Brian Wilson: The Piano has probably saved my life

Brian Wilson admits the piano has “probably saved my life”.

The 79-year-old music legend has tinkled the Ivories for the new 15-track collection of piano covers of his greatest hits, titled ‘At My Piano’, which includes hits by the Beach Boys.

The ‘God Only Knows’ hitmaker learned piano from an early age, and he admitted playing his beloved instrument has “bought me comfort, joy and security” over the years.

He said in a press release: “We had an upright piano in our living room and from the time I was 12 years old I played it each and every day. I never had a lesson, I was completely self-taught.

I can’t express how much the piano has played such an important part in my life. It has bought me comfort, joy and security. It has fuelled my creativity as well as my competitive nature.

I play it when I’m happy or feeling sad. I love playing for people and I love playing alone when no one is listening.

Honestly, the piano and the music I create on it has probably saved my life.”

Brian – who co-founded the legendary rock band alongside siblings Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine – has reimagined the likes of ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Wouldn’t it Be Nice’, ‘California Girls’, and ‘Good Vibrations’.

The musician has been open about his mental health battles and penned an emotional letter, in which he admitted he had been “struggling with stuff in my head and saying things I don’t mean”, when he postponed his ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Greatest Hits Live’ tours in 2019.

He wrote at the time: “I had every intention to do these shows and was excited to get back to performing. I’ve been in the studio recording and rehearsing with my band and have been feeling better. But then it crept back and I’ve been struggling with stuff in my head and saying things I don’t mean and I don’t know why. Its something I’ve never dealt with before and we can’t quite figure it out just yet.”

Brian added how although he’s still able to live a “wonderful, healthy life”, it wasn’t “good for [him] to be on the road” at the time.

He added: “It is no secret that I have been living with mental illness for many decades,” he wrote. “There were times when it was unbearable but with doctors and medications I have been able to live a wonderful, healthy and productive life with support from my family, friends and fans who have helped me through this journey.”

After a brief break, Brian hit the road again for the rescheduled run in August that year.

‘At My Piano’ is out now on all major streaming services.

The track-listing for ‘At My Piano’ is:

1. ‘God Only Knows’

2. ‘In My Room’

3. ‘Don’t Worry Baby’

4. ‘California Girls’

5. ‘The Warmth of the Sun’

6. ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice’

7. ‘You Still Believe in Me’

8. ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for these Times’

9. ‘Sketches of Smile: Our Prayer/Heroes and Villains/Wonderful/Surfs Up’

10. ‘Surf’s Up’

11. ‘Friends’

12. ‘Till I Die’

13. ‘Love and Mercy’

14. ‘Mt Vernon Farewell’

15. ‘Good Vibrations’

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