Q&A: Brian Wilson On His Gershwin Influences, Working With Van Dyke Parks, And The Smile Reissue

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Below are more excerpts from my late May interview with Brian Wilson that served as the basis for this week's cover story. We talked about his thoughts on this year's release of the long-delayed Smile, the unpleasant memories of its creation, reuniting with collaborator Van Dyke Parks after 40 years, and the much-rumored Beach Boys reunion.

You've talked about listening to "Rhapsody in Blue" as a child, and last year you released your album of Gershwin standards. What is it about Gershwin's music that has proven so impactful throughout your life?

Well, his harmonies I like a lot. I learned a lot about music from him.

What specifically in the harmonies is so resonant with you?

His violins.

Your love of Gershwin certainly answers the question from "When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)": "Will I dig the same things that turned me on as a kid?" What else from your childhood do you still love today?

Chuck Berry. Phil Spector.

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Brian Wilson: "I'm Not Really Interested" In Reuniting The Beach Boys

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Brian Wilson's interview with the Voice's Stacey Anderson will appear in our June 8 issue, just in time for his residency at Highline Ballroom June 11-13. During the shows, the reclusive genius will perform last year's album of George Gershwin standards, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin, as well as select Beach Boys hits.

While speaking with Anderson today, Wilson denied the rumor that the Beach Boys will reunite next year in celebration of their 50th anniversary, as reported in Rolling Stone and by the BBC.


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