January 8, 1965: The Beach Boys enter the studio to record what will become their second number one hit, Help Me Rhonda. Well into the session, a drunken Murry Wilson (Brian, Carl and Dennis’ Dad) arrives and proceeds to commandeer the session with psychodrama, scat singing and weepy, abusive melodrama.
The session tape captured it all, and versions of these tapes have been floating around bootlegs for years. The fact that the tapes survived is itself surprising – you can hear Brian and Murry fighting over the tape recorder controls at the 35:30 mark of the full version, Murry wanting to stop the recording, with Brian ultimately keeping the tape rolling. And it’s a good thing that Brian won out, because this audio verifies many of the Murry Wilson horror stories described in the Steven Gaines book, Heroes and Villains: The True Story of The Beach Boys.
Murry utters his immortal line “Brian, I’m a Genius, Too” at the 30:55 mark of the full session.