Thursday, October 07, 2004

Brian Wilson presents Smile Part III: Getcha Back

The comeback. Brian Wilson was saved from total personal destruction at first by the Svengali like sway of Eugene Landy, but ultimately by love. Brian met his current wife at a car dealership and somehow through the drugs and the depression, Brian found enough of himself to assert his own independence. He began recording new music and got married. His new wife was the island of safety he needed to start a long arduous comeback, long after anyone cared if he ever truly came back.

Brian released the album Imagination, which was a good album, but still more like the sun and fun formula that cousin Mike battered him into back in 1967. But he was touring. And a funny thing happened: he found out that people knew who he was, found that as much as there were fans of the Beach Boys, there were fans of him. Some of those fans were the group the Wondermints, who became, in essence, Brian's touring band, Brian's new Beach Boys, as it were. Only this time, they were devoted to their source.

Brian decided to try playing the entire album Pet Sounds on tour. This was done to rousing success. As part of these performances, the band would do little things that surprised him, sneaking in parts of the various snippets of Smile that had leaked out over the years. The crowd ate it up. Brian himself did some of the sneaking, singing "I Know There's An Answer" with the original lyrics Mike rejected "Hold On To Your Ego." Beach Boy enthusiasts knew what that meant and roared. Now in his sixties, Brian was finally, subtly, standing up to Mike Love.

And finally, after all these years, long after it meant anything to anyone other than himself, Brian Wilson decided that he was going to finish Smile.

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