There seems to be an awful lot of Brian Wilson in my life these days. And not just on classic rock radio, my iPod shuffle, or the turntable. I depend on finding him in those places, but this is something else. In particular, I’ve been hearing the song “Love & Mercy” a lot of new places this year. Like the recent biopic of the same name starring John Cusack (Excellent, by the way). Or in the low-budget documentary “The Beach Boys and The Satan” that I just watched on Amazon Prime (campy, half-baked and awesome). It was even in the season finale of “The Walking Dead” earlier this year (I predict that Zombies are about to get REALLY popular).
While it’s impossible to understand why a Brian Wilson solo track from 1988 is stalking me, it’s hard to deny that it’s a perfect song. It features an unbelievable mix of beautiful music, melody and harmony coupled with Wilson’s familiar brand of melancholy. But “Love & Mercy” is also a story song at heart, featuring a disillusioned protagonist who stumbles through a lonely and violent world. Whether sitting in a crummy movie, lying in his room or standing in a bar, he’s crying out for a little relief from the anxiety and brutality that surrounds us all. That makes him a hero in my book.
Read the lyrics to “Love & Mercy” HERE.
Previous installments in this series:
- Taylor Swift— “Mean”
- Big Star— “September Gurls”
- Violent Femmes— “Country Death Song”
- Husker Du— “Books About UFOs”
- Wilco— “Misunderstood”
- The Mother Hips— “Gold Plated”
S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.