Sleeve Notes for Vinyl Release of A World of Peace Must Come


downloadThere is an urgency about Stephen Kalinich. Ideas, thoughts, plans, words, melodies, feelings flow through him. Constantly. Sometimes they become songs. Sometimes they become poems. Sometimes they simply are, and don’t become anything at all, apart from an expression of a spontaneous, restless, often exhausting creative spirit. Or rather, the expression of one man’s openness to the creativity that exists in everyone and everything.

But underneath just about everything that Stephen writes, says, thinks, feels, there lies an intent, a purpose. It’s a topic that crops up frequently in his conversation.


It seems inevitable that Stephen Kalinich and Brian Wilson would find each other. Brian, the creator of so much musical magic with The Beach Boys, has always operated on that same level. To this day, Brian talks about the healing power of music, and how the spirit would flow through him, and how creations like “Surfer Girl” and “Pet Sounds” were designed and crafted as pure expressions of, as he puts it, “unconditional spiritual love.”

When Brian met Stephen in 1966 the connection was immediate and deep. Stephen’s words – set to music by Brian’s younger brother Dennis – became a significant part of “Friends,” the quiet, reflective 1968 album that Brian has often credited as being his favorite Beach Boys record. Perhaps Brian was moved by the simple uplifting message of “Be Still.” Perhaps he was impressed by the fragile beauty of the music that Stephen inspired from deep within Dennis, an otherwise turbulent soul whose nervous energy had always scared Brian, had always seemed to Brian to be on the brink of some cataclysmic explosion…

And perhaps he saw in Stephen a kindred spirit, another person whose willingness to open himself up to the creativity that exists in everyone and everything reminded him of his own creative process.

Perhaps. But one thing was, and is, certain: The world, and America itself, was a very, very frightening place in 1968. It was erupting in anger and self-doubt – Vietnam, riots in the streets, assassinations, environmental destruction, The Bomb… Death was featured every night on the network news, and those who were coming of age couldn’t help but question the values and traditions of those who had come before. In the midst of all this turmoil, Brian and Stephen knew one thing was certain…

A World Of Peace Must Come.

It was Brian’s idea, initially. It would be a “home recording,” spontaneous and from the heart, a project in which the creative process itself would take center stage. As producer, Brian created an environment in which Stephen could express himself. And as the poems took shape and found their way, Brian then allowed himself to become part of the process, crafting an aural landscape that perfectly complemented and reinforced the ideas, thoughts and words that flowed through Stephen. It was an ongoing collaboration that came and went as the inspiration struck, worked on sporadically over a number of years….

And somehow it all ended up in Stephen’s bedroom closet. As the 1970’s lurched into the 1980’s and beyond, and America became cynical as it journeyed from Nixon to Ford to Carter to Reagan to Bush Sr. to Clinton to Bush Jr., Brian and Steve lost touch and A World of Peace Must Come became a fuzzy memory, unknown to even the most diehard Brian Wilson/Beach Boy fanatics.

Until September 11, 2001. Less than a week later, Stephen stood on a stage in Los Angeles and recited “America, I Know You,” one of the cornerstones of his collaboration with Brian. The audience understood. The poem resonated. Soon afterward, Brian and Stephen found each other again, and decided that it was finally time to get this message Out There…

A World of Peace Must Come. “Unconditional Spiritual Love.” Healing.

As these liner notes are written, America is, once again, at war. Again, the world is a very, very frightening place. This is no time for cynicism. The urgency in Stephen Kalinich’s voice and spirit is more intense now than it’s ever been.