Brian Wilson Reveals Fear of Revisiting Beach Boys' Drug-Fueled 'SMiLE Sessions,' Says He's Touring in 2012
Named rock 'n' roll's "most famous unfinished album" by Rolling Stone, the Beach Boys' 'SMiLE' was recorded while mastermind Brian Wilson succumbed to mental illness, thanks in part to his heavy drug use. Though he would release a rerecorded version of the album in 2004, many of the original cuts could only be found as singles, bootlegs or parts of compilations -- until this week's release of 'The SMiLE Sessions.'
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The double album features not only the closest approximation to the unfinished masterpiece, but also plenty of intriguing outtakes. There's the lighthearted, bizarre 'Brian Falls Into a Piano' skit, the perfectionism and drug talk of the 'Our Prayer "Dialog"' and 'The Elements: Fire Session,' a chilling instrumental that Wilson actually believed was responsible for burning down nearby buildings.
"It was a little scary for me," Wilson tells Spinner of revisiting 'Fire.' When we ask what memories it brought up, he simply says, "Memories of being on drugs."
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Though he still seems wary of discussing the album and behaviors that so famously contributed to his decades-long mental-health issues, Wilson didn't see any problem with including the parts in the 'Our Prayer "Dialog,"' where the band can clearly be heard talking about drugs between takes. "Do you have any hash joints left? I know you do," Wilson can be heard asking at one point. At another, someone asks, "Are you guys feeling the acid yet?" to which another