Diamond Dog wrote:I think it's lovely that my (I thought obviously) flippant remark about Queen was taken so damn seriously by some of you. "Print it, and they will come...."
Well, whether you thought so or not, there are plenty of people (I won't name names) who are of the mistaken belief that Brian Wilson's rep rests solely on two albums. It was worth commenting on, regardless (he said defensively).
Anyhow - about Brian Wilson. I absolutely do not believe that anybody can show (clearly and factually) that his creative juices dried up because of drugs. I'm of the opinion that Brian's fall was almost entirely due to the rejection of "Smile" by the rest of the band - everything I've seen suggests that is so. He retreated into his shell because he wasn't strong enough, mentally, to withstand that rejection - which was a continuation of the psychological problems he had, based around his father. The drugs were a mere side note - they were not the cause.
I don't think it was first-and-foremost the drugs, either (although they probably didn't help, and although he continued to have "drug problems" for the next decade or so).
Besides Drugs, Dad, and Mike Love, factors include:
1. not being able to complete Smile
- sub-factors of which include:
a. his on-and-off relationship with Van Dyke Parks, whom Brian was counting on to do all the lyrics
b. having painted himself into a corner with his new "modular" method of writing (i.e., all of these little pieces, and no clear vision of how or if they would all finally fit together)
c. the "fire music" debacle, and other assorted paranoias
2. continuing problems with Capitol Records, who he was trying/hoping to break away from
3. the effort required to set up and maintain Brother Records, his new label
4. the desire to top the Beatles - dashed when Sgt. Pepper
to the marketplace
5. rejection, on the part of radio and the public alike, of the "Heroes & Villains" single, which he had worked very hard on for a long time (it was the first Brother release, to boot - even if it was via Capitol)
6. general burn-out after years of busting his ass trying to stay in the creative vanguard and
at the top of the hit parade
- among other things, no doubt. (When was Carnie born? Starting a family can certainly add pressures to a young man's life.)
In short, I reckon the poor guy was overwhelmed. And probably feeling a tad under-appreciated (and not just by you-know-who). Not unlike his hero Phil Spector after "River Deep, Mountain High" flopped (in the U.S.).
The drugs probably didn't help, though.