Random House Canada today announced the acquisition of Canadian rights to publish a new memoir by rock & roll music legend Brian Wilson.
Anne Collins, Publisher of The Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group who acquired the book from Marc Gerald of The Agency Group in a major pre-emptive negotiation, says: “Like millions of others, I’ve spent hours, even days, transported by the joy and genius of Brian Wilson’s music. That he now is ready to tell the story of his life, in which he at last has come through the tragedy, betrayals and illness that so often threatened to dim that genius, is an epic publishing event. We’re thrilled to be part of it.”
As the chief songwriter and producer of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson has been making music for over fifty years and during that time he has recorded some of the most iconic songs in American rock. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in 2007, Wilson most recently recorded the critically acclaimed That’s Why God Made the Radio, with the Beach Boys and joined the group for their worldwide 50th anniversary tour in 2012. Pet Sounds, Wilson’s masterwork from 1966, was named the #2 best album in rock history by Rolling Stone and this year he received his second Grammy Award for Best Historical Album for The SMiLE Sessions.
In his memoir Wilson, who will be working with Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal editor Jason Fine, will describe for the first time the epic highs and lows of his life – from his tumultuous relationship with his father, the loss of his mother and brothers, his fears about live performance, the struggles he faced to lead the Beach Boys away from surf music into groundbreaking, experimental terrain, to his remarkable personal and professional comeback from drug addiction and mental illness with the support of his second wife Melinda. In this memoir Wilson will share a new level of emotional honesty never before expressed in earlier books about him.
“Life’s better than it’s been in the past twenty years. I’m having a ball,” says Wilson. “I’m 70 years old and it took me a long time to learn a really simple thing: it’s hard work to be happy.”
Fans will be enthralled by Wilson’s candid memories of the significant events in his life — growing up middle-class in Hawthorne, California with a natural gift for music despite being born deaf in one ear, his family’s refusal to acknowledge his emotional issues, the Beach Boys’ astronomical rise to fame, Wilson’s nervous breakdown that led to his decision to quit touring with the band, the launch of his masterwork Pet Sounds, and even his dangerous relationship with therapist Dr. Gene Landy.
“He’s a complicated, highly sensitive, emotionally fragile, incredibly gifted artist who has not lost an ounce of his prodigious talent and has also found a measure of stability in his life and an ease within himself that’s eluded him for most of his adult life,” says Fine of Wilson. “And that’s why now, for the first time, he’s finally ready to reflect on his life, and to tell his life story, as he’s never told it to anyone before.”
The book is scheduled for publication in 2015.