In 1964, less than three years after the release of their first single Surfin’ and following many years of psychological and physical abuse, Murry Wilson was fired as manager of The Beach Boys by his son Brian. A year later, Murry wrote him the following eight page letter. In it, he blames Brian’s mother for their ongoing rift due to her less severe punishment techniques, questions Brian’s honesty and the actions of his friends in the music business, and even recommends that Brian dissolve the band as soon as possible in order to avoid any future problems. It’s an incredibly interesting – albeit dark – snapshot of a showbiz family in free-fall, made all the more remarkable when you consider that just a few months after this was written, The Beach Boys began to record Pet Sounds, an album regarded by many as one of the best ever produced.
Snarky Parker posted The Beach Boys on the forums and it reminded me of this…uh…interesting letter from the father of Brian Wilson to his son. The rest of the letter and a transcript are on Letters of Note.