Brian Wilson to complete Gershwin tunes
When it was this blogger's incomparable honor to interview Brian Wilson, the haunted savant behind the Beach Boys, I was overcome with neurosis and pressures. After over a decade of fervent obsession and bewilderment with Wilson's numerous gifts, what would I ask him?
Well, awe soon became something uncomfortable close to pity as it became evident that it didn't much matter what was asked of him--Brian Wilson, despite being on the other end of the line, simply wasn't there.
So what will come of his beyond-the-grave collaboration with George Gershwin? The LA Times reports that Wilson will be completing at least two unfinished ditties for possible release later this year.
There are, essentially, two Brian Wilsons. The first was the troubled kid from whose head seminal works like Pet Sounds and Today! sprung fully armored. Then there is the Wilson of cocaine, crippling mental obstacles, and grand delusions of conspiracy and demonology. The Wilson who didn't leave his bed for a year, and who was preyed upon by the vicious turncoat Eugene Landys (look it up).
Regrettably, that's the Wilson we're left with today--the shadow Wilson, the skeleton of his former self, who plodded through a remake of the elusive Smile, turned out a respectable album in That Lucky Old Sun, on which one could hear only enough of Wilson's former genius to make his heart crack over what's been lost of Wilson to drugs and time.
That said, it's an exciting proposition. Wilson is kept around for the same reason that Tony Oliva still has a Dome pass and a coach's uniform. Wilson has earned more miles than any surviving artist (and yes, that includes McCartney and Jagger). And to hear that Wilson will be completing works of another peerless and quintessentially American coposer is, at the very least, piquing for its potential as an enjoyable musical curio.
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