Brian Wilson Catches Wave Toward First Solo Tour

Reclusive ex-Beach Boys leader to embark on 13-date outing in February to support recent LP, Imagination.

Brian Wilson -- the legendary songwriter and reclusive former leader of the prototypical

surf-pop band the Beach Boys -- has announced dates for his first solo tour.

The composer and singer, known for the eccentricities that at one point in his career

contributed to his retiring from live performance, will embark on the 13-date outing to

support his recent LP, Imagination, beginning in February. The junket will keep

him on the road through mid-March.

Joe Thomas, who co-produced Imagination and is slated to play keyboards and

sing backing vocals on the upcoming tour, said Wilson's inspiration for the tour were

making the album and playing a May show at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St.

Charles, Ill. The show was turned into a PBS TV special.

"We probably did eight songs [in St. Charles], and Brian had such a good time he started

talking about wanting to do this tour," Thomas said. "Between the two positive

experiences [the album and the St. Charles show], Brian really wants to try it."

Kicking off Feb. 19 at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, the tour is slated to swing through

the Midwest and Northeast before coming to a close March 10 at the Rosemont Theater

near Chicago.

Widely acclaimed as the Svengali behind such groundbreaking and influential albums

as Pet Sounds, Wilson, 56, has performed live only sporadically since 1965,

when he stopped touring with the Beach Boys to focus on songwriting and recording.

The Beach Boys were formed in 1961 by Wilson with his brothers Carl and Dennis,

cousin Mike Love and family friend Al Jardine. In the 1960s, they peppered the pop

charts with such hits as "California Girls," "I Get Around" and "Good Vibrations."

Wilson's solo LP, Imagination, features "South America," a collaboration with

laid-back singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett;

bin/get-music/Wilson,_Brian/Lay_Down_Burden.ram">"Lay Down Burden"

(RealAudio excerpt), a tribute to his late brother Carl; and songs, such as


(RealAudio excerpt), which incorporate elements of the Beach Boys' trademark

harmony-laden sound.

Brian Wilson Tour Dates:

Feb. 19; Milwaukee, Wis., Pabst Theater

Feb. 20; Minneapolis, Minn., State Theater

Feb. 24-25; New York, N.Y., Beacon Theater

Feb. 27; Pittsburgh, Pa., A. J. Palumbo Theater

Feb. 28; Toledo, Ohio, Stranahan Theater

March 1; Cleveland, Ohio, Allen Theater

March 3; Washington, D.C., Constitution Hall

March 5; Philadelphia, Pa., Tower Theater

March 6; Boston, Mass., Orpheum Theater

March 7; Uncasville, Conn., Mohegan Sun Resort

March 9; Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan Theater

March 10; Rosemont, Ill., Rosemont Theater