Brian Wilson’s Father Portrayed Verbally Abusing The Singer In ‘The Beach Boys’ Documentary


The Beach Boys is out on the Disney+ streaming platform, portraying the rock band’s rise from Hawthorn, California in the early ‘60s, to becoming household names in music history today. The film celebrates each bandmate including brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carnie Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, and the “harmonious sound they created that personified the California dream.”

The film also gave a not-so-pretty look at the lives of the Wilson brothers and their verbally abusive father, Murry Wilson, who could be heard telling Brian that their group was “going downhill.” Fans also get to see the making of “Pet Sounds” and the band’s infamous feud with The Beatles.


Brian Wilson’s tumultuous relationship with his father


An audio clip from a 1965 studio recording session of “Help Me Rhonda” featured Murry’s voice as he verbally assaulted 22-year-old Brian. Love claimed Murry was “drunk,” while Jardine recalled how things got “real uncomfortable” once he stepped in the room. Brian seemed to take things calmly while Murry continued to jab at his success. “You guys get too much money, you start thinking you’re gonna make everything a hit,” his father said.


RELATED: Brian Wilson Receives Standing Ovation At ‘The Beach Boys’ Premiere Amid Health Struggles

In a previous interview, Brian had been candid about the effects of Murry’s abuse on him as a teenager battling anxiety attacks and hearing voices. He turned to drugs and alcohol for solace and eventually sought help from a doctor to manage developing mental illnesses. His brothers Dennis and Carnie were not exempted either and would often receive beatings from Murray.


Brian has always acknowledged his mental health struggles, which stem from his difficult childhood with Murray. In his memoir, I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir, he noted that knowing many people suffer from similar issues makes him “feel less lonely,” and he has come to accept it as part of his story. Though a terrible father, Murray kickstarted his sons’ careers by converting his old garage into a music room for them.


Speaking of mental challenges, Brian is currently under conservatorship due to a “major neurocognitive disorder.” He had been in the care of his late wife Melinda, who died in January at 77 and is now being looked after by his longtime publicist Jean Sievers and manager LeeAnn Hard.

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