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A Personal Hero

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Posted 04-11-2008 at 10:43 PM by Gamebrain
Updated 04-12-2008 at 09:04 PM by Gamebrain

[CENTER]Everyone has their heroes. Im starting to find myself looking for an inspirational, wonderful person that I consider a hero. This man would probably top the list of heroes for me.

His name is Brian Wilson. You may or may not have heard of him before, but almost everyone has heard his music. He's the founder of the legendary 60's rock/pop group, The Beach Boys, and one of rock's greatest singer/songwriters. If you ever caught yourself jammin out to a Beach Boys tune, it was most likely written and composed by Brian.

Now, before you get the impression of that all they wrote about were girls, beaches, and cars, you need to take a step back and listen to the stuff they released beginning in 1964. It was then that Mr. Wilson took a break from touring with his fellow bandmates and began to explore the possibilities of sound and music. Brian wanted to make an amazing album to surpass the greatness of The Beatles latest album at the time, Rubber Soul.

He, along with fellow songwriter and producer Tony Asher, buckled down in the studio to see what Brian could come up with. People around him thought he was crazy that he was going to create such an amazing album. He dug deep into his soul and the end result was a critically acclaimed record that is often touted as one of the greatest ( in my opinion, THE greatest) music album ever recorded.

Pet Sounds was released in May of 1966. Brian was only 23 years old when he wrote and composed his magnum opus. While many were expecting big hits about cars and surfing, what they heard was something so fresh and so true that it changed the way people looked at the band itself. And while Pet Sounds wasnt the best selling album that The Beach Boys released, this record made the biggest impact in depth and quality of it's contents. Songs like "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Lets Go Away For Awhile" was geared and aimed towards teenagers longing to be older while other tunes like "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" expressed Brian Wilson's confusion and sadness over feeling left out at times. Track number 8 was called "God Only Knows". This song is so amazingly beautiful that its a near religious experience every time I hear it.

The Beatles, specifically Paul McCartney, were blown away by the album and decided to try and make a sort of Pet Sounds of their own. It turned out to be known as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which, in its own right, is an amazing album. Sir Paul also claims that "God Only Knows" is his favorite song of all time as well.

Feeling the pressure from Capitol record company, his peers, and his occasional drug use, Brian never fully completed his follow up to Pet Sounds called "Smile". Instead, he became so depressed and so mentally ill that he spent the better time of two years in bed. He continued to battle his illness and his addiction throughout the 70s and finally made a miraculous turn for the better and started fresh in the 80s by rejoining his fellow bandmates on tours.

Brian is primarily a solo artist now, but he still performs old Beach Boys classics while on tour and sometimes joins fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine on some of his shows.

So why do I adore this man so much? The reason being that he is a musical genius and an inspiration to me and many others. I have Asperger syndrome, a mild form of autism. Although not officially confirmed, it seems to me that after learning and examining some of Brian's traits and actions that he may have it as well. Brian at times kept to himself, being very shy. He also paid attention to specific details of his music more than a normal person would, which is a symptom is ASD. However, his mental problem was both a blessing and a curse. His illness may have allowed him to dig so deep into the music that he composed that a normal composer may not have gone to

Brian went from a very high in his career, to his lowest, only to fight back and win his battle over his demons. God bless you, Mr. Wilson. God only knows what we'd be without your music.

[I]Brian Wilson is my hero.[/I][/CENTER]
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