I Am Brian Wilson

I Am Brian Wilson

A Memoir

Book - 2016
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For the first time in his own words, the legendary musical genius of The Beach Boys reflects on his tumultuous life and astonishing 21st-century comeback to live performance and renewed creativity.

Brian Wilson was the driving creative force behind The Beach Boys, a band that defined an era and charted nine consecutive gold albums and hit after unstoppable hit. But he was derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band he'd helped to create. In the late 1980s, while still under the thumb of a disreputable therapist, he reemerged as a solo artist, though his living conditions made that unsustainable. Amazingly, he persisted. He found the right support network, including his second wife, Melinda, the right doctors and the right medication and, with their help, he found his way back to the foundation of his creativity. In the 2000s, for the first time ever, Wilson became a viable solo performance artist. And he was at last able to complete Smile , the unfinished Beach Boys record that had become both the symbol of his genius and of his destabilization.
I Am Brian Wilson is the story of Brian Wilson's life, told by Brian Wilson. But he's not the same man who had a nervous breakdown on an airplane in 1964 or the one who ballooned to 300 pounds and couldn't get out of bed in the 1970s. This Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective regarding his extraordinary accomplishments and forgiveness for the people who complicated those accomplishments, and his life. Wiser, more measured, though still possessed of the youthful spark that helped him rise to the top of the rock and roll world, Wilson relates his life with a level of emotional honesty that has eluded authors of scores of previous works on Brian and The Beach Boys: "Telling my story honestly means remembering things I sometimes prefer to forget. I would like people to get to know what I've gone through, and I hope that my story will give them strength."
Publisher: Toronto :, Random House Canada,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780345813930
Characteristics: 312 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Greenman, Ben


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Not that long ago, I watched a documentary-DVD about #1 Beach Boy, Brian Wilson called "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". At the time of this presentation Wilson was 53 years old. And it was very plain to see by what one was shown that Wilson was (indeed) a very troubled and unhappy man, to say the least.

Now (20 years later and Wilson being 74 years old) - Our ultimate Beach Boy delivers this much-anticipated autobiography, making it quite obvious that neither his troubles, nor his unhappiness has improved one bit over all that time.

And, so - I ask you - Would it be any surprise if I were to say that I was tres disappointed (indeed) by the apathetic, lack-lustre, and bored fashion in which Wilson told his life's story?

Anyway - In conclusion - I'd like to say that I have always enjoyed much of the Beach Boys' music. And, with that in mind - I, for one, think that Brian Wilson certainly owed his fans a more lively bit of storytelling than the likes of what he gave here in "I Am Brian Wilson".

And, because of that - I can only give this book just a below-average rating, at best.

Oct 19, 2017

This is one of the most moving autobiographies that I have ever read. Brian Wilson, who is one of music's geniuses has finally written HIS story. I've read several books on him before this. Brian verifies many of the stories that I have read or heard, but clarifies others. And he does it with a kind and loving heart.

Jun 09, 2017

For someone who had drug and alcohol problems not to mention a possible mental breakdown, his memory is amazing. He recalls detailed relationships regarding girlfriends, marriages and the influences on him as a songwriter. He also writes about the troubled relationship with his father.

After reading the book, I still don't understand what happened with Dr Landy. WIlson writes that he was not only Dr Landy's patient but much of his life was under the strict control of the doctor.

I was disappointed Brian did not write more of his relationships with the band and his brothers. Especially since his brothers Carl and Dennis are now gone.

Feb 10, 2017

This is a really great book with lots of Brian zingers and a humble appreciation of his strengths and weaknesses and his continuing love of music and all its possibilities.

Feb 03, 2017

Its gonna be a great read.
Loooking forward to reading Brian's memoirs.

Dec 29, 2016

Brian hits one out of the park. If you know, or even love The Beach Boys you'll NEED to read this book. He is eloquent in his storytelling. Lots of tidbits from the recording studio, and of course the psychiatrist's couch. Interesting that the stories we think we know about Brian doesn't really pan out according to Brian. This book is all the wonderful and not so wonderful moments you didn't know. Songwriters take note - there's a lesson or two in this book for future rock stars as well. You'll be humming Beach Boy songs all week. I wonder if Mike Love's book measures up. We shall see...read on surfer girls and surfer guys...

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