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!

And He’s Back!

August 3rd, 2019

This week we got a rare piece of happy news that Brian Wilson is indeed ready for his late summer tours, and will be back on the road in four days time (7 August). His program will be an intense 25 shows in less than two months  including the tour with the Zombies, some Pet Sounds shows and some Greatest Hits shows.

Midsummer Midwinter

July 26th, 2019

It’s the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere, including record temperatures in Europe, but here in the “far south”, it is quite cold with some very welcome rain in Cape Town. All is fairly quiet on the Brian Wilson front, but at this stage, he is due back on the road in less than two weeks. 

Far More Than A Musician

July 17th, 2019

Just after I posted yesterday’s blog, I suddenly got the news that the great South African musician, Johnny Clegg, had passed away. Clegg’s fame spread well past South African shores, including massive concerts in France, and recognition in many parts of the world, including the USA. If you haven’t heard of him, a look at his Wikipedia bio,  will tell you that he was not just a writer and performer of great songs, but an important figure in the fight against apartheid, especially in winning the hearts and minds of white people that apartheid and racism were ridiculous and stupid -probably an even more direct role than the extraordinary story of the American musician Rodriguez.

I have personal memories of Johnny Clegg and his music – being aware of his songs as a pre-teenager, seeing a concert of his at my university, learning to gumboot dance to one of his songs for an international conference. He was such a huge part of being South African that one only realizes how immense his life was when he has left us. Everyone has spoken of his goodness as a person -the world is so much poorer without him.

Everything But The Brian XV: Time

July 16th, 2019

Another aching ballad from the brilliant Pacific Ocean Blue album, Time  combines an honest lyric with a beautiful melody and lovely arrangement sprinkled with some horns and violins. When Dennis sings “I’m the kind of guy who loves to mess around, know a lot of women, but they don’t fill my heart, with love completely free” , you know he is being honest and vulnerable.

Everything But The Brian XIV: Full Sail

July 3rd, 2019

Our next “brianless” Beach Boys minor classic is from the generally critically disliked L.A. (Light Album). However, this album contains a number of good Dennis and Carl songs, not least of all Full Sail. Like much of Carl’s best work, this beautiful ballad has a yearning for peace and harmony, something which was missing in the turbulent late 70s Beach Boys world.

23 Songs For Today

June 25th, 2019

1) Dancing Queen -ABBA
2) There Goes My Miracle -Bruce Springsteen
3)Little Girl Lost -Icicle Works
4) My Last Chance -Marvin Gaye
5) Checking Out (Double Clutch) -Marvin Gaye
6) Bohemian Rhapsody -Queen
7) Don’t Stop Me Now -Queen
8)Love of My Life -Queen
9)Archangel -Walker Brothers
10)The Amorous Humphrey Plugg -Scott Walker
11) Patriot- Scott Walker
12) Duchess Scott Walker
13) Itchycoo Park -Small Faces
14) There Is A Light That Never Goes Out -The Smiths
15)Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours -The Smiths
16) True -Spandau Ballet
17)I Wanna Be Adored -The Stone Roses
18) Sixteen Bars The Stylistics
19) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) -Talking Heads
20) (Nothing But) Flowers -Talking Heads
21) Think It Over -The Thorns
22) It’s Not Unusual -Tom Jones
23) The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore -The Walker Brothers

Lucky 77

June 20th, 2019

Happy 77th birthday, Brian Wilson- this birthday takes place under less happy circumstances but still with much hope for the future, and thanks for all that Brian Wilson has given us. Have a look at what I wrote seven years ago on Brian’s 70th birthday.