Born in Inglewood, California in 1942, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Wilson helped to form The Beach Boys with his brothers, cousin and friend in the early 60s. They became one of the best-selling bands of all time, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide and even were an influence to The Beatles.
Brian was the mastermind behind their groundbreaking album “Pet Sounds” released in 1966 and many other incredible records from their discography. Certainly almost every musician in the world would love to have his talent but which musician Brian Wilson would like to be if he had to choose one? Well, he gave that answer in an interview with Mojo Magazine back in 2021 and it was a really curious choice. Rock and Roll Garage also recovered what Wilson said about that artist over the decades.
The famous musician that Brian Wilson said he would like to be
After being asked by Mojo, Wilson admitted that it wasn’t really an easy question but he quickly mentioned the artist he would like to be. “That’s a hard question. I’d have to put Elton John at the top of that list because of his voice and he is great on piano. I admire him as a person too.”
After picking the legendary British pianist, songwriter and singer Elton John, Wilson was asked to name his favorite “Saturday Night Record. Again, he chose an Elton John track. “Anything rock ‘n’ roll is a great Saturday night record, all kinds. I can’t really pin one down. How about ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’? That’s a good one from Elton,” Brian Wilson said.
Elton John inducted The Beach Boys into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Both artists have been really good friends for decades and have a deep respect for each other. So it’s not a coincidence that it was Elton John who inducted The Beach Boys into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1988.
In the induction speech, Elton John said (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “As you might possibly guess, I’m English. This band, in England we sort of had all our own bands. We had all the American R&B music but The Beach Boys were the first white band I can ever remember being in England, (summing up what America was about). If you lived in England, all you ever wanted to do was to go to America.”
“Everything you ever dreamed of was American. This band not only wrote great songs, initially writing Surf Music. But they did more than that. As a musician you graduated from just listening to Pop songs to bands that produce new sounds and records.”
“This band were geniuses, they still are. But they made me love America so much more, because they existed. To me, they influenced my writing. They are, for me, what America is, a very, very wonderful place to be,” Elton John said.
The crazy story of when Elton John visited Brian Wilson for the first time
In an interview with Howard Stern back in 2020 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Elton John recalled the crazy experience of visiting Brian Wilson’s house for the first time. “(When Wilson opens the door, he starts singing) ‘I hope you don’t mind. I hope you don’t mind (Elton’s ‘Your Song’). And I’m going ‘Oh my God’, I’m so quaking my boots anyway.”
“It was an extraordinarily eccentric night. Because that was when he was living in the house with the sand in the dining room, with the piano. I went there with the assumption that I was going to hear a 16 track or the eight track of ‘Good Vibrations’. We finally got around to doing it and he would stop playing and (he would say) ‘No, it’s not the right mix’.”
“So we didn’t really get to hear the whole ‘Good Vibrations’. We were sitting there and it was 2 o’clock in the morning. I never been up that late for a long time. But it was just being in the presence of someone like that, because there’s been films about and he was strange.”
“I never experienced something like that in my life. But he was kind, he was lovely and he has always been to me. I love him so much, I still do. I love Brian. Then he tried to sell me the piano (that night) in the sandbox,” Elton John said.
Elton John believes that “Pet Sounds” changed the music
As mentioned by the official Brian Wilson website, John loves “Pet Sounds” and believes it was a record that changed music. That record had hits like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Sloop John B”, “God Only Knows” and “Pet Sounds”. They even had the chance to perform together a few times over the years.
“Pet Sounds is a landmark album. For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty,” Elton John said.