Beach Boy legend Brian Wilson.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, one of the rock era’s most visionary composers and celebrated figures, will be coming to Israel for the first time to perform his opus 1966 Pet Sounds on June 8 at the Ra’anana Amphitheater.
The 73-year-old Wilson is touring on the 50th anniversary of the 1966 landmark Beach Boys album with a band includ - ing original Beach Boy Al Jardine and longtime Beach Boy accompanist Blondie Chaplin. Wilson has previously toured with essentially the same band performing much-heralded concerts of Smile , the previously unreleased follow-up to Pet Sounds .
Wilson is one of contemporary music’s most enigmatic icons, with a twist-and-turn story that includes triumph, mental breakdowns and redemption.
In the early 1960s, the founding Wilson brothers – Brian, Carl and Dennis – along with cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, combined five-part choirboy harmonies, Chuck Berry riffs and a sunny California persona to capture the imagination and hearts of music listeners.
Spurred by the expansive counter culture, experiments with drugs, and the musical progression of contemporaries like The Beatles in the mid-1960s, Wilson moved past the surf sounds to expand the boundaries of pop music, creating what he called “teenage symphonies for the Gods.”
Already experiencing psychological issues, Brian Wilson stopped touring with the band to focus on songwriting and making records full time, as chronicled in the 2015 John Cusack film Love and Mercy . That path led to Pet Sounds , Wilson’s inarguable masterpiece, including songs like “God Only Knows” and “Caroline No” that went far beyond any - thing the pop charts had previously lodged. Paul McCartney reportedly said that when he heard it, it spurred him to take The Beatles into the studio to create Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band .
Wilson’s next musical endeavor, Smile , proved to be so complex and challenging amid his growing psychological problems that he eventually scrapped the project, pulling out individual songs in subsequent albums. He entered a decade-long period of seclusion and mental illness as The Beach Boys descended intro golden oldie status by the mid-1970s. Wilson has re-emerged in the past two decades, fragile and eccentric, but with his musical prowess intact. He eventually released the original version of Smile and performed it to worldwide acclaim.
Neither Wilson nor The Beach Boys have ever appeared in Israel before. A latter-day version of The Beach Boys, featuring original member Mike Love and Wilson’s mid-‘60s replace - ment Bruce Johnston, scheduled a show in late 2014 in Tel Aviv that was canceled following Operation Protective Edge that summer.
In 2012 on the occasion of the band’s 50th anniversary, all of the living founding members of The Beach Boys reunited for an international tour and a well-received album called That’s Why God Made The Radio . The harmony didn’t last, and following the tour Love decided to go back to the pre-reunion lineup of the band and ended his involvement with Wilson and Jardine.
While that Love-led oldies revue continues to tour, it is Wilson who is keeping the original spirit of The Beach Boys alive. With the maestro front and center on vocals and key - boards, abetted by his big band, the 50th anniversary tour of Pet Sounds will entertain audience in the Far East and Europe before arriving in Israel. The surf will definitely be up.
Tickets will be available at eventim.co.il/brian.wilson