I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir

I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir


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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 co-founding 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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306823060
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 627,172
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Brian Wilson, best known for his work with the Beach Boys, is one of popular music's most revered figures. The main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history and one of the most influential composers of the last century, Wilson became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2007. A father of seven, he lives with his wife in Beverly Hills, California.


Ben Greenman is a contributing writer to the New Yorker and a New York Times bestselling author. He collaborated with Questlove on his hip-hop memoir Mo' Meta Blues and cowrote George Clinton's memoir. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Table of Contents

Overture: Royal Festival Hall, London, 2004 1

Chapter 1 Fear 9

Chapter 2 Family 33

Chapter 3 Foundation 65

Chapter 4 Home 101

Chapter 5 Fathers and Sons 129

Chapter 6 Echoes and Voices 163

Chapter 7 Sun 217

Chapter 8 America 239

Chapter 9 Time 257

Chapter 10 Today 279

Discography 285

Acknowledgments 305

Credits 308

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I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Insightful and reflective look on the past of Brian Wilson and his presence thoughts of what he learned from his experiences and how it shaped him into the person he is today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Great to read Brian's perspective on his life and creations! A genius for sure as well as an intelligent kind soul!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See ab9ve