Thank you, Brian Wilson An area in

Thank you, Brian Wilson, for all the wonderful music.

And thanks to you others who have contributed to the songs of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys – the songs I have enjoyed so much to listen to during so many decades. And for sure will continue to enjoy.

For me it began in the early sixties. My eight years elder brother has told me that when I sat on the floor playing with my toy cars, I stopped and listened when they played the Beach Boys on the radio. When the song ended, I continued to play.

Around the time I became a teenager I bought a compact cassette recorder to record songs played on the radio. At the time popular music was played now and then in one of Sweden’s three radio channels. It took quite a long time to fill a one hour cassette with music I liked. Then my father gave me a record player, with one loudspeaker in the lid. Among the first albums was “The Beach Boys Today”.

Later I bought lots of vinyl records. Surf, rockabilly, rhythm and blues groups, and similar and others. And naturally the Beach Boys and Phil Spector. For some years I wanted to get all released Beach Boys songs on records, but I had to give up that idea. There were so many songs besides the ones on the common albums and singles and EP’s.

Even though the Beach Boys songs changed style over the years, I liked them. The early instrumentals, the pop songs, the ballads, “Pet Sounds” and “Smiley Smile”, and on.

I did not only listen to the Beach Boys songs. Was it around 1977 I read that a Beach Boys documentary would be broadcast on Swedish television? Anyway, the following day I bought a video cassette recorder. I didn’t have a television set, but my parents had. And I watched when I visited them. My electric guitar and four-track tape recorder together with the “Stack-o-Tracks” album gave me many pleasant hours at home. Later I made a one hour radio programme for a local radio station, with short comments about some major news from 1961 and on – coupled with Beach Boys songs from 1961 and on.

Among the other contributions in life: A few weeks ago my daughter treated me to dinner at the “Pet Sounds Bar”, where we had “Fish ‘n chips – Beach Boys style”. It was a tasty dinner.

It wasn’t until 1980 that I was on a Beach Boys concert, in Stockholm in Sweden. What a great feeling that was!

In the summer of 2001 I had the pleasure to listen to the Beach Boys live again. It was another Beach Boys version, with few of the original members, but I enjoyed that concert too.

As a reaction after a rather negative review in a newspaper, I wrote a review myself. I don’t know if anyone published it, but here it is.

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Another review of concert in Beach Boys tour
The last Saturday in July I stood in Skansen in Stockholm and was pleased for an hour and a half. Beach Boys music live!

Once again I had the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful feeling.

No, it did not sound as good as the previous time, the concert 20 years ago – at least as I recall. That time all the original Beach Boys members were on the stage, now it was a few. But even if all of them had been able to play at the concert this Saturday, it would have been naïve to expect that it would sound as good as it was then. 20 years ago. At that time they were closer to 40 years old, today they are closer to 60. It would be like expecting Jerry Lee Lewis to play as wild as in his early years when he was closer to 60. Or to expect that the artists in the successful musicals about Buddy Holly and Abba should sound as the original artists.

And it was not perfect. Sometimes it got wrong. That’s how it can be with live concerts, where they don’t use tapes with pre-recorded songs and drum machines. Those small mistakes didn’t disturb me. Instead we got some spontaneous humorous remarks from the artists, besides the more rehearsed comments between songs that artists use to give between the songs at concerts.

The most important thing was the feeling. One hour and a half with Beach Boys music – live! Thanks to those who made the songs (of course foremost to Brian), thanks to this set of the Beach Boys, and thanks to those who arranged the concert!

As far as I know there is no other group who tours and plays only Beach Boys music, who could give me those wonderful three half-hours.

If you don’t create unrealistic expectations for nostalgic concerts like this, you can enjoy them a lot. Take them for what they are. Maybe think about how you yourself will be when old, and which of your present favourite artists will give live concerts when you are old – with their old songs but other group members. I wonder which of today’s artists will give live concerts after some 35 years from now?

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That was in the summer of 2001.

Live lift
Half a year later I could enjoy more of the Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys music live. That was when you, Brian, performed your music with ten musicians in Stockholm in late January 2002.

And you proved that you are one exception to what I wrote half a year earlier. You performed your music as good as, or even better than, when it was new - decades earlier. And you also gave us new great music.

That concert was very peculiar to me. I had bought your solo albums, and yes – I liked them. But I had not read about that tour, or about that group of musicians. I got the ticket as a gift from my lovely children, and went to the concert hall expecting to hear songs from your solo albums and hopefully a few of the Beach Boys hits.

The first step of my live lift started when I saw the instruments on the stage, the next step when the musicians entered, and the third step when the music began. What a group, to perform your great music like that! That was truly a fantastic feeling!

After the intermission I sat in the chair again. When you then told us that you would play all the songs from the “Pet Sounds” album live … which came as a total surprise for me … and the music began … it felt as if I just elevated from the chair, floating some feet above the seat. And there I remained for the rest of the concert.

That concert was so marvellous!

Thank you, Brian, for that amazing experience. And thanks to the musicians too.

The text below is from my web site, ‘presented’ by one of my factual employees.

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I'm sitting here, while remaining standing at the counter, to tell you about the evening when the owner came home after a concert with Brian Wilson 2002-01-20.

Brian Wilson was the engine in the Beach Boys, which is the owner’s absolute favourite group.

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I just have to tell you, that yesterday evening the owner came surfin’ in on something blue. I asked him what had happened, and his answer made me catch a wave. "It's like Christmas time is here again! It was so fun, fun, fun. Do you remember some wonderful dream you had a long time ago?! Something you really wanted to experience, the kind of just once in my life thing. Wouldn't it be nice? But, even in the wildest of your imagination thought was just impossible to happen."

"Then, one evening some 35 years later, you meet lots of friends - and Mr Music. Strange things happen, you're taken to the nearest faraway place on this whole world, and suddenly it's a beautiful day under the surfer moon. Good vibrations fill you, flow through you, and your dream comes true. I get around in the endless harmony that comes from the stage, when we hear the pet sounds of our favourite recording sessions. It feels like forever was with me tonight!"

Then he looked at me, and said: "I've been at Brian Wilson’s 'The Pet Sounds Tour', and it sure was a good time. Brian Wilson, nine boys and a surfer girl gave me one of the two best concerts I've ever experienced!"

Suddenly he looks at those of you who are in parts of north-western Europe the coming days, and continues: "Add some music to your day! This tour is meant for you. Brian and his group visits Hamburg 22 January, Berlin 23:d, Glasgow 25th, and London 27, 28, 29 and 30 January. And finally Dublin on 1 February. They play lots of the hits and other wonderful songs, AND all the songs from the Pet Sounds album! I'm sure you're welcome!"

And then he sails away on the blue again, with the words "Surf's up!".
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He seemed more excited than after the Beach Boys concert he visited in the summer of 2001. I must confess that now I too have some good vibrations in me… think I'll do some surfin' on / ... Maybe the tour will visit other places, too, later?

By the way, just so you know a bit more about the owner of this place: he seriously thought of going to London, to do it again! Yeah, that's how he is. But, apparently it was sold out.

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A happy smile
In mid 2004 came another live lift – the fantastic "The SMiLE Tour".

In lack of words – it was wonderful!

Brian, once again you filled my ears and my soul with your marvellous music. And gave me a lovely feeling not only during the concert - but for many years.

The text below is also from my web site, from my Travel Memories area.

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It really started back in the early 1960s, but I won't give you the long story here. Here's my latest BB 'events' in short.

Summer 2001 a new concert with the Beach Boys (Mike and Al and musicians) in Stockholm, January 2002 Brian Wilsons "The Pet Sounds Tour" in Stockholm, in early summer 2004 I bought the dvd from the tours and Brian Wilsons new album "Gettin' in over my head" (which for me in a way feels like the Beach Boys album following the "Keepin' the summer alive" and "The Beach Boys" albums...) - and now Brian Wilsons "The SMiLE Tour".

"The SMiLE Tour"
When I stumbled over the tour scheme in mid April, I wondered a while about what to do. I checked some ways to travel to some cities, but decided to go to London (again). (After I had booked ticket and the rest I saw that he'll perform in Stockholm later during the summer... - but on a day when I'm booked somewhere else.)

With the same group (maybe some changes) as for "The Pet Sounds Tour" in Stockholm, and reinforced with the "Stockholms Horns and Strings", the totally 19 persons gave me a lovely sound experience.

The first part of the concert was a mixed selection of Beach Boys songs from most periods, and including a couple of songs from Brians latest album. It was good to see so many young ones visiting the fully booked Royal Festival Hall without parents. Some near me knew the words to many songs, and later stood up and danced. It really gave me good vibrations to see so many people enjoying the music I love.

After a break I finally could listen to the legendary album that never was made in 1966, neither in 1967 and not the following years and decades. Until recently, when Brian decided to take it on tour. Thank you, Brian!

I don't know how many times I, and so many others, have wondered about the SMiLE album. Some songs made for it were included here and there on later albums, but how was the album planned to be? An album that was awaited with expectations that rose sky high - and maybe would have been impossible to live up to. Maybe the way it became was the best possible way?

Well, what did I think of SMiLE? Two words came into my mind several times. Far out!

In one way it felt to me like some Salvador Dali paintings, with a picture you at once can see what it is and know which artist made it - but with some parts stretched out or changed in fascinating ways. The music of SMiLE is in many aspects like the songs the Beach Boys played at the time, with the beautiful music and harmonies and a bit playful songs - but now and then the music takes off in fascinating ways. I think it would have been well received in the psychedelic late 1960s. (But I will not speculate in what that would have led to, among others in the 'competition' between the Beach Boys and the Beatles.)

More smile
Yes, I liked it. But I want to listen to it more times, so now I'm waiting for a dvd from the tours. I hope the dvd will contain all of the songs from the concerts. I'll probably also buy the new book about the Beach Boys that was presented in the Royal Festival Hall bookshop, but was too heavy for my hand luggage travelling.

The SMiLE concert woke lots of smiles in the hall, and the extra numbers were another selection of wonderful Beach Boys songs. Then we wanted even more, and we got one more song - Love and mercy. Once again: Thank you, Brian!

"The SMiLE Tour" continues some more days in Europe, and then in other places, so maybe you too can enjoy it live. Visit for more info. (Yesterday evening I found a more detailed tour plan on the web address

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Later I bought the dvd and the book I mentioned in the text above, and also the SMiLE cd. And newer cd:s ...

What I like
Why do I like the Brian Wilson music, and the Beach Boys music, so very much? Even through the changes of music styles. Also the Beach Boys songs you didn’t write or produce or so.

They must have some common basic ingredient that appeals to me. I do like lots of other songs by other artists too, but the songs from you and the Beach Boys, and from Phil Spector, stands out in my taste. I will not try to analyze this more here. I just conclude that it is a fact.

To me there are some nice links between the earlier and more recent albums. As if you have picked up tunes on elder albums, and developed them further. As I mentioned above, I feel as if the album "Gettin' in over my head" could be the one that followed the album "The Beach Boys". I also think it is interesting to listen to these albums in sequence: “Pet sounds”, “SMiLE”, "Gettin' in over my head" and “That lucky old sun”.

Brian Wilson, I really love your music.

Thank you for all the so many hundreds of hours that I have enjoyed your music.

And thanks to the rest of the Beach Boys and additional musicians for the also many hundreds of hours of Beach Boys music that I feel is inspired by you, and to me include that special common basic ingredient that I apparently like so much.

I estimate that you have given me some two thousands of hours with great songs.

Thank you, Brian Wilson. Take good care of yourself.

I look forward to listen to many more new Brian Wilson songs.

2013-07-26. Text/pictures: Arne Granfoss.