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Brian Says Goodbye to Two Good Guys

In the past week, two important music people passed away: Paul Williams and Phil Ramone. Brian was connected with both, befriending Paul Williams as a teenager and later as a subject of one of Paul's books – and working with Phil Ramone on a handful of projects over his career.

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Paul Williams, 64, founder of Crawdaddy and the writer of many books, including "How Deep Is The Ocean: The Story of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys." This book included many articles, reviews and essays from 1967 to the 1990s. Paul was not only a talented writer and critic, but a huge fan of Brian's. Following is Brian's statement about Paul Williams:

"Paul Williams was just a kid when he came to my house when I was making SMiLE. We talked a lot and I played him acetates of my new music. He really dug it and I'll always remember that. He started Crawdaddy and wrote a lot of great books. Paul died this week and I want to say I'm sorry to his family for their loss." 

– Love and Mercy, Brian

More information about Paul Williams


Phil Ramone, 79. prolific record producer and engineer, worked with some of the biggest music stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Brian and so many other great artists. Following is Brian's statement about Phil Ramone:

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"Over the course of my career, Phil Ramone and I crossed paths many times. A few years ago, Phil produced the GRAMMY MusicCares "Person of the Year" tribute to me and I was blown away by all the work he did and the great artists he put together to sing my songs that night.

Phil was a great guy with a big heart and he produced some of my very favorite records. One of the highlights of my career was when I asked Phil to produce two tracks for the "What Love Can Do" album a few years back. It was a thrill watching him in the studio do his thing and he did such a great job.

I am thankful that I worked with Phil and got to know him - he was a special guy. I wish the best for his family during this sad time."

– Love and Mercy, Brian

More information about Phil Ramone

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Brian Wilson to Lead Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp

LEGENDARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAMERS REVERED SINGER/SONGWRITER BRIAN WILSON AND RENOWNED GUITARIST JEFF BECK ANOUNCE THEIR ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FANTASY CAMP APRIL 18-21 IN LAS VEGAS!

Learn, write, record and perform alongside "one of the greatest living songwriters of the 20th Century" and "One of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music."

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Los Angeles, CA – February 27, 2013 – For only four days this spring Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp (www.RockCamp.com) is presenting a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience dedicated to two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame living legends. Join the 2013 Grammy Award-winning, renowned singer/songwriter and co-founder of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson and eight-time Grammy Award-winning, revered guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck in Las Vegas this April 18-21 for an exclusive music camp. Hosted at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and the camp’s facility located west of the Las Vegas Strip, this is your chance to attend a music camp that will take you up close and behind the scenes teaching you the songwriting skills to perfect your compositions and learn the inside musical performance techniques of Wilson and Beck. Registration is open now. Please call 1-888-762-2263 or visit www.RockCamp.com online for further details, up-to-date camp information and to make your reservation – spaces are limited!
 
Named “one of the greatest living songwriters of the 20th century,” Brian Wilson (www.BrianWilson.com) will be bringing his personal longtime team of professional musicians including musical director and guitarist Jeffrey Foskett, band members Darian Sahanaja on keyboards, Probyn Gregory on bass, and Scott Bennett on drums to teach you everything about one of the great American songbooks. Additional session players and touring band members will be joining the camp alongside special guests and rock star counselors.
 
Dubbed by Rolling Stone as “one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music,” Jeff Beck (www.JeffBeck.com) has been a pioneer of sound spanning across nearly every genre of music. As a member of the Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck Group, and as a solo artist, Beck has recorded and performed alongside a musical A-list for over five decades creating a masterful and timeless canon of work. 
 
Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp is an event unlike any other. All experience levels are welcome regardless of musical ability, fans and musicians alike wanting to participate in this one-of-a-kind experience will be able to learn, sing and perform alongside all of Wilson’s and Beck’s songs.
 
Campers that attend will play in a band led by one of Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp’s Rock Star counselor like: Billy Hinsche (Dino, Desi & Billy), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), Jeff Foskett (Brian Wilson Band), Teddy Andreadis (Guns N’ Roses), and MANY more! Attendees will join in master classes with world-class professional musicians, write and record an original song, and take part in live rehearsals. Even if you aren’t interested in picking up an instrument, camp counselors will be conducting in-depth vocal lessons and mentoring sessions to help shape your vocal chords into something you only hear on the radio. At the culmination, campers will perform a live concert at the Rouge Lounge inside the MGM Grand in front of family and friends, with everyone to enjoy their very own intimate, private concert by Brian Wilson and the band, making this four-day experience priceless!
 
Attendees will be given the option to bring their own instruments, or use the camp musical equipment provided by Roland, Boss, DW Drums, JamHub, Newtek, Four Star Wire and Cable, Fender, Gibson, My Star Sound, Zildjian, Cakewalk, and Electro-Voice. All backline is provided including amps, drum kits, PA, and keyboards. This is the ultimate fan experience. 
 
Past rock star camp counselors have included Gene Simmons (KISS), Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule), Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones), Slash, Bret Michaels (Poison), Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Cheap Trick, Dr. John, George Thorogood, Jack Bruce (Cream), Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s), Joe Satriani, Joe Walsh, Meatloaf, Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead), Lita Ford (The Runaways), Steve Vai, Todd Rundgren, Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Michael Anthony (Van Halen) and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot), among others.
 
Upcoming Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camps include March 5-9: Sammy Hagar, Steve Vai, Eddie Trunk and many more; and April 4-7: the Def Leppard Fantasy Camp. Please call 1-888-762-2263 or visitwww.RockCamp.com online for further details, up-to-date camp information and to make your reservation.

The recent recipient of a 2013 Grammy Award for his “long-lost” but not forgotten masterpiece The SMiLE Sessions, Brian Wilson is a world-renown singer and performer named “one of the greatest living songwriters of the 20th century.” This past summer, the hottest concert ticket the world over was the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour with sold out shows across the globe. Recently, River Road Entertainment and John Wells Productions announced they are in development on the Wilson biopic titledLove & Mercy. Academy Award nominated producer Bill Pohlad is set to direct with Paul Dano (Looper,Ruby SparksThere Will Be Blood) to star as Wilson in his early years.

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SMiLE Wins 2013 GRAMMY

The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Box Set) won the 2013 GRAMMY for "Best Historical Album" on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Recipients of the award included Brian Wilson, Alan Boyd, Mark Linett & Dennis Wolfe, as compilation producers and Mark Linett for mastering engineer.

Brian was nominated for a GRAMMY for "Best Pop Vocal Album" in 2005 for his solo version of "SMiLE" and was a winner for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Fire)" for Best Rock Instrumental. 

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About SMiLE:

Smile (occasionally typeset with partial capitalization as SMiLE) is a partially recorded album by The Beach Boys originally intended to be the follow-up album to Pet Sounds. Due to circumstance, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson abandoned large portions of the session output he recorded from May 1966 to May 1967 and recorded the wildly different Smiley Smile album in its place. During the years Smile remained unavailable, it had come to be regarded as the most famous unreleased album of all time. 

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The project was resurrected in 2003 and a critically acclaimed re-recorded version was released by Wilson in 2004 with the cover name Brian Wilson Presents Smile though Wilson himself has stated that the Smile of 2004 differed substantially from what the Smile of the mid-sixties would have been. During the thirty-seven years from its cancellation to the release of Wilson's version, Smile had acquired considerable mystique, and bootlegged tracks from the album circulated widely among Beach Boys collectors. Many of the tracks which were originally recorded for Smile eventually found their way onto subsequent Beach Boys albums.

In November 2011, The Smile Sessions was released, featuring an approximation of what the completed album may have sounded like, the first disc being reconstructed to largely follow the template of the 2004 Brian Wilson album. Along with this approximation, a sequence of completed surviving recordings, along with many unreleased session highlights and outtakes were made available through a box-set. It received unanimous critical acclaim. In 2012, it was ranked #381 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. In 2013, it won the Best Historical Album award at the 55th Grammy Awards.

More information and purchase The Smile Sessions Deluxe Box Set

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Paul Dano to Star as Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy"

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 17, 2013 – Bill Pohlad, Academy Award® nominated producer, is set to direct Love & Mercy with Paul Dano (Looper, Ruby Sparks, There Will Be Blood) starring as legendary musician Brian Wilson in his early years. Pohlad is also casting an actor to play Brian Wilson later in his life. 

Academy Award® winning composer Atticus Ross (The Social Network) is in talks to work on the sound design of the film and the soundtrack, which will include the music of Brian Wilson.

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"I am thrilled that Paul Dano has signed on to play me during one of my most creative explosions and most fulfilling musical times in my career,” said Brian Wilson. “I still can't believe how cool it is that my life will be portrayed on the big screen and to have Bill Pohlad as the captain of the Sloop John B is amazing! It just makes me feel so humble. I can't wait to see it with a full tub of buttered popcorn."  

John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein (John Wells Productions) will produce along with River Road founder Bill Pohlad.  Oren Moverman, who co-wrote and directed The Messenger, which earned him an Academy Award® Nomination for Best Original Screenplay, wrote the script for Love & Mercy.

River Road Entertainment and John Wells Productions are aggressively developing Love & Mercy, which centers on the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Rather than a bio pic, the film will take an unconventional look at seminal moments in Wilson’s life, his artistic genius, his profound struggles, and the love that kept him alive.

The film marks a return to directing for Pohlad, who prior to forming River Road Entertainment, wrote, directed and co-produced his first feature film, Old Explorers, starring veteran actors Jose Ferrer and James Whitmore. Pohlad began his career directing and producing numerous commercial and documentary film projects. His early documentary film credits included profiles of the rock star Prince, the late Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett, and Irish theater director Joe Dowling.

Paul Dano is represented by Anonymous Content and WME. He is currently filming Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and will next be seen in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave.

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Brian Nominated for GRAMMY for "The SMiLE Sessions"

Brian Wilson has been nominated for a GRAMMY Award as a Compilation Producer for the The Beach Boys "The SMiLE Session" deluxe box set. Along with Brian, Mark Linett, Alan Boyd and Dennis Wolfe were also nominated as Compilation Producers and Mark Linett also as Mastering Engineer. Following is the official GRAMMY nomination:

The SMiLE Sessions (Deluxe Box Set)
Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson & Dennis Wolfe, compilation producers; Mark Linett, mastering engineer (The Beach Boys)
[Capitol Records]

View the complete 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees list >

More information about SMiLE and purchase at Amazon.com >

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Inside the Beautiful Mind of Brian Wilson

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Inside the Beautiful Mind of Brian Wilson

People: December 10 2012 issue

He's still battling his demons, but as the Beach Boys celebrate their 50th anniversary, the 70-year-old legend is feeling better then ever.

One hour before the Beach Goys performed their final U.S. show for their 50th-anniversary tour in July, the band was backstage with family and friends at Harveys Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nev., fueling up on catering and happily slipping margaritas. But frontman Brian Wilson didn't seem to be in much of a celebratory mood. After snacking on a cookie and picking at a steak ("It's tough," he said quickly), the legendary songwriter ambled up to the stage. There he sat in a plastic folding chair, closed his eyes and meditated. "I get really nervous before I go up on stage," he explained later. "But once [we start playing] and I hear the banks start to sing everything is cool."

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The Beach Boys Live In Concert Due Nov. 20

Live release from the American Pop legends containing 21 classic Beach Boys hits performed live in Phoenix AZ on the band's 2012 - 50th anniversary worldwide tour.

This live performance features the surviving members of the band (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston) aided by additional musicians who have played with various members of the band for years.

Order now at Amazon.com: DVD  |  Blu-Ray

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Audiophile Audition Reviews the Beach Boys Remastered Series

As the Beach Boys celebrate their 50th anniversary with a tour and new album, EMI has re-mastered 12 Capitol studio albums and a 2-disc, 50-track greatest hits package. From Hawthorne California, the group which consisted of Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and neighbor Dave Marks, (who was replaced by Al Jardine), brought the wild surf music scene into pop mainstream. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Wilson was the primary force behind the band. His instrumental and arrangement expertise translated well in a studio setting. A devotee of the “Wall Of Sound”, this style of music celebrated high-end production and use of veteran session players.

Read the complete review >

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The Second Disc: The Beach Boys Remasters: Album-by-Album Guide

No, Mike Love didn’t fire Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys.  But that didn’t stop the Beach Boys’ leader, producer and chief songwriter from telling The Los Angeles Times last week, “It sort of feels like we’re [he, David Marks and Al Jardine] are being fired.”  Wilson was replying to Love’s announcement that he would pursue small-venue dates with longtime member Bruce Johnston and a band including son Christian Love, John Cowsill and Scott Totten rather than continue the group’s well-received 50th anniversary tour.  With Wilson, Jardine and Love playing out their business disagreements in the pages of the Times (Wilson: “I welcome Mike to call me”), surf’s up once again on the offstage turmoil that has marked the 50-year career of The Beach Boys, a group whose joyous sounds of harmony onstage have long been juxtaposed with unease and turmoil behind the curtain.  Both Wilson and Love took pains to stress family ties; Love’s daughter Ambha even joined the fray online in defense of her dad.  Is blood thicker than the water that inspired “Surfin’ USA” and the rest?  What remains, ultimately, is the music.  In conjunction with a 1-CD Greatest Hits and 2-CD 50 Big Ones: Greatest Hitsboth reviewed in Part One, Capitol Records has just reissued twelve of The Beach Boys’ classic albums in new, remastered editions.  All have been encoded in HDCD (for those with HDCD capabilities).

Read the complete article >

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Seattle PI Review: The Beach Boys 50 Big Ones

I wish I could say that the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys has been handled with nothing but class, but with their brief reunion already over, it has been a little messier than that. For a band to stay together (sort of) for 50 years is nothing less than remarkable. Given the history of the group, the volatile situation surrounding the reunion is none too surprising. Although it is unlikely that we will see  Mike Love and Brian Wilson together onstage again, the classic music that they have made over the years can never be denied. The new two-CD set 50 Big Ones is an excellent overview of the recorded works of The Beach Boys from 1962 to 2012.

For this official version of The Beach Boys story, the 1966 Pet Sounds album marks the halfway point of their career. There are 25 songs from the years 1962-1966, and 25 from 1967-2012. Although the collection is not presented in strictly chronological order, the majority of the first disc is drawn from the period up to and including Pet Sounds, and the second from then all the way up to this year's That's Why God Made the Radio.

Read the complete review >

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JazzWax: Beach Boys Remastered Albums Feature Stereo Mixes

The Beach Boys' recent 50th anniversary tour had its ups and downs. First Brian Wilson said he wasn't going to re-join the group. Then he agreed. The reunited band played Good Vibrations during the Grammy Awards—with a few technical difficulties and universal acclaim. Then the band hit the road, where they took a little heat for creakiness. Then came unnecessary political comments by band members and recent reports that Mike Love had fired Brian from the group, which Love subsequently denied.

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Lost in the all the dust and drama was news that two new Beach Boys CD packages were on their way: 12 albums remastered and issued in glossy mini LP gatefold covers and a greatest hits box (The Beach Boys: Fifty Big Ones) with tracks plucked from the fresh remasterings.

Both packages were released yesterday by EMI and I must say the results are a vast improvement over the previous sets re-issued in 1999. I've given the new releases several hard listens, comparing them with earlier issues, and found the clarity on the new tracks startling. Even more exciting is all of the new information displayed on the latest remasters. You actually can hear instruments you never even knew existed on the originals, resulting in a greater appreciation for Brian's layered rock-meets-harmony vision.

Read the complete article at JazzWax

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The Los Angeles Times: 'It kinda feels like getting fired' -- Brian Wilson to Mike Love

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The Los Angeles Times: 'It kinda feels like getting fired' -- Brian Wilson to Mike Love

I've been asked to respond to a letter that my cousin Mike wrote to the L.A. Times regarding the circumstances of the last couple weeks and the confusion of the future of The Beach Boys. Normally I wouldn't respond to something like this, but because I love what the 50th has done for the band's image and its legacy, I feel I need to.

By Brian Wilson First, I want to say that the last few months have been some of the happiest in my life. Recording "That's Why God Made The Radio" was a dream come true, to be able to co-write and produce an album for the boys and have it so well received by fans all over the world was the best!

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New Beach Boys Albums Available

Two Beach Boys collections are now available for all fans  as well as 12 remastered classic titles with both stereo and mono versions ("Surf's Up & "Sunflower" include stereo only).

"The Beach Boys Greatest Hits" 
The Beach Boys' new 50th Anniversary Greatest Hits collection features 20 of the band's most popular songs, including "California Girls," "Good Vibrations," "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows," "Kokomo," their latest single "That's Why God Made The Radio," and many more.

Amazon.com  |  iTunes

"The Beach Boys Greatest Hits: 50 Big Ones"
Fifty classic songs on two discs packaged in a lift top box including an extended booklet with newly written liner notes by Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild + 7 collectible band postcards. Contains new stereo versions of a few tracks and the single version of "Isn't It Time," the new single from the Beach Boys latest studio release "That's Why God Made The Radio."

Amazon.com  |  iTunes

Remastered Studio Albums: (links to Amazon to purchase)

Surfer Girl
Surfin' USA
Shut Down Volume 2
Little Deuce Coupe
All Summer Long
Summer Days (and Summer Nights!)
The Beach Boys Today!
The Beach Boys Party!
Pet Sounds
Smiley Smile
Sunflower
Surf's Up

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American Songwriter: The Beach Boys: Remaster Series

American Songwriter: The Beach Boys: Remaster Series

​2012 marks the 50 year anniversary for  the Beach Boys, and Capitol Records is doing a large reissue campaign to mark the occasion. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the weekly circulars for new releases as they’re nowhere to be found in them, however. That’s rather strange for a group who still holds the record for the American band with the most top 40 hits on the Billboard charts, not to mention a top 20 act of all-time (#19) according to a points system calculated in Billboard chart success in Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles and an early inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (1988). Even more odd is that these same releases got a Japanese release several months in advance of the US street date.