We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a very special moment as Brian Wilson is serenaded with his favourite song by the brilliant Ronnie Spector. The Beach Boys leader looks utterly captivated.
Chances are, any day that you asked Brian Wilson what his favourite Beach Boys song or album was, he’d give you a different answer every single day. Hey, we’ve all been there. But there’s one song which has always been Wilson’s favourite, no matter the moment or mindset you asked him in, that spot was always taken up by ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronnettes.
Brian Wilson’s daughter Carnie has one distinct memory from her childhood, listening to, and more accurately being woken up with, The Ronnettes classic song ‘Be My Baby’: “I woke up every morning to boom boom-boom pow! Boom boom-boom pow! Every day,” she said while confirming that the unusual morning alarm is her father Brian’s favourite song.
“This is the song that inspired me to produce records,” Wilson once recalled. “When I first heard it, it blew my mind. The drum sound that Phil Spector got, the harmonies, the piano and guitar sounds — I thought it was the greatest record I ever heard.” Wilson was inspired by the track’s now-iconic ‘wall of sound’ as produced by the infamous Phil Spector.
In the footage below, Wilson again recalls the song’s importance as he gets ready to welcome Ronnie Spector on tour with him to sing a few tracks. “‘Be My Baby’ is my favourite song,” he remembered, “I was driving with my girlfriend Judy, and it came on the radio and after about thirty seconds I said ‘what is this!?’ We pulled over to the side of the road and I was like ‘What is this record!?'”
The clips below come from Wilson’s 2002 performance at the Beacon Theater in New York in which he not only covered the aforementioned track and welcomed Ronnie on stage to sing The Beach Boys’ ‘I Can Hear Music’, but was serenaded by the singer with an impromptu backstage performance of his favourite song of all time.
It’s a touching moment between two friends and contemporaries and also quickly reduces Brian Wilson into a quivering mess of fandom, which, despite the sentiment, is refreshing to see.
Below find both of the clips and see the connection that Brian Wilson and Ronnie Spector shared.