Today, ace pop-music architect and Beach Boys talisman Brian Wilson turns 69. In his nearly 50-year (!) wake of music he has helped give rise to generations of shameless copycats and other reverent rockers who find inspiration in his musical style.
Obviously, the artists that came immediately after Wilson's initial Beach Boys splash in 1962 and put his lessons to good use are legion and exist in rarefied air. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Lindsey Buckingham, and Carole King were the first to show glimmers of Wilson's touch. The garage bands of the mid-'60s also snagged his spirit, if not his grasp of studio wizardry or devastating way with a melody.
Today in 2011, he's a constant influence in the background for most every pop artist, most eveident in the indie-rock and Americana that is now topping the charts. Even in the Black Keys and Mumford & Sons you can spy Wilson, under all the rootsy trappings. In the case of a band like the Flaming Lips and Wayne Coyne, they are doing for live shows what Wilson did for the pop song.
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And they sure seem to like the Smile album...