TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 95: David Leaf

Myths are funny things, especially in the 21st century where we find ourselves constantly reevaluating standards that were accepted as gospel only a few years ago. And who knows? It’s feasible to posit that society’s reevaluations will be reevaluated somewhere else down the long road of time. Telling the story of early rock and roll is an interesting exercise at this point in history as many of the music makers are still with us. It’s so important to get the story right so that future generations can grapple with both the facts and the myths.

David Leaf is a Peabody and Writers Guild of America West award-winning writer, director, and producer and has long been regarded as a scholar of rock and pop music, specifically of The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson. He’s spent his career sorting through rumors and myths and facts and—of course, music—and he’s written a book about The Beach Boys history that most rock and rock academics regard as the pinnacle, God Only Knows: The Story of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys & the California Myth.

Originally published in 1978, Leaf hasn’t altered the text of the original manuscript, but, rather, has added additional segments and information to create a body of work that will stand the test of time. Leaf joins me on this episode to discuss his updated book, sort through some records with me, and also to provide us all with learned theories about what was singularly unique and enduring about the music created by Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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