A review on the new book about Carl Wilson, Long Promised Road, at a cool blog. For all the many books on The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, as well as Dennis Wilson, there has never been one that looked at Carl Wilson’s life. As the boo details, and this review at Small Press Reviews details, if it wasn’t for Carl, The Beach Boys would’ve ended when Brian Wilson checked out, and into spending more time on mood-altering drugs and his sandbox.
Disclosure Alert! I do marketing & publicity for this book.
Books about the Beach Boys tend to focus on Brian Wilson, depicting him as the “mad genius” behind the band’s music. Such accounts trace his evolution from a surf-pop wunderkind to the architect behind the masterful Pet Sounds album, then dwell almost lasciviously on the mental breakdown surrounding the recording of the long-deferred Smile album before turning to his struggles with addiction, mental illness, and the troubling relationship with the Svengali-like therapist who took over Wilson’s life. While such narratives are certainly valid, they tend to ignore other members of the band—in particular Carl Wilson, the youngest of the brothers who formed the heart of the band. In Long Promised Road: Carl Wilson, Soul of the Beach Boys, Kent Crowley aims to correct that.
Less of a counter-narrative than a complementary one, Crowley depicts Carl Wilson as the emotional and musical center of the band, particularly during the years…
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