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The Viewing, Listening and Reading List for God Only Knows

The links in this guide are designed help the reader easily find key songs, recordings, performances, interviews and articles specifically referenced in God Only Knows.

An Overture from Sir Paul McCartney

God Only Knows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWPo5SC3zik


“Words” By Sir Barry Gibb

In My Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LFRMfImstc



John Cale: Mr. Wilson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlOaRmnDZ58

Billy Joel: Don’t Worry Baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zSbHADm32o


My California Myth Begins and Is Renewed

‘Til I Die https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXZ_L6zJn1c

Surf’s Up (the 1971 version) https://youtu.be/v75f5W6LgLM


“All I Know”: An Introduction from Jimmy Webb

David Crosby, Jimmy Webb and Carly Simon -- In My Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKj6309Gx_o

Vince Gill, David Crosby, Jimmy Webb -- Surf’s Up live at Radio City Music Hall, March 29, 2001



The 1978 edition

Chapter 1: Rhapsody in Blue

Bonnie Lou -- *TRIBUTE* -- Two Step - Side Step (1953): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grQzSVo1jS0

The Beach Boys Their Hearts Were Full of Spring 1966: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPf4_WeCMDE

(NOTE: Date of appearance incorrect. Their appearance on the Andy Williams Show was October 22, 1965.)


Chapter 2: Five Freshmen

Kenny and the Cadets + Barbie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjC28ldqvC0

Bob and Sheri - The Surfer Moon (original 1962): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ5QcYbfnz0

Surfin’ recording session: you can hear Brian producing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjMrJu8i-n4

The Beach Boys Surfin 1961. Their first commercial release. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jIdYAAO7cM


Chapter 3: Let’s Go Surfin’

Surfin’ Safari: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrPDLxmfWPM


Chapter 4: If Everybody Had an Ocean

Surfin’ USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT8FTWrYG6A

Jan & Dean Surf City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERrwjR4ZlfI

The Lonely Sea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06B_1t6-WKM

In My Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LFRMfImstc


Chapter 5: Don’t Worry Baby

The Lord’s Prayer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn6g8uAv0UU

Don’t Worry Baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9E1by7PocE

I Get Around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3n_d64lD5c

When I Grow Up (To Be a Man): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcK-en0EAJ0

Don’t Back Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5RwgqaazSs


Chapter 6: Please Let Me Wonder

Please Let Me Wonder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOQ-tn5OmPQ

California Girls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR2lvcdKSdU

Guess I’m Dumb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4L15-ImCyE

The Little Girl I Once Knew https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7juNXVYtRtc

Barbara Ann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzcTlnZx8tE


Chapter 7: Pet Sounds

Pet Sounds, the entire album: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Mh_yhTyae08

On the 1997 box set, The Pet Sounds Sessions, you can hear the entire album in several different ways, including “vocals only” and “instrumental tracks only.”

Listen to these four “vocals only” versions of key songs from the album, and you get a sense as to the heart and feeling on the record. And why many think of this as almost a Brian Wilson solo album.

Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) https://youtu.be/kRmxeQ_2oTE

God Only Knows https://youtu.be/_pO1xeRh0Ro (Carl Wilson lead vocal)

I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times https://youtu.be/K9bcgSHfeOk

Caroline, No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcUIFjmnr4g


Chapter 8: Good Vibrations and SMiLE

Good Vibrations-The Lost Studio Footage https://youtu.be/uVlSVkzbJDA?t=2

Cabinessence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOAUroLJnRc

Vega-Tables https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LECquYcMFUw

This is an example of the kind of chanting that Brian loved to do with the Beach Boys or with any group he had gathered.

You’re Welcome (Sessions/2011 Smile Version)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8zfmLIAi90

Brian Wilson on the Leonard Bernstein hosted 1967 CBS TV special, “Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution” https://youtu.be/sTifX3mpnV4


Chapter 9: Heroes, Villains and No Smiles

Heroes and Villains https://youtu.be/v3GPRIZw_J0

Surf’s Up (Brian Wilson Solo, Autumn 1967) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3TRns_zssM

The Beach Boys “Fire” from The Elements Suite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTDNiJl1Awo

Wonderful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSTJJKffsPI

Wind Chimes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ususRR09u8A


Chapter 10: Beached

Darlin’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KH9e80tyZQ

Busy Doin’ Nothin’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saQBsEROkFM

Time To Get Alone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtglCfo27bo

I Went To Sleep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-59yjCqtIE

Break Away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gqvxjU1spw

This Whole World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPe78FgI9ro


Chapter 11: Surf’s Up

‘Til I Die https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXZ_L6zJn1c

A Day in the Life of a Tree https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBAhT-_dLes

Surf’s Up (the 1971 version) https://youtu.be/v75f5W6LgLM

Marcella https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8HPg1DUreM

Sail on Sailor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATVjYH7dURY


Murry Wilson

I'm Bugged at My Old Man   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nG5lujg3E8


Chapter 12: Endless Summer

Brian Wilson -- Jim Pewter Interview 1974 (audio only) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=379l_T3MRpE&t=13s


Chapter 13: Brian Is Back

California Feelin’ (Demo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DJDwD7CvrM

Brian Wilson -- Mike Douglas -- Full Appearance -- 1976 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPWjB8R9-xk&t=4s

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62kqMWccwDY

The Night Was So Young https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBt7TPM7puk

Ding Dang https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw3JBwfJP-s

It’s Over Now (piano demo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh4c9fJvrao

Still I Dream of It (demo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKEsehvPOvM

Solar System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlwOouOHqc0

(While this song is not mentioned in the 1978 edition, it is mentioned a in the 2022 update. It’s here both as an example of Brian’s singing at the time, as well as his interest in astrology and astronomy.)


1985 update

Chapter 14: Codetta, 1977-1985

She’s Got Rhythm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgZs-sWVpPs

Good Timin’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZactwwLkIqc

The following bootleg recording is included as it’s a tape I heard in the early 1980s and includes what, to me were/are great Brian Wilson songs as “works in progress.”


50th Presidential Inauguration Ball for President Ronald Reagan (1/19/1985) - Part 2: The Beach Boys  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfn2Afflmn8

Getcha Back https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ywn3Dr_luE


Requiem for the Beach Boy

Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue album is a great album, and one song is included here as an example of his talent and artistic gifts.

River Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiZoSHVQXm


Chapter 15: Retrospective, 1985

My Solution, Version 1 (1970) & Version 2 (1980) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6YhT1sj5uc


Shades of Grey

Wonderful (Version 2 “Rock With Me, Henry”/2011 SMiLE Version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxNWY1W-_0g

(Note: This isn’t exactly what the book refers to, but it is charming enough to be included on this list.)

Can’t Wait Too Long https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9vOOqyQGDs


The 2022 Edition

The Author’s Note

Walkin’ Down The Path Of Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQnlMQ538IA


Chapter 16: ‘Til I DIe

Brian Wilson Live ’86 (Brian had appeared solo at a benefit in 1985, but this is the first video I could find of him as a “solo” artist in the 1980s).   https://youtu.be/aG9luwmrOAk

The Buddy Rich rant that Andy Paley refers to https://youtu.be/t8-uoTD4fMQ

Brian Wilson’s First Solo Album

Melt Away https://youtu.be/XmgmRS465fE

Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long https://youtu.be/MSL75J0pikQ

There’s So Many https://youtu.be/DiAeZoNFyPk

Walkin’ The Line https://youtu.be/FsuDXTUJV-A

Walkin’ With My Angel https://youtu.be/U38b7aDVm5k

Blue Christmas https://youtu.be/kYTM-ectV7E

Surfer Moon https://youtu.be/XczR89edyBU

Guess I’m Dumb https://youtu.be/a83wrXtcgqE

Love and Mercy https://youtu.be/1k_ffl3ZM2s

Rio Grande https://youtu.be/irN2QMaXJl4

The Spirit of Rock and Roll (featuring Bob Dylan) https://youtu.be/WE8vPvIoyJo

Brian Wilson video from first solo album https://youtu.be/2y3J46DhoL0

The Beach Boys induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame https://youtu.be/oZSAQX2uuUY

Dylan’s comment after the Beach Boys induction, 1988 https://youtu.be/TyqFL9m2odg

Bad Vibrations + L.A. Times https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1988-06-26-tm-8498-story.html

The Lost Brian Wilson interview/Bent by Nature KCRW/Date is June 28, 1988    https://www.kcrw.com/music/shows/bent-by-nature/brian-wilson

Brian on The New Leave It To Beaver; Brian Wilson + Mr. Hawthorne   https://youtu.be/eImp73s3FXM

Diane Sawyer + Brian Wilson https://youtu.be/dVP7pNjJd30


Chapter 17: Melt Away

The Don Was film, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times https://youtu.be/QNBWmiNygww

Still I Dream Of It https://youtu.be/_noQOzwvAaE

It’s Over Now https://youtu.be/CSaH8yton4E

Orange Crate Art https://youtu.be/0qbQcmK72bo

Still No Vibrations + Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1996/07/03/still-no-vibrations/c23fdf2a-c535-42df-8399-e69c43fa4fff/?tid=ss_mail

Brian Wilson inducts the Bee Gees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame https://youtu.be/VXm7SJCksks?t=130

Imagination documentary https://youtu.be/zudwOAzR6ig

Brian Wilson + George Martin dissects the Beach Boys https://fb.watch/dYAHmceflk/

Paul McCartney inducts Brian into the Songwriters Hall of Fame https://youtu.be/LYR327oEdY8

Paul/Brian perform at Landmine benefit

God Only Knows https://youtu.be/n5UqaBfolcc

Let It Be https://youtu.be/GcshKIQn1mw

Paul talks about singing with Brian https://youtu.be/0F7AlIHyeCk

Paul talks about the Beach Boys https://youtu.be/TK51TYP7I5A

News report https://youtu.be/CxFrlV_9c5c

A Friend Like You (This song is not available on the internet)

Brian Wilson “Wanderlust” https://youtu.be/LQQiVT4Y5kE


Chapter 18: Brian Hits The Road!?

To get a sense of what Brian’s early tours were like you can listen to his

2000 release, Live at the Roxy Theatre, which includes these two new songs.

This Isn’t Love https://youtu.be/GpMQ3DVfXEo

The First Time https://youtu.be/HF-SbCEG7I4

Here’s Brian performing Pet Sounds live https://youtu.be/GpMQ3DVfXEo


Chapter 19: The Tribute and the Queen

From 2001’s An All Star Tribute To Brian Wilson at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Paul Simon sings Surfer Girl https://youtu.be/sXHsARkfDbw

David Crosby, Carly Simon and Jimmy Webb sing In My Room https://youtu.be/dKj6309Gx_o

Darius Rucker and Matthew Sweet sing Sail on Sailor https://youtu.be/cnZK1zFFyKI

Wilson Phillips You’re So Good To Me https://youtu.be/jJBgoFH6AG4

Aimee Mann/Michael Penn “I Just Wasn’t For These Times” https://youtu.be/2vyy8mi995I

George Martin + Brian Wilson tribute https://youtu.be/sJTLu4UiJ7o

Vince Gill sings The Warmth of the Sun https://youtu.be/b_mHu9uT52k

Vince Gill, David Crosby and Jimmy Webb perform “Surf’s Up” https://youtu.be/uU-4AkDimt8


Chapter 20: Beautiful Dreams and Beautiful Dreamer

From Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE, here’s the first track from the studio recording. https://youtu.be/3wWBV3QCbGE   This will then take you through the entire album.

You can find an audio recording of the world premiere from February, 2004 on the web too, but the audio quality isn’t ideal.

Brian Wilson and David Leaf on Charlie Rose to discuss Beautiful Dreamer: https://charlierose.com/videos/10736


Chapter 21: That Lucky Old Sun

Kennedy Center Honors https://youtu.be/lr5Pkz7rFKk

That Lucky Old Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjNDWYGBJDg&list=PLRt2mqRzCrANGYnV5jrEwDnWAgoThmkqD&index=1

Midnight’s Another Day - Demo https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=midnight%27s+another+day+demo


Chapter 22: An Epilogue

Linda Ronstadt “Adios” studio recording https://youtu.be/GjCqTI2TxRo

I Get Around/Don’t Worry Baby picture sleeve https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81YXFV7mm+L._SX522_.jpg

Time To Get Alone by Redwood https://youtu.be/cqBvxvE5SNo

Bruce’s Beach https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-06-28/county-officials-approve-transfer-of-bruces-beach-property

Eisenhower’s “Beware the Military Industrial complex” speech https://youtu.be/Gg-jvHynP9Y

Help Me Murry tape https://youtu.be/DATadl9seGc

Murry Wilson’s Poison Pen Letter https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/jan/07/brian-wilson-murry?CMP=share_btn_link


Good Vibrations + Lost footage https://youtu.be/uVlSVkzbJDA

God Only Knows + BBC Music https://youtu.be/XqLTe8h0-jo