Read an Excerpt From ‘I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir’
Brian Wilson's new autobiography, suitably titled I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir, has been scheduled for an Oct. 11 release — and Wilson has already released an excerpt from the book, which you can read below.
Wilson released his first memoir, Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story, in 1991, but that book proved controversial: Wilson's therapist at the time, Eugene Landy, was accused of unduly influencing its contents, and its publication prefaced a number of lawsuits, including some ugly legal action between Wilson and his cousin and fellow Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love. I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir should face smoother sailing when it arrives in stores; Wilson's co-writer, Ben Greenman, previously worked with Questlove of the Roots on his bestselling memoir, Mo' Meta Blues.
"My life has been written about over and over again, and that's mostly okay with me," reads the excerpt. "Other people can talk about my life. Sometimes they'll get it right and sometimes they'll get it wrong. For me, when I think back across my own life, there are so many things that are painful. Sometimes I don't like discussing them. Sometimes I don't even like remembering them. But as I get older, the shape of that pain has changed."
Continues Wilson, "Sometimes memories come back to me when I least expect them. Maybe that's the only way it works when you've lived the life I've lived: starting a band with my brothers that was managed by my father, watching my father become difficult and then impossible, watching myself become difficult and then impossible, watching women I loved come and go, watching children come into the world, watching my brothers get older, watching them pass out of the world. Some of those things shaped me. Others scarred me. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference."
Hinting at an unflinching look at his infamously troubled past, Wilson concludes, "When I watched my father fly into a rage and take swings at me and my brothers, was that shaping or scarring? When we watched him grow frustrated with his day job and take solace in music, was that shaping or scarring? Those are all memories but I can't get to them all at once. I've had a whole lifetime to take them in. Now I have a whole book to put them out there."
I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir is available for pre-order now. Wilson remains on the road, in the midst of a lengthy world tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys' landmark Pet Sounds album; visit his official site for more information.
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