There’s no doubt that Brian Wilson is a musical genius. The man responsible for the brilliance of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds has done more for rock and roll than he’ll probably ever realize, and so many of the songs in the early Beach Boys catalog completely define what pop songs should be. He’s sold millions of records, has been enshrined in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and has influenced thousands of musicians and songwriters the world over. But here’s the thing: Dude has never heard of punk rock. No, we’re not kidding. Recently, UK outlet the Guardian sat down with him to discuss the new John Cusack-starring biopic Love & Mercy, about Wilson’s life, and here’s what he had to say about the young, loud and snotty genre born in the mid-’70s:
What did you make of punk rock?
I don’t know what that is. Punk rock? Punk? What is that?
It was a loud, aggressive musical movement that happened around 1976.
Oh yeah. I never went for that. I never went for the fast kind of music. I go for the more medium tempo. Spencer Davis, I liked that.
It’s crazy to think that without Ramones, we might never have had punk—and yet the dude behind one the Ramones’ biggest influences has no clue about them, or any other punk band for that matter. But to help Wilson get familiarized, here’s some of his songs interpreted in a way more akin to what we’re used to nowadays.