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articolo tratto da INTERVIEW luglio 2004


Elton John interviewing Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson: "I just wasn't made for these times," is what he once sang. But now with his new album, the original beach boy is riding a wave of good vibrations

His new album may be called Gettin' In Over My Head (Rhino), but when it comes to making music, Brian Wilson is most certainly in his element. The legendary songwriter, responsible for some of pop music's most brilliant melodies and celebrated songs, talks to Elton John about having soldiered through a life of depression, drugs, and death to continue doing what he loves best.

ELTON JOHN: What am I going to ask you? You've been through a lot of struggles, hard times, and family bereavements. Now, looking at you, I see you the most contented and happiest you've ever been.

BRIAN WILSON: Yeah, I'm very happy.

ELTON JOHN: It's been a long trip, right?

BRIAN WILSON: Oh, it's been a long haul. I used to be with the Beach Boys, and then all of a sudden, my wife and my manager told me to try a solo career. I said, "No, it wouldn't go over." But we tried a concert, and it went fantastic. Ever since then, I've been doing tours.

ELTON JOHN: Do you enjoy doing the tours now?


ELTON JOHN: You never used to like performing before, did you?

BRIAN WILSON: Well, I did, but I didn't like it so much with the Beach Boys.

ELTON JOHN: Are you still in touch with the other Beach Boys?

BRIAN WILSON: No, they're gone. Mike Love went one way, Al Jardine went another way, and I went another.

ELTON JOHN: I suppose it's hard because you lost [your brothers] Dennis and Carl--they were such an important part of the group. You really can't go back after that, can you?

BRIAN WILSON: No. It's difficult for me to think about.

ELTON JOHN: You must miss Carl quite a lot.

BRIAN WILSON: When I sing "God Only Knows," I think about him.

ELTON JOHN: There are generations upon generations who listen to your music--Pet Sounds [1966] is always coming back onto the charts. But what makes me happy is to see how you are now. It couldn't happen to someone who deserves it more. It tears me up a bit.

BRIAN WILSON: I feel so goddamn lucky.

ELTON JOHN: Well, we're all lucky. It's great that you have this hunger to make more music. There are so many people you make happy by making more records and playing more shows.

BRIAN WILSON: I want to make people get up and dance. I want to make people dance around the room.

ELTON JOHN: So what does Brian Wilson do during the day?

BRIAN WILSON: I exercise--go to the park, run, walk, drive home and back. I pace myself throughout the day. Then I go to the piano and try to work on my writing a bit. Then I watch the news--I'm hung up on it. I like it, but it scares me.

ELTON JOHN: It scares me, too. [Wilson laughs] Well, I think you're rock's biggest survivor, Brian--you and Keith Richards probably. [laughs]

BRIAN WILSON: I've been a survivor, Elton, from the word go.