Brian Wilson
Guy Lochhead, 10/09/10
American songwriter and musician, with the Beach Boys and solo. Wilson apparently showed extraordinary musical ability even before his first birthday. He had a traumatic childhood under an abusive father who pushed his children to become competent musicians after his own failure as a singer-songwriter. He was obsessed with vocal harmonies from a young age, and later incorporated them into his own music. His production is characterised by its crystalline vocal arrangements and experimental instrumental embellishment of contemporary pop forms. He found mainstream success with the Beach Boys in the mid-60s, but found it very hard to deal with, and fell into a cycle of sleeping, overeating and drug abuse. His family enlisted the help of Eugene Landy, whose controversial all-controlling approach to therapy further damaged Wilson. Since the late-90s, Wilson seems to have recovered, producing a few studio albums and touring again. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Wilson organised a charity drive to aid victims of the disaster, raising over $250 million, and has been active in fundraising for many other causes in recent years. Although Wilson’s life has glimmers of hope, achievement and great generosity, I end up feeling pretty sad when I think about him. He’s a gifted musician who’s been exploited and abused from birth. That’s nothing to include..

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