Brief Encounters With Brian Wilson
March 29, 2007
I was looking through the guest book on my old website and found this message from Van Dyke Parks, one of Brian’s best co-writers, dated December 7, 2005
You brought such joy and humanity to our times together, and it’s been
30 years and change since you answered my call and helped Brian Wilson find justice in his publishing at Irving/Almo music. For that, and for the definition you brought to Warner Brothers Records in their lettuce years, here is my total gratitude. Keep writing new music. We’re all ears.
Love, Van Dyke
When I was running Irving/Almo ( A+M records publishing arm) in 1974, Van Dyke Parks called me to congratulate me on my new position and to ask for a substantial songwriting advance on behalf of Brian. I put him on hold, and arranged for a check to be drawn up right away! Then he put me on the phone with Brian Wilson [who I had never met] who said he liked Olivia Newton Johns cover of “God Only Knows”, which I got her to record on my first day at the company!!
Needless to say I was thrilled to talk to one of my idols! I told him an idea I had to update one of his old songs “Good Vibrations”……that included changing one of the most recognizable lines in musical history!!! As I talk/sang my idea into the phone, I could hear Brian laughing on the other end that ended with an,”Okay, sure…try it!!
A few weeks later I got my friend Larry Page to record and release it with the Troggs. It started, “I love the summer clothes you almost wear……..and how the sunlight plays upon your hair……”
Although I wasn’t with the company very long, I’m proud of the fact I was able to get the ball rolling and subsequently help Brian get MILLIONS from all of his songs in the Sea Of Tunes catalog which his father, Murray nefariously sold to Irving/Almo Music.
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
To read the inspiring comments they all made a few months ago at the bottom of my interview with Hank Medress (The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “He’s So Fine” The Chiffons )
I really had a good time going through hundreds of YouTube videos, looking for the best versions of songs to go along with this article. “Good Vibrations” ( Wilson/ Asher/ Love) with Brian and the Beach Boys. “God Only Knows” ( Wilson/ Asher) , which Brian wrote in 7 minutes, features the Beach Boys without Brian, with Carl Wilson on lead.
Brian Wilson’s website
Van Dyke Parks
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