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The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience [Hardcover]

Timothy White
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080502266X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805022667
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Offers a portrait of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson along with a social history of the Los Angeles area celebrated in their music. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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3.0 out of 5 stars Episodic journey 1 April 2013
Lots of interesting historical facts and summaries of California form the thirties to the sixties. It tells the story of the Beach Boys and Brian in particular, with a good dose of jounalistic depth but often appears as an amalgam of earlier pieces he wrote from the 70's and 80's, (which were better written) yet misses what is fascinating both muscially and personally about each member of the band. Really only for fans and not a book you would often return to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirit of America 25 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
In the act of creating a grand mosaic of the world the Beach Boys grew up in and shared, the full explanation of what befell them surfaces for once. Hooray! When I got this book from another Beach Boys bud, I never ever knew there had been big emotional victims in the Wilson family prior to Brian. Or that all sorts of other talents and interests had been inherited, too. Never before was the town of Hawthorne made sense of, either. Who knew what teen culture was like there in the 1950s? It was wild to get the day to day explanations. To see how Dennis and Carl, not to mention Brian, chose or got forced onto the roads in life they took. Surprises wait on each page. To ultimately feel so close to the family is a victory. Understanding So.California on up-close and personal terms is gratifying, also. This explicates sensitive people, a community and a microcosm in the detail it merits. It all makes sense.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 27 May 1998
By Mide98@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
This fantastic book isn't just about the Beach Boys and their music. It's about the California that they and their parents grew up in, from the 1930s through the 1960. Surfing and hot rods and local bands take center stage.
After reading this book one realizes that Brian Wilson was the creative genius behind the band. His sad emotional porblems and rehabilitation are documented here.
Along the way there are many surprises, like Glen Campbell's musical involvement with the band. An absolutely riveting book.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Disappointed 2 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
"Summer Means New Love" and this gets you in the right vibe. But the "disappointed" guy reviewing from Texas is a gremmie taking potshots. Some so-called Beach Boys fans have a chip on their shoulders. If anybody checks, you see the Wilson birthdates given in this book are right. Checking my copy on pg. 339, it doesn't say Dennis Wilson is the "youngest" Beach Boy, but the "California Calling" chapter says send suggestions for future editions, and that small bit was probably fixed. But why say Dennis Wilson isn't in this book, when Chapter 7, called "Gettin' Hungry" is all about him growing up and finding out about surfing? Brian sings, love and mercy is what we need. Amen.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake the World 9 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Wow. I'm embarassed to say that I thought I knew about the Beach Boys before I read "The Nearest Faraway Place". I was wrong. The depth of vision and analysis is staggering and told through the elegantly unobtrusive Tim White style I have come to expect from the book "Catch a Fire" and his columns in Billboard. It is designed to give you a full picture of the Southern California experience, dating back to the earliest generations of the Wilson family, but,if you want to skip the early chapters, you can go straight to the meat of the Beach Boys' history. Unbelievable unedited transcripts of the dialogue during recording sessions and insightful deconstruction of the cross-pollinization of inspiration happening in the Sixties. Which Beach Boys' song inspired which Beatle song, with help from which Byrd song, etc.; and all culled with interviews from the actual players and composers. Great stuff!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riding The Ultimate Wave 9 Jun 2000
By kdesoto - Published on Amazon.com
Timothy White gives us a view of the Wilsons History and the climate of the So Cal music scene of the 50's thru the 60's, where everybody practically knew everyone. It also gives us an insider view of the events that happened to the Wilsons, Loves, Berrys, Torrances, as well as The Wrecking Crew(Campbell, Tedesco, Blaine, Russell, Kaye, and others.....), Spectors, and just about everyone you've ever heard of that made music in the 60's and 70's in So.Cal. Even though he glosses over most of the material that the 'Boys did during the 70's, it's the early work in the 60's that made this for good reading. The recording industry was covered in good detail, especially what happened with the promotion of the Beatles, Beach Boys, and anyone else that was popular during the period. He also went over a lot of history of other groups, that had ties to the SoCal industry. He did a great job overall, and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the history of music in general, and especially on the 'Boys. Surf's Up, Dude!
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