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They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.

As a cofounding member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like "In My Room," "God Only Knows," and "Good Vibrations" forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.

I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy, and who finally completed Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, and filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.



About the Author

Brian Wilson

Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician best known as the lead songwriter, bassist, and singer of the American pop band The Beach Boys. Wilson was also the band's main producer, composer, and arranger. The lead vocal parts for The Beach Boys recordings were primarily sung by either Wilson, his brother Carl, or Mike Love. Early influences included The Four Freshmen and Chuck Berry, among others. Wilson admired Phil Spector, considering him both a mentor and rival. Wilson was a perfectionist in the studio, and often upset the other members of the Beach Boys with this incessant drive for perfection. Though one of the first users of an eight-channel multitrack tape recorder, he shunned stereophonic sound, preferring (as Spector did) to work in monaural ?? because he believed stereo gave an incomplete "sound picture" if the listener was not directly between the speakers, although this can also be partially attributed to Wilson being deaf in his right ear.



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