By David Leaf
Originally published in 1978 as The Beach Boys and the California Myth, this groundbreaking study was both the first full-length book on the band and the first to recognize Brian Wilson as one of the most significant and influential artists of the 20th century. Covering the turbulent family strife and internal conflicts as well as giving proper attention to the remarkable music, the book was an instant classic.
An intimate look at Brian’s rollercoaster of a life and career, it’s told through the eyes of those who were there during Wilson’s most legendary productions including Pet Sounds and Good Vibrations.
Revised and updated, God Only Knows covers the decades since the 1985 edition, including Brian’s first acclaimed solo album, his startling return to live performing, the landmark Pet Sounds tour, the “All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson” (which Leaf wrote and produced) and the triumphant and miraculous Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE world premiere in London.
Filled with surprising revelations, insight and behind-the-scenes detail, this indispensable book written by renowned Brian Wilson expert David Leaf also features forewords by Jimmy Webb, the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb and Melinda Wilson, Brian’s wife.
'David Leaf’s matchless The Beach Boys and the California Myth overshadows any book that documents the group’s most successful years.' The Guardian
'Leaf's book helped turn on a new generation to The Beach Boys and in particular to Brian Wilson's unique musical gifts. Given that so much has happened since the '85 edition there's much to add. Running parralel to The Beach Boys' story is that of Leaf himself, as he journeys from super-fan, to confidant, to collaborator and to ultimately being one of Brian's closest friends. The affection he feels for the subject matter is present on every page. Five stars.' Shindig!
'When I championed the first edition of this book in 1978 in Melody Maker, I wrote "The definitive story. Probably the best book ever of any aspect of music history. A one of a kind effort, a new genre of journalism by going behind the scenes without sensationalizing." In our world, the sequel is almost never better than the original. But in the rock biography universe, David Leaf’s God Only Knows: The Story of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys and the California Myth is akin to The Godfather Part II. In this massive update, Leaf reveals deeper truths about Mr. Wilson that make his adventures with Brian feel like a page-turning novel.' Author and music historian, Harvey Kubernik
‘Essential reading for anybody who cares about Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys and the evolution of rock & roll.’ Jason Fine, former Editor-in-Chief, Rolling Stone
'The first and best explanation and analysis of exactly what happened to Brian, the myth of SMiLE and all the other 'inside' information fans take for granted today' Elliot Easton, The Cars
A 'Viewing, Listening and Reading List' for God Only Knows has been compiled, with links to key songs, recordings, performances and articles referenced in the text of the book. This guide can be found here.
Publication Date: 30.06.22
Extent: 480 pages
***Please note, if out of stock at our warehouse, this title can be purchased at all good high street and online booksellers***