Murry Wilson, Rock & Roll Dad


I might be four years late in finding this, but then again, is a parody of long-deceased Beach Boys father/manager Murry Wilson any less timely in 2005 than it was in 2001? Nevertheless, Murry truly was an asshole for the ages, and cartoonist Peter Bagge and comedian Dana Gould have really nailed the pop-eyed patriarch.

Murry’s legacy is a complex one. He’s reportedly the reason that the Beach Boys’ were recorded in mono, owing to a childhood beating he gave to Brain that left him deaf in one ear. On the other hand, the boys’ early success was due in no small part to his tenacity as a manager. He recorded a vanity album called The Many Moods of Murry Wilson, but to be accurate, the tracklisting should have gone like this:

Side A

  1. Angry
  2. Cranky
  3. Jealous
  4. Resentful
  5. Uptight
  6. Furious

Side B

  1. Abusive
  2. Violent
  3. Controlling
  4. Cruel
  5. Larcenous
  6. Berserker rage

The only bigger asshole in the history of the Beach Boys — Mike Love — has a complex legacy too. He’s been an immense jerkoff over the years, but seems to have had the best interests of the band at heart (he made the Beach Boys into a joke, of course, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions). What’s more, I seem to remember reading that that Mike was the only one who would stand up to Murry in the early days, and I even recall that Mike actually punched him out once. It’s hard to know who to cheer for in a Murry Wilson/Mike Love fight, but I have to go with the guy who never forced his genius son to squat and shit on a newspaper in front of the entire family.

2 Responses to “Murry Wilson, Rock & Roll Dad”

  1. 1 SamuraiFrog

    But then again, given what Mike Love would turn the Beach Boys into, it’s too close to call. Maybe if Love’s reward for winning were some kind of bullet in the head between the recording of “Holland” and “Love You”…

  2. 2 Peter

    You may have noticed that I fail to acknowledge the existence of any Beach boys albums after this point.Now that I think of it, in a lot of ways, Mike basically just turned the Beach Boys back into the same band that they were when Murry was running the show.

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