Okay folks, so we have another painting of Brian Wilson here. Just what the world needs, more Brian Wilson. Yes, the world does need more BW. Dig peeps, I was born about a baseball throw (if you are hyped on steroids, goofballs and PCP) away from the wonderful land that we call Hawthorne, California, home of the Wilson and Jardine Families. If you grew up in Southern California, in that era, you were probably weaned on surf music. This is what we did here. We had The Challengers, The Torquays, The Lively Ones, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, The Chantays, The Surfaris, Eddie and the Showmen…most SoCal kids in uteri, heard the sound of Fenders, reverb and crashing waves instead of mom’s heartbeat. We also had this incredible California surfing/lifestyle movie called “The Endless Summer” filled with fascinating, albeit possibly distorted facts, about surfing, summer and youth. So we had to have a Brian Wilson to lead us! The girls were really on the beach! This was like a teen Disneyland with waves, sunshine and freedom. (Big Huerta note: This was before The (non-Californian) Eagles ruined the reputation of Southern California with their tequila sunrises, cocaine, disco stranglers, colitas and the gawd awful California as a hotel theme.) We all know brother Dennis was the surfer of the group and insisted that older brother Brian, even though a hodad, bordering on gremmie, write a song about this gnarly, green room riding, beach bunny getting sport. So Brian penned “Surfin’” and the rest is history…
Brian wrote quite a few “surf”-type songs filling the first few LP’s, much to the joy of his record company and the dudes in the band. But upon closer inspection, the listener could hear much more than run of the mill filler. I was first aware that something more powerful than just surf and good timey music was evident with the minute and half song “Lana” on the LP “Surfin’USA”. This cat was putting boogie-woogie piano with some soaring falsettos and beautiful Four Freshman harmony, but the real kicker is the sadness in that voice. I truly believe that the real life “Lana” didn’t even know Brian existed! That this song drama, of running away and love and happiness ever after, was all just a built up psychodrama (believe me, I know internal psychodrama’s) being played out in his teenage head. He probably didn’t even have the huevitos to approach this beautiful shorthaired brunette girl. She had to have been a brunette. Brian could never approach nor win over the much-vaunted blonde! Give “Lana” a listen and tell me I am wrong…(we loner/stuck in our room types have a sixth sense about this stuff)
Anyways, as you all know, Bro Brian outgrew the puppeteering of his band and Capitol Records and went on to write and record masterpieces of pop that will never be touched again by mere mortals. But there was a price to pay. His own band thought Pet Sounds was too much, too smart, there were no hits, no songs about cars, about surf. Brian was trapped in his own creation, in his own head.
This is what was going through my head when I approached this painting. This “work” utilizes the 60’s style surfboard design (with the thick and thin striping), the orange hue of a sunset at dusk, along with the yellow of the California sun during the brightest time of the day. The blue represents the Pacific Ocean and the portrait was done in yellow (possibly to highlight Brian’s fear of the water). He is in a box to highlight that this was where his band and the record company wanted to keep him…and if you notice the design of the surfboard (the thick and thin striping), it does represent prison bars, as if Brian was a prisoner of his own creativity and genre.
Brian Wilson signed this artwork in person. He commented that he really liked it. Dummy me was too stunned to answer anything but a “thank you” and strolled away. I should have given him the painting for all of the joy he has given this world. It is the least I could do. So if any of you are in touch with Brian, please let him know that I would gladly give this painting to him. He is a living treasure.
a nightmare that becomes a dream
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1976 (Volume 8, Number 6)
Roger Daltrey expressed his desire to set Lester Bangs on fire and “piss on him.”
“can’t we at least be the Black Iggy Pops.”
Eileen Shapiro: “Portfolio Of A Rockstar Journalist” With Philip Bailey Bringing Earth, Wind, And Fire
Jazz has always been my first love as a kid
some big country and Americana names
free for all has always been the idea behind EPR
The power-pop sensibilities of the Black Lips
Bey with a double header