1. A man can survive on good will for only so long: the venue was nowhere near full, and this was opening night.
2. The new piece is genuinely absorbing, easily the best work he’s produced for forty years.
3. If you think about it, this isn’t much of a compliment. In reality, he’s not come up with much of any worth since clambering out of the sandpit and into bed.
4. I’d be surprised if he actually had much to do with it. For a man who needs a teleprompter to remember the words of Surfing USA and appears as if he might require help tying his shoelaces, it’s a bit much to expect another ‘teenage symphony to God’ to drop from the sky. That the band-leader insists on introducing our hero as “the man who wrote everything you’ve heard this evening” only serves to reinforce the suspicion that he probably didn’t.
5. He surrounds himself with people who know exactly what they’re doing and, more usefully, exactly what he should be doing. His backing band contain members of Wondermints, a Los Angeles-based power-pop outfit more than capable of compensating for Brian’s shortcomings. From their 1995 debut album comes the following track, Tracy Hide.
Can you see where I’m going with this?