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brian wilson Quotes

Brian Wilson Quotes

Birth Date: 1942-06-20 (Saturday, June 20th, 1942)
Date of Death: 1973-06-04 (Monday, June 4th, 1973)



    • Take all the time you need It's a lovely night If you decide to come You're gonna do it right.
    • Drive for a couple miles You'll see a sign and turn left For a couple blocks Next is mine, you'll turn left on a little road It's a bumpy one.
    • I think because I felt so sad I had to bring out my feelings, and try to create music that would make me and all my friends feel better.
    • It's funny how people are pickin' up on our music now, you know? I think it's wonderful that people like our music.
    • I met Paul in 1967, Ringo in 1985, and I saw George Harrison in a nightclub somewhere in L. A. I never met John.
    • We wanted to bring some love to the world. I thought we were good at doing that. Bringin' love to the world.
    • I went through a lot of changes in the years from when I first started out.
    • I would have the musicians keep playing over and over again till the sound made sense. I worked overtime on that; I worked hours to get it right. If the sound didn't make any sense, then I wouldn't know what to do - I'd be lost! It's instinct that tells me. I have an instinct for music, or a feeling about it, and I'll have my feelings guide my hands.
    • It was very competitive in the '60s. And everybody caught the bug, y'know? It was like a 'competitive bug.' And, as far as I could see, everybody was turning everybody on. ... The Beatles were a part of that whole 'competition' thing. Rubber Soul blew my mind. It really made me wanna record; it made me wanna cut. It sounds like a collection of songs that belong together, and it was an uplifting feeling. So I thought I'd make a collection of songs - called Pet Sounds - together. That's how I got that idea. ... I'm proud of it. I think it's a very everlasting album. I'm very proud of the love that went into it. A lot of love went into that album. And people pick up on that too, and they really like it 'cause they feel the love.
    • I'm doing good. I've had a slight nervous breakdown in the '60s. I got through that. And I got through the '70s. And I was in a doctor's program during the '80s and then I met Melinda and we've been together ever since. I've got a happy life.
    • Did I suffer from depression? Yes, a little, from time to time. Yes. ... I'm not as depressed as I was. I get depressed now and then but not very much anymore. ... At the height of it it was just God-awful. It was really bad.
    • It started out - my mom and dad took a little vacation to Mexico and they left $250 for food. But instead of food we went and bought some instruments. We got a bass, guitar and a set of drums. ... I was 19. Dennis was 15. Carl was 17. Mike was 18. Al was 19. And so we wrote a song called 'Surfin'' in my living room. We were all playing and singing and Mike and I wrote a song called 'Surfin'' and that's how it all started.
    • Dennis surfed. I couldn't surf. I never learned how.
    • The sound was essentially background sound, myself, and Carl, Dennis and Al Jardine, Mike was our lead singer. The four of us put our voices together. We had done it really beautifully. We had a beautiful blend. We really did.
    • My cousin came over to my house one day just to fool around and we said - he said, some day we should start a rock n' roll group. We could all get together. And I said, I know I guy named Al Jardine who plays bass and could probably sing good. You know. So we went from there.
    • I was very, very surprised. I never thought I would be that loved or respected.
    • Now and then I'll be a little brief with some of my band members. I won't talk or I'll refrain from talking to my band while we're rehearsing. But basically I am friendly with people. ... I'll go on cold streaks. I'll work with a collaborator then I'll stop calling the collaborator for a couple weeks. I'll say I need a break from you for a couple weeks. But they're 'OK, fine, fine, I'll see you in two weeks.'
    • I talked to Paul McCartney over the years ranging from 1967 to 2004. ... At the landmine show he did 'God Only Knows' with me and I did 'Let It Be' with him. And then I called him about four months ago asking him if he could come out and do - sing a song called 'A Friend Like You,' which I wrote for him, me and my collaborator wrote for him. And he said he'd love to come out. And he came to the studio and that was one of the bigger thrills of my life to tell you the truth, to produce Paul McCartney. And that was a thrill for me. That was a thrill.
    • If there's not love present, it's much, much harder to function. When there's love present, it's easier to deal with life.
    • Humor - it helps to make the vibe better - it loosens up the vibrations.
    • Spirituality amounts to love with me. I consider it the same as love. And my band members are full of love.
    • When people hear music that is spiritual it gets through. Music that is Godlike and loving gets through. I don't have any power in this world, but I have spiritual power. I think God gave me my music and my talent. I'm trying to get across a feeling of spirituality; I think I have a spiritual influence on people.
    • I think about God, yes, and I wonder if there is a God. And if there is a God, will God please help me through my hard trips.
    • A voice or a song can be so comforting to someone who really needs it.
    • Being called a musical genius was a cross to bear. Genius is a big word. But if you have to live up to something, you might as well live up to that.
    • Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever.
    • I approach my music-making as an art-form - something pure from the spirit to which I can add dynamics and marketable reality. Music is genuine and healthy and the stimulation I get from molding it and adding dynamics is like nothing else on earth.
    • I love restaurants. You're sitting there and all of a sudden, there's food. It's like magic.
    • I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy.
    • I've never written one note or word of music simply because I think it will make money.
    • For me, making music has always been a very spiritual thing, and I think anybody who produces records has to feel that, at least a little bit. Producing a record . . . the idea of taking a song, envisioning the overall sound in my head and then bringing the arrangement to life in the studio . . . well, that gives me satisfaction like nothing else.
    • My mother used to tell me about vibrations. I didn't really understand too much of what that meant when I was just a boy. To think that invisible feelings, invisible vibrations existed scared me to death.
    • Some people might think that sex is the highest experience you can have. I tend to think that music is.
    • To be a great producer, music has to be a big part of your soul. And when it comes to making music, if I could invent a way to get it from my heart into yours, without doing all that hard work, I would be very happy.
    • You know Chuck, Buddy, and Elvis paved the road. The roots are deep inside us, it's the rhythm in our soul.
    • Q Magazine to Brian Wilson: Did you ever meet Charles Manson? Brian: Yes I did. He seemed like an OK guy, but he went and murdered some people, which was pretty bad.
    • Brian didn't really write lyrics to the songs; he edited them. That means he might have simply said that he didn't like a particular line. I would then have tried to convince him of its merit, if I felt strongly about it, or I would have written an alternate in an attempt to get closer to what he seemed to be after. None of this is to say that he didn't supply words to some of the songs. He did. But his role was more to react to what I did after I did it, rather than to direct it before it occurred or even as it was occurring. It's fair to say that the general tenor of the lyrics was always his and the actual choice of words was usually mine. I was really just the interpreter.
    • Unless you were Kate Smith and you were singing 'God Bless America', no one thought you could say 'God' in a song. No one had done it, and Brian didn't want to be the first person to try it. He said, 'We'll just never get any air play.' Isn't it amazing that we thought that? But it worked, and 'God Only Knows' is, to me, one of the great songs of our time. I mean the great songs. Not because I wrote the lyrics, but because it is an amazing piece of music that we were able to write a very compelling lyric to. It's the simplicity - the inference that 'I am who I am because of you' - that makes it very personal and tender.
    • There is a new song, too complex to get all of first time around. It could come only out of the ferment that characterizes today's pop music scene. Brian Wilson, leader of the famous Beach Boys, and one of today's most important musicians, sings his own 'Surf's Up.' Poetic, beautiful even in its obscurity, 'Surf's Up' is one aspect of new things happening in pop music today. As such, it is a symbol of the change many of these young musicians see in our future.
    • The first time I heard Pet Sounds, I have to admit that I did a little bit of knee-jerk in the same way probably the record company and some other people did because it wasn't as accessible as Brian's songwriting approach had been up to that time. I'm not sure I fully appreciated that until years later, I started making records myself.
    • I consider Pet Sounds to be one of the greatest pop LPs to ever be released. It encompasses everthing that's ever knocked me out and rolled it all into one. Brian Wilson is, without a doubt, a pop genius.
    • Brian Wilson the astronaut, peering down from the Heavens, cooly dreaming of California girls. An idealized pop utopia that widens the senses and soothes the ears. Lands the spaceship, finds nothing but disco and platform shoes and decided to take another trip around the moon for good measure and to search for the elusive lonely harmony. Landing back down for the millennium, our astronaut decided it's time. Time to stop and hear what he's brought back.
    • Pet Sounds is an unbelievable record. It's like classical music. Wonderful compositions, beautiful singing. I think the compositions stand up to any kind of interpretation. I've heard 'Put Your Head On My Shoulder' played on the cello and it sounds like a piece music that's been with us for hundreds and hundreds of years. It sounds like it's always been there. And I think maybe in a hundred years' time people will be playing their songs on the piano trying to work out where they came from.
    • He was the most highly regarded pop musician in America, hands down. Everybody by that time had figured out who was writing and arranging it all. 'In My Room' was the defining point for me. When I heard it, I thought 'I give up - I can't do that - I'll never be able to do that.'
    • Jesus, that ear. He should donate it to The Smithsonian.
    • Pet Sounds became an instant classic when it first appeared. Listening to it today, it is, perhaps, easier to see why it was one of the defining moments of its time, along with the music of the Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Greatful Dead ... its willingness to abandon formula in favor of structural innovation, the introduction of classical elements in the arrangements, production concepts in terms of overall 'sound' which were novel at the time, all these elements give Pet Sounds a freshness that, thirty years later, is immediately there for the listener.
    • Pet Sounds is a landmark album. For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty.
    • It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. ... I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album ... I love the orchestra, the arrangements ... it may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century ... but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ... I've often played Pet Sounds and cried. ... 'God Only Knows' is a big favorite of mine ... very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On 'You Still Believe In Me', I love that melody - that kills me ... that's my favorite, I think ... it's so beautiful right at the end ... comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies ... sends shivers up my spine.
    • If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson. Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds.
    • He was way advanced of what anybody was doing at that point. And I think the Beatles recognized that and I think every harmony group in the world recognized that there was some different thing going on - something very sophisticated.
    • Music is Brian Wilson's best friend, lover, everything. On a one-to-one basis, it's the only thing that has never wronged him. It's when people, and gossip, and record companies came into play that things went askew. The music never betrayed him. And given Brian's vulnerable, exclusive nature, it's only natural that it's the central fact and concern in his life. He may forget a name or a contract, but he never forgets the music. It's a consequence of devotional thinking, and geniuses are prone to it.
    • I think I would put him up there with any composer - especially Pet Sounds. I don't think there is anything better that that, necessarily. I don't think you'd be out of line comparing him to Beethovan - to any composer. The word genius is used a lot with Brian. I don't know if he's a genius or not, but I know that music is probably as good as any music you can make.
    • I don't think there's anyone his equal in popular music for this fifty years. They were really deep, profound emotions that came out of a lot of pain.
    • I love Brian. There's not many people I would say that about. I think he's a truly, truly, truly great genius.
    • In the fall of 1989, I was working with a band who turned me on to the bootlegged recordings of Brian Wilson's legendary, aborted Smile sessions. Like a musical burning bush, these tapes awakened me to a higher consciousness in record making. I was amazed that one, single human could dream up this unprecedented and radically advanced approach to rock 'n roll. I was really stunned when I met him several months later. Far from the catatonic drug burn-out the tabloids loved to depict, the guy I got to know was lucid and happening. When we started to mess around in the studio, it became clear that he was capable of making a record every bit as complex and beautiful as Pet Sounds whenever he felt like it. How could a talent so great be so misunderstood and under appreciated? My personal favorite is 'Caroline No,' his paean to lost innocence. I hear the weary voice of a man who's been hurled through the emotional wringer and yet, one can plainly discern the youthful sweetness, optimism and goodness that characterizes Brian's soul. It's that dichotomy that makes him one of the most enigmatic and endearing characters of these times.
    • I don't think that the California Myth, the dream that a few of us touched, would have happened without Brian, and I don't think Brian would have happened without the dream. They're inseparable.
    • I've always been into harmonies, so I was inspired by that part of what they (the Beach Boys) were doing. It definetely influenced a generation of kids.
    • His music definitely affected mine - the harmonies. Of course I never played in a band that could sing like that.
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