Saturday, June 4, 2011

Q&A with Brian Wilson

By Justin Tedaldi

Last year, one of the greatest American composers of the second half of the twentieth century paid tribute to one from the first on the album Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin. This week, fabled Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson salutes George Gershwin in a three-night run at New York’s Highline Ballroom beginning June 11 as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival. In this exclusive interview, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer sounds off on his musical legacy, his next album, and “Kokomo.”

Examiner: You’ve said that “Rhapsody in Blue” is one of your all-time favorite pieces of music. What do you like most about it?

Brian Wilson: The violin section and pretty harmonies.

Examiner: What kind of an influence has Gershwin’s music and the jazz genre had on you as a songwriter throughout your career? What was the first song you wrote or recorded that was linked to these qualities?

Brian Wilson: He inspired me to write good music. “Heroes and Villains” was completely inspired by that.

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