Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Age 74, the new magic number

Wick's World


On my 64th birthday, I realized I had finally, albeit much too quickly, reached the age made renowned by the Beatles song “When I’m Sixty-Four.” Last night as I watched, listened and followed Brian Wilson’s every move, I realized the new magic number for old age was more like 74. Wilson looked and acted fairly young and vibrant for a 74-year-old rock legend. So does his compatriot in the music world, Sir Paul McCartney.

Maybe Bob Dylan didn’t fair quite as well at staying young, but his drive and musical energy can still crank out more songs, ballads, stories and tales from this current generation all the way back to the old days when only the baby boomers remember the songs. Besides, Dylan looked old before old was even fashionable. Placing our boy from the North Country alongside The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards makes our classic balladeer look like a singing member from The Harlem Boys Choir. For that matter, placing any musician, perhaps Willie Nelson being the exception, alongside Richards makes them appear to be an ageless Opie Taylor.

However, it wasn’t Wilson’s youthful looks that took court at center stage last night at The Orpheum Theater. It wasn’t really his voice either, although, he still hit most of the notes on the piano and plenty of the higher notes on vocals that allowed for a worthy performance. What really struck me and the audience was the mere presence of this musical genius there in the flesh, known throughout the world as one of the masterminds of 20th Century musical geniuses. This was Wilson, the boy wonder who locked himself in his bedroom for over a year. This was the musician who battled phobia, mania and despair alongside the musical genius lodged deeply inside his head.

We have all heard of those people who hear voices, see things the rest of us don’t, or have running conversations with people who appear only to themselves. Wilson’s obsession was very clearly related to musical notes and rhythms that he, and he alone, could not only hear, but had the ability to transform into something presentable that could be expressed and enjoyed by the "normal" reality most of us live in.

Mozart is widely acknowledged to be a musical genius. Albert Einstein is considered to be the most recognizable of intellectual geniuses of our time. Donald Trump is a financial genius, according to at least one supporter; that being no one else but Donald Trump.

Last night’s concert was much more than simply a trip down memory lane; but it was also much more. It was the curtain call for a legend that brought to the world the California Sound. The original band, The Beach Boys, was composed of three Wilson brothers, their cousin and his friend. Together, these five individuals unleashed songs about sun, songs and surf. We would crank out our old record players that utilized Frisbee-sized vinyl disks to transform a cold blizzard-like February day in South Dakota into a warm day at the beach.

Whether the song was about wishing they could all be California girls, or about surfboards and old wood-paneled station wagons, The Beach Boys sang to us in a way that made our world just a little sunnier, a little brighter and a little happier. At age 74, Brian Wilson brought that world to us one last time.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019