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On this day back in 1964, principal songwriter for The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson suffered a nervous breakdown while flying from Houston to Los Angeles. The group intended to follow up their release of Pet Sounds with their most ambitious project yet, Smile. Wilson experienced deterioration in his mental health as well as suffering anxiety over the band’s decision to file a lawsuit against Capital Records over unpaid royalties. Wilson also supposedly was deterred from completing the project with the news of the Beatles’ ground-breaking album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Wilson began partying heavily, his mental health declining and his use of cocaine beginning the period of his drug addiction. In 1967, the cancellation of the record’s release was announced. The decision was made to end Wilson’s leadership of the band and he oversaw production of the group’s material. His creative directorship caused more tension in the band and he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a brief period during which 1969’s release, 20/20, received mild attention and during 1969 and 1970 Wilson’s health was temporarily restored. He didn’t complete Smile until its release in 2004 as a Brian Wilson album.
Also in 1973, Fleetwood Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis, claiming that he owned the band’s name, decided to assemble a fake version of the group for a tour. Eventually the group brought legal proceedings against Davis and after a somewhat lengthy court case the band won their case and continued their career under new management.
Today also celebrates Tom Waits’ 63rd birthday.