With the conservatorship trial of Beach Boy Brian Wilson due to start in a Santa Monica, Calif., courtroom tomorrow (it will be carried on Court Television), his recently published "authorized autobiography" is provoking an outcry from longtime Beach Boys experts, who suggest that the only authentic Wilson writing in "Wouldn't It Be Nice -- My Own Story" might be when he autographs the book at signings around the country.

"There is no way, based on my decades-long knowledge of Brian, that he could have written that book or that it came from his memory," says Timothy White, now editor of Billboard and a frequent Wilson profiler since the '70s. "I say it's impossible. I can't find Brian in this book to any dimensional extent."

Wilson, who wrote such classics as "Good Vibrations," suffered his first mental breakdown in 1964 and is now taking a laundry list of medications for mental illness. His estranged family -- including his mother, brother and daughters -- wants a judge to appoint a conservator to oversee Wilson's business and personal affairs, charging he's been manipulated by his longtime therapist and subsequent business partner, Eugene Landy. Wilson dedicates the book to Landy, who will get 30 percent of the royalties.

White and others, including biographer David Leaf ("The Beach Boys and the California Myth"), charge that Wilson's coauthor, People magazine senior writer Todd Gold, has taken many anecdotes from other sources without crediting them, doing little more than changing pronouns, and that many quotes, eerily familiar from previously published pieces, are deceptively represented as if they were contemporaneous recollections.

"Does the book have an original ring to it?" White asks. "Absolutely not. It's cobbled together from work others have done over the years. There's not even a bibliography, which is a scandal in itself." In fact, hard-core fans are currently cross-referencing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" with previously published material, such as the 1976 Crawdaddy cover story in which White talked to the Hawthorne High music teacher, Fred Morgan, who had failed Brian Wilson. That teacher's recollections reappear in the new book almost verbatim, but this time from Brian's viewpoint.

"Those were private memories that were never shared with Brian but {many years later} with me," White points out. "It's hard enough for him to remember his own songs, so how the hell can Brian mystically remember the private memories of others, particularly things that were never expressed to him at the time?"

In a letter to Billboard, Leaf complains: "Brian isn't telling his life story as he remembers it, but as others have edited it. Wouldn't it have been nice if Brian had done a little more reminiscing and Todd Gold a little less lifting?"

Gold, who was given access to Landy's case files on Wilson, defends his research methods: "Obviously, it's not plagiarism. Brian acknowledges that he can't remember everything about his life and has relied upon certain preparations. Any celebrity book relies on extensive culling of magazine articles and past interviews and recycling. Very obviously, material was supplied that was used for research ... but everything was paraphrased to the best of our ability as told through Brian's eyes.

"If the quotes were right," Gold added, "they were used."

It is hard to reconcile the monosyllabic, unfocused answers Wilson has given in recent interviews with the eloquence and detail found in the 390-page book -- there are rich remembrances even for those periods acknowledged by Wilson to be black holes of substance abuse and mental illness. Since childhood Brian Wilson has defended himself with silence and obfuscation; none of his interviews in the past 25 years has been particularly anecdotal.

Gold, who says he first met Wilson in 1988 for a People cover story, concedes that Wilson was indeed monosyllabic and reticent at first, "until I quit interviewing him and started talking ... became more of a friend than an interrogator. Schizoids usually don't tell anecdotal stories because they don't know how to surround incidents with emotion and feeling. So, yes, we had to fill in scenarios, trigger memories, but Brian's got the stories inside him. ... The problem is that much of his thoughts in a day are occupied mulling over and tending to the enormous fears that he battles every minute. ... But Brian can recount more about his life than people will give him credit for."

White contends that the book and Wilson's book tour are intended to buttress Wilson and Landy's side in the conservatorship case, to reinforce the image of Landy as the one man able to cure Brian Wilson of physical and mental dependencies even as the book lends credence to Wilson's self-portrait of an independent man. In a front-page Billboard article, White characterized the book as "suspiciously like a legal brief" for assorted lawsuits, including one in which Wilson is seeking $100 million from the publishing company that purchased his song catalogue from his father, Murry, in 1969; Wilson claims that he received no money, that his signature was forged and that he was "mentally incapacitated, emotionally ill ... and uncommonly susceptible to domination and undue influence" from Murry Wilson.

Gold says he was approached about the book in October 1989, "before all the lawsuits." He says that Landy did not control what went in the book.

This wasn't the first literary collaboration Wilson has attempted. Writer (and former Landy patient) Henry Edwards worked with Wilson on an autobiography for two years before that -- at one point he and Wilson shared a house -- before giving it up because of health reasons. In a 1987 interview, Wilson told me that he and Edwards were going through Steven Gaines's Beach Boys history, "Heroes and Villains," "which is very hard for me to remember, the past that I had to go through and all the hell I went through to get to where I was. {Edwards} digs up the memories for me and I have to deal with them and give some information about the memories."

Edwards, who was with Wilson during our interview, encouraged him, saying, "What you're doing is writing your own story and telling the truth of what you've really been through." "I take it to heart that anything that's happened in my past, that's something I went through, I figure that's my memory," Wilson said in 1987. "Somebody has to establish the truth somewhere."

"You are the truth," Edwards insisted then. Edwards -- conceding that Wilson is "not anecdotal, he simply lacks verbal skills" -- says that after dropping out of the project, he turned over much of his raw material to Gold and often consulted during the writing of "Wouldn't It Be Nice."

With reports of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" being optioned for a film or two-man Broadway show based on the Landy-Wilson relationship ("the hero and the genius, with therapy as the miracle," says Edwards), there could well be more complaints from authors who claim their works are primary sources for the book.