I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir
Author: Brian Wilson & Ben Greenman
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: De Capo Press
Books are a rather new area of media that we've since introduced to the site. It's a love that I've since rekindled thanks in part to a few very special people in my life. When I received an email that gave me the chance to review several music biographies that were set to be released this fall, I leapt at the opportunity. Today, we're going to talk about the first of the books that arrived in a freshly sealed package a couple months ago: I Am Brian Wilson.
There really is no other way to set up the premise of this book other than by saying that you're getting a look inside of the mind of one of the world's greatest musicians, and that look is coming straight from the source. Brian Wilson, co-founder and principal contributing songwriter of The Beach Boys, has had one hell of a life. Wilson pens an incredibly moving and beautiful tell-all recounting his life thus far, detailing every achievement and rock-bottom struggle he's faced with a great deal of confidence and sincerity.
A good part of the book deals with Wilson's time with Dr. Eugene Landy, a therapist that essentially abused WIlson between 1975 and 1992 while treating him for self-destructive nature and mental health problems. There are moments in this memoir that are disturbing when Landy's intervention and "treatments" are mentioned. You think, "how can another human being treat another human being in this way?" It puts the music he was working on during these years in a different light. You walk away with a refined understanding of the work he released during that period. At the same time, hearing Wilson recount his successes that came after these trials and tribulations will make you feel joy. Hearing him talk about the moment when he finally finished Smile, a long-shelved Beach Boys record that he decided to take on for his solo project, given everything that he had been through personally and professionally, brought a smile to my face.
Another wonderful aspect to this book is that you're given an in-depth look into Wilson's songwriting. You're right there in the recording studio with him, right behind the mixing board (or the lyric book) and you get the chance to understand the lyrics behind some of the most popular songs in the world, both from Wilson himself and from The Beach Boys. It's unique and fascinating, providing readers with a rare look into the creative process of a popular musician.
Wilson can write a book in a very similar manner to the way he presents songs to the public: with a straight-forward structure, catchy hooks that stick with you for days on end, and a desire to always, always want more. I Am Brian Wilson should be high on the top of your reading list this fall.
Purchase I Am Brian Wilson today: https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Brian-Wilson-Memoir/dp/0306823063/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476172035&sr=8-1&keywords=i+am+brian+wilson+a+memoir
This has been another Shameless Promotion.