What a thrill watching Brian Wilson perform at the Vibrato jazz club Monday night in support of the Love & Mercy biopic out on Blu-ray/DVD from Lionsgate (photo credit: Megan Mack).
This was very much a Love & Mercy week for me: Monday I attended a lunch at Craig’s and met director Bill Pohlad and star Paul Dano. Producer-turned director Pohlad said it was important to capture the surreal nature of Wilson’s craft and life, which is why he cast both Dano and John Cusack; he was very meticulous in especially documenting the intense making of Pet Sounds in the studio with the Wrecking Crew. Dano added that he enjoyed getting into the wild Wilson creative vibe.
Then I watched Wilson perform a medley of Beach Boys and solo greatest hits for half an hour later that evening (he even jammed with Dano for “You Still Believe in Me”). Wilson was both joyous and soulful (Yes, “God Only Knows” is his masterpiece), and I couldn’t help reflecting on the importance of his survival story and creative genius. Pet Sounds was groundbreaking for turning such personal pain and adversity into a therapeutic emblem of fun and happiness. You can watch video snippets courtesy of Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere.
Finally, on Friday, I interviewed composer Atticus Ross for an upcoming article and he confirmed what a challenge and joy it was to weave Wilson’s music and voice throughout the score. He also includes never-before-heard alternate cuts and outtakes and studio chatter, thanks to Wilson handing over his invaluable master tapes. Like everyone else, Ross got a better understanding of Wilson’s musical genius and admitted that Pet Sounds was the culmination of his vision.