Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

Hangin’ with a legend

Beach Boys songwriter and de facto leader Brian Wilson has long been recognized as a pop music genius. But the road has not been an easy one. His legendary struggles include suffering (still) from voices in his head, and he was notoriously victimized by a charlatan pop psychologist. 

This documentary can’t have been easy to make; Wilson dislikes being interviewed. So Rolling Stone editor and friend Jason Fine drives the man around L.A. in his camera-equipped Porsche SUV lobbing him chatty questions and only occasionally straying into the hagiographic. Talking heads include Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, and the totally apt title is taken from one of the band’s lesser-known songs.

These days he still tours and writes music, and seems very happy doing that. Some would say we don’t need another documentary on the man. Others would say we don’t have enough. You decide. A companion piece you’d be a fool to miss is 2014’s Love and Mercy. (93 min)