Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy 70th birthday, Brian Wilson!

Brian Wilson's 70th birthday is today, two days after Sir Paul McCartney's own 70th. What a week for popular music, right?

Brian is on tour with The Beach Boys as they continue their reunion run. The latest Beach Boys album "That's Why God Made the Radio" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts. Critics and fans alike have applauded both the album and the tour.

So, basically, Brian's 70th comes at a time when he's doing well professionally and is seeing the fruits of his labors being loved at sold-out venues. Not too shabby!

Brian has had to deal with a lot in his life. From the abuse and badgering of his father, to the mental issues and damages from drug abuse that have scarred his mind and vocals, to the losses of brothers Dennis (in 1983) and Carl (in 1998), to legal battles with his family, his bandmates and music entities (music publishers, producers, etc.), and the struggles with Dr. Landy (who saved his life, then took it over).

Through it all, he has persevered. He's managed to produce quite a bit of music since his 1988 solo debut, with several great songs (and a fair share of clunkers, too). He's toured regularly since 1999, a feat few would have believed possible after he departed from regular touring in the mid 1960s. He's repaired relationships with The Beach Boys, and with old friends and family. Hell, he's even resurrected "SMiLE" ... twice! ("Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE" and "The SMiLE Sessions.")

Brian is not who he was in 1964/1965/1966. But he's still here, he's still creating and that's something to be thankful for. That great music, the joy and comfort and understanding in it ... His music is an enormous gift, one we can all enjoy on his birthday.

Happy 70th birthday, Brian Wilson!

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