Read excerpts from Brian Wilson’s memoir

The Beach Boys front man has put his life to paper

Excerpts from Brian Wilson‘s forthcoming memoir have been posted online.

The book I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir will be released via Da Capo Press on October 11. He has teamed up with Ben Greenman, who also worked with George Clinton on his memoirs.

Wilson, has recovered significantly in recent years from some difficult times after his interest in The Beach Boys faded in the 70s. He went through periods as a recluse, and an extended period during which he underwent treatment with a psychologist that helped him get over a variety of drug and alcohol problems and erratic behaviour.


The portions available to read for free on Google Books include the introduction in full, a large portion of the first chapter entitled ‘Fear’, snippets of chapters two and three entitled ‘Family’ and ‘Foundation’ respectively and a page of the sixth chapter, ‘Echoes and Voices’.

NMEAndy Willsher/NME

The introduction, called “Overture” in the book, takes place at a 2004 concert set in London’s Royal Festival Hall where Wilson played the Beach Boys album ‘Smile’ for the first time.

He writes about his fear before going onstage and how nervous he was premiering the complicated, orchestral songs that he convinced himself would have disappointed the much simpler sensibilities of musicians like Chuck Berry and Phil Spector.

‘Overture’ ends as the show is about to begin and Wilson is told that many of his friends including The Who‘s Roger Daltrey and Beatles producer George Martin were in the audience waiting for him.

In ‘Fear’, Wilson documents his daily routine, which includes an affinity for the shows Eyewitness News and Wheel of Fortune. He also details how his wife Melinda Ledbetter is attuned to his shifting moods and continues to offer him comfort when he struggles with the voices he hears in his head that threaten to kill him.

Wilson is also planning to release a concert film called ‘Brian Wilson & Friends’.