March 30, 2006

Brian Wilson's "new lease on life came with a deed restriction."

And now that landlord is dead:
Eugene Landy, the psychotherapist who was variously called a savior and a snake oil salesman for his unorthodox, round-the-clock treatment of Brian Wilson, the famously dissolute leader of the Beach Boys, in the 1970's and 80's, died on March 22 in Honolulu. He was 71....

"Landy definitely transformed Brian's life and knocked him off of what was a suicidal death spiral in the early 1980's," Peter Ames Carlin, the author of a forthcoming book about the Beach Boys, said in a telephone interview yesterday. "But his new lease on life came with a deed restriction, which was that Landy wanted to be part of Brian's creative and financial lives."
You can find more lurid versions of the story than this NYT obituary, but the man just died, and I'm not going to go looking for them.

4 comments:

me said...

It may have been unorthodoxed, but it worked. Take a listen to Smile. It is the best record to come out in the last ten years.

Ann Althouse said...

Me: Wilson was disaggregated from Landry many years ago. Check the timeline before making conclusions about causality.

me said...

Yes, but Wilson said that he owed his life to Landry. You can't make a record when you are dead.

From CNN:

Under Landy's care, Wilson's physical and mental health improved enough that he performed at the Beach Boys' 15th anniversary concert on New Year's Eve 1976. Despite his success, Landy was fired around that time by the band's manager, largely over a fee dispute.

Six years later, after Wilson had regressed to drugs and obesity, Landy was rehired. The psychologist said he was paid $35,000 a month for conducting 24-hour therapy from 1983 to 1986.

The California Board of Medical Quality Assurance later accused Landy of "grossly negligent conduct," alleging that his business dealings with Wilson had caused the singer "severe emotional damage, psychological dependence and financial exploitation."

Landy denied the charges and Wilson defended him, attributing his new solo career to Landy's therapy. "Dr. Landy saved my life," Wilson said in a statement at the time.

In 1989, Landy admitted to a single charge of unlawfully prescribing drugs and surrendered his license to practice psychology in California for at least two years.

Mickey said...

Landy was a babysitter 24/7 for Wilson. He only ran into trouble when he started pretending he was in the band.
Anyone can be an honor student under 24 hr. surveillance.