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What's in iJamming! Music
Wed, Feb 6, 2002
From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX
"'Acid Trax' by Phuture came out and I was just 'Okay, forget all hip hop and all old school rare groove right here, this is it.'"
The Best Of 2001
Tony Fletcher's Top Albums, Songs, Concerts, and Books
Strange Currencies:
R.E.M. at Carnegie Hall
In his room:
Brian Wilson at the Festival Hall
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: "Flowers is Echo & The Bunnymen's finest hour since Ocean Rain."
Latest album reviews
HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
iJamming! interview:
Jesse Hartman, aka LAPTOP
"Every New York band knows the meaning of failure"
MIX Albums:
Who, what and why you should bother
The iJAMMING! interview: DAVID SYLVIAN
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
Musing with SALLY TAYLOR:
"I'm not interested in what the major labels have to offer."
From the JAMMING! archives: ALTERNATIVE TV
interviewed in 1978
TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
SUPERDRAG
They love rock'n'roll but they don't want to deal with the hassle
The full iJamming! Contents
Brian Wilson,in his room
Brian Wilson, London Royal Festival Hall, Tuesday January 29, 2002.
Chris Charlesworth (former Melody Maker scribe and editor of all three of my biographies at Omnibus Press in London) reports on a disturbing personal encounter with one of the world's most troubled and talented musicians.


Brian was having a massage when we arrived.
Unmistakably Brian, big, gaunt, with a helmet of grey hair, he was sat at the bottom of the stairs that led to the stage, eyes focused on a point immediately ahead of him, mute, having his shoulders rubbed. I tried not to stare as we walked past towards the artists’ bar. He was still there, still being massaged, still staring straight ahead, when we passed by again on our way to our seats twenty minutes later.

Brian Wilson as he now looks in concert, photo taken from his official web site.
It was an extraordinary evening, and not just for the music. Brian Wilson, genius pop composer and legendary mental casualty, led his 10-piece band of multi-instrumentalists through just about everything and anything anyone wanted to hear from the Beach Boys’ repertoire, including the entire Pet Sounds album performed sequentially. They displayed a deftness of touch that made all past and present versions of the group sound second rate, not least because nine of them, plus Brian, sang. All those intricate harmonies and arrangements were replicated not only with superb technical skill but also with spirit and verve. Wilson’s iconic status was reverently acknowledged when he walked on stage but, sensibly, he’d evidently decided to nip this sort of thing in the bud by opening the proceedings with ‘Brian Wilson’, the Barnaked Ladies tribute song to his transcendental self. Perfect.

But there was something else happening up there. Throughout, Wilson exuded a strange, childlike demeanour that manifested itself in clipped announcements and odd hand gestures. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one willing him on, hoping something wouldn’t go horribly wrong, at the same time morbidly fascinated at seeing Brian Wilson in the flesh. He said things like, ‘Here’s a nice little song,’ or ‘Thanks for coming down to the show,’ or ‘This was a big hit for the Beach Boys,’ (as if we didn’t know) in a voice that suggested he was reading the lines from an autocue, on remote control, pre-programmed. But he sang well, though it was often difficult to tell exactly who was singing what amid this great choir, and it all sounded wonderful and was fabulous value as they played two sets and upwards of 30 songs, maybe more. I lost count but I knew every single one of them. When the first half was over Brian stood up and marched, robot-like, off stage without so much as a second glance. He did much the same at the end of the second half until, after a slew of encores, he returned and proffered a bow. But if he smiled I never saw it.

Fifteen minutes later Brian was in a room on the fifth floor doing a ‘meet and greet’. There he was again, wearing the same shirt in which he’d performed, sat at a table, signing autographs, not speaking, not looking too happy, his eyes still focused somewhere only he knew. I was told he was tired. I joined the queue and when I reached the front proffered my ticket which he signed. “I was hoping you’d have played ‘Don’t Worry Baby’,” I said, smiling, hoping for a reaction. Brian looked at me and from the expression on his face I knew that I might just as well have asked him about England’s chances in the next World Cup. He didn’t reply. “The concert was wonderful,” I said. Still he didn’t reply. Nor did he smile. I guess he was used to compliments. “May I shake your hand?” Brian held up his hand very briefly and touched mine. It was time to move on.

Twenty minutes later, after another drink in the artists’ bar, we decided to split but the only way out from this backstage area was via a freight elevator down one floor to the stage door. Who should be in the elevator, waiting to descend, but Brian with a small entourage. Out of respect, we made as if to wait, but were beckoned in. It was a big elevator. Again, I tried not to stare. Brian was being helped into his anorak, his scarf and gloves. At the bottom he marched stiffly out and turned, head high, staring ahead, just as he’d left the stage. There was crowd surrounding his car, held back by security men, but from the look on his face it occurred to me that he might not have known why they were there. He was in his room.


Comments? Post them on the Forum.

Further surfing:
The Official Brian Wilson web site
Cabin Essence: an unofficial and extensive Brian Wilson web site
The Brian Wilson web ring
What happens when you type in BrianWilson.net and not BrianWilson.com? You get some serious right wing talk show shit

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