This post first appeared in the Beach Boys Usenet newsgroups in the '90s. Steven Lubars posted a message saying that the Wilson family's lawyer agreed to do an interview, and Steven was soliciting questions from other newsgroup readers. Fortunately, I printed this out years ago and kept it in a binder. A recent Google search did not turn up this article, so here it is transcribed in hopes that it will be more permanently stored digitally. In my opinion, it's a fascinating read, especially after the release of the Love & Mercy film. Except for correcting spelling and punctuation, no changes have been made to the text; this article has been formatted for readability, however. --sc
Article 2847 of rec.music.artists.beach-boys:
From: lubars @ mit.edu (Steven Lubars)
Subject: My interview w/Brian's lawyer
Date: 8 Jul 1995 05:13:59 GMT
Organization: Massachvsetts Institvte of Technology
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Hi, all. I just got off the phone with the Beach Boys' lawyer. It would be more accurate to say the Wilsons' lawyer: Brian, Carl, Audree (mom), Wendy + Carnie (daughters).
As you may recall, I offered to ask her questions regarding the relationship between Brian and Landy. I hope you recognize your questions in here; it would have been awkward to ask them verbatim all in a row. I have taken my notes from the free-form conversation we had and turned them into a question-and-answer session.
Q. How long is Landy prohibited from making contact with Brian?
A. Forever -- the rest of Landy's (or Brian's) life.
Q. What if Brian decides to contact him?
A. Brian is forbidden from contacting him.
Q. In retrospect, does he think Landy was bad for him?
A. He can believe that Landy brainwashed him, but then he starts wondering if we just brainwashed him another way. In a way, Brian still loves Landy and wants to see him, but you can't always get everything you want.
Q. Is it true, as rumored, Landy had Brian's will changed so he'd get everything?
A. Landy was at one point Brian's beneficiary.
Q. Who is Brian's beneficiary now?
A. Melinda Ledbetter, his wife.
Q. Is Don Was Brian's legal guardian now?
A. No, of course not. It's Melinda.
Q. Is Melinda related to Leadbelly?
Q. (On the Beach Boys Mailing List) Domenic Priore claimed that Brian suffered a stroke on an operating table because Landy gave him some inappropriate drugs before the operation. Any truth to this?
A. I cannot comment on that issue.
Q. Assuming any part of this is true, I could break this down: did Brian have a stroke?
A. I can't answer that either.
Q. What was the operation?
A. There was no operation.
Q. I'm generally curious about your impression of Landy's motivations. Did he mean well? Was he a deeply twisted sick fuck? Was he in it for the money? In the end, how cynical was his exploitation of the guy? (I guess that last one's the real question.)
A. In my opinion, in the beginning Landy's intentions were good.
[After getting through your questions, the conversation drifted to other Brian-related topics]
Q. Can I get a transcript of your daughter's interview with Carl Wilson?
A. Call me again in late August.
Q. Can I get a transcript of the Landy vs. Wilson trial?
A. Those transcripts are sealed forever.
Q. Are there any other transcripts available?
A. You can get a copy of the transcript from the Love vs. Wilson trial.
Q. Does Mike Love have a good case?
A. Mike's case has no legal merit. It would, however, have been in everyone's best interest to settle out of court. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.
Q. How is Brian's relationship with Carnie?
A. Brian and Carnie are getting along great, as are Brian and Wendy. Wendy was able to see Brian on Father's Day; Carnie would have but was busy taping her new talk show.
Q. What kind of talk show?
A. Kind of like Ricki Lake.
Q. When will it start?
Q. Does Audree blame Murry for Brian's problems?
A. No, she thinks it's partly due to his drug problem and partly just the way he came out.
Q. How much of a role did Landy have in writing My Own Story?
A. Landy wrote the whole thing. Everything attributed to Brian Wilson during the Landy years came from Landy. Every word -- even things Brian said himself.
Q. Is Brian making new music?
A. Yes, more and more. He wants his next work to be with the Beach Boys and not a solo work.
Q. How aware is Brian of what's going on around him?
A. Brian has good days and bad days. Brian is, in general, much more aware of his surroundings than people think he is. I know a lot of people who weren't as famous who are a lot more screwed up.
(end of interview)