Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tender Love: Laura Nyro-Live In Japan by Peter Reum

My college years as an undergraduate were years of transition. Having grown up in a small town in the Southwest, my youngest years were fairly sheltered. My choice to attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs was a choice to be out of state, in a smaller college, and to experience the Block System, a Colorado College innovation that had students taking one course at a time, each lasting four and a half weeks with a four day break from classes, beginning a new class after the so-called "block breaks." My time in Colorado College was rewarding. There was time for socializing, even in the most intense classes.

In the fifth block, shortly after New Years Day, I met a girl who was mentally agile, funny, and very cute. Her name was Kara, and she swept me off my reserved stance and kept me amused and attracted at the same time. One Friday afternoon, she said "we're going to Denver, I have two tickets to Laura Nyro." I replied "Okay, sounds like fun-who's Laura Nyro? Kara shot back "the best songwriter/vocalist I know of..."

We drove the hour drive to downtown Denver, parking close to the Concert Hall. We walked to our seats, and my attention was focused on Kara. The lights went down and a woman dressed casually, looking like a gypsy sat at the piano. Wedding Bell Blues came roaring out of Laura and her backing group, the incredible Patti Bell and the Blue Belles. As the concert went on, I was mesmerized by the voice of Laura Nyro, not to mention my realizing that she had written some of my favorite songs, but performed by other performers. That night, Laura's voice, soaring, diving, floating...became the sound of love to my naive young ears.

I equated Laura as providing one of the most enchanting evenings of music I had heard. I made it a point to buy her album with LaBelle shortly after her concert, and bought another for Kara.

As the years went on, I bought Laura Nyro albums as I ran into them. Her music became more thoughtful, innovative, and uniquely her own. I had gone back and bought her previous albums, loving each one for it's uniqueness both melodically and lyrically. She just got better and better. By the late Seventies, Laura had become a mother, divorced her husband, and with David Geffen's help, sold her early song catalog for several million dollars, making her wealthy enough to be able to sit out several years raising her son, only choosing to write music when she was inspired to do so. Her lyrical work reflected her independence, focusing on being a mother and autonomous woman. I made it a point to buy each album as it was released.

As the years passed, I never was able to get to another concert. Her voice that evening, gliding, spirited, pure, powerful, sincere...I never forgot. In the early Nineties, Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had a happy relationship with her partner in the hills of New England. She persuaded CBS Records to rework a proposed Best of Laura Nyro project into her personal choices of her songs that she felt expressed her best efforts. Her partner and a devoted appreciator of her work persuaded her to record a live album and final studio album. She was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor befitting the first female singer/songwriter that she was.

There are several albums I could have chosen to represent her work. CBS/Sony have released several fine concerts of hers, as well as reissuing most of her studio albums with bonus tracks.

The album that I am writing about is an album that was issued after Laura's death. In 2003, a special issue of a concert that was done in Japan. The performance is a bit of a throwback to the concert I had been so lucky to hear in 1971. The concert from Japan had been copyrighted after her death by her estate. The version I have was released by EMI Special Markets in 2003. This issue is a reasonably priced package that is performed beautifully by Ms. Nyro with a backing trio. The performance begins with Dedicated to the One I Love. This is a tune that goes back to her background in singing on the street corner with her friends and neighbors. Her vocal range is heard on this song, with backing vocals by a trio of talented women. Ooh Baby Baby follows, another tune that Laura sang with her street corner friends, long before she recorded it. She turns to her own songs, beginning with And When I Die from her More Than a New Discovery album. Her performance conveys the passion that so many cover versions of this standard cannot match. Save the Country follows, a plea from Ms. Nyro to make children and families as important as wars and aircraft carriers. Wedding Bell Blues, also from her first album, is sung in a manner that oozes blues tones and chords, as dirtily sung as the Fifth Dimension's version.

Walk On By, an exquisite Bacharach/David tune, allows Ms. Nyro to use their composition to soar and swoop with her amazing voice. The version here is every bit as excellent as the better known Dionne Warwick version. Let It Be Me is a soulfully rendered version of an American standard. Ms. Nyro follows it with a tune that strikes right to the heart of an important passion she had, treating animals with the same intensity that we have toward treating children. Louise's Church is another latter day Nyro composition which, though not as well known as her early compositions, is every bit as profound, both lyrically and musically. The album's final tune is Woman of the World, a Nyro tune in which she proclaims her status as a world class musician and as a women's rights advocate.

Laura Nyro was never the singer whose albums shipped gold. Despite the ups and downs that accompany an artist who does things her way, musically, Ms. Nyro rarely if ever disappointed her listeners. Her concerts were soulful, honest, and breathtaking. Her albums were honest, sharing her care for children, women, animals, and the Earth. Her integrity has never been doubted. Her creativity did not waver. She was the first prominent female singer/songwriter, and her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame membership reflects this status.

As for Kara and myself, we drifted apart. She was my first great love, and I think back to those times when I hear Laura Nyro sing from her heart. Sometimes love does not last, but my love for the music of Laura Nyro has never wavered and never will.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Adult Child-An Album Lost by Peter Reum


Adult Child-An Album Lost by Peter Reum

Cover Art of 1981 Adult Child Bootleg lp-Photo by Jasper Dailey

Side 1:

1. Life Is For The Living
2. Hey Little Tomboy
3. Deep Purple
4. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
5. It's Over Now
6. Everybody Wants To Live

Side 2:

2. Shortenin' Bread
3. Lines
4. On Broadway
5. Games Two Can Play
6. It's Trying To Say
7. Still I Dream Of It

Bonus tracks:
Side 1

7. Mony,Mony
8. Ruby Baby
9. Be My Baby

Side 2
1. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
8. Calendar Girl

Label Art for 1981 Adult Child Bootleg

The period of roughly late 1975 to December 1976 was a period where Brian Wilson wrote a number of songs for therapeutic purposes during the first period of Eugene Landy's treatment regimen, as well as afterward in 1977. A number of cassette tapes from those sessions emerged in collectors' circles, and a few unscrupulous recipients made the tapes available to music bootleggers, who pressed the initial vinyl bootleg  issues. Collectors did not have immediate access to these types of records, unless they "knew someone who knew someone."  Suffice to say that this album retailed for a higher amount than the usual legal Beach Boys albums of that time, perhaps 4 to 5 times as much. What made these types of records so irritating to artists was that they heard from fans that such records existed, and in some cases had them brought to autograph sessions. It was only human for recording artists to ask how much the autograph seeker paid for the bootleg, and when the owner said $20 or $25, the artists were justifiably upset. Most artists did not realize that such bootlegs were very limited, and assumed that they were losing thousands of dollars in royalties.

The Adult Child tapes were relatively good fidelity compared with other studio material circulating among collectors at the time.  It was most likely inevitable that the bootleg would be issued. The early 1980s  Beach Boys bootleg market was terribly small. It is likely that this particular lp was an edition of 500 or 1000 copies. The cover was taken from the Jasper Dailey photos, and given that I owned them, was mildly distressing to me to see. Adult Child was a combination of Brian Wilson 1976 and 1977 compositions and productions, oldie covers/productions, and "cold tracks," which dated back to the 1970  period, also produced by Brian back then. Dick Reynolds, arranger of the traditional Christmas Music side of the Beach Boys Christmas Album, reunited with Brian to perform his magic on 4 songs on the projected track lineup, Deep Purple, Life Is For the Living, It's Over Now, and Still I Dream of It.
Where to begin when speaking about Brian Wilson's music and health? My first personal proximity to Brian was backstage at the Beach Boys' 15th Anniversary Concert. I had not attended a Beach Boy show in Los Angeles before. I was head of the Colorado BBFUN Chapter, and happened to sit behind Ginger Blake, Diane Rovell, and Marilyn Wilson. I was able to wangle a backstage pass, and immediately felt extremely out of place when I went back. I did get to shake hands with Brian, Dennis, and Carl. To say I was thrilled was an understatement.  The apparel Brian wore was a bathrobe. He was open and speaking with people, but seemed somewhat subdued. What I couldn't miss was his eyes. They were very blue and darting around the room quickly. Brian was obviously uncomfortable, and like many introverts, kept to himself. Brian's  facial expressions reflected high stress, and I couldn't help but  wonder why his presence here was needed. There was some tension in the backstage area, but people tended to huddle with the Beach Boys they knew the best. I felt like I was violating Brian's personal space and left quickly. Onstage, Brian seemed more uncomfortable. He seemed overwhelmed.  I remember so many articles from that period....Brian's interview with David Felton from Rolling Stone, the initial optimism and then puzzled feelings that Timothy White expressed in Crawdaddy, but most especially the anger and compassion that Paul Krassner expressed in a Crawdaddy editorial that took Landy to the woodshed for a very obvious use of Saturday Night Live for so called therapeutic purposes in November 1976 when Brian's illness was so pervasive that he looked more like a carnival bear rather than a person with mental illness while singing two tunes and appearing in a sketch. This was a man lost at sea, with the very person who was supposed to rescue him telling him to tread water or sink. The Beach Boys' then Manager, Steve Love, fired Landy in early December 1976 after complaints from the group that he tried to exceed his therapeutic authority by trying to make artistic decisions with the band, and by trying to double his fee for treating Brian.

Despite the exploitation of Brian's illness, 1976 and 1977 were periods when Brian's songwriting muse came out to create from time to time. There were a few highlights on 15 Big Ones, Of the oldies, Just Once in My Life stands head and shoulders above everything else. It's OK and Had to Phone Ya were compositions from 1974 and 1973 respectively that had a Brian touch of magic that many of the rest of the oldies and original compositions lacked. Brian began work on a new album shortly after the release of 15 Big Ones, and composed a number of original tunes that were unusual at times, and brilliant at other times. There were several titles mentioned through that year from summer of 1976 through mid-Spring of 1977, among them were Brian Loves You, Adult Child, and New Album. Brian 's work in late 1976 and the first half of 1977 was extremely varied, with real masterpieces mixed with more pedestrian types of compositions . It is clear that the release of Beach Boys Love You on April 11, 1977 dates most of Brian's work on this album in late 1976 and early 1977.

There is a tape that circulates among collectors which features Brian playing a number of new songs for the group in demo form at a piano. Reactions to the songs Brian played ranged from enthusiasm to dislike. The collection of songs that were culled from Brian's work during the first Landy period ranged from sublime to quirky. The Beach Boys chose to release Brian's Love You album as The Beach Boys Love You, and the album received the most mixed critical reaction a Beach Boys album ever had. Several collectors tossed in the towel and sold their collections. Other fans were delighted by the album, happy to hear Brian creating music again. Today it is regarded as the album that separates casual Beach Boys fans from serious Beach Boys fans.

For a brief time, in 1977, Brian had a competent therapist, Stephen Schwartz, who tragically died roughly 6 months after first seeing Brian. The impact on Brian was devastating. During the Schwartz period, Brian composed some memorable songs which are regarded as highlights of his late Seventies work.

The proposed sequel to Beach Boys Love You was entitled Adult Child. This is a fascinating title from the standpoint of the double meaning of the title. Brian Wilson is well known as somewhat childlike in his approach to music thematically, with a thread of innocence running through his work. At the same time, the term "Adult Child" is a term used in the field of substance abuse therapy to refer to children raised in the chaos of a family with one or both parents being chemically dependent. The 1981 Adult Child bootleg was comprised of a combination of Brian Wilson 1976 and 1977 compositions and productions, oldie covers/productions, and "cold tracks," which dated back to the 1970  period, also produced by Brian back then.

Brian's work on Adult Child commenced in February 1977, with Still I Dream of It. This was a full bodied, heartbreaking Brian Wilson ballad that saw a hope, perhaps in the future, when his life would be more happy, and he could fall in love again. Recorded at Brother Studio on February 9, 1977, the tune feels like a stretch into the sound Frank Sinatra had on the albums he recorded for Capitol and Reprise in the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies. Brian retained Dick Reynolds, of Beach Boys Christmas Album fame, to conduct and arrange the strings. Later, on February 25, 1977, Brian held a session at Brother Studio for another heartbreaking ballad, It's Over Now. The arrangement of the strings and Brian's production make the song itself another composition that placed Brian's deepest feelings in front of his listeners. Deep Purple was also cut as a track that day, and although somewhat of a return to oldies, it fell in thematically with Brian's mood of the time. Further sessions were held on March 11th, but the song recorded that day is not known with certainty. It  probably was Life Is For the Living, given the presence of brass and string instruments listed on the session sheet. Life is For the Living is a full-bodied swinging jazz arrangement that, given less unusual lyrics, might have been played on progressive FM and College radio formats at the time. Lines was cut on April 11th, a tune which is thematically about a day in the life of a person and the love interest in his life. The song is more upbeat and less emotionally painful than some of the previous songs cut for Adult Child. A version of Shortnin' Bread was cut on June 3, 1977. This is the more primitive sounding version, with Brian handling the lead vocal. The arrangement had been around since 1973, with Brian driving Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper out of his Bellagio home after singing it for several hours without stopping.

The Adult Child album was mastered on June 23, 1977. It was submitted to Reprise with two Beach Boys archive tunes appended to the songs listed above, H.E.L.P. Is On the Way and Games Two Can Play. The remaining songs appear to date from 1976, including Hey Little Tomboy, Everybody Wants to Live, It's Trying to Say (Baseball), and On Broadway.  Collector's tapes of the album began surfacing in the late summer of 1977, and the stronger selections on the album, Still I Dream of It and It's Over Now, began to be cited by fans as evidence that Brian still had his ability to cut powerful music when he was inspired. Many fans loved It's Trying to Say for Dennis's great lead vocal and the bounciness of the tune. Everybody Wants to Live was mentioned by Carnie and Wendy Wilson in the 1995 Don Was produced Brian Wilson documentary I Just Wasn't Made For These Times. They quoted their dad saying he was going to write a song about a cigarette butt, and that he disappeared into his music room for 3 minutes and came out and sang Everybody Wants to Live Just Once to them. On Broadway preceded George Benson's airwave hit by about a year, and showed that Brian still had the ability to find a well written song and interpret it to his audience. H.E.L.P. Is On the Way is a song that was recorded in the late Sixties to honor a favorite Beach Boys health food restaurant and food store, ala Wild Oats, which they patronized frequently. Those of us who lived through that era no doubt had our own favorite health food cafĂ©. Games Two Can Play appears to be a Brian tune inspired by Joe South's hit from the late Sixties. The melody is infectious, but the tune suffers from underdeveloped lyrics. It's Trying to Say is a love song to Brian's favorite sport, baseball, and is performed with brotherly love by Dennis Wilson. It is a track which should have been on Beach Boys Love You, but was left off.  Hey Little Tomboy was written by Brian affectionately to his oldest daughter Carnie. She was then at that awkward age when girls are still tomboyish, but have begun to take interest in their attractiveness to boys.

That Adult Child still has a few tunes that remain unreleased is somewhat interesting. Life Is For the Living, Deep Purple, Everybody Wants to Live, Shortnin' Bread (Brian Lead Vocal), Lines, On Broadway, and It's Trying to Say (aka "Baseball") are still officially unreleased. Also unreleased are the bonus tracks Mony Mony, the 1976 Ruby Baby with a Brian lead vocal, and Be My Baby and Calendar Girl, both from 1978.  Mony Mony is a personal favorite of mine that rocks. It is a 15 Big Ones outtake. The 1976 Ruby Baby is Brian cutting a rocking version of the Dion DiMucci version, with a great bassline and wacky guitar solo. His vocal is edgy here. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' was released on the superb Made In California boxed set. A catchy and delicious arrangement of Neil Sedaka's Calendar Girl was cut by Brian during his brief production time on L.A. Light Album before he called Bruce Johnston citing exhaustion. Be My Baby is most likely an L.A. Light Album outtake as well, and is a Brian Production.

When I returned to Los Angeles a year later in 1977 for the "Sweet 16" Anniversary Concert, I again got backstage, but the Brian I saw was dispirited, saddened, and scared. It appeared to me that he was detached from most if not all of what was going on around him, and this made me wonder if he had a psychiatrist who was able to work with him and manage his mental health concerns. I said hello to him and he said hello back, but only made fleeting eye contact. I later heard that he was being supervised day by day by Mike Love's brother Stan and a guy named Rocky. There did not appear to be an attending psychiatric physician who was helping Brian's handlers understand his condition. Both men appeared to be trying to do their best in a difficult medical terrain with few cairns to mark the correct trail.

The saga of Adult Child is a story of chimerical moods, loneliness, divorce, occasional inspiration, and several "if only" situations. It was the effort of a very talented but scared, anxious, and depressed musician to meet his group and audience's demands. In the same era, several marriages were ending, and the demand for the Beach Boys' most famous songs to be performed live was at a peak. In mid 1977, a Rolling Stone reporter was present at a New York concert when the band fractured into two intransigent parts, and one group member told the reporter that he had just witnessed the breakup of The Beach Boys. Dennis Wilson's Caribou masterpiece Pacific Ocean Blue was released a few months later, to glowing reviews and group frustration. The time was also difficult because Reprise had rejected Adult Child, and then rejected a new 1970s Christmas album submitted after that. They then changed the rejected Christmas album into a collection of 12 songs, but we'll save that for another story at another time. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Freeing Brian Wilson by Peter Reum

Author's Introduction:
Through the years, especially following the publication of Peter Carlin's excellent book on Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, I have been asked about my part in the effort to end the destructive relationship between Brian Wilson and psychologist Eugene Landy. While Dr. Landy deserves credit for rehabilitating Brian in 1983-1985, by the late Eighties, it was apparent that Dr. Landy's work with Brian had gone from therapist/patient to co-writer "would be", prescribing svengali, Brian Wilson "protector" from the Wilson family, and business partner to Brian Wilson. This accounting of mine will go a long way toward discussion of some of the work that the loosely connected members of the Free Brian Wilson effort did. I do not always identify who did what because several of Brian's advocates strongly desire anonymity.

When I first learned that there was going to be a motion picture about Brian Wilson's history of mental health problems, as a former therapist I was concerned about the depiction of the complexity of Brian's struggle to find a balance between public musician and private citizen. The roles of mental health patient and rock star were historically incompatible.

The progression of Brian's antipathy towards his role as the chief creative force behind The Beach Boys grew steadily after his nervous collapse in 1967, with part of it coming from the weariness of maintaining the pace of work demanded by The Beach Boys' Capitol Records contract, and partly due to a competition that Brian imposed upon himself with The Beatles from their 1964 American debut onward.

The thing most fans of both groups did not grasp in their rush to elevate their musical heroes to an impossibly high expectation of performance was that these "heroes" were people first. That many pop musicians sought that level of recognition was often due to the lionization and blind adoration these groups received.

At some point, pop musicians replaced sports heroes as the primary target of adoration, at least in the USA. In my own progression of identifying heroes I wanted to emulate as a boy, pop musicians were not on my short list. I identified with President Kennedy, baseball, basketball, and football players, and macho men like James Bond.

After the character flaws of President Kennedy were exposed, like many boys, I stopped worshipping political personalities, and sports heroes seemed more for little kids. In thrashing about looking for new heroes that understood the mistakes the USA was making with respect to values and foreign relations, the miasma that was Vietnam colored the attitudes of educated Americans of all ages and a majority of the nations of the world, myself included.

While attending college at Colorado College, I saw firsthand that war was having on our nation. It became apparent that living in American reality in the early Seventies was painful. Millions of Americans believed that their younger years as children and teenagers were far more fun than the network news.

In the middle of this cultural yearning for simpler times came American Graffiti, a look backwards that featured a soundtrack of oldies music from the late Fifties and early Sixties. I loved it. Millions of Americans heard the Beach Boys/Brian Wilson music in it and fell hard for it in the middle of Watergate, Nixon's Vietnamization jive, and growing distrust of big government. It was like Brian Wilson's music healed the spiritual pain the USA felt. Social justice became important, and my own quest to remain optimistic was fueled by rock music generally and Brian Wilson music specifically.

My then in-laws lived in San Diego, California and our holiday vacations to visit them fueled my growing conviction that the Beach Boys were the key to understanding the wave of nostalgia that the country was experiencing. I joined the Beach Boys fan club, which was not yet the official fan club. I became the Colorado Beach Boys fan club representative. A few months later, I became the Beach Boys Record Collecting columnist for David Leaf's Pet Sounds Magazine. As my Collection grew I was invited often to consult on Beach Boys/ Brian Wilson related projects.

My first Brian encounter in person came with backstage passes to Beach Boys holiday concerts in 1976 and 1977. I became acutely aware of the turmoil that Brian was experiencing, and the strong will that he had to protect himself from prying relatives, press, record company expectations, and family demands. Eugene Landy's first rodeo with Brian was over by the time my backstage proximity to Brian happened.

My interest in music expanded rapidly as I managed a chain of record stores in the last half of the Seventies. My musical interests moved wider as I heard and read more about all types of records and recording artists. The Beach Boys were always my primary collecting interest. I was asked to help with the authorized book about The Beach Boys and David Leaf's book on the group and especially Brian. Over twenty-five projects later, I again met Brian, this time under Dr. Landy's treatment as of 1983. The last encounter I had with Brian before Landy's second treatment began was in late 1982. With the help of some British friends, I had found a specific recording of the Rhapsody in Blue which Brian had asked a friend I knew to find. That friend, in turn asked me to get a tape of the Gershwin recording. I had written friends in several countries to help find that version of Gershwin's masterpiece. Several friends I knew in the UK obtained the recording, and sent it to me.

I sent the tape to a friend who gave Brian the tape. I kept a spare in case the first tape got misplaced. When I made that trip to California in December of 1982, I was fortunate to have a chance to see Brian, who thanked me for the tape, saying "Thanks for finding this tape, playing it has saved my life..." My friends told me that Brian wasn't well and many people did not expect him to live another year. Of course, Dr. Landy was retained a second time, this time by The Beach Boys themselves.

While working on the 25th Anniversary TV special, I again got to see Brian briefly, and was struck by two impressions. I had attended graduate school after leaving the record biz, and obtained an M.A. in Disability Counseling and an Ed.S. in Client Assessment. I specialized in working with people with developmental disabilities. I also was trained in assessing people with possibly severe mental illness. What struck me in this 1986 encounter was the changes in Brian's physical health. I encountered Landy for the first and only time. At this point, Brian's physical health seemed satisfactory and I did not have enough time or access to evaluate his mental health.

In 1988, I returned to consult in LA on another Beach Boys book. Several friends told me that Brian's movements were constantly monitored and that he was going to record a solo album. This was later confirmed. As work on the solo album commenced, my old friends in the media and record business were kind enough to send whatever news they had heard my way. The picture that emerged was a Brian Wilson whose eyes were rolling back in his head involuntarily and who seemed to not be able to track well in casual conversation.

Rumors of over-medication came to me from many different sources, and that Dr. Landy was actually writing lyrics for Brian's first solo album. People such as Gary Usher, Andy Paley, and people working at Brian's record company all shared stories about Landy's svengali approach to treatment. Tapes of some of the sessions made their way to me, and the creative collateral damage Landy caused was seriously impeding the quality of the album.

Unbeknownst to me, the events depicted in the Love and Mercy film were unfolding. Through a friend, I was given a blow by blow report on Brian's mental health periodically for about eighteen months. Some of the Surf Nazis employed by Dr. Landy were also worried about Brian's condition, citing over medicating, which was seriously affecting Brian's ability to function lucidly. Rumors of Landy's insinuation of himself and his wife/companion into Brian's finances, will, and interference with an inability to see his daughters came fast and furious. It was malpractice as defined by the American Psychological Association. This led to Brian acceding to Landy all control of his life,including medications, finances, and scheduled activities.

In late 1988 and early 1989, the late Lauri Klobas made trips to my home in Colorado to show me copies of videotapes taken from Landy by a concerned "surf nazi" and passed to members of an informal circle of support that had formed to help Brian to survive this potentially fatal concoction of psychotropic medications that Landy was pouring into Brian.

After viewing the videotapes, I was able to see that there were at least two or three problematic issues that I could identify. The first was that it appeared that although there was a psychiatrist working with Landy, it seemed that the final decisions and selection as to what medications Brian was prescribed was done by Landy. With Dr. Landy being a psychologist, not a psychiatrist, Dr. Landy on the videotape was prescribing Brian's medications, with the very old psychiatrist writing them as commanded by Dr. Landy, essentially functioning as a rubber stamp.

The second problem I noticed was that the videotapes that I viewed showed a Brian who was having trouble following everyday directions and conversations. This was because he would nod off periodically or his eyes would roll back in his head without him realizing it happened. The tapes also showed Brian with involuntary tremors he couldn't control and twitching in his face. There also appeared to be some possible facial paralysis.

I talked with Lauri about what was problematic in the tapes that I saw. The loosely connected group of people that wanted to save Brian from a life of isolation and degenerative decline all worked from our own backgrounds and training to extract Brian from this hell on earth. I told Lauri that I was planning to attend a fan convention at which Brian would appear in 1990. I explained that first hand evaluation would help me find the cause of Brian's facial tics and apparent paralysis.

Prior to going to the Beach Boys/Brian fan convention, I was able to go to a conference concerning deleterious side effects of early and middle generation psychotropic medications. During the conference, I attended a presentation on negative effects of certain psychotropic medications. To my surprise, a condition called tardive dyskenisia matched nearly all the symptoms I had seen on Lauri's videotapes. I called Lauri and told her about what I had heard about tardive dyskenisia.

The chance to go to a Beach Boys fan convention in San Diego gave me the chance to observe Brian's behavior in person without raising red flags that would have helped Landy strengthen his control over Brian. The facial tics, facial paralysis, and other behavior I saw confirmed for me the growing deleterious effect that misdiagnosed psychotropic medications were having on him. I called my guy who had the role of communication coordinator in this Free Brian Wilson effort and literally begged him to get Brian away from Landy as quickly as possible. This was because there was evidence that the tardive dyskinesia he was experiencing was potentially harmful in the near future because it had gotten worse in the time since I saw him at the Beach charges Fan Convention. He in turn was able to explain tardive dyskinesia to Carl Wilson, and to get Carl to move forward with the filing of malpractice charges with the California Review Board for Ethics in Psychology.

Shortly afterward, my heart jumped when I heard that Landy's license was revoked for the entire state of California. Brian had the chance to see his daughters, mother, and his brother Carl. Later in the Nineties, I had the chance to work on the I Just Wasn't Made for These Times documentary that was directed by Don Was. The Brian in that film was his funny self, performing his own songs beautifully, with his wedding to Melinda Ledbetter bringing to him the very woman who was his finest advocate. Brian Wilson was free.