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But whatever his mental state beforehand, LSD wreaked unimaginable havoc on the 25-year-old Brian Wilson

But whatever his mental state beforehand, LSD wreaked unimaginable havoc on the 25-year-old Brian Wilson

Wilson began hearing voices “saying derogatory things”, telling him that he was finished and was going to die soon, a condition that continues to this day. “Every day,” he nods. “A daily struggle.” The voices were accompanied by black depressions and bursts of crippling, irrational fear. Fifteen years after they began, he was diagnosed with bipolar schizoaffective disorder: in the meantime, Wilson attempted to silence them himself with cocaine and heroin. Fifteen years seems a long time to wait before seeking help for such terrible problems, I say. He frowns again: “I didn’t need help before then.”

That isn’t what contemporary reports suggested. Meeting Wilson in 2011 might be hard work, but by all accounts it is nothing compared with meeting him mid-70s.