You May Know This Album Cover

September 26th, 2019

Today marks the 50th anniversary of possibly the most famous album cover in history – yes, Abbey Road was released in the UK on 26 September 1969. The cover is iconic, but the music isn’t too bad either. Featuring the last recording sessions including the four Beatles together, Abbey Road shows the progression over a scarcely believable seven years since Love Me Do, with the group perfecting rock, pop, harmonies and everything in-between. For the first and last time, George Harrison comes to the fore with two massive pop classics, Something and Here Comes The Sun. Paul summarises the group’s work in the closing medley while John Lennon moves effortlessly from the harder rock of his Side 1 songs to two of his most gorgeous harmonic songs (Because and Sun King). If there’s one thing missing from Abbey Road, it may be a bit of the personalization of the their early work -many of the songs are about other characters -but it’s a small quibble about an enduring classic that will make almost as much of an impact on it’s 50th anniversary than the original 1969 release.

School Of Brian Wilson

September 20th, 2019

Talented emerging composers can now be supported by a scholarship in the name of Brian Wilson.  Funded and organised by Brian’s longtime friend, David Leaf, the scholarship will be available to juniors at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Hot September Night

September 14th, 2019

Brian’s concert on Thursday 12th at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles appears to have been something of a triumph, based on this review  from the Los Angeles Times. With a little help from same famous friends, including Billy Idol and Zooey  Deschanel, as well as the Zombies in support, this seems to have been one of Brian’s classic concerts in his hometown – some good news given all the difficulties this year.

Raising Arizona

September 11th, 2019

Here is a comprehensive review of the Brian Wilson/Zombies concert in Phoenix, Arizona including full setlists of both performers. The reviewer also has a great understanding of Brian’s many trials and why the concert was still very special.

Saturday Grabbag

September 7th, 2019

As the Brian Wilson/Zombies tour gathers pace, here is an interesting interview with Rod Argent setting out Brian’s influence on the very fine Zombies.

In other news, the Explorers Club who have made some of the finest music of this century are back with a new single, a cover of The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore, popularised by Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers. This has been promoted as a taster for not one, but two, new Explorers Club albums which is an exciting prospect.

Another blog favorite, A Girl Called Eddy, was responsible for the excellent The Last Detail album last with Mehdi Zannad, and they have a new EP with two completely new songs, headed by the brilliant Places.


Something Great, Something Old, Something New

September 3rd, 2019

The Zombies/Brian Wilson Something Great From 68 tour has started, and the setlists from the first few shows are very interesting, with a number of songs that Brian has not yet performed live being done for the first time. Credit to the Beach Boys Opinion Page for the setlist below.

01) California Girls
02) I Get Around
03) Don’t Worry Baby (Matt)
04) Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Matt/Brian)
05) Sloop John B
06) God Only Knows
07) Darlin’ (Darian)
08) Meant For You
09) Friends (Matt/Group)
10) Wake The World (Al)
11) Busy Doin’ Nothin’
12) Little Bird (Brian)
13) Diamond Head
14) Passing By
15) Be Here In The Morning
16) I Can Hear Music (Darian)
17) Do It Again
18) ‘Til I Die
19) Feel Flows (Blondie)
20) Long Promised Road (Blondie/Brian)
21) Surf’s Up (Matt/Brian)
22) Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (Al)
23) Heroes And Villains

24) Sail On Sailor (Blondie)
25) Good Vibrations
26) Help Me, Rhonda
27) Barbara Ann
28) Surfin’ USA
29) Fun Fun Fun

Everything But The Brian XVI: Hold On Dear Brother

August 25th, 2019

For today’s non-Brian song, we go back to 1972 and the South African Beach Boys influence. Hold On Dear Brother is a lesser-known song written by Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin, but is well worth searching out for it’s soulful melody and uplifting lyrics, much needed in these times.

Still Remembering

August 18th, 2019

The first part of Brian’s return to the road is completed, with a number of no-doubt poignant shows remembering Nicky Wonder. He’s back on the road for the very interesting tour with the Zombies, featuring songs from Friends and Surf’s Up.

Meanwhile, you can send your condolences to Nicky Wonder’s family to the following address

Family of Nick Walusko
c/o TomorrowLabs
2773 W. Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90041

The mail will have to fit through a mail slot.

The Show Must Go On, But

August 11th, 2019

As noted in my previous post, despite the tragic loss of Nicky Wonder, the Brian Wilson shows did go ahead, with an appropriate tribute to their band member, and a big gap in the sound. In this spirit, I would like to offer a further tribute to Nicky Wonder in one of his obscure but brilliant Wondermints tracks linked below.

The Wonderful Nicky

August 8th, 2019

I was hoping my next post would be around the uplifting news of Brian’s successful return to the road. Instead, there was the shocking news of the passing of Nicky Wonder (Walusko), in his sleep the night before he was scheduled to play in the show. As an integral and universally-loved part of Brian Wilson’s band, this news is very hard to bear. It’s also important to remember that Nicky Wonder was much more than a Brian Wilson band member – as one of the main songwriters and singers of the Wondermints, he created some brilliant music in his own right, and it’s important to remember that the Wondermints were a great band. Go well, Nicky Wonder, you will be missed so much!