They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.
As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like 'In My Room', 'God Only Knows' and'Good Vibrations' forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completedSmile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.
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If, as the author says, an album is “a kind of book,” then this book is a kind of album. Then, too, if, as Brian observes, all the songs on the early Beach Boys albums “seem like one big song,” the chapters in I Am Brian Wilson seem like one big scene that’s infused with romance, nostalgia, and a near-constant need for acceptance and recognition.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books
I Am Brian Wilson is being published today, almost exactly fifty years after the release of “Good Vibrations.” It is a wonderful insight into a troubled genius; he is one of America’s greatest songwriters.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson | See more reviews from Forbes
Those fascinated by the Beach Boys’ mid-’60s peak are advised to read Nick Kent’s authoritative extended essay on the subject. But I Am Brian Wilson succeeds in shedding new light on Wilson’s remarkable life – and finally gives one of the great American songwriters the biography he deserves.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson
Given how little Wilson is given to saying...this autobiography of one of the most creative minds in...popular music is clearly worth the reading...Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson
You’ll find other moving descriptions in I Am Brian Wilson of how he has survived, if not conquered, his demons; his love for his wife, daughters, and two late brothers, Beach Boys Carl and Dennis; and how music has helped ease his pain.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson
“I Am Brian Wilson” is an emotional roller coaster for both the story teller and the reader making this one ride that is definitely worth the price of admission.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson
This book is worth reading if you are a fan of the Beach Boys, or enjoy reading about how even extreme mental difficulties can be faced, and if not overcome, at least lived with.Read Full Review of I Am Brian Wilson
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