The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson aims to compose alone: ‘I’ve had it with collaborators’

Though he memorably written with members of the Beach Boys, Tony Asher, Joe Thomas and Van Dyke Parks in the past, Brian Wilson says he’s determined to go his own way in the future.

“I’ve had it with collaborators,” Wilson tells the Irish Times, in a rare Q&A. “I still work sometimes with Scott Bennett — he writes lyrics — but he’s the only one I work with.”

Asher was a principal composing collaborator on 1966’s Pet Sounds, while Parks contributed to songs for the long-unreleased SMiLE. Joe Thomas worked with Wilson on the most recent Beach Boys’ project, 2012’s That’s Why God Made the Radio, co-writing 11 of its 12 tracks. (That album was notable in that long-time Beach Boys bandmate Mike Love only worked with Wilson on one song, composing another tune all alone.) Meanwhile, Thomas’ collaborative stint with Wilson traces back to 1998’s Imagination.

To some degree, Wilson isn’t sure if there is someone out there interested in starting such a writing collaboration, anyway.

“I don’t really know who would want to work with me at this stage. Young people? People my own age? I don’t know,” Wilson says. “I’d be very interested if someone approached me. I’m open to that. But I think the solution is that I should really try to write lyrics myself. I wrote a lot of lyrics for The Beach Boys. The other band members wrote, but their lyrics weren’t as good as Van Dyke or Tony. They were just not as good as writers.”

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  • Chris Shields

    I’d be happy to try my hand at writing some lyrics for the big guy. 🙂