Brian Wilson on Songwriting: "I'm Always Anxious to Make Each One Better"

Categories: Interviews

How do you enjoy touring these days? Again, back in the old days, you didn't really seem to enjoy it very much...
It's a pleasure to play for people. Hopefully they enjoy our music, and it's my pleasure to do these concerts for people.

It must be very gratifying to see a younger generation getting into your songs. Last year, when you played Bonnaroo, the crowds went crazy for you guys.

Oh, yeah, definitely. Didn't you sense that reaction from the stage?
Yeah, I did.

So it must be very gratifying.
The young generation is just now becoming aware of the Beach Boys' music. It's good to have youngsters, young people, in the audience, ya know?

Of all the artists you've influenced over the years, are there those that you're particularly fond of?
You know, I follow Paul McCartney and I follow the older generation music, the '60s-generation music. I listen to a lot of '60s-generation music during the day and at night.

Like who, for instance? Please give us some examples.
Paul McCartney, Phil Spector, the Rolling Stones, the Doors. Yeah.

Are there any newer bands that you enjoy, any you feel you may have influenced?
No, I wouldn't know that. No. I don't know who's influenced by us at all. I don't know.

Everybody's been influenced by you. Along with the Beatles, the Beach Boys are among the most influential band of all time.
Well, yeah, actually me and the Beach Boys are very proud of ourselves, ya know? Al Jardine, great singer. We're all very proud.

How did you decide which Beach Boys would sing which particular songs, especially when you had so many good singers in the group?
OK, here's how it goes. I write the song, and then after I write the song, then I decide who I will have sing it. I don't think about who's going to sing it while I write the song. Thank you very much for the interview.

Thank you!

OK, take care, bud.

Brian WIlson and Jeff Beck, with Al Jardine and David Marks. 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 27, at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. TIckets cost $59.25 to $96.60. Call 954-797-5531, or visit

See also:
The Beach Boys - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - February 18
Photos: Beach Boys at Hard Rock Live, May 4
The Beach Boys - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - May 4

Location Info


Hard Rock Live

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL

Category: Music

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Brian has mentioned the Doors as one of the groups he listens to and admires, and I'm really curious why. Although I love the Doors, their music is so dark I would think Brian would find it scary and not for his taste. I know that Jim Morrison once said the Beach Boys were a favorite group of his, but I always thought he was just messing around with the interviewer. I wish just once an interviewer would really be able to probe Brian on some deeper questions and pick up on some hints he seems to be dropping.


Yeah actually Jim really was a big fan of The Beach Boys, especially Brian. Supposedly, his favorite album of all time was Pet Sounds. In the bio for Elektra in '67, he listed The Beach Boys as his favorite group, along with Love and The Kinks.

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