Half Moon Bay and Brian Wilson

In case you don’t already know, composer/artist/Beach Boy legend/survivor Brian Wilson was my main musical influence on my new album, Half Moon Bay.

In early 2018, I was revisiting some YouTube videos from 2015 which highlighted Brian’s then-new album, No Pier Pressure. That album was Brian’s musical look back from the happy place his life is in now, and stretched beyond pop music to include some lovely instrumentals. But then again, he was doing that in 1965 (check Pet Sounds). Among the songs on No Pier Pressure is a beautiful, quiet instrumental called Half Moon Bay.

When I heard it, I knew immediately that I would record Half Moon Bay for my new album. Not only did it become the title cut, it encouraged me to look further into Brian Wilson’s massive catalog of songs.

Brian has written so very many lovely songs, but ultimately, I chose three: Half Moon Bay (2015), Lonely Sea (1962) and Summer’s Gone (2012). Lonely Sea was an early Brian song on the Beach Boys second album, Surfin’ USA (1963). It was never a single or radio hit, but Brian’s poignant vocal & gorgeous chords & melody make it a standout Beach Boys song.

The third Brian Wilson song on Half Moon Bay is Summer’s Gone, the final song on the Beach Boys’ 2012 reunion albumThat’s Why God Made the Radio. Because that album is likely the final Beach Boys album, Summer’s Gone has a special significance. For me, it was the perfect choice to be the last song on Half Moon Bay.

Deciding to include three Brian Wilson songs on Half Moon Bay really raised the bar for me as a musician & composer, but I loved every minute of the process. It made my summer of 2018 very special indeed. As Brian likes to say, “I hope you like my music.”

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