Love & Mercy – BRIAN WILSON biopic

Ever since STING wasn’t cast as the Vampire Lestat in Anne Rice’s “Interview With The Vampire” I have viewed casting choices in movies with a touch of skepticism and a sideways glance. But LOVE & MERCY proved itself to be quite an extraordinary film with a soundtrack worthy of a BRIAN WILSON biopic.

In addition to restoring my faith in film casting and film scoring, the acting in this film was solid and filled with the subtle nuances of each character’s personality, which made up for some of the actors that were cast that didn’t look at all like the person they were playing.

JOHN CUSACK’S portrayal of Wilson is spot on, but he looked nothing like Wilson.

PAUL GIAMATTI’S portrayal of Dr. Eugene Landy was excellent and reminded me of Secretary of State Alexander Haig when he prounced he was in control when President Reagan was shot. Giamattie had me absolutely hating him which was pretty much how I felt when he was in Wilson’s life, but Giamatti looks nothing like Landy. I think that a major part of the reason for such spot on performances is that Wilson gets a writing credit for the script as “based on the life of.”

The biopic gave me several rushes of the warmies during scenes such as when the BEACH BOYS are together and they share a joint. I kept thinking that they couldn’t have that many hits these days, or when they are in the recording studio and BRUCE JOHNSON is mentioned, which sparked a memory of running into Johnson in Santa Barbara, CA after a RAIN (Beatle Tribute) show and him telling my companion and myself that he’s “only” with the Beach Boys. As I was watching ELIZABETH BANKS do an excellent job of portraying Melinda Ledbetter I saw my friend Stewart Tain in the movie in a booth behind Banks in a coffee shop. There’s a reference to a competition with the BEATLES that Wilson makes which confirmed it was real and not manufactured by their record company.

Wilson also admits that surfers didn’t care much for the Beach Boys’ music.

The closing scene takes place on a stage in the here and now with Wilson and his current band and I kept wondering if Facebook friend BILLY HINSCHE (Dino, Desi and Billy) was up there playing with Wilson as he does with the Beach Boys.

There is no “I like this movie, but” for me. This is a well-written, well-directed, well-acted film that is a must see as it is pretty true to the actual history of Wilson. This biopic drives home the point that Wilson was/is a composing genius of maestro proportions who suffered a great deal for his art and talent. It isn’t hard for me to understand why my parakeet Dickie used squawk “rah, rah, rah” whenever my brother would put on the Beach Boy hit “Be True To Your School.”

It was Wilson’s 73rd birthday the day that I went to the Laemmle NoHo 7 and I just want to say Happy Birthday BRIAN WILSON…You Rock!

Managed to make it over to the Warner Center Park for their Sunday Free Concert in the Park series to see LED ZEPPELIN tribute band LED ZEPAGAIN and I gotta tell ya…WOW! Hadn’t seen this band since we filmed “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” at The Roxy nearly two years ago and I found myself humming “Rock and Roll” as the time to go neared. LED ZEPAGAIN’S opening song was “Rock and Roll”…do I know my bands or what. Jimmy Page, Jason Bonham, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant have all been to their live shows and if that isn’t an official seal approval I don’t know what is. Listening to and watching them perform their parts so well, it’s hard to remember that it’s NOT Led Zeppelin. It was amazing to look out at the 5,000 attendees all rocking out to them.

This many people attending a regular event is some kind of record usually reserved for the July 4th celebration.

Never saw so many wrinkles and sagging skin assembled in one place before and it was quite a reality check. The good news is that there were a lot of young people attending as well. The show went so well that they’ve been booked already for next year. You can find LED ZEPAGAIN on Facebook and their web site is This band is always giging and there are show lists as well. They have a reputation for performing reenactments from various shows that LED ZEPPELIN have performed back in the day and they are a real treat.

Kudos to TAYLOR SWIFT for taking a bite out of Apple ’s new streaming service and telling them no to streaming her new “1989″.

According to the story, Apple offers 3 free months of music streaming and they want artists to offer up their work for free without any type of compensation. The quote I read went “We don’t ask for free iPhones so please don’t ask for free music.” I’m anti free streaming and have made my position clear as it’s not fair to the artists that record the music and pay for studio time, musicians, studio techs as well as the music. I personally do not use free streaming services and I buy songs for my iPod. I just saw a friend’s royalty check and it was for 12 cents. Prior to streaming, I’m told it was $1,200. Please let Washington DC know that this is not right. Please refer to a previous article regarding this matter from February 2015.

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie’s Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and a record by Major Lance titled “Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um”. From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked…on Rock N’ Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N’ Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I’ve written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers. For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes you’ve gotta wear the hat to remind people who they are dealing with. LOL