One day soon after, Brian Wilson did show up. He was accompanied by a young cute surfer-dude looking guy with long blonde hair and eyeglasses -- sorta like how Michael Stipe of REM looked in the early-mid ‘80’s. Apparently, whatever was going on with Brian, whatever his issues, he had to have a “handler” on board with him pretty constantly. (I recently read that he had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, like my older brother Tom. . . and on a lot of medication.)
When we were invited to meet Brian, it was a pretty formal event for a rather casual situation/lifestyle (being on the road as musicians isn’t a very formal type setting, after all). We Squares were approached by one of the roadies to follow down a hallway at one of the arenas (probably Pittsburgh). It was sort of Spinal Tap-ish, a long hallway in a subterranean passage that went on for a while. The anticipation of the meeting in our minds probably lengthened it considerably. . .
At last, we faced an unmarked door and the roadie guy opened it and left. We were then greeted by the young blonde surfer-dude guy. He told us, “Brian’s looking forward to meeting you.” Aw, I’ll bet he says that to all the fans. Still, it was nice to hear.
Behind the surfer guy, in the back of a plain white room backstage, an almost gauntly thin Brian Wilson stood, sort of smiling, sort of gaping in a slack-jawed way -- the side affect of some psychiatric drugs. “Pleased to meet you,” he slurred, and shook our hands, one by one.
What do you say to a legend, especially one that seems discombobulated and kind of reminds you of your troubled older brother?
Beats me. . . I probably murmured back, “Pleased to meet YOU -- thank you!”
(Somewhere, I have a photo of us with Brian -- but can’t find it at present. Sorry!)