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Brian Wilson Tells Us Why He Likes The Beach Boys

Tracy Thomas gets boss-man Brian Wilson to talk about the other Beach Boys.

This article originally appeared in New Musical Express, Friday, Aug. 26, 1966. Brian's quotes have been excerpted.

Mike Love, lead singer:

"Mike is the most completely extroverted person I've ever known. It's absolutely fantastic. It will keep him from being very creative.

"To be creative you have to think about things and ways to express them. Mike's too busy being involved in human relationships to sit down and consider them and put them into music.

"He couldn't stand being alone long enough to write something.

"He's a great emcee - very underestimated in that field. In fact, I think he's pretty generally underestimated, but the day will come when everyone will appreciate him."

Carl Wilson, lead guitar:

"Wow, I can hardly express the great admiration I have for Carl. He's the most truly religious person I know. He's completely at peace with himself and the world and he radiates this.

"People say he's the one who keeps the group from going at each other's throats. It's true - he can spot a rough situation and avert it before you knew it was there.

"It makes me rather unhappy that I'm only realizing his worth now. You know how teenage boys treat kid brothers. But now, after all those rough years I discover how much we have in common and how much I respect him.

"He's also our best musician. He's starting to write songs and they sound good - he's still young and I think he'll really expand as he grows older."

Al Jardine, rhythm guitar:

"The thing I always think about Al is that he has the greatest, the most sincere smile in the world. Especially in this business, and in Hollywood, with all the starlets, you see the phoniest smiles.

But when Al grins, you know it's there! He keeps his opinions to himself all the time. Not because they're not good, but you see, he's not a member of the corporation.

"It makes him feel left out and not really a full member of the group, so he doesn't want to force himself or his opinions on us.

"But this feeling is only on his side. As far as the rest of us are concerned, he's got as much right as anyone to give an opinion.

"I wish we could convince him, but no matter what we say, he's always the same. That's just the way Al is - he's never pushy.

"He's the least wild of the group because he's been married a long time, but he's a bit noisier than Carl. What a smile, though!"

Dennis Wilson, drummer:

"Dennis - oh dear! The most messed up person I know. He's too nervous. He has to keep moving all the time. If you want him to sit still for one second, he's yelling and screaming and ranting and raving.

"I really worry about him. He's going to drive himself - or everyone else - crazy. The girls love him, go crazy over him - he loves it. He's legitimately girl-crazy.

"I think he'd fall apart if they stopped screaming for him. But he drives himself so hard. He loves all kind of sports. He can't keep quite or immobile for a second.

"It's like everyone else is on a 331/3 rpm and he's on 78. I only hope he'll grow out of it as he gets older. I pray for Dennis a lot."

Bruce Johnston, bass guitar:

"I'm afraid I only know Bruce superficially. Of course, I've never been on tour with him or performed with him.

"He's a friend on Mike, who suggested him as my replacement. The guys really like him. I only see him at recording sessions.

"He's very bouncy, effervescent. Hams it up a lot. Where Mike has a dry humor, Bruce's is wet!

"I mean, you can tell when he's going to do something funny. But he's very even tempered, which is a good thing when you're recording.

"I think he might have a slight inferiority complex - nobody's really that bouncy and energetic. He's a very likable person.

"I'd say Dennis is the hardest to get along with, then Mike, me, Al and Carl. Bruce is down at the bottom, too. It's surprising how long it took us to have some real understanding of what each other is really like.

"But months of being together forced us to make the effort or we would have broken up.

"You have to learn to understand and accept each other, and to get along with each other if you're traveling and performing and recording together ten months out of the year.

"I'm glad we came out sane and happy."