Brian Wilson's special magic in the early and mid-1960s was that he was at one with his audience. There was no "writing down" to the listeners. Brian had a teenage heart, until it was broken. Before that happened, Brian used the Beach Boys music to "invent" California.
California has always occupied an exalted position in popular American culture, whether it was the Gold Rush days or the heyday of Hollywood. Brian Wilson's particular California Myth is a product of the 1960s, and it is important to remember that to teenagers in 1961, California was just a state, not yet a state of mind….
For kids whose oceans and beaches were made by intersecting asphalt and fire hydrants, whose...
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