

Is this an example of simply seeing the glass half full, and accentuating the positive? Or is it something deeper and perhaps more spiritual in nature?

I'd guess yes to both.

This past year with all the sh*t going on, I got very invested in following and listening to Bobby Whitlock and his music, but mostly through his personal YouTube channel where he basically talks and tells stories to his fans. There are several moments in his videos of the previous year or 2 where what he says can bring tears to your eyes. Bobby was the son of a Southern preacher, of the fire and brimstone variety, where the only music worthy of attention was spiritual music. Yet that same father had his own demons which would come out in his private life as he was trying to save his church's flock from sin.

Bobby himself has been wronged, stolen from, lied about, and harmed by people close to him and who he thought were friends or people he thought he could trust. He says he could have easily held a grudge, demanded some kind of penance or retribution from and for those people, and he could have carried that anger and hurt with him and let it consume him. Instead, he said the most liberating thing he could do was to let it all go, forgive whoever wronged him, and take that weight off his shoulders so he could focus on living in the moment and looking to the future rather than holding grudges from the past. He said lifting that weight off was the best feeling in the world. And, he also said that those people who wronged him are the ones who now are carrying that burden with them and onto their own karma...he himself washed his hands of them and whatever they did to wrong him, and can move forward.

I saw a parallel to Brian Wilson, again specifically in the past 30 years covered in this film. I don't think he wants to deal with the bullshit or bullshitters anymore, and wants to be happy living life. He enjoys his food and his regular visits to that deli and other restaurants. He likes Marie Callendar's pies and cheese pizza. He enjoys traveling on the road and playing with his band. He could easily hold a grudge against any number of people who wronged him or who still sometimes say or do things to hurt him, but it really doesn't seem to be in his soul to hold or convey that kind of anger anymore. Yes he will speak out, but do you ever see him lash out against someone or something publicly? Does he look like the kind of guy who continually drags up negatives from the past instead of mentioning the good or looking forward to something positive?

For that matter, how many of Brian's songs convey any kind of anger or hate or rage, both in the music and the lyrical content? We're hard-pressed to find examples. He speaks through his music, and just listen to what he chooses to say to his listeners.

I struggle with the issues of holding grudges and holding onto instances where I felt wronged or otherwise. I struggle too with wondering how even what I thought was an insignificant action or word on my part could have had a negative or serious impact on someone for years, and how to make it right. I think many of us might share those same concerns and issues. But when I hear guys like Bobby and Brian, two guys who have every damn right to hold serious grudges, have every right to be angry, and who would have the right to lash out if not seek some kind of penance from being wronged in the past, instead speak of letting go of burdens and grudges, enjoying every day as the best day of their life, and taking in the simple pleasures like eating a sandwich or sitting outside enjoying a nice breeze, it's something to work for. Maybe it comes with a little more age and experience, and even that can give us something to work for. That kind of peace and sense of enjoyment in everyday life that Warren Zevon expressed in one of my favorite quotes "Enjoy every sandwich".

I think if anything the filmmakers captured glimpses of that part of Brian Wilson which fans really, really need to see with their own eyes in order to understand everything else they've heard and read about him. It's pretty inspiring stuff.



These are perceptive and intelligent comments; I haven't heard the podcast, but with respect to the following:


For that matter, how many of Brian's songs convey any kind of anger or hate or rage, both in the music and the lyrical content? We're hard-pressed to find examples. He speaks through his music, and just listen to what he chooses to say to his listeners.


This is a totally correct observation about Brian's music and approach to music. It is something to admire about what he did or tried to do; however, his inability to express anger/hate/rage [with the notable exception of "Fire"] was/is an enormous problem for him.  Everyone of Brian's peers - big names from his era - such as Townshend, Hendrix, Zappa, Ray Davies, Jagger/Richards, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, even McCartney on occasion can express anger, criticism, negative emotions and sometimes be downright cruel or nasty in their music (either lyrically or in terms of the way the music is performed). Brian couldn't or wouldn't do that.  He paid an enormous price for that, regardless of whether it was a conscious decision on his part. 
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