Somewhat to the surprise of the Rust‘s editor (he told me) but also as it happens myself, I have been receiving a steady flow of feedback since I began my occasional series on off-beat musical items I have come across whilst surfing the internet since the UK Covid-19 lockdown occurred – including several suggestions of other artistes and/or avenues, even back waters, to explore.
Before I do any of that, however, today I am returning briefly to Brian Wilson – the subject of a recent a recent post – simply because of two items I’ve spotted by chance this week.
THE WILDERNESS YEARS
Those familiar with Wilson’s life story will be aware that after suffering nervous breakdowns -exact number a matter of dispute between Beach Boys historians – and then the effects of his copious drug-taking, from 1967/1968 he began to lose his mental grip and gradually withdrew from active participation in the group’s recording and touring career.
Some refer to this unfortunate period as “The Bed Years” – from it tales abound of him putting on weight, not being very active, placing his piano in a sand-pit and generally behaving a bit weird.
Here’s a link to a video clip taken from what seems to be footage shot for a documentary during the mid-1970s – I haven’t been able to discover more-than-one-source details about it, including whether or not the finished project ever saw the light of public day.
It shows Brian singing lead on a song called That Same Song (music by Brian, lyrics by his cousin Mike Love) in a studio run-through with Brian’s brothers Carl and Dennis, Mike Love and Al Jardine, augmented by a gospel choir.
It’s all a bit weird but it does show that the band was still trying to keep Brian active and involved in their activities:
See here, courtesy of – YOUTUBE
THE CHOPIN CONNECTION
In my original piece on Brian Wilson I referenced the exasperated retort of veteran Capitol Records producer Nick Venet in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine to those who criticised the Beach Boy for the facile nature of the lyrics in some of his songs (often written by others, not the man himself himself): “Nobody ever asked Chopin what the &”$%ing words were …!”
I called the above to mind when spotting this lengthy piece by Andrew Clements on the life of the Polish composer today on the website of – THE GUARDIAN