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Author Topic: Brian commenting on relationship with Carl (1988)  (Read 1756 times)
Cabinessenceking
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« on: March 05, 2021, 01:32:08 AM »

I came across this short snippet from an interview in 1988: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcN6y9yvWYo

The question of Brian and Carl's relationship is quite intriguing really. They were brothers but also colleagues and I expect their relaionship probably ebbed and flowed like many. Were they friends though? Did the death of Dennis affect their relationship in bringing them closer?

From the clip comes across that they weren't directly amicable at the time, but I was wondering to what extent this was due to Brian being under the influence of Landy and it's what kept them apart at the time? Before and since I felt their relationship was warm and it's clear in recent years that Brian holds both his departed brothers in high regard. Does anybody here have some insight and give Brian's comments some context?

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Emdeeh
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 05:34:57 AM »

I'd say the Landy influence is the main factor here.
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c-man
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 06:53:59 AM »

Yeah, Brian's official party line commentary on Carl during those years (when Carl and other members of Brian's family were trying to expunge Landy from his life) was negative. But even years after Landy's removal, it could still be negative. There's an interview with Brian from around '95-'96 (in one of the big British mags, like Mojo) where it was still pretty negative. That might be based on Carl abandoning their joint recording sessions that year. Once Carl fell ill, however, Brian's comments on Carl were nothing but supportive, and Brian was clearly devastated by his passing.
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UEF
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 08:53:44 AM »

Once Carl fell ill, however, Brian's comments on Carl were nothing but supportive, and Brian was clearly devastated by his passing.

Though didn't go to his funeral, I think?
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Rocker
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 09:01:56 AM »

Once Carl fell ill, however, Brian's comments on Carl were nothing but supportive, and Brian was clearly devastated by his passing.

Though didn't go to his funeral, I think?


He sure did. And reportedly was devastated, crying, falling in Marylin's arms and sobbing "Carl is gone and I don't know where." or something to that effect.
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phirnis
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2021, 09:43:57 AM »

It's pretty obvious they had a difficult relationship, at least after the 60s. I find it really hard to guess when and why it started. I'm sure Landy played a role but there must be a lot more to it.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2021, 11:14:50 PM »

Landy believed the Wilson family were poisonous, so he did all he could to keep them away from Brian. The exception, of course, being when he felt it was appropriate for Brian to participate in Beach Boys activities. Then that "autobiography" came out, where "Brian" basically slanders everyone except Dennis. IIRC, Carl and Audree sued the publisher and/or Brian for stuff that was written in that book (like saying that both were drunks).
I don't think it was night then day when Brian was separated from Landy. He'd been conditioned to live a certain way, think a certain way, and that did not go away overnight. Brian was probably pissed at Carl for getting Landy out of his life - initially. He still had good things to say about Landy for a number of years after the separation.
For Carl's part, I have never seen ANY interviews where he bashed Brian. If he had anything negative to say, it was always about Landy. He sure didn't like the doctor's lyrics. "When I accelerate...i'm master of my fate....".  Roll Eyes
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c-man
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2021, 07:27:17 AM »

Once Carl fell ill, however, Brian's comments on Carl were nothing but supportive, and Brian was clearly devastated by his passing.

Though didn't go to his funeral, I think?


He sure did. And reportedly was devastated, crying, falling in Marylin's arms and sobbing "Carl is gone and I don't know where." or something to that effect.

Yes - Brian skipped Murry's funeral, and I think Dennis'. Not sure about Audree's. But he did attend Carl's.
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juggler
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 09:16:21 AM »

There's an article from 1991 in the Chicago Tribune that goes into the discord between Brian and the family during that era:
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nrxGqP8z3V8J:https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-11-17-9104140084-story.htm

This Brian-Carl anecdote from that piece has always stuck with me:

Although the case is scheduled to go to court Monday, Wilson says it may not get that far, partially because of a recent meeting between Wilson and Carl at a hotel near the Los Angeles airport.
''Just me and Carl . . .'' Wilson says. ''Just two brothers. We were singing. There was a piano there. We were doing our vocals.''
The brothers sang some old Beach Boys classics-including ''Wild Honey'' and ''Aren`t You Glad'' and ''Darlin` ''-that haven`t been heard much in the past 15 years as the group has become chiefly a surf-and-car nostalgia act.
It was a rare moment of harmony in the family`s stormy past.


Wouldn't it be nice to have footage of THAT?


I think it's obvious that in the BBs' '60s heyday, Brian and Carl were extremely close. There were the 'Pet Sounds' era prayer sessions.  You see Carl present in Smile instrumental sessions photos when he was in town.  Who's the only other band wife present in the famous LA airport photo of Brian's friends?  Annie.    In Brian's Jamake Highwater interview from 1968, Carl was in the background, possibly driving the car. Even in the recently unearthed San Diego Zoo footage, you see Carl sticking close to Brian. 

What changed?  I don't have it handy, but Peter Carlin's book has some discussion of the Brian-Carl relationship. IIRC, Carlin speculates that Brian's abdication of musical leadership in the group at the end of the '60s and Carl's ascendancy to the role of de facto leader put a strain on the relationship. Carlin also mentions Carnie saying that the only time in her life that she'd ever seen her father cry so hard was at Carl's funeral.

In retrospect, that mid-to-late '90s period was especially tragic.  As an outside observer, it really looks like Brian was trying hard to regain a relationship with Carl but all the strife of the previous quarter century made that hard.  You see Brian having Carl as his best man in the Melinda wedding.  In that 1995 footage from the Don Was-era sessions at Mark Linett's house, you see Brian asking several times, "Is Carl here yet?"   And then those sessions went very badly, with Carl pulling the plug.  But as we've discussed on here before, that's not necessarily a knock on Carl. In that immediate post-Landy era, Brian wasn't really in a great state. In some ways, he seems worse in 1995 than he was just 7 years earlier when the '88 solo album debuted. And he was apparently still on a lot of the Landy era meds, as evidenced by the tardive dyskinesia you see in his '95 interviews.
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Sound of Free
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2021, 01:47:14 PM »

I know it's just a movie, but I think of "The Manchurian Candidate." Even after Frank Sinatra finds out he's been brainwashed and realized he never particularly liked Raymond Shaw, he says there's STILL a part of him that thinks, "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being Ive ever known in my life.

It's hard to get over brainwashing easily, especially for the number of years it went on with Landy and all the medications the evil doctor used to reinforce it. So even after Brian was "freed," there was probably still some Landy in his brain, so he might have believed the things Landy said -- like all Carl cared about was whether Brian could write and produce hits.

For Carl's part, logically he probably knew that when Brian said bad things about him they were Landy's words, but they still had to hurt coming out of the mouth of his brother -- a brother who he had to go and rescue several times. Those bad feelings probably carried over into the abortive 1995 sessions.

I think time would have healed most of those wounds, but unfortunately Carl didn't have enough time.
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patsy6
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2021, 04:08:55 PM »

Once Carl fell ill, however, Brian's comments on Carl were nothing but supportive, and Brian was clearly devastated by his passing.

Though didn't go to his funeral, I think?


He sure did. And reportedly was devastated, crying, falling in Marylin's arms and sobbing "Carl is gone and I don't know where." or something to that effect.

Yes - Brian skipped Murry's funeral, and I think Dennis'. Not sure about Audree's. But he did attend Carl's.

Brian attended Audree's funeral.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2021, 06:52:04 PM »

I know it's just a movie, but I think of "The Manchurian Candidate." Even after Frank Sinatra finds out he's been brainwashed and realized he never particularly liked Raymond Shaw, he says there's STILL a part of him that thinks, "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being Ive ever known in my life.

It's hard to get over brainwashing easily, especially for the number of years it went on with Landy and all the medications the evil doctor used to reinforce it. So even after Brian was "freed," there was probably still some Landy in his brain, so he might have believed the things Landy said -- like all Carl cared about was whether Brian could write and produce hits.

For Carl's part, logically he probably knew that when Brian said bad things about him they were Landy's words, but they still had to hurt coming out of the mouth of his brother -- a brother who he had to go and rescue several times. Those bad feelings probably carried over into the abortive 1995 sessions.

I think time would have healed most of those wounds, but unfortunately Carl didn't have enough time.

Not trying to knock Carl, I'm sure their relationship was complex and imperfect with regrettable things being done/said on both Brian and Carl's sides... but I can certainly understand a level of resentment that Brian might've had, for example the Redwood sessions for Time to Get Alone, where it would seem Brian was guilted into abandoning writing for other bands, and to use his songs for his family's band.

My understanding is that Mike and Carl were part of that, and maybe Dennis too?  - maybe that was an isolated one off type of event, or maybe there were other times and stuff like that happened as well, bottom line is that regrettable incidents like that could've given Landy actual legitimate ammunition to help estrange Brian from Carl. If Brian was reminded by Landy of stuff like that, I can't say that Landy - who I am certainly no fan of - would have been 100% wrong in pointing out to Brian that Brian may have for years found himself in any number of toxic incidents in his relationships with his family/band.

Yet I assume Landy vilified others to an extraordinary degree, while painting himself as a patron saint. It gives me no pleasure to say that Landy might have occasionally had a point to some degree, yet of course he exploited stuff like this to his own gain in a disgusting way.

I'm sure from Brian's perspective, he did at times legitimately feel like his talents were taken advantage of by his family. And likewise, if Brian perhaps saddled Carl with lots of duties that Carl never necessarily wanted, but felt obligated to take, there could've been resentment brewing from Carl's side for decades as a result of that.

Complex stuff with no easy answer.
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phirnis
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2021, 11:19:03 PM »

There's an article from 1991 in the Chicago Tribune that goes into the discord between Brian and the family during that era:
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nrxGqP8z3V8J:https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-11-17-9104140084-story.htm

This Brian-Carl anecdote from that piece has always stuck with me:

Although the case is scheduled to go to court Monday, Wilson says it may not get that far, partially because of a recent meeting between Wilson and Carl at a hotel near the Los Angeles airport.
''Just me and Carl . . .'' Wilson says. ''Just two brothers. We were singing. There was a piano there. We were doing our vocals.''
The brothers sang some old Beach Boys classics-including ''Wild Honey'' and ''Aren`t You Glad'' and ''Darlin` ''-that haven`t been heard much in the past 15 years as the group has become chiefly a surf-and-car nostalgia act.
It was a rare moment of harmony in the family`s stormy past.


Wouldn't it be nice to have footage of THAT?
...

Great stuff! It's easy to picture these two bonding over the Wild Honey material, which was probably their most successful collaboration, with Carl stepping more to the forefront while Brian was still in charge of the songwriting.
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Ian
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2021, 02:37:33 PM »

Clearly a very very complex relationship and I doubt well ever know all the ins and outs. I know my own father could criticize his brother all day long but he still loved him-like many sibling relationships. Nobody can fight like family! There is a 1995 interview where a pretty relaxed Brian is talking  about the scene in the Don was documentary where Carl sings with his mom and he bitches about how audree always loved Carl best. That being said-there were clearly issues-I mean its well known that for still not fully explained reasons Carl pulled the plug on the 1995 Brian and Don Was beach boys album
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