The Beach Boys and Libraries: PART 4

SMiLE could’ve been known the greatest album of all time.  Instead, it was never really finished, and Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys followed another path.  However, I’m not gonna focus on the fact that it was never completed due to (mental illness, peer pressure, drugs, emotional problems) but instead celebrate what it is.  SMiLE, even in its incomplete form, is a true masterwork, the sound of an artist pushing the boundaries and daring to try extremely radical new things.  SMiLE taught me to EXPERIMENT AND PUSH BOUNDARIES BECAUSE WHO KNOWS, YOU MAY END UP CREATING SOMETHING AMAZING.

*I must interject: this music may sound “normal” to us now, but think about it in the context of 1966, before the hippie movement, before Sgt. Pepper, and before any kind of musical freak out.  This was OUT THERE.*

As I listen to SMiLE, I hear a new type of music and an artist saying “ok, this is how we’re going to do it now.”  I see that in a lot of the work people are doing in libraries and what people are writing about on library blogs.  I feel a bit of “so, we didn’t do that before, but who cares, now we will!” in the air these days when it comes to libraries.  I like that.  It makes me think of this time when Brian Wilson was creating SMiLE.  Who cares what happened in the past?  Try somethig new.

Once SMiLE was aborted, focus turned towards a new album called Smiley Smile.  Don’t let the name fool you…Smiley Smile is not SMiLE, but at the same time has parts of SMiLE.  Confused?  Your best chance at understanding this is just listening to the two albums.

Smiley Smile may not be a great piece of work, but it reminded to ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LAUGH.  The Beach Boys sounded like they were sure having fun at these sessions.  Never take yourself too seriously.  Put a little bit of a giggle in everything you do.

And remember to SMiLE.


  1. I’ve been following this thread and been thinking of you in terms of Brian Wilson for a little while before all of this. I love that you’re writing this and you’ve inspired me to move a little more to the side as well. A whole lot of love for you man.

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