Today is the birthday of one of the most important and influential composers in modern music. Singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and great musical genius, Brian Wilson, best known for his work with The "Beach Boys", Brian is celebrating his birthday today just two days apart from another musical genius who celebrated his birthday two days ago - Paul McCartney.
Interestingly, these two geniuses who influenced the music world and were so influenced by each other, were born that year, 48 hours apart.
So this time in Brian's honor, let's tell you a few facts about him:
1. He was born on June 20, 1942, as Brian Douglas Wilson in California to his mother Audree Neva, and father Murry who was a musician.
2. He is the older brother of Dennis and Carl Wilson, who together with their cousin Mike Love and their friend Al Jardine formed the "the Beach Boys".
3. At a young age it was discovered that Brian's hearing in his right ear was deteriorating. The reason was not clear, but one theory suggests that the reason was a blow in the head, he received from his father.
4. His father used to abuse his children. Among other things, he used to punish them when he took out the glass eye he had as a result of an accident and forced them to look inside.
5. His father encouraged Brian and his brother to follow in his footsteps and made sure they received a musical education. As a result, Brian learned from an early age to sing and play the accordion and piano.
6. His favorite song as a child was George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."
7. In his youth he was an athlete and even served as a quarterback on the school football team.
8. At the age of 22, he married his first wife. She was then 16 years old.
9. His first appearance with his brother, cousin, and friend was in 1961, under the name "The Pendletones".
10. In December 1961 the band released their first single "Surfin", this time already under the name "The Beach Boys".
11. In October 1962 the band released their first album "Surfin 'Safari".
12. In late 1964 Wilson experienced a nervous breakdown which led him to the decision that he was not interested in continuing to perform with the band. From that moment on he spent many hours writing, arranging, producing, and recording the band's songs as Glen Campbell replaced him on stage.
13. Brian is the lead singer and songwriter of "The Beach Boys". He is also known as the first artist to write, produce, process and perform his own material.
14. Brian is also known as a groundbreaking and influential producer who has used the studio as a musical instrument in his own right.
15. He wrote the song “Good Vibrations” following a conversation with his mother about how dogs feel about how they are going to behave towards them.
16. Wilson recorded different excerpts of the song in different rooms to get a different echo effect each time.
17. The production of this song was so grandiose that its recording cost Wilson and the band $ 50,000.
18. In 1966, the band released one of Rock's most influential albums - "Pet Sounds". Wilson's genius in arrangements, melodies, and production has brought the album to the second and most respected place on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, by the "Rolling Stone" magazine.
20. When Wilson wrote and recorded the album "Smile" he placed a sandbox around his piano because he wanted to feel the sea sand between his toes and get permission to do so.
21. During this time he began to experience both anxiety and paranoia. In order to deal with the situation, he used to hold all his business meetings inside his home pool.
22. Another Wilson way to deal with the anxiety he experienced was eating a soft-boiled egg.
23. Even during the recordings of "Smile", Wilson made sure to have a sauna installed in his bedroom, and a tent in the living room.
24. The grandiose concept album "Smile", which Wilson recorded immediately after "Pet Sounds", was released only 37 years later as a Wilson solo album.
25. After watching the 1966 movie "Seconds" he has not seen a movie for over 15 years. He was sure that producer Phil Spector had made the film to drive him crazy. The first movie he saw after the long break was "E.T."
26. Wilson's mental state deteriorated during the 1970s. Beginning in 1975 he began psychotherapy with Eugene Landy, who diagnosed him as a schizophrenic.
27. Landy becomes a very influential factor in Wilson's life and he takes advantage of his position as a therapist to control Wilson's life, when in 1987 they even become business partners.
28. In 1990 Wilson's cousin, Stan Love filed a lawsuit alleging that Eugene Landy had too much influence on Wilson's life.
29. In 1991 the lawsuit ends with Landy's removal from Wilson's life when Eugene Landy is barred from being in contact with him.
30. Wilson passed five tests until he was able to obtain a driver’s license.
31. He wrote the song "Caroline, No" about one of the cheerleaders at his school, named Carol Mountain.
32. Wilson sings background vocals in Belinda Carlisle's song "California".
33. He was not present at his father's funeral. He boarded a plane to New York to get away.
34. In 1988 he entered the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame with the "Beach Boys".
35. In 2001 he also entered the "Hall of Fame" for songwriters.
36. That same year, the "Beach Boys" also received the Grammy award for Lifetime Achievement.
37. Wilson came in 52nd place among the greatest singers of all time, in the "Rolling Stone" magazine list.
38. He also ranks 12th on the list of the 100 best writers of all time.
39. And if all that was not enough, NME magazine placed him in 8th place among the 50 largest producers in the world.
40. Despite the paranoia attacks, despite the mental problems Wilson has seven children.
During his career, Wilson has released 30 studio albums as part of the "Beach Boys" and another 11 studio albums as a solo artist.
We highly recommend (for those who have not yet seen it), the movie "Love & Mercy" which describes the life and work of this musical genius.