Brian Wilson v. Tavis Smiley

Wilson and SmileyI'm not sure I've seen a rougher pairing on Tavis Smiley's PBS show than last week's match-up of Tavis with Brian Wilson. It could have worked, but didn't. Wilson has a great story and can be brilliant, but he presents a little flat these days, with a well-documented background to his personality. Only a few replies ran longer than a dozen words or so. Unable to really engage, Smiley kept firing questions dating back to ancient history, including this clanger: "Your name, the Beach Boys - it seems easy, where it came from. Was there some rule of thought that went into naming the group the Beach Boys?" Things improved a bit, but it was hard to watch. The final exchange captured the prevailing tone:

Tavis: It's a pleasure to meet you, sir.
Wilson: Okay.

Anyway, my reason to even get into it is that Wilson is scheduled to chat with Larry Mantle on KPCC's "Airtalk" tomorrow. I have higher hopes — but I notice Wilson's segment is only booked for a safe ten minutes at 11:50 a.m. Wilson plays at the Wiltern Wednesday night.

Video: Wilson on Tavis Smiley


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