Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
The Day Beach Boy Brian Wilson Got Busted in Balboa Park
Beach Boy bust, plus Saturday morning music television, pre-MTV
THE DAY BRIAN WILSON GOT BUSTED AS A VAGRANT IN BALBOA PARK
SUMMER 1978: BRIAN WILSON was picked up by cops as a vagrant in Balboa Park...
In late 1976, mercurial Beach Boy Brian Wilson was complaining about round-the-clock “treatment” administered by Beverly Hills shrink Dr. Eugene E. Landy, a controversial mental health guru who, with his staff, essentially dictated and controlled his subject’s every move. Landy was later fired by band management, after it was discovered the doctor’s $90 hourly/$10,000 monthly salary had doubled.
However, Wilson's new therapist Steve Schwartz was soon killed in a rock-climbing accident and before long the songwriter’s delicate mental and emotional equilibrium was, as Landy might say, “disharmonious.”
In June 1978, Wilson - without telling his wife or fellow bandmembers - decided (inexplicably) to escape his life entirely and hitchhike to Mexico. He wound up in San Diego a few days later, according to Steven Gaines’ biography “Heroes And Villains,” which describes a mentally fogged pop star millionaire wandering around the city for days, “barefoot and unwashed.”
“He was on a binge," according to Stephen Love, brother of Beach Boy Mike Love and sometime-band manager (he kept getting fired and rehired). Wilson’s wife since 1965, Marilyn Rovell, referred to the incident in later divorce papers as the beginning of their marriage dissolution, saying “He told me he wanted to know what it feels like to be a bum…[he was] playing for drinks in San Diego bars.”
Someone from a local recording studio recognized Wilson and attempted to get him to record a track, apparently unaware that Wilson was at the time basically living under a tree near the entrance of the Laurel Street Bridge in Balboa Park. That’s where he was discovered one afternoon, passed out and nearly comatose.
"The cops found him in Balboa Park under a tree with no shoes on, his white pants filthy, obviously a vagrant, with no wallet, no money," according to another Love brother, Stanley. Wilson was taken by ambulance to nearby Alvarado Hospital and a doctor called Mrs. Wilson to inform that her husband was being treated for alcohol poisoning.
Wilson's wife had already approved sending a private detective to San Diego to search for her missing husband. She'd done so after a phone call from someone at the local recording studio who called CBS, the Beach Boys’ one-time label, with news of Wilson’s vagrancy.
Marilyn, with Stephen and Stanley Love, came to San Diego to take Wilson home but decided to leave him at the hospital a few extra days for treatment. Wilson’s mental and physical health was precarious and the Beach Boys were scheduled to begin sessions for a new album in Florida soon.
Wilson flew to meet rest of the band straight from treatment, to record the group’s debut for Caribou Records at Florida's Criteria Studios. He was quickly supplanted as producer by Bruce Johnston when it became evident that Wilson was incapable – or unwilling – to do the job.
Brian Wilson and his wife filed for legal separation in LA Superior Court July 15. Alvarado Hospital is also where, in August 1999, Brian’s daughter Carnie Wilson underwent her highly publicized laparoscopic gastric bypass (weight reduction) surgery, performed live on TV and the internet.
(Thanx to Bart Mendoza for the tip and info that led to researching and writing above)
MORE CARTOON YOUTUBE GEMS
The Super 6 cartoon from 1966 - checkout the guitar-wielding hero, not to mention the theme song that sounds like 13th Floor Elevators meets the Dave Clark 5!
I forgot how MOD Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles were ! So much cooler than the lame Groovy Goulies, tho certainly no Josie and the Pussycats.....
The Beagles - sound kinda like Denny Laine/Moody Blues! Rare cartoon, only exists in kinescope..."Trouble makes 'em shout!"
Another rarity - animated theme/intro for "It's About Time," which I actually recall seeing on the air in the 60s --- ep directed by Richard “Superman” Donner!!!!
I do NOT recall this VERY odd Schoolhouse Rock vid, Little Twelvetoes! WTF?! That's Bob Dorough singing, and he supposedly still performs this on occasion ---
Very disturbing Chipmunk "rock" video, with scantily clad Pussycat Doll girl chipmunks - watch when Alvin strokes his harp up and down at waist level until a stream of glitter shoots out of it --- don't gotta be Fellini to figure THAT one out....
Hey, that girl Bugaloo is kinda hot, but she couldn't play guitar for crap...
No way these Beagles/Beatles robots are licensed to do "Paperback Writer" at Chuck E. Cheese! Somebody tell Yoko's lawyer!!
The Jetson rock – “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah!” Zoom, daddio, zoom!
Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp had ANOTHER secret life – as a member of the rock band Evolution Revolution. Tho this song mocks hippies visually, the tune totally rocks! Sounds like 3 Dog Night meets Blood Sweat and Tears! And checkout that organ riff - $20 it’s ol’ lonesome Al Kooper!
From the shortlived Pebbles & Bamm Bamm show, their band sings a song about the Zodiac! The murderer or the flaky superstition? Watch for the clues….
What do you get when you cross Kiss with Fonzie? The Krofft Supershow, by the same wacky spudmeisters who brought you HR Pufnstuff and Lidsville!
The Partridge Family 2200 AD! Partridges in space, in the future! Not just ANY future, but George Jetson’s future! Danny Bonaduce and Shirley Jones did their voices…
They also shot Josie and the Pussycats into outer space!!!!
RELATED BLOG LINKS
THE DAY NIRVANA PLAYED OFF THE RECORD: 10-24-91 - Detailed feature on Nirvana playing a tiny local record store, just as their first album was hitting the charts, featuring interviews with OTR staffers, rare video footage of the event, and more... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-day-nirvana-played-at-off-the-record
THE DAY JIMI HENDRIX CAME TO TOWN - 5-24-69: From my extensive interviews with Hendrix bassist Noel Redding, here's the inside scoop on a legendary (and highly bootlegeed) local concert... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-day-jimi-hendrix-came-to-town
Like this blog? Here are some related links:
OVERHEARD IN SAN DIEGO - Several years' worth of this comic strip, which debuted in the Reader in 1996: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/overheard-san-diego/
FAMOUS FORMER NEIGHBORS - Over 100 comic strips online, with mini-bios of famous San Diegans: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors/
SAN DIEGO READER MUSIC MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/sandiegoreadermusic
JAY ALLEN SANFORD MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/jayallensanford
More like this:
- YouTube Gems, Weird San Diego, Virtual Balboa, plus URLwatching: Local Website Reviews — March 21, 2008
- Tattoo Rock & A Pile Of Shat — Feb. 13, 2008
- Undercover Chronicles #1 - I Was An Undercover Ticket Scalper — Nov. 19, 2007
- Red Bull race plane collides with Pylon — Sept. 11, 2007
- Trash in the City — Aug. 30, 2007