Musician Biographies » The Beach Boys » Shut Down - Dennis And The Wizard, Nick Of Time, The Rieley Factor, “in My Room”, New Lows

Shut Down - “in My Room”

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Unknown to the band, Brian had considered suicide while living in Holland. It wasn't the first time: Not long before, he'd dug a “grave” in the backyard of the house on Bellagio Road and fantasized about jumping into it from the roof. He'd also threatened to drive his Rolls-Royce off the Santa Monica Pier. His mental and emotional state hit bottom after returning to California, and his physical condition wasn't far behind. Brian weighed over 200 pounds, ate and drank whatever he pleased, indulged in various drugs, and spent most of his days and nights in bed. He was miserable in every way.

His condition only worsened in the summer of 1973, when Audree called the Wilson brothers to tell them that their father had passed away from a heart attack. Brian, whose complicated love-hate relationship with Murry had troubled him all his life, was hurt and confused. He began taking even more drugs, including heroin. Fearing for her husband's sanity and the well-being of their children, Marilyn hired Mike's brother Stanley as a live-in caretaker for Brian in 1975; Stephen, Mike's other brother, had taken over the Beach Boys' management by that point. When Stan proved unable to control Brian, Marilyn enlisted the services of celebrity psychologist Eugene Landy.

Dr. Landy, who had also treated rocker Alice Cooper, seemed to be just what Brian needed. His methods were unconventional and his fees sky-high, but by early 1976 he had Brian out of bed and losing weight, resisting drugs, and facing up to reality. By that summer, Brian was even performing again. He was far from rehabilitated, though, and when Warner Brothers, Stephen Love, and the other Beach Boys pushed him back into the studio, he cracked. Landy was called in to help, and his salary shot up even higher. Nevertheless, Brian was able to record with Landy's help. The new record, 15 Big Ones (which Dennis wanted to call Group Therapy) was promoted with a high-profile “Brian Is Back!” campaign, but in truth only half of its songs were Brian Wilson compositions. Even though it wasn't a critical success, the album reached number five on the Billboard charts.

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