Brian Answers Fans' Questions in Live Q&A

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On Monday, January 27, 2014, Brian sat for a half hour and answered over 50 questions from fans around the world.

Due to the overwhelming response to the Q&A, only a fraction of the questions could be answered, but Brian did talk about his new album and career.

The event was a big success – Brian had a lot of fun and is looking forward to doing it again.

Following is a transcript from the interview.

Hi Brian, what’s your favorite new song you’re working on?
“Sail Away” (not the Randy Newman song) and “Last Song.”

Hi Brian, did you and Jeff Beck write songs together for the new album?
No, Jeff didn’t write with me - he’s playing on them.

Hi Brian. Just wanted to know, years from now, what would you like your legacy to be?
That I was a good singer.

Hi Brian, Which song from Rubber Soul inspired you the most to create Pet Sounds?
Yeah, Norwegian Wood.

Hi Brian! Throughout your musical career, what questions do you get tired of answering? What question do you want someone to ask you, and what is your answer to that question?
I get most tired of "how do you feel?"

What do you feel is the absolute best song that you've ever written?
God Only Knows.

Hi Brian, what is your most favorite Dennis‘ song? (besides Forever).
My favorite was San Miguel. It was a great record.

What are your three favorite "Brian Wilson" songs (don't count songs marketed as a Beach Boys song)?
Caroline, No and, let me think. Probably I Loves You Porgy.

Hi Brian! Friends is my favorite album, one of my favorite tracks from the album is Wake The World can you tell me the inspiration for this track. Thank you!
One by one, (sings) stars appear. It's one of my favorite songs – it really is. I love singing it.

Hey Brian, thanks for all of the wonderful music over the years. After all of these years, is there anyone you want to collaborate with that you've never worked with?
No, not really, no.

Hi Brian, which Beach Boys album would you say was your favorite and why?
Well, my favorite is Summer Days and Summer Nights because it had cool rock and roll songs like Salt Lake City, you know?

Hi Brian, what was the most challenging song of yours to arrange and sing harmonies for?
Good Vibrations - I really worked hard on that with the guys. I just wanted to make a great record – and I did!

Is there any similarity between the songs on your new album to your previous works like Friends and Sunflower?
Well just the harmonies are similar, yeah.

What is your favorite Sonny Bono song?
Oh, my favorite is the And The Beat Goes On.

What is your general reaction to last night's Grammy show - performances and winners?
I didn't watch it but I understand Paul and Ringo were on it. Taped it I haven't watched it yet. I heard Paul and Ringo were great.

Also, what's your favorite food?
Sushi. But I haven’t had it in awhile.

Hi, Brian! I'm from Japan. If you could return to past, when and what would you want to do?
I would not take drugs. No one should take drugs.

What is your favorite instrumental that you've written?
Let's Go Away For Awhile is my favorite.

What is your favorite song?
My favorite song is Be My Baby by the Ronettes.

What are your thoughts on the Friends album? To me thats one of the unheralded late 60s classics.. that and Wild Honey ...
Yeah, and my favorite song on it was Friends.

Hi Brian! Who or what was your inspiration for I'm Waiting For The Day? It's my favorite song on Pet Sounds!
No, there really was no specific inspiration for that song.

Almost two years after it was launched, what's your opinion on "That's Why God Made The Radio?
Yeah, I still like that song a lot. And Pacific Coast Highway and From There to Back Again. Very much so.

What do you think about Mr. Al Jardine?
I think he's a great singer and a good music guy. He wrote some good tunes.

Hi Brian. How does it feel to be so awesome?
I don't know - I cant answer that question.

Hi Brian.... Will you ever do an album with Paul McCartney?
No I don't think so, but you never know.

Brian - I heard that you wrote more than one song with Burt Bacharach, (aside from "What Love Can Do"). Will we ever be hearing any thing else from the two of you, and can you say what influence Burt has had on you as a songwriter?
Not very much actually. I love his music and he did teach me something about harmonies.

Are there any modern or more recent songs you're fond of?
I liked Take My Breath Away. A group called Berlin.

Hi Brian, I'm curious as to whether or not you're able to read or write sheet music. Do you, or did you ever use sheet music to instruct the musicians in your sessions on what to play, or did you just teach them everything by ear or using the piano?
Yeah, I write out manuscript music and sometimes I’ll teach them at the piano.

Who was the inspiration to your bass lines?
Phil Spector.

I Was Made to Love Her" (Wild Honey) makes me wish that the Beach Boys and Stevie Wonder could have collaborated on something. Did you ever have the chance to work with Stevie? (It's never too late!!)
He is one of my favorite music guys, Stevie Wonder.

Hi Brian - you ROCK!! I am wondering about the song Busy Doin' Nothing. It has an odd-for-Brian-Wilson Bossa Nova influence. The song also has odd-for-Brian-Wilson time signature fluctuations. I was wondering if you were listening to any Bossa Nova records at that time, or any jazz.
Yeah, Bossa Nova in general inspired that.

The story goes that when you first heard Strawberry Fields Forever you felt weakened by it. Has any song in the past ten years made you feel that way again?
No, that's not true. It was a very weird record, but yeah, I liked it.

I know how much you like Doo Wop and how much it influenced you, What's your favorite Doo Wop song?
Yeah, it did – it turned me onto writing songs and harmonies. It very much influenced me.

Hi Brian !! How long did it take you to write, Wouldn't It Be Nice?
I took me about two weeks.

Do you still meditate?
No, I stopped meditating. It stopped working!

Hello again Brian! Do you plan to work with Daft Punk?
You never know.

Hi Brian, what kind of music do you listen to these days?
I listen to oldies and goodies - 60s and 70s.

Hi Brian, I was wondering what are your recollections of working with Leon Russell on a handful of Beach Boys albums. He seems like a nice guy, great musician too!
He was my keyboard player - great keyboard guy.

Hey, Brian. What Beach Boys song (or songs) can you think of that you believe doesn't get as much attention as it should?
The Little Girl I Once Knew should've.

The Munsters or the Addams Family?
Addams Family - I don't know, I just do.

Have you ever thought about writing a classical piece?
No I wouldn't be able to.

Was Surfin' already written before you and the guys visited Hite and Dorinda Morgan at Stereo Masters?
No, it was written shortly after them.

What do you think of some of the newer artists saying you are their inspiration or covering some of your songs?
See there you go – “How does it make you feel!” It makes me feel proud.

Brian, what do you recall about meeting Dean Martin, and are there any particular Dino songs that inspire you?
Yeah, I met Dean Martin at a White House Party in 1984. And Frank Sinatra too. They were very nice to me.

Brian, who was your favorite Beatle? (as a songwriter)
Paul McCartney.

Hi Brian, what really inspires you these days, musically and sentimentally? I wish you all the best and let you know I cannot express what your music means to me, so just THANK YOU!
The past records that we made and my wife.

Who was you favorite baseball team as a kid?
Yankees.

I've heard you're a Dodgers fan. What's your favorite Vin Scully moment?
Yankees. Because of Mickey Mantle. I played center field in high school.

Hi Brian, do you listen classical music?
No, I really don't.

Hi Brian. What was the last concert you attended where you did not perform?
Yeah, Paul McCartney - great show

Brian - I think Lucky Old Sun is the GREATEST album I've ever heard!! - Thanks for it!!!!
Oh, great - thank you very much!

What was your favorite part about running the Radiant Radish Health Food Store? What was your biggest seller?
The cash register - I learned how to do it.

Are there any songs you think you could of done better on?
Help Me Rhonda - I would've made a better rhythm - it wasn't in the pocket.

Surfer Girl is a great song, what do you like about that one?
I was in my car listening to the radio and drove home and that song inspired me. But no, it wasn't When You Wish Upon A Star.

Brian– Sorry to post three questions in a row, but do you ever see Hal Blaine these days?
No, I haven’t seen Hal in a long time.