The Palladium Presents Brian Wilson:
Writer // Janelle Morrison
Photography // Brian Bowen Smith and Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts
The architect of the Beach Boys’ signature sound is one of the most innovative and influential composers, arrangers and producers of the rock era. His songwriting credits include such indelible songs as “Good Vibrations,” “God Only Knows,” “California Girls,” “Don’t Worry Baby” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”
Wilson is hailed as a studio genius whose creations – most notably the elaborate “Pet Sounds” album – are praised by fans, critics and other artists as high-water marks in the evolution of recorded pop music. This tour features Wilson and his band, including longtime Beach Boys members Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, performing tunes from throughout his career.
Don’t miss An Evening with Brian Wilson: Greatest Hits Live with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin at The Palladium, Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m. Visit thecenterfortheperformingarts.org for more information.
After decades of performing and countless shows, you are still out there touring and sharing your talent with your fans. What is it about touring and performing that keeps you out there doing it?
I love doing the Beach Boys songs and songs from the “Pet Sounds” album, and I like the audiences.
Which do you enjoy more: the actual writing process and creating music or performing your music? Why?
I enjoy performing more. I can interact with the audience.
What is it about interacting with the audience that you find the most joy in?
It’s the love.
Looking back over the years at what you have accomplished as a member of the Beach Boys and as a solo artist, is there a particular album or part of your career that you most proud of and reflect back on often?
When we cut “Good Vibrations,” that was a big moment in my life.
Because it was a great record.
No argument here – “Good Vibrations” certainly was. What was particularly special about that song?
Me and Mike Love did “Good Vibrations.”
Was that a part of your life that you truly enjoyed?
You launched your first solo album, “Brian Wilson,” back in 1988. What made you decide to go out on your own and cut that album?
Well, my doctor, Gene Landy [Dr. Eugene Landy], said it was time for me to do a solo album, so I did a solo album.
What was the biggest challenge for you in creating that first solo album?
I wanted people to hear me sing, and I was not with the Beach Boys.
You had to prove yourself to your fans and create your own distinct sound and style, right?
Throughout your career, you have collaborated with some incredible artists. Who are some of the artists that you have worked with?
I’ve worked with Paul McCartney and Elton John.
What did you enjoy most about working with those two?
I like the way they sing.
You have also collaborated with young artists, such as Janelle Monáe on her new album, “Dirty Computer.” Who else from the current generation of young artists have you collaborated with?
I worked with Zooey Deschanel on an album five or six years ago. She is a great singer!
You studied classical music when you were young. What did you think about the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra creating the album featuring The Beach Boys? You and the other members of The Beach Boys did not have a “hands-on” role in the recording, so how did it turn out?
I listened to it and loved it! I thought the orchestra was great!
So, you were impressed with what the orchestra produced?
Yes, I was. Very much so.
When you are not writing or touring, what do you enjoy doing in your time off?
I like to exercise and watch TV. I watch the news.
What can your audience expect to hear when you, Al and Blondie come to the Palladium in November?
Beach Boys classics and the “Pet Sounds” album.
If you could do this [your entire career] all over again, would you? Would you do it the same or differently?
Yes, and I would do it the same.