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themoonandthestars

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In the scene where Brian fumbles his way into bed well after sunrise and after tripping all night on LSD, he gives an account to Marilyn regarding his meeting with God. Brian tells his wife that God revealed the future to him. Immediately, he begins to cry uncontrollably while offering his apologies, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" over and over again to his sympathetic and thoroughly obfuscated wife. 

I have studied and read about Brian Wilson a great deal. I knew something about everything that was touched on throughout the course of Love and Mercy...except this exchange. Help me, Brianiacs! What did Brian think God had told him that caused him to unravel as he did?

Thanks! I've looked everywhere else I could think to look!

Glen

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bugs

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Hey Glen - I'm not as knowledgeable about Brian's history as others on this site (and elsewhere), so I can only provide my interpretation of this line in the movie.  Like you, I wondered what Brian's character was referring to the first time I saw it.  I could easily be wrong, but I've thought it was in reference to the difficult times Brian and Marilyn would face in the 70's, culminating in their divorce.

Any others?


P.S.  I believe you would technically refer to us as 'Brianistas' instead on 'Brianiacs.'

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Cretanwelsh

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Agree with bugs - perhaps it particularly refers to his failings as a father?
At least I assume that's what the scenes where Dano is lolling by the pool with his mouth open whilst the Marilyn character struggles with the children etc were meant to be telling us.

As a movie Love & Mercy looks great - and the soundtrack is very effective- but imho it falls short as either documentary or drama - common ailment of the docu-drama!

It starts off well but I didn't know what the Pet Sounds scenes wanted from me. And it really gets bogged down in Smile. To be fair the real-life Smile affair is hugely unsatisfactory as a story - not the best material for dramatisation. I think the Cusack half of the movie is far too soapy and superficial - TV movie stuff.

Interesting that Brian originally offered Bill Pohlad the beautiful Whatever Happened as 'original song' for the soundtrack. But Pohlad rejected it & asked him for something else. I imagine a sensitive type like Brian might've been a little chagrin at that. In any case he delivered the arch One Kind of Love instead. I always smile when One Kind of Love gets to that wordless bridge section - it's as if Brian is saying 'cue montage!' -leaving the listener, of course, wide-open to its magic.
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themoonandthestars

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Thanks, fellas. I was able to divine the "what was said" just as you both did. I expect we have deduced the correct resolution. My larger concern is that I never heard of this perceived intervention by the Almighty before. Where did the script writers get their information? Nothing I have ever read in the many years throughout which I have been avid to learn more about the beautiful mind and heart of the great tortured artist (i.e., Brian Wilson, specifically) has ever broached the subject of this alleged conversation (and revelation) involving God. 

As for Love and Mercy, the movie was a treat for those in the know. I can only imagine that others, not so knowledgeable of Brian and the Beach Boys' personal lives and foibles, would have gotten lost pretty quickly. (Btw, I did like the 2001, A Space Odyssey-esque scene with Brian time traveling in his bed! Best scene in the movie!) Paul Dano was greatness! The actors chosen to portray Mike, Denny, Carl and Al each bore an uncanny likeness to their real life counterparts! (No less true Paul Dano - nearly a dead ringer for young Brian!) I liked Elizabeth Banks as Melinda, as she created an image of purity and honesty, a veritable angel of mercy. I did not recognize, prior to Love and Mercy, how incredibly beautiful she really is. I think highly of John Cusack, but I think his part over-emphasized Brian's vulnerability. The Cusack Brian seemed like more of a personification of mental illness than an accurate portrayal of Brian, himself. Then again, I could be wrong. Melinda did say that the abuses Brian suffered under the heavy handed control of Gene Landy were "much worse" (than what was suggested by the film). Anyway, I have no doubt that John Cusack brought out the portrayal of Brian Wilson that director Pohlad wanted to see, but it seemed an obvious departure from the continuity established in the other character portrayals. Did I like the movie? Most certainly!

Let me know, anybody, if there is a direct link in history/biography to this very curious conversation between God and Brian Wilson. Thank you, once more!

GDS



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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #5 
"You parked in My spot."


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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonandthestars
Thanks, fellas. I was able to divine the "what was said" just as you both did. I expect we have deduced the correct resolution. My larger concern is that I never heard of this perceived intervention by the Almighty before. Where did the script writers get their information? Nothing I have ever read in the many years throughout which I have been avid to learn more about the beautiful mind and heart of the great tortured artist (i.e., Brian Wilson, specifically) has ever broached the subject of this alleged conversation (and revelation) involving God. 

As for Love and Mercy, the movie was a treat for those in the know. I can only imagine that others, not so knowledgeable of Brian and the Beach Boys' personal lives and foibles, would have gotten lost pretty quickly. (Btw, I did like the 2001, A Space Odyssey-esque scene with Brian time traveling in his bed! Best scene in the movie!) Paul Dano was greatness! The actors chosen to portray Mike, Denny, Carl and Al each bore an uncanny likeness to their real life counterparts! (No less true Paul Dano - nearly a dead ringer for young Brian!) I liked Elizabeth Banks as Melinda, as she created an image of purity and honesty, a veritable angel of mercy. I did not recognize, prior to Love and Mercy, how incredibly beautiful she really is. I think highly of John Cusack, but I think his part over-emphasized Brian's vulnerability. The Cusack Brian seemed like more of a personification of mental illness than an accurate portrayal of Brian, himself. Then again, I could be wrong. Melinda did say that the abuses Brian suffered under the heavy handed control of Gene Landy were "much worse" (than what was suggested by the film). Anyway, I have no doubt that John Cusack brought out the portrayal of Brian Wilson that director Pohlad wanted to see, but it seemed an obvious departure from the continuity established in the other character portrayals. Did I like the movie? Most certainly!

Let me know, anybody, if there is a direct link in history/biography to this very curious conversation between God and Brian Wilson. Thank you, once more!

GDS



I'll start by saying, I haven't a clue what God said to Brian in that part of the movie, so you can tune out now if that's what you want. 

What I can say is that Brian's "hearing voices" included the voices that guided him and his art. I think that's why it was so difficult for Brian to find a doctor who worked to preserve his creativity and his "soul" so-to-speak, but to balance that with relieving his horrible emotional pain.

I used to be stunned by the brilliance of the inspired, revelatory things Brian would say to me. Sometimes I wouldn't "get it" for a decade or so, but I knew it was important. It was just one of those gems you'd expect from a shaman or something. And I don't have to tell you how his speaking through the music impacts us.

Re: if it had to do with the kids, all I can say is that Brian once told me that, because of his father, he was terrified of having kids because he was afraid of what he might be/do and at one point, begged Marilyn not to have any. Obviously, he changed his mind later and has 7(!), but that probably wouldn't have been new news.

I'd say, let's all just enjoy the mystical mystery, draw the conclusions that serve us best, and listen to the music. If Brian even remembers, what are the odds he'd give us a straight story? I think he mostly finds that boring, unless he has something that he really wants to say.

Oh, and ref: L&M and Melinda, I can't judge the Brian/Melinda part objectively. What I can say is that I was invited to a Holiday party to meet her by mutual friends. They used to like my input and they were the ones (along with another friend) I begged to fight for Brian when I didn't have it in me anymore...and they did that, for years. They hated publicity, so don't ask me. If they have anything to say, they'll do it, and well.

They had told me about the woman they met who had been battling for Brian for awhile. She was a beautiful ex-model who had been going thru that hell for awhile. When I met her I was struck immediately by her obvious preoccupation with how to help save Brian's life. It shone in her face, and yeah, she was still drop-dead gorgeous.  I was impressed. I was glad Brian's well-being was in the good hands of these people, another friend who has posted here occasionally and Gloria Ramos (whom I fell in love with, like anyone else who meets her).

Seems it worked out pretty well. The only other thing I have to say about the people who question if Melinda was there for the money, I'll offer an educated opinion. There isn't enough money in the world to take on what she did, nor would most people be qualified. And she could have had many rich guys, if that had been what she wanted.

It did take her awhile to know who to trust to support Brian in his music in the area of recording, but that worked out well, too in the end. "Smile," TLOS, Gershwin, NPP. And the band has been brilliant from the beginning on tour and in the studio. What a miracle they are! And we got Al and Blondie back! Gifts abound. Happy Holidays.

Maybe we should just be glad that God and Brian blessed us with this music. I need nothing more for my birthday and Hanukkah/Christmas/Winter Solstice. Pls don't tell my husband that. 
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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #7 
TM&TS as to where the scriptwriters got the idea for his chat with God from, there are several interviews with Brian circa 1966 where he talks about acid in terms of religious experiences. Let's be honest, God-spotting pop stars were ten-a-penny in the Age of Aquarius. Such was the sanctity of the music business back then! Also in his disowned first autobiography you will remember he talks about meeting God on an acid trip and beholding his entire future life as if spread out before him. And of course 'seeing God' is a trope of acid culture generally. So it probably didn't take a great leap of the imagination on the part of the writers.


DebbieKL it's a pleasure to see posts from you here again. You were for so long this forum's resident born writer, at least in my eyes, not to mention a Lisa Gherardini in the real Brian Wilson story.

One thing you said particularly caught my attention

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie KL


What I can say is that Brian's "hearing voices" included the voices that guided him and his art. I think that's why it was so difficult for Brian to find a doctor who worked to preserve his creativity and his "soul" so-to-speak, but to balance that with relieving his horrible emotional pain.

 


I wondered how literally you meant that? Obviously Landy-type over-medication can affect creativity just as it compromises ability to function generally. But I don't remember Brian ever saying in interviews that the voices he hears ever tell him anything positive. (We say 'hearing voices' but that doesn't at all convey what we're talking about from the sufferer's point of view - as Brian vividly describes it in his book - it's more like being persecuted by disembodied presences.)

Please don't mistake me I'm not in the least challenging you, I am just genuinely interested in what you meant, you being, as it were (forgive me) a primary source!
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hasn't Brian been "hearing voices" for quite some time now?  Pre-Landy? 

That scene in the film with the burger, I just have to turn away and surely that was nothing compared to the "therapy" that was going on.  I think that it was a brilliant film and having the two Brian's was an interesting spin. 
http://www.intervoiceonline.org/2469/voices/famous-people/brian-wilson.html
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jun/24/brian-wilson-interview
With what he was hearing, God may have been one as he was going down a bit of a spiritual path with Pet Sounds.

They were all looking to find something "higher":
http://www.justjared.com/2018/09/04/paul-mccartney-says-he-once-saw-god-on-a-psychedelic-trip/

Thanks, Debbie, for leaning in and sharing. 

And acid trips have to be something incredibly scary.

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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #9 
Sorry, this was for CretanWelsh: I'd be perfectly happy to be challenged, so never apologize for a question or a challenge. That's why when I'm actually paid these days for writing, I have an editor. We all need one, so the internet is a mess since that's not happening!  I really appreciate your appreciation - yeah, that was a fun sentence.

I'm simply going by experience, and I wasn't there during the acid days and never had the experience myself, so I'm sorely limited here. I heard the same stories you did. What I would say is that Brian still viewed himself as a spiritual explorer during the 70's into the 80's (probably beyond, by my best guess). I remember (of all people) Tandyn Almer telling me that he was stunned to see Brian reading all 5 or 6 volumes (I forget) of the "Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East" that I had given him. He thought Brian never read. Brian loved that stuff, so...

My experience of him on the prescribed drugs was pretty intense. The most horrible experience I had of Brian was on Thorazine - it made him mean and non-productive. Imagine Brian mean!? He apparently remembered it since he apologized once he was off them, and they certainly didn't make him creative. This happened because of a number of doctors who really didn't have a clue how to treat him and at least one said so when he called me in for an interview. He said he didn't want the job but felt forced into it. How terrible! And the right doctors were around the corner at UCLA, first recommended by David Leaf with me as the messenger, and I received nothing but scoffs from the people I could actually reach. These uneducated people somehow knew better because they were related to Brian. Right. Thank heavens David got a 2nd chance to help Brian thru Melinda and Gloria.

As far as Brian's strange wisdom, all I can say is, it was there. I somehow knew when he was doing stuff with nonsense to deflect from answers he felt were uncomfortable, or to flatter or mess with people's over-blown egos. There were other riveting times when a simple comment resounded, even if I didn't get it at the time, so I "made note," so to speak. It was handy later. Voice of God? To give you my own bias, I love what I learn everyday from the sky and the earth conditions and animals around me (and the scientists - they're "spiritual explorers" as well, although many would hate that description). I guess that's my official religion now. Brian had that uncanny ability to hear what others didn't from all these places, and it was often so sweet.

I haven't tried to go there since about 2007 with him - seriously. I rely on other friends to know how Brian is doing.


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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Forsyth
Hasn't Brian been "hearing voices" for quite some time now?  Pre-Landy? 

That scene in the film with the burger, I just have to turn away and surely that was nothing compared to the "therapy" that was going on.  I think that it was a brilliant film and having the two Brian's was an interesting spin. 
http://www.intervoiceonline.org/2469/voices/famous-people/brian-wilson.html
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jun/24/brian-wilson-interview
With what he was hearing, God may have been one as he was going down a bit of a spiritual path with Pet Sounds.

They were all looking to find something "higher":
http://www.justjared.com/2018/09/04/paul-mccartney-says-he-once-saw-god-on-a-psychedelic-trip/

Thanks, Debbie, for leaning in and sharing. 

And acid trips have to be something incredibly scary.


While I wasn't there during those days, Brian did say to me once, "Were you the lady?" He said he remembered telling his parents as a little boy that he kept seeing a lady they never saw. He was pretty sure it was me. I don't know, and that's what I told him, but I said that it made sense, given my own sense of being born to support him in some way.

I have no idea if it was real. Was it reincarnation, common consciousness or pure fantasy? I don't claim to have a clue, just feelings, pretty much worth nothing in this world. 

My own view at this point is that there's a lot not proven by science yet, and I rely on science.  Then again, what we experience at concerts (those that don't make us weird, angry little bigots, and Brian never does) is obviously real. When strange animals appear when we ask, it seems real as well.

Maybe that's why Brian always loved the presence of children, animals (and musicians [biggrin] - you know, sweet creatures with great instincts) in his life. Maybe that's why he called every woman or musician ([biggrin] - and good guy friends) near him who were kind and loving an "angel." He makes it simple for us.


Just throwing stuff out here, but it's fund

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bugs

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Reply with quote  #11 

Debbie - I'm in complete agreement with C-dub about this -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cretanwelsh

DebbieKL it's a pleasure to see posts from you here again. You were for so long this forum's resident born writer, at least in my eyes, not to mention a Lisa Gherardini in the real Brian Wilson story.
 
And this is what truly caught my attention…
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie KL
….The only other thing I have to say about the people who question if Melinda was there for the money, I'll offer an educated opinion. There isn't enough money in the world to take on what she did, nor would most people be qualified. And she could have had many rich guys, if that had been what she wanted.
...
I’m sure we could all think of many things that ‘wouldn’t be worth the money’…but those are hypotheticals.  But – wow - when it happens, you truly understand your viewpoint Debbie.  After eight years, my wife and I just now closed the book on a complicated/draining trust for which we were responsible.  As Trustees, we were paid for our efforts – but we are completely of like mind when we say there is no amount of money that would’ve made the task worth the layers of life-eating BS we waded through day after day.  Not the same as Melinda's, but I'm sure hers had many more layers than ours.  

 


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-Brian Wilson, 1976
                        

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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #12 

Thank you DebbieKL Fascinating stuff!
Quite rightly, you know the value of your words and recollections and that should only add to our appreciation of what you share.
You always give us an impression of Brian, the man he was and is, in the circle of his close friends - a picture that's in marked contrast to his media simulacrum.

Of course, we are all of us trying to make a tolerable sense of things. If that's 'spiritual' then everything is and equally nothing is: it's all just a matter of language. Sad to recognise then how vain our spiritual language so often is and how ridiculous our spiritual pretensions - & sometimes far worse than ridiculous.

For me, as nothing more than one member of his audience, Brian's special musical gift is his power to evoke simple feelings up from the dawn of life - in religious language, from a state of innocence, Blakean infant joy and sorrow.
In his early work he set those emotions in the context of young white suburban baby boomer America, to great effect.
Then in Pet Sounds he goes on to tell us, in terms of mid-twentieth century California, the story of Adam and Eve and the end of innocence. (The central myth of Western civilisation, no less).
Smile, the original Smile, records an attempt, inevitably doomed, to return, by means of acid enlightenment, the mind of America back to the Garden of Eden.
After that his work has mostly been smaller scale, almost hiding visionary glimpses of innocence among the commonplaces - and sometimes the squalor- of adult life.

Well there's a fan-theory for you!
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Ang Jones

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Reply with quote  #13 
Obviously I can't answer the question but I did find this quote:

'In a 1964 letter to Marilyn Rovell, who would later become his first wife, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote: “. . . You didn’t know me when I was Brian the Neurotic. No one needed music like I did. Hours at the piano. I was a starving child. Through an act of God . . . I was saved from a life of misery. . . . You are the last of the real persons.”'

https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/names/2017/09/06/beach-boy-brian-wilson-says-pet-sounds-came-from-god/e6zyvdPpdOcSI7iZhvss8J/story.html

It sounds very much as if Brian thought - perhaps still thinks - that music was a God-given way of dealing with his psychological or emotional problems, a source of solace. And that would explain a lot about Brian's need to keep performing throughout some serious health issues.

I remember from something I read ages ago a quote from Brian. Just two words "Eternal now" but I found the idea profound at the time and I still do.

In fact only recently on FB someone posted one of those Youtube links about Brian not liking Mike (some of it lighthearted jokey stuff). It was pointed out by someone there at the time that Brian had a meltdown during this interview and was consoled by David Leaf. Somebody posited that he was upset by the jokes about Mike but it wasn't that at all. He was asked about his breakdown on the plane, when he had decided to quit touring.


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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugs

Debbie - I'm in complete agreement with C-dub about this -  
And this is what truly caught my attention…
I’m sure we could all think of many things that ‘wouldn’t be worth the money’…but those are hypotheticals.  But – wow - when it happens, you truly understand your viewpoint Debbie.  After eight years, my wife and I just now closed the book on a complicated/draining trust for which we were responsible.  As Trustees, we were paid for our efforts – but we are completely of like mind when we say there is no amount of money that would’ve made the task worth the layers of life-eating BS we waded through day after day.  Not the same as Melinda's, but I'm sure hers had many more layers than ours.  



I really understand your decision. Oddly, less from my Brian experience than my divorce from my 1st husband. It became worth it to me to be paid over time (no interest) for less than 1/3 what he stole from me. Some things aren't worth it.

Happily, I have a good husband this time, and somehow we all manage.
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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cretanwelsh

Thank you DebbieKL Fascinating stuff!
Quite rightly, you know the value of your words and recollections and that should only add to our appreciation of what you share.
You always give us an impression of Brian, the man he was and is, in the circle of his close friends - a picture that's in marked contrast to his media simulacrum.

Of course, we are all of us trying to make a tolerable sense of things. If that's 'spiritual' then everything is and equally nothing is: it's all just a matter of language. Sad to recognise then how vain our spiritual language so often is and how ridiculous our spiritual pretensions - & sometimes far worse than ridiculous.

For me, as nothing more than one member of his audience, Brian's special musical gift is his power to evoke simple feelings up from the dawn of life - in religious language, from a state of innocence, Blakean infant joy and sorrow.
In his early work he set those emotions in the context of young white suburban baby boomer America, to great effect.
Then in Pet Sounds he goes on to tell us, in terms of mid-twentieth century California, the story of Adam and Eve and the end of innocence. (The central myth of Western civilisation, no less).
Smile, the original Smile, records an attempt, inevitably doomed, to return, by means of acid enlightenment, the mind of America back to the Garden of Eden.
After that his work has mostly been smaller scale, almost hiding visionary glimpses of innocence among the commonplaces - and sometimes the squalor- of adult life.

Well there's a fan-theory for you!


Your fan theory is far better-said than I'd have done it. And far more in touch with the core of humanity and whatever our spirituality is. 

I bow to your insights!
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