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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #1 
Let me start by saying, I love Brian, his music and for as long as he continues to perform ,I'll be there. I've seen Brian every chance I can since he started touring solo. Seeing him step on stage in The Beacon Theater in NY almost 20 years ago was one of the thrills of a lifetime. Adding Al Jardine several years ago was amazing. 
Fast forward to last night. It almost brings tears to your eyes to see Brain escorted by 3 folks helping him walk to his piano. Honestly, it's sad. I've seen The Pet Sounds show many times. The first time was amazing, last night was sad. Yes the music is great. The band brings it alive..not just Pet sounds but all the songs. And Al (BTW Al's solo shows are great. Go see one if you get the chance) adds so much. He's always upbeat and I'm sure he's there because he too loves Brian.  But Brian just can't get through the songs anymore. Last night he barley sang. Al and son in law Rob (Not for nothing, what happened to Matt Jardine?) had to fill in way too much and at times the look on Al's face was one of concern for Brain. As fans, we love the music and I think we come to expect that these days. But it's hard to watch.
Having said all this.. As much as I enjoy Brian, I wonder why? He's obviously not healthy, it's hard to watch him, he looks totally disinterested. The time has come. It's like watching an aging athlete, you want him to go out on a high note.. the last few concerts I've seen just make me sad. It's time for the farewell tour. 
It pains me to write this but it pained me to see Brain last night. I don't want to remember him likes this.
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Reply with quote  #2 

Your concern seems genuine, but when I re-read your opening line, I wonder to what extent -

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcny730
Let me start by saying, I love Brian, his music and for as long as he continues to perform ,I'll be there. ...
(emphasis added)

That doesn't fit with the rest of your post.  Maybe you just aren't comfortable seeing your legend as such...and are worried what others will think of him in that shape.

But here's what we know - In recent years, Brian has repeatedly mentioned his desire to share his music with fans (old and new).  He loves his band and shows them off as well.  He’s also afraid of letting anyone down – promoters, crew, fans, etc. 

Perhaps his 76-year-old body wasn’t yet ready to come back from spinal surgery in May.  But with a number of shows cancelled or rescheduled earlier this summer, he may have felt the need to resume the tour asap.  Yet it's Brian's choice - we've heard this repeatedly from people (very) close to him.  HE decides when he wants to tour.  HE decides when to stop (like in May, when he broke-off all those shows to have the surgery).  Ultimately, I’m confident that he’ll quit touring when HE wants to quit.  As far as the “disinterested” look he seemed to have – heck, Brian’s worn that look throughout his public life.  It doesn’t necessarily mean what we would ordinarily assume.

As someone who lives with spinal pain every hour of every day, I can understand Brian’s choice – You can either sit at home and be in pain, or you can do something you enjoy and be in pain.


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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #3 
I wrote this post because I truly do love Brian and it's sad to see him and remember him like this.
I've been going to Beach Boy shows for over 50 years. I saw them through the good and the bad. I have refused to see the Mike Love version and stuck with Brian throughout. And I have some friends who are very very close to Brian. Going back for years. And let's just say... don't believe everything you hear or read. I don't think any of us really know what drives Brian to put himself through this.
See my reply to the posts about The Bangor show. I hate to run into people who go to Brian shows and now walk out and have nothing good to say about him. This is not how Brian wants to "bring his music to the people" . 
I can't talk about back pain..but it can't be fun to travel around the country and the world in pain. And he looks so uncomfortable sitting there for almost 2 hours. That cannot be fun.

I'm not trying to argue anything. I'm just saying. Last night for the first time ever I walked out of a Brian Wilson concert feeling sad. 
The legends we grew up with (Paul Simon, Elton John etc) they are all beginning to realize there's nothing wrong with sitting back now and just enjoying the rest of their lives. I hope that Brian truly does get to enjoy the rest of his life. 

Love & Mercy

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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #4 

I saw the same concert you did in Richmond but I did not come away sad.  I agree that it must be a b*tch for Brian to be out there touring.  Physically, mentally, it can’t be easy.  But what I saw and heard around me were bunches of cool fans cheering away for Brian and the wonderful music he brought to them.  I came away feeling grateful for what I had seen and heard and yes, felt an awareness that our time with Brian is growing short.  That is the only thing to be sad about IMHO.

Y’know, Brian IS getting on and he’s had a tough as heck life.  But he still fights to get out there.  It’s determination to sustain a note, hit every vocal cue.  But he does it.  I thought Brian’s vocals, especially on Surfer Girl and through Pet Sounds were strong.  Excellent projection and as for pitch, well it’s Brian Wilson, no more need be said.  I thought Surfer Girl, Don’t Talk, and I Just Wasn't Made For These Times were both dreamy.  Yes he does clip his notes and hands off where his range no longer reaches, but he’s got excellent back up which makes the transition seamless.  Rob Bonfiglio did a great job filling in for Matt.  Not just on falsetto but also mid vocal ranges.  He was great on Pet Sounds, backing Brian and did a great Don’t Worry Baby.  Of course nobody equals Brian in the day.

With all of the above, a fantastic Feel Flows and SOS from Blondie, the always rock solid Al Jardine with a great Little Deuce Coupe and Help Me Rhonda, one of the best, most talented, amazing bands around (Jim Laspesa does a fine percussion on Pet Sounds the song), an excellent sound crew (the sound Friday was clear and clean), and stage set (the swirly lights were the best).  I just don’t know how this is something not to be proud of.  Brian still “reaches” many people.  Many are happy to hear Brian present his Pet Sounds.  The cheers almost drowned out the train after Caroline, No Friday.  A casual concert goer may not be familiar with Brian’s background and may not quite appreciate what it takes for Brian to bring us his music these days but I think his followers do.  But of course, you should reconsider going if it makes you sad.  I don't think anyone wants you to be sad. 


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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #5 
I am and always will be a fan. As long as Brian is out there performing, I'll continue to go. He deserves that from his fans.
And yes I agree with you his true fans will always be there and support him. We'll give him standing ovations and cheer loudly, but that's not so much for the performance but to recognize the sheer genius of his work.
But there's nothing wrong in recognizing what it is now. 
Grab a copy of the Pet Sounds live CD, listen to it and then compare it to what we heard Friday night. And tell me, was it  anywhere close. No. This was the worst Pet Sounds performance I have seen. And that's OK.
I really have to disagree that Brain still sings strong and hits the notes. He doesn't. And that's OK. That's why his band is so important. He literally IMHO "talked" through the Pet Sounds songs, he didn't sing. Sadly, it's like a bad karaoke performance. The songs you mentioned , he only "sang" about half of those alone. Rob and AL had to fill in the gaps. During one song, Al was singing and it was apparent that Brian was supposed to kick in, he didn't, Al gave a quick glance continued singing and also kind of chuckled. Still it's OK. I know this might rub a lot of true fans the wrong way. We adore him and always will. What made me sad is that people around me walked out during Pet Sounds. They don't get it. 
And let's look at the totality of Friday night. First there was an opening act, first time I have ever seen that at a Brian Wilson concert. I realized now that he needs to do that because a lot of venues require an intermission during a show to be able to make concession sales. So that was the intermission gap. Brian came on stage , they did a dozen or so hits with nary a word from Brian except Hello Richmond. Yes I know Brain doesn't engage the crowd (unless it's there on his teleprompter) but he usually says something else. When they finished the hits, normally there would be an intermission. I guess it's now too difficult for Brain to get on and off stage. So Al awkwardly said, I guess this is where we start the Pet Sounds part of the show. Brian said nothing in between songs. Again, he usually does. At almost every show I've seen before God Only Knows he quips, my friend Paul McCartney says this is his favorite song. Not on Friday night. Al had to say something to the effect this will be the best song you hear all night. And yes I was up standing after it. Why? It is the best song he has ever written in my opinion. I cheered for that. And then Pet Sounds ended and once again, Brian would normally leave the stage and return for encores. But they just went into the encores. It was an awkward evening for someone who has seen many many shows. I stood and cheered , so I was one of the voices you heard cheering. I'm a true fan and will always stand and cheer. We go and cheer because he is Brian Wilson !!!! Not the performer but the genius songwriter. The man who has had a troubled life and preserved. The man who gave us the music that is the background to our lives ! I thought Love and Mercy was his strongest singing performance of the night actually. It seems like the words really had meaning to him. It's kind of a sad song. 
But just like the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. We have to recognize that we are seeing a shell of a man (who unfortunately for many years has already been a shell of a man). I wonder if anyone has the courage to stand up to Brian, and record one of his shows and let him watch it. For a man who is such a perfectionist , how could he be pleased ??
And now he's out there doing Pet Sounds , Greatest Hits shows and coming up Holiday shows. 3 different "tours" He's spreading himself so thin in such a frail, fragile state. Yes, I am sad but more importantly concerned. Let's not get into the reasons for this grueling schedule. Does he really love performing that much????? At 76, with a bad back, a brace on his leg, it appears he travels with a recliner all the time because he's sitting in one in a lot of pictures. Friday night he looked like he just couldn't wait to get off the stage. I don't remember a smile (no pun intended) . If he's not smiling, how can we smile? One day we'll learn the truth. 

Here's what I would love to see. Brian take time off to get as healthy as he can. Announce a farewell tour. Fill arenas all over this country and let us fans have the opportunity to see him at the best he can be at this time of his life and blow the roof off of those arenas with our cheers and love !

Love and Mercy




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sjeffery

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb#1

I saw the same concert you did in Richmond but I did not come away sad.  I agree that it must be a b*tch for Brian to be out there touring.  Physically, mentally, it can’t be easy.  But what I saw and heard around me were bunches of cool fans cheering away for Brian and the wonderful music he brought to them.  I came away feeling grateful for what I had seen and heard and yes, felt an awareness that our time with Brian is growing short.  That is the only thing to be sad about IMHO.

Y’know, Brian IS getting on and he’s had a tough as heck life.  But he still fights to get out there.  It’s determination to sustain a note, hit every vocal cue.  But he does it.  I thought Brian’s vocals, especially on Surfer Girl and through Pet Sounds were strong.  Excellent projection and as for pitch, well it’s Brian Wilson, no more need be said.  I thought Surfer Girl, Don’t Talk, and I Just Wasn't Made For These Times were both dreamy.  Yes he does clip his notes and hands off where his range no longer reaches, but he’s got excellent back up which makes the transition seamless.  Rob Bonfiglio did a great job filling in for Matt.  Not just on falsetto but also mid vocal ranges.  He was great on Pet Sounds, backing Brian and did a great Don’t Worry Baby.  Of course nobody equals Brian in the day.

With all of the above, a fantastic Feel Flows and SOS from Blondie, the always rock solid Al Jardine with a great Little Deuce Coupe and Help Me Rhonda, one of the best, most talented, amazing bands around (Jim Laspesa does a fine percussion on Pet Sounds the song), an excellent sound crew (the sound Friday was clear and clean), and stage set (the swirly lights were the best).  I just don’t know how this is something not to be proud of.  Brian still “reaches” many people.  Many are happy to hear Brian present his Pet Sounds.  The cheers almost drowned out the train after Caroline, No Friday.  A casual concert goer may not be familiar with Brian’s background and may not quite appreciate what it takes for Brian to bring us his music these days but I think his followers do.  But of course, you should reconsider going if it makes you sad.  I don't think anyone wants you to be sad. 



Not for the first time, Deb's writing style and substance has PERFECTLY conveyed my exact feelings. I had the pleasure of both spending time with her and sharing the bliss of the Richmond show on Friday night. One can choose to either appreciate a beautiful lawn with just a few weeds or focus on the few weeds. From my perspective, I'm loving that beautiful lawn and that's what I take with me after every show. We are not going to have the luxury of Brian giving us these concerts forever. Are they perfect? No. Do I care in the slightest that they're not? No! I weary of all the "should he/does he want to be performing" commentary. He's there because he chooses to be and I am, simply, grateful. Random sweet observation during this show was when Darian went over and gave the big guy an impromtu back massage. I've read he's done that at other shows. I was quite close to the stage when this occurred. It was the first time I'd seen it and it was lovely. On to DC tomorrow evening! Yes!!! 
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #7 
How to keep this brief?  First and foremost, Brian is an artist and one who wants to continue to share his art.  I understand what everyone is conveying above.  He has done the talk through concerts in years past and that's okay.  The perfectionist was on the records and the production. A live show is a live show - with whatever it can offer. Everyone has a different take-away as seen above - and that's okay.

I was always worried as Brian would amble off the stage during "Caroline No" that someone wouldn't help him off the stage.  Jeff used to and then Paul. Now, after major back surgery, this is good news that he does have multiple people there. There seems to be things driving him to do this, as in multiple, I would presume.  But he's doing it!  This must be very difficult but he wants to do it, obviously.  And now he branches out yet again with the Holiday/Christmas shows upcoming. 

I do believe that we are lucky to have him performing and that he and Mike are out there to keep Beach Boy music alive. They're using the medium - the live concert. 

We went to a Christening a few weeks back and the little guy who was the focus does walk around singing songs from time to time.  What songs does he sing?  Beach Boy songs of course! 

Back to topic - may every show have it's own appeal.  That's what live music is.  We'll all hear things differently and that's still okay.   We're hearing a pop music master and it's live.  


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Reply with quote  #8 
Al, Stephanie, and Deb(!) - Thank you for adding very key points to my post.  I truly dislike preaching to anyone, and feel the more I write, the less may be read.  Your words were needed. [thumb][thumb][thumb]

It irks me when someone comes on to BRIAN'S board and makes statements such as "One day we'll learn the truth [about WHY he tours]"  -  Though I don't think dcny730 is a troublemaker/troll so much as he is simply ignorant of Brian's full history.  His admiration is misguided, especially when he wants those forcing him to tour to quit - yet calls for Brian to take on a massive 'farewell tour.'  [confused]   



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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #9 
I so wish we could meet and have a beer and discuss all this. You have me pegged so wrong. I am a huge fan, am fully aware of the entire background. I want nothing but the best for him. I'm just not blind to reality. It's real complicated surrounding Brian. 
Ask Paul Simon, Jeff Beck they can tell you what it's like. Why do good people like Jeff Foskett leave? Why do we have Brian's son in law and not Matt Jardine now? What happened to his good friends like David Leaf ? 

I'm not going to post anymore on this. It's going in a bad direction and I never intended it to.

As we speak I'm trying to get tickets to one of his Holiday shows. I'll be there cheering and giving love.

Love and Mercy
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thelonelysea

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Reply with quote  #10 
I was at the Richmond show, too -- my first time seeing Brian or any of the Boys live. I'm a relatively new fan, but seeing Brian made me so, so emotional, and I was so glad I was able to attend. He knocked it out of the park on songs like "That's Not Me" and, of course, "Love and Mercy." I love the effect of trading off verses with Rob and/or Matt when he's there, almost as if he's conducting his younger self on the songs. The audience was loving every minute of it, and after they gave a standing ovation after "God Only Knows," they refused to sit down and stood up and sang/danced for the rest of the concert. I also noticed that back massage, which was really cute. 

I get what dcny730 is saying: We all love Brian and want him to be happy and healthy, but because he's so reserved, we often can't easily "tell" if that's how he's feeling at any given moment. But I think we have to trust that, if he's touring, that means it's not only what he wants to do but that it actively makes him happier and healthier. He's said before that it chases away seasonal depression, and it is worth it to him to do it to spread joy to others and to stay active, even through nights where he isn't as talkative or doesn't smile. He's reserving his energy for the music, and he delivers. 

Other things I loved: Blondie is such a fun performer! I liked his tambourine playing during "Pet Sounds." The way the whole band gets into that song and goes on little solos really brings the instrumentals to LIFE, ugh, just having fun with sound and music. Also, when they started "Sloop John B," a guy in the audience hissed really loud, "OH S---, THEY'RE DOING IT," and he sounded SO excited. That's kind of what the audience was like the whole time, REALLY about it. 

I also read on Twitter that one gentleman happened to be in the same hotel as Brian while in Richmond and Brian was willing to autograph his copy of "I Am Brian Wilson" in the lobby. So sweet.


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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #11 
Everyone's take is everyone's take on this.  No one is wrong.  But there is still something to learn from every show. Like his music, it's all there to contemplate and appreciate. 

I am so much looking forward to the Christmas show. 

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcny730
I so wish we could meet and have a beer and discuss all this. You have me pegged so wrong. I am a huge fan, am fully aware of the entire background. I want nothing but the best for him. I'm just not blind to reality. It's real complicated surrounding Brian. 
Ask Paul Simon, Jeff Beck they can tell you what it's like. Why do good people like Jeff Foskett leave? Why do we have Brian's son in law and not Matt Jardine now? What happened to his good friends like David Leaf ? 

I'm not going to post anymore on this. It's going in a bad direction and I never intended it to.

As we speak I'm trying to get tickets to one of his Holiday shows. I'll be there cheering and giving love.

Love and Mercy

Every now and then, Brian’s BIGGEST fan comes on the board to tell us that HE/SHE knows that Brian Wilson is being controlled.

For dcny730…   

WHY do you think this has gone in a “bad direction” as you say?  I see NO other posts from you, other than these recent complaints.

What reality are WE blind to!?!  Brian’s being forced to play 2,000-seat theaters with 11 musicians and road crew to make more money for someone?

Is it SO complicated around Brian that you just can’t tell us what Jeff, Jeff, Matt, and David and YOU know so well?  Is this Landy Part III?  Or is the most-likely scenario also the reality?  Could it be musicians move in and out of bands (perhaps to find a steadier/more lucrative gig)?  And could it be David Leaf has scaled-back on his work outside of his teaching job at UCLA since his wife passed and he nears retirement?  And I’m guessing Jeff Beck has never understood mental illness…nor wishes to.  

And as a big fan up on Brian’s past, I’m sure you know this (from one of Brian’s closest long-time friends, as Brian mentions in his book) -

https://brianwilson.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1294172226&postcount=62&forum=250212

(read the whole thread)

To be clear – it’s not your sadness at seeing an aged Brian that bothers me (that’s your business); rather, it’s your insinuation of control – and it’s especially wrong on Brian’s own Community Board. 


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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #13 

Go here and read this review and the comments about Brian. It says what I have been trying to say. And this was written over a year ago! 
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/aug/02/brian-wilson-review-hammersmith-apollo-london-beach-boys

 The final line of the review reads: 
Ultimately, the thrilling moments triumph over the disquieting ones, but it’s a very strange Brian Wilson fan indeed who can see him live without feeling beset by doubts.

Love and Mercy


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Reply with quote  #14 
Well, a tabloid writes a review and you offer that up as proof that Brian Douglas Wilson is being controlled. 
My opinion of you is even worse now.

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dcny730

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Reply with quote  #15 
I never said he was controlled. You raised that ugly topic.
And open your mind. My goodness. 
All I ever said was that the concert performances are beginning to be awkward and that I question the motivation behind the need to be out there. Did you actually read the review? It was complimentary but it says that as fans we should be concerned. And I think that opinion is shared by many.
If you read any of that as my saying he's being controlled, you are wrong.

It's OK BUGS..we still love Brian. It's OK to be critical, it's not out of hate, it's out of love. 
Hope to see you at a Holiday show.

Love and Mercy

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