Brian Wilson Knows There's an Answer
Brian Wilson gave the first Q&A/performance session at the Grammy Museum's 200-seat theater on Thursday, giving short and specific answers to the questions of museum executive director Bob Santelli.
That's how it goes with Brian. He keeps the observations and anecdotes to a minimal amount of words, offering little explanation after giving a statement of fact. A curious fan wanted to know what's on his iPod. "About 500 songs" was the aswer.
Before a sharp performance of six songs -- "Surfer Girl"/"Midnight's Another Day"/"Southern California"/"California Girls"/"God Only Knows"/"Surfin' Safari" - Wilson offered a number of observations that might surprise fans. The top 10 disclosures:
10. His favorite songs on the 1977 album "The Beach Boys Love You," now regarded a BB classic, are "The Night Was So Young" and "Ding Dang."
9. Elvis Presley was wearing a floor length cape when he met him in the 1970s. He asked the King if he would come into the studio and listen to what he was working on. Elvis said "no."
8. He wrote "Love and Mercy" after drinking half a bottle of Champagne.
7. "Sh-Boom" by the Chords was the first record to "blow his mind."
The list of surfing sites in "Surfin' Safari" came from his girlfriends' brother.
6. Every time he went into the studio, the goal was to "outdo Phil Spector." "It never happened."
5. A hard rock record continues to be a goal and versions of "At the Hop" and "Proud Mary" are already in the can.
4. The three acts he would want to perform on a desert island would be the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bee Gees and the Eagles. (Yes, he was asked about three and answered with four).
3. The best audiences during the Beach Boys early days were in Boston and Sacramento.
2. The first time he ever met Chuck Berry, whom he considers the most influential songwriter, was about a year ago - in Hawaii.
1. "Pet Sounds" was named because of the initials P.S., which stands for Phil Spector.