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BRIAN WILSON: A Legend Covers a Legend


| by Nick Manes W


HEN THINKING ABOUT brilliant musicians that embody the national consciousness, have battled personal demons and over-


come to release some of the best compositions of their career, few people aside from Brian Wilson could ever come to mind. Wilson – bass player and


main songwriter for the legend- ary Beach Boys – was the driving creative force behind the classic Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds, often thought to be one of the greatest pop records ever recorded. The record includes such classics as “Sloop John B” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” In the years following Pet Sounds, Wilson


Despite his demeanor, Wilson’s return to


BRIAN WILSON Frederik Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids July 29, 7 p.m.; $58-$60 meijergardens.org, (616) 957-1580


public life has been a success. He has since done world tours and put out a handful of records. In the summer of 2010, he put out a record that is particularly close to him: Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin, a collection of George Gershwin covers sanctioned by the Gershwin estate. “It’s got a lot of good


songs on it” Wilson says. “It’s got ‘Summertime’ and it’s got ‘I Love You Porgy.’” Wilson, 68, is also touring this summer in support of the


began work on its follow-up, SmiLE. However, drug use and depression left him unable to release the record. SmiLE sat on the shelves for the better part of four decades. Finally, in 2004 the record was released to wide critical acclaim. This is not to say that Wilson has lost all


of his eccentricity. During his recent phone interview with REVUE, Wilson seemed a bit stand-offish when it came to talking about his career. When asked to talk about his infamous past, at one point, Wilson responded with, “Forget about the Beach Boys!”


56 | REVUEWM.COM | JULY 2011


“Gershwin record,” as he calls it. On July 29, his tour will make a stop at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park amphitheater. After so many years out of the public spotlight Wilson says that touring again is kind of an adventure. “Each tour is different,” he says. However Wilson is extremely confident


about this go around. “The instrument players are better than


the Beach Boys players,” he says, opening up briefly about his iconic band. “[M]y band is the best I’ve ever worked with. I hope people like the Gershwin songs and the Beach Boys classics.” n


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