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My Brian/Raspberries Chills


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I'm really not much for speeches and galas and tuxes and overblown tributes to people like Angelina and Brad being named "Parents of The Year" by a jury of their own narcissistic peers.

But at tonight's "Kennedy Center Honors" on CBS...the segment recognizing Brian Wilson... and the ovation he received was so moving....that it brought to mind the only other two rock and roll moments that ever gave me chills.(Watching President and Mrs. Busch rockin' to Hootie and the Blowfish performing "California Girls" wasn't chopped liver either.)

CHIILL MOMENT #1-In the pre-internet days I had no idea that Brian had awakened from his long dark sleep to record his first solo album till I happened across it at Sam Goody's in Manhattan.I got home...put the cassette on my machine and out of those years of despair,drugs,and psychosis,...,that angelic,hopeful voice begins to sing the opening lyric to "Love and Mercy."...I fell apart!

CHILL MOMENT #2-I flew into Chicago on the morning of Saturday January 15th 2005.That evening My friend Mel and I endured the opening set by the "Drysdales" eagerly anticipating the main act at the Chicago House of Blues.

At about 10:00 p.m. (to the best of my memory)..A fabulous video montage began and soon ended with a buncha young guys playing "I Wanna Be With You"...only to segue to a buncha only slightly more mature guys playing "IWBWY"..."live" for the first time in over 30+ years and "live"...for the first time ever...for me and my California buddy Mel.

Again...I fell apart!

Rock and Roll at it's best is truly a life-changing,inspiring,and religious experience heartpump .

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That segment of the show was truly amazing. I was standing there rooted in front of the TV...and could hardly wait to get on here to see if it was being discussed. We must have been on some kind of kindred spirit wavelength. Not a huge Diana Ross fan, but she was having a good time and even she had quite the look of admiration on her face during Brian's tribute.

Lyle, oh Lyle - I was positively giddy when they introduced him and have to agree with Bessie about his "reverent" look...as well as Brian's "lost child" appearance. I kid you not, I was thinking those same descriptions as I watched!

I kept thinking during Hootie's portion, though, how much better the 'Berries and Overdubs would sound on those songs. I could almost hear it and there came those chills Ira mentioned.

And, Ira, I was in Chicago, too on 1/15/05, and had the same chills you had! Still get them thinking about it!

I do hope everyone here saw this show tonight....

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I believe the only real smile Brian gave was watching the kids' chorus do "Love and Mercy"...It was really hard...I think for the shy Brian...but I'm sure he felt loved and vindicated.

Here's "Love and Mercy"...


And here's a little Lyle Lovett doing "God Only Knows" and alot of "Hootie" doing "I Get Around" and "California Girls".... cool


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It was also great to see the likes of Steve Martin and Martin Scorcese rockin' to Brian Wilson's music. This obviously meant a lot to Brian. He was so somber he looked in absolute awe of being honored in this way. He seemed so thrilled when the little British chorister said that his music was appreciated far across the sea from those California beaches!

When Pet Sounds was highlighted, all I could think of was its effect on Eric and the ultimate birth of Raspberries.

smile --Darlene

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Yes Darlene I agree about the influence of Pet Sounds on Eric and the 'Berries.

Tunes like "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" on Pet Sounds (as well as Eric's "Let's Pretend" which was influenced by the message and tone of "Wouldn't It Be Nice") are testaments to the misunderstood musical and philosophical place occupied by Brian,The Beach Boys,and the Raspberries in those not so "Good Ol' Days" of "Iron Butterfly/Lee Michaels/Jethro Tull/ Guitar/Flute/Drum Solo Hell".

But ya know quality stands the test of time and Brian,Eric,Wally,Jim and Dave are getting their long overdue acclaim.-Ira.

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Brian definitely has that undeniable quality about him...he is a musical god and when I first heard his first solo album I actually had tears running down my face....grateful to have him back and the tune "Melt Away" just turned me into a quivering mound of jello..and not afraid to admit it.

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It might be out of print but Rhino re-released his first solo and remixed it too. It sounds like a whole new recording. Gone is much of the roughness found on the original but it still retains the feeling that made that album such a joy to listen to.

The "Imagination" album also was re-released and remixed into 5.1..that also sounds like a new recording and some it really is. "Sherry, She Needs Me" has some additional parts not found on the original and is quite good. The production sounds more polished if you will.

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