Winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for best Pop Music Book.
Heroes and Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boysby Steven S. Gaines
The Beach Boys have been rolling, like the tide their great songs evoke, for more than thirty years, reaching professional peaks and tragic personal depths. In this electrifying account Steven Gaines reveals the gothic tale of violence, addiction, greed, genius, madness, and rock 'n' roll behind the wholesome, surf-and-sun image. Through candid interviews with
The Beach Boys have been rolling, like the tide their great songs evoke, for more than thirty years, reaching professional peaks and tragic personal depths. In this electrifying account Steven Gaines reveals the gothic tale of violence, addiction, greed, genius, madness, and rock 'n' roll behind the wholesome, surf-and-sun image. Through candid interviews with close friends, family, and the Beach Boys themselves, Heroes and Villains portrays and evaluates all those who propelled the California myth, and the group who sang about it, into worldwide prominence: Murry Wilson, the corrosive father who abused them as children and exploited them as adults; Dennis Wilson, who explored every avenue of excess (including welcoming the entire Manson family into his home) to his inevitable self-destruction; the Wilsons' cousin, frontman Mike Love, whose devotion to eastern religion could not quell his violent temper; the wives (more than ten), mistresses, managers, and producers who consumed huge pieces of the ”musical pie”; and of course, the band's artistic center, Brian Wilson, the mentally fragile musical genius who achieved so much and then so little. With dozens of photos, Heroes and Villains recounts the bitter saga of the American dream realized and distorted and the music that survived.
- Da Capo Press
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- 0.93(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)
Meet the Author
Steven Gaines has written many books, including Obsession: The Life and Times of Calvin Klein and, as coauthor, The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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THOUGH SOME OF HIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN DISPUTED BY OTHER BEACH BOYS SCHOLARS,GAINES'BOOK IS THE MOST INTERESTING VERSION I HAVE READ OF THIS STORY. HE GIVES MOST OF THEIR LATER MUSIC A SHORT SHIFT BUT THE BAND'S STORY IS TOLD HERE IN THE MOST LINEAR AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND WAY. ITS ALSO VERY EASY TO GO BACK AND RESEARCH THROUGH THE BOOK.OVERALL WELL WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY
A good chronological description of their lives. Liked the way the author included other artists, songs, and events along the timeline. Found the book good reading and anything but boring. However, I have less respect for the Beach Boys now after learning their lives were so problem-ridden and their behavior incorrigible, all brought on by themselves. A good, true story about how some musicians are unable to handle fame.
Even if you are not a Beach Boys fan (and I am not), you will absolutely enjoy this book. A true insight into the tragic, turbulent and tumultuous lives of this legendary 60's band and its tortured leader and creative genius, Brian Wilson. From the physical and mental abuse the Wilson brothers suffered at hands of their cruel and controlling father, Murry, to fame and success to drug abuse and just plain bad behavior. This book is a must read! I could not put it down --- and believe it or not, I've read it three times! Order it today!