On September 2nd, Brian Wilson's new album was released and was having a signing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. I couldn't miss the opportunity to meet a musical legend from the glory days of Rock & Roll. This was my first time going to a signing that I can remember, and I thought there was going to be a huge line wrapped around the building. I was impressed how the folks at Amoeba Records handled this event. They held the line inside the store and it was zig-zagging through each isle of the west side of the building. The staff was really nice and professional and you had to purchase the new album before you stood in line. Also, you could get an additional item signed when you buy the album. All I could think of bringing was a small notebook because I don't have any Beach Boy memorabilia, but I do now. The line went by quick and when I got closer to the front I saw glimpse of Brian. He was just knocking those autographs out and not really looking at anyone. Every once in a while he would look up and say "How you doing?" I know that he has a history of mental illness but that is besides the point and it's not an issue and not worth talking about. It is what it is... Plain and Pure F'in Simple.
Now it was my turn to get my CD and notebook signed. It took less than thirty seconds for Brian to sign both of the items. He didn't look at me and I was too nervous to say anything to this icon. What could I say to him? "Yo, how you doin'?" After he signed my CD and notebook I thanked him and thanked his assistant that was standing next to him. I walked out that morning with my first personal piece of music history. I listened to his new album back to back, back to back, and on and on... That Lucky Old Sun, is a masterpiece! It's a work of art! My favorite track, Midnight's Another Day is considered a classic. (At least that's what I read, but I don't remember where.) Listening to this album you get the feeling that Brian Wilson misses Southern California in the 1960's. He makes a lot of references about the different places which make up the heartbeat of L.A. He makes me go back in time with his new album. I also discovered something creative in his songwriting and composing ability. His style of music is more like a symphony because he is a fan of classical music. I believe that began when the Beach Boys released the Pet Sounds record back in 1966. I don't know how he does it? It's magic. Brian Wilson is a person that creates something from scratch and can improve on the previous.
The best part of this journey was seeing Brian Wilson live at the Hollywood Bowl on September 12th. The place was packed with ages ranging from the Beach Boy era to the contemporaries. It was a great crowd even though I'm not a fan of large amounts of people gathered in one area, but this was special to me. It was special and still is to me because I was watching a genius.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic opened up the show and they belted out some great sounds. Classical music is not every body's cup of tea, but it's therapeutic and soothing and good for the mind. They jammed for about thirty minutes, then Brian Wilson's band took over the controls. I was surprised that he played a few tracks of the new album including, Midnight's Another Day. Watching him sing that song gave me goose-bumps, that's how powerful it was. He went on to play the Beach Boys classics such as Good Vibrations, California Girls, I Get Around, Surfer Girl, God Only Knows, Sloop John B, and many more. I usually keep to myself but I couldn't help that I knew most of the words and I was rockin' along with a legend. I was playing the air drums and tapping my foot along with the drummer. What a workout! There was a funny moment when the camera man caught Brian looking at his watch while performing and quickly panned away. Another time during Help Me Rhonda, he got up and took a bow and walked off the stage and one of his band-mates quickly came back to get him. "The shows not over yet, Brian! I still love you, champ!" Other than those funny seconds, he rocked the Bowl! Not bad for a 66 year old, huh! At that age he still has the knack for producing brilliant music. Age is a state of mind, remember that!
He's also playing on September 13 and 14 at the Hollywood Bowl.