Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Two days after James Paul McCartney came into the world, Brian Douglas Wilson touched down. I'm in the school that thinks Paul was a supremely talented craftsman and Brian was an out and out genius.

Brian's candle burned at both ends, and nowadays he occasionally appears in concerts that one critic said seem "like a musical adaptation of Flowers for Algernon." But I want to focus on his lovely light.

Here he and the Beach Boys perform the Four Freshmen song "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring," which Brian arranged after hearing it on the radio. He could pick out the four voices and copy that arrangement, all by ear. And he was deaf in one ear. Tell me that's not amazing.

Incidentally, the song was written by Bobby Troup, who also wrote "Route 66" and appeared on the TV show Emergency! with his wife, Julie London. And how appropriate to post this on the last day of spring. But above all, happy birthday, Brian.

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