Beach Boys - Happy Birthday, Brian Wilson!
Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson will be riding on the crest of a wave on Wednesday (20Jun12) when he turns 70.
The feted songwriter is still going strong after 50 years in the music business and hit the road earlier this year (12) for a reunion tour with the Surfin' Usa hitmakers.
He overcame serious mental health issues and battles against drugs and alcohol during his career to return to the spotlight and, against all odds, even outlived his Beach Boys brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson.
WENN has put together 10 fascinating facts about one of the greatest pop songwriters of all time to say, Happy Birthday, Brian!
- Despite his talent for composing catchy melodies, Wilson has had hearing problems all his life after a childhood accident left him deaf in his right ear.
- Wilson wrote his hit track California Girls - which he often cites as his favourite self-penned song - during his first Lsd trip in the mid-1960s.
- Brian is the last surviving Beach Boys brother - his sibling Dennis drowned in 1983 and youngest brother Carl passed away after a battle with cancer in 1998.
- Wilson's seminal Beach Boys album Pet Sounds was placed at number two on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, second only to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- The site of Wilson's childhood home in Hawthorne, California, where the Beach Boys held their early rehearsals, is now home to the official Beach Boys Historic Landmark.
- Wilson has suffered mental health and addiction battles since the 1960s and famously became a recluse for most of the '70s and '80s. He eventually recovered and managed to relaunch his music career after undergoing a controversial therapy programme with psychologist Eugene Landy.
- His favourite record of all time is Phil Spector's festive album A Christmas Gift for You, and the first single he ever bought was Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and The Comets.
- Wilson's glittering career has earned him a string of prestigious honours and awards - he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Beach Boys in January 1988 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000, and he scooped a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In 2007, he was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime of contributions to American culture.
- He stunned fans in 2004 when he released a revised version of Beach Boys record Smile - the most famous 'lost album' in rock history - which had been shelved by Wilson in 1967. The original recordings of Smile were finally released last year (11).
- The first song Wilson ever wrote, Surfin', was penned for a high school music project. The teacher gave Wilson an 'F' grade, meaning he failed the test.