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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Brian Wilson

I've probably previously expressed my admiration for Brian Wilson. For a start, I enjoy his music. Secondly, we have anxiety and mental illness in common.

Last night's episode of the BBC1 show Imagine focused on Wilson and, more specifically, his "lost masterpiece" SMiLE (which, incidentally, has been one of the most frequently played albums on my iPod of late). Unfortunately, I missed parts of the show, but the parts I did see were extremely interesting.

I can't imagine the courage it must have taken Wilson to perform - thirty years after it was written - the music which led to a serious bout of mental illness. There are several songs I'll turn off when they come onto the radio because they remind me of unpleasant times.

As I watched Wilson sit and wait to go on stage for the inaugural performance of SMiLE, I recognised the anxiety. The look of relief on his face once the performance was finished was both inspirational and moving.

And I should mention his wife, Melinda - just check out this interview to see why I have so much admiration for her.

It seems the ICA are showing last night's documentary on the big screen. Go and see it if you get the chance. Even if you're not into the music of Brian Wilson, you can't fail to be moved by the human story of a guy who's battled his demons and won.


  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    The thing that always gets me about Brian W is that when people are talking about how he went a little bit unusual in the 60s, they always cite the fact that he had a sandpit built in his house, so that he could wiggle his toes in the sand while he played the piano, as evidence of him being a complete nutter. Whereas I think that's a brilliant idea and if I had as much money as Brian Wilson, I would definitely have a sandpit in my living room, and I have no history of mental illness whatsoever apart from a few panic attacks when I used to take a lot of speed when I was young and stupid.

  • At 3:54 AM, Blogger Taxloss said…

    I would love to have a sandpit. That would rock.

    But then I suppose I have "a history of mental illness".

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    woah. There's clearly a link between a love of sand and being a couple of freedom fries short of a Happy Meal. I feel a research paper coming on.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger McReadie said…

    I quite agree with you, Fizzwhizz - I never understood why people regarded the sandpit thing as evidence of his troubled mental state. Makes perfect sense to me that for a man who'd typically written songs about the ocean and beach, a sandpit would be inspirational.


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