The Beach Boys and Libraries PART 5

Brian Wilson was partially out of commission by the time that the Beach Boys reached 1973’s album Holland.  I say partially because he’s actually there for a moment or two.  His voice is only heard on one song (“California Saga: California”), and he also had a had in writing the two best songs on the album
(“Sail On Sailor” and “Funky Pretty”).

To me, the the real gem was hidden tucked away on a 45” single that was packaged with Holland.  Titled “Mt. Vernon and Fairway”, this standalone piece was a 12 minute musical fairy tale created by Brian Wilson.  Word has it that Brian wanted the whole piece to be featured on the album but the rest of the band vetoed him.  This action caused Brian to turn away from not only music but the real world.  He stayed away in his bed for many years, out of touch, depressed, and miserable.  Brian Wilson would never be the same.

“Mt. Vernon and Fairway” is not only a great marriage of music and story, but also a tale about when things don’t go as planned.  Brian’s vision for “Mt. Vernon and Fairway” didn’t play out as he wished, but it did get released and I know at least one person who was blown away by the story.  “Mt. Vernon and Fairway” taught me that EVEN IF THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED, IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.  If you follow through and at least get through to one person, you’ve still given something extraordinary to someone.

Think about your life as a librarian.  Sometimes you have a program that doesn’t go as well as you expected.  Sometimes you look back on what types of materials you collected and realized that they may not have been the best choices.  It’s easy to turn towards sadness and regret, but think about it this way: those decisions may not have been the best for you, but you may have changed someones life.

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