BIG Birthday: Brian Wilson turns 75 today

BRIAN WILSON:  He's 75 and he's talking

Turning 75 today (Tuesday), Brian Wilson elevated the artistic boundaries of rock 'n' roll during the '60s. He took The Beach Boys from harmony-driven surf rockers to the cutting edges of pop music -- only to be sidelined for more than 20 years by emotional and substance issues.

Having overcome many of his issues, Brian reunited with his surviving band-mates for a triumphant 2012 tour and album. But since then, he and co-founder Mike Love have again gone their separate ways. Brian tours with his own band -- including fellow Beach Boys founder Al Jardine -- and has spent the last year performing the classic album Pet Sounds in its entirety to enthusiastic audiences across the globe.

He looks back on the band he created and some of its greatest achievements:

Brian Wilson describes The Beach Boys' place in music history:

"Well, we didn't change the course of rock and roll music, we influenced some of the young bands, like Backstreet Boys and stuff -- groups like that. It's a great pleasure and a great pump-up, you know. It pumps me up, makes me feel real, real good. I would call my career no... 'never a nine to five.' Always, whenever I want to work -- never a nine-to-five."

Brian Wilson explains how he created such classic melodies as "Surfer Girl," "Good Vibrations" and "California Girls.": 

"It usually comes in the evening hours, that's when my music starts to happen, in the evening hours. Music is probably the biggest source of mental and emotionally healing that I have in my life. When I'm at the piano, I like, I dream, I'll go into a dream and I'll play and I'll listen to the chords, and all of a sudden the melody starts to happen. I'll say, 'Where's this coming from? Where's this coming from,' you know."

Brian Wilson's thoughts as he created the album Pet Sounds

"Pet Sounds was right in its time. It was a departure from where we were at. I knew it was going to be a great album and I knew it was going to be a milestone in music, an achievement in popular music."

"God worked through me for Pet Sounds. I was a good instrument, a perfect good instrument for God to work through. I said I wanted to make a spiritual album with spiritual lyrics, introspective in social statements and introspective lyrics."

Brian Wilson says after hearing Rubber Soul, his friendly rivalry with The Beatles fueled the creative explosion behind Pet Sounds

"That's very accurate and true. I listened to it and I said to myself, 'What in the world is this? What do we have here with the Beatles? I'm going to make an album just as good as Rubber Soul. And I went into my living room at the piano that night. And I started writing 'God Only Knows'.

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