‘Catch A Wave’ Named One of the 10 Best Books About L.A.’s Music History


This from the L.A. Weekly, Aug 22, 2016:

So much great music has come out of the Los Angeles area, created by geniuses, cartoon characters and everything in between, that it’s no surprise there are just as many great books chronicling that music’s history.

Whether it be Laurel Canyon in the 1960s, Sunset Strip through the decades, or straight biographies and memoirs from important figures in the scene, a multitude of words have been written about the many and varied musical happenings in this region by many talented writers. Here are 10 of the best, alphabetized by title.

10 Great Books About L.A. Music
Rodale Books
Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin
The thing about John C. Reilly’s portrayal of the fictional rocker Dewey Cox in the film Walk Hard is that, when Cox went through his Brian Wilson stage, “an army of didgeridoos” and all, it was only mildly exaggerated. Wilson’s abuse from his father, his descent into depression, his swan-dive into drugs, the turmoil he caused within The Beach Boys as he tried to make his increasingly ambitious and eccentric visions into reality — it all happened, and Ames Carlin details it wonderfully here, with the colorful L.A. of the 1960s (and later) serving as a glorious backdrop.

Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck: the immense pleasure of what shouldn’t work but does



Brian Wilson touring with Jeff Beck? Brian Wilson recording with Jeff Beck?

At that news I more or less threw figurative hands in imaginary air and figured I’d believe it when I saw it, and try to judge mercifully when I did. English guitar Gods, you see, would seem to have so extremely leetle in common with, let alone add to, California composers/arrangers/weirdo geniuses/etc.

But then the buzz was not just good but entirely so, and then this happened. A few weeks ago, but maybe you missed it. So check it out – “Our Prayer” segues into Beck’s lovely arrangement of “Danny Boy,” and I had no idea this was even possible.

Real and awesome:The night the Grateful Dead jammed with the Beach Boys

Bill Graham watches the Beach Boys, Fillmore East final concert,
Jerry Garcia and Carl Wilson; Pigpen and Mike Love; Al Jardine and Bob Weir; Bruce Johnston and Phil Lesh. It’s hard to imagine all those guys sharing the same stage, let alone harmonizing on Merle Haggard, Chuck Berry and more, but it really happened on April 27, 1971, right there at the Fillmore East. Here’s the bands’ crowning achievement that night: a delightfully ironic cover of Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee.”