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665700 Posts in 26693 Topics by 3823 Members - Latest Member: BeachBoysTalkonTwitch January 18, 2021, 02:30:44 PM
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Author Topic: Remembering Dennis?  (Read 808 times)
Lonely Summer
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« on: December 31, 2020, 12:35:03 PM »

Surprised we don't have a thread dedicated to Dennis on the anniversary of his death.
Not much to say on my part, except that I will always remember the night I heard the news. Christmas break, and a friend and I had been getting together and listening to records late at night. Sometimes we would watch Twilight Zone on an out of town tv station. One night, after my friend had left, and Twilight Zone was over, the news came on that Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson had died. I was in complete shock. I knew nothing about his personal problems at the time. All I knew was that I had seen the Boys in the Seattle Kingdome 6 months earlier, and the girls screamed when Dennis stripped down to his shorts.
Of course, the next morning, I saw the headline in the newspaper, so yes, it was real, not something I had dreamed. I listened to nothing but Beach Boys albums the rest of the day.
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juggler
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 01:04:59 PM »

I too remember that day in 1983.  The story led my local 10pm news on KTVU in Oakland.   I was barely 13 then and casually enjoyed the BBs' hits but wasn't a fan per se.  I think I had a vague concept of the band as brothers who all kinda looked alike (brown hair, bearded).   In some ways, Denny's death was my first introduction to who was who in the group. I too had no concept that Denny or any of them had any problems.  Unlike say Belushi or Richard Pryor, their travails weren't popular fodder in the People magazine issues that I read at the orthodontist's office. I remember the James Watt controversy from earlier that year, and the general popular reaction had been that Watt was nuts for claiming that the BBs attracted "the wrong element" as they were in fact the most wholesome, harmless group you could imagine.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 01:07:01 PM by juggler » Logged
Tony S
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2020, 02:22:36 PM »

I remember I first heard it on the 11 pm news....and being beyond shocked. As others have mentioned, in those pre internet/social media days, I had no idea of his struggles, or the dissension within the band for that matter. Social media, or lack thereof, actually made things easier from that perspective,. Still  I was shocked, and very sad. He was one of a kind, and left a tremendous legacy.
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Mark A. Moore
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2021, 12:19:02 AM »

I was in high school—17 years old (almost 18)—when Dennis died in 1983.

My interest in Jan & Dean had led me to the Beach Boys in 1978. With my meager pocket money, I bought a Capitol Special Markets compilation LP called Beach Boys Super Hits—complete with an ad for the Ronco Record Vacuum on the back cover. I still have it—yellow disc label with an illustration of the Capitol Records tower. This album introduced me to some of the most recognizable early material, plus the later “Barbara Ann.”

I tore off the wrap and put the LP on my turntable. Rather than letting it play through, I manually dropped the needle on individual tracks. After Side1, I flipped to Side 2 and went for “Do You Wanna Dance.” But I missed the leader and caught the tail end of the previous track. Hearing that, I thought, “Wait, Wait . . . Wait just a minute, here. That’s ‘Sidewalk Surfin’’ by Jan & Dean.” But lo and behold, it was “Catch a Wave.”

My next acquisition (in 1979) was Live in London—a revelation. To my young mind, the sound of the band playing live across the pond in the late '60s made it seem like eons had passed between their early incarnation and this different sound. But it was only about seven years, and that still resonates with me.

This was the album that got me interested in Dennis Wilson as a drummer.

From there, I found the Endless Summer compilation . . . which led to everything else.

Having seen Jan & Dean perform live in 1981, I saw the Beach Boys in concert in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1982. My oldest sister bought the tickets, and we went together. I remember Al Jardine singing their current hit, a cover of “Come Go with Me.” They also performed two Jan & Dean hits: “Surf City” and “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena).”

I would later learn that it was a dark time for the band. Neither Brian Wilson nor Dennis Wilson was present for the Fayetteville performance. That fact was obvious, but I did not know why at the time. As it turned out, both were experiencing some of the lowest points in their lives.

Brian would claw his way back, but Dennis died the following year. This was long before the Internet and 24-hour cable news coverage. But when Dennis drowned in Marina Del Rey, his death earned a brief mention on the national television news.

I now know that the year 1978 marked the beginning of Dennis’s end. His sad decline—much of it public—is easily traced from there.

Looking back on that era, I always gravitate to my memories of hearing Live in London for the first time in 1979, and how I later came to appreciate that album as one of the best examples of Dennis’s live drumming.

As I got older, Dennis’s evolution as a songwriter amazed me.

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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2021, 05:03:15 PM »

I was in high school—17 years old (almost 18)—when Dennis died in 1983.

My interest in Jan & Dean had led me to the Beach Boys in 1978. With my meager pocket money, I bought a Capitol Special Markets compilation LP called Beach Boys Super Hits—complete with an ad for the Ronco Record Vacuum on the back cover. I still have it—yellow disc label with an illustration of the Capitol Records tower. This album introduced me to some of the most recognizable early material, plus the later “Barbara Ann.”

I tore off the wrap and put the LP on my turntable. Rather than letting it play through, I manually dropped the needle on individual tracks. After Side1, I flipped to Side 2 and went for “Do You Wanna Dance.” But I missed the leader and caught the tail end of the previous track. Hearing that, I thought, “Wait, Wait . . . Wait just a minute, here. That’s ‘Sidewalk Surfin’’ by Jan & Dean.” But lo and behold, it was “Catch a Wave.”

My next acquisition (in 1979) was Live in London—a revelation. To my young mind, the sound of the band playing live across the pond in the late '60s made it seem like eons had passed between their early incarnation and this different sound. But it was only about seven years, and that still resonates with me.

This was the album that got me interested in Dennis Wilson as a drummer.

From there, I found the Endless Summer compilation . . . which led to everything else.

Having seen Jan & Dean perform live in 1981, I saw the Beach Boys in concert in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1982. My oldest sister bought the tickets, and we went together. I remember Al Jardine singing their current hit, a cover of “Come Go with Me.” They also performed two Jan & Dean hits: “Surf City” and “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena).”

I would later learn that it was a dark time for the band. Neither Brian Wilson nor Dennis Wilson was present for the Fayetteville performance. That fact was obvious, but I did not know why at the time. As it turned out, both were experiencing some of the lowest points in their lives.

Brian would claw his way back, but Dennis died the following year. This was long before the Internet and 24-hour cable news coverage. But when Dennis drowned in Marina Del Rey, his death earned a brief mention on the national television news.

I now know that the year 1978 marked the beginning of Dennis’s end. His sad decline—much of it public—is easily traced from there.

Looking back on that era, I always gravitate to my memories of hearing Live in London for the first time in 1979, and how I later came to appreciate that album as one of the best examples of Dennis’s live drumming.

As I got older, Dennis’s evolution as a songwriter amazed me.


It's nice to hear from someone who appreciates Dennis as a drummer. I remember the first time I saw that 1964 concert on one of the cable movie channels - I think it was AMC. Might have been the same night they aired Endless Harmony. I was just blown away by his energy. He wasn't technically brilliant, especially at that young age, but his playing made the band rock. In fact, the drums were louder than the guitars. But I had the same reaction when I'd seen the 1980  Washington D.C. footage years before; he played his heart out. The Beach Boys never had that kind of energy live after Dennis died.
Was Carl at the Fayetteville concert? I know he came back sometime that year; it seemed like Brian and Dennis were at a lot of shows in that era, even though both were  going through hard times.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2021, 05:04:22 PM »

I was in high school—17 years old (almost 18)—when Dennis died in 1983.

My interest in Jan & Dean had led me to the Beach Boys in 1978. With my meager pocket money, I bought a Capitol Special Markets compilation LP called Beach Boys Super Hits—complete with an ad for the Ronco Record Vacuum on the back cover. I still have it—yellow disc label with an illustration of the Capitol Records tower. This album introduced me to some of the most recognizable early material, plus the later “Barbara Ann.”

I tore off the wrap and put the LP on my turntable. Rather than letting it play through, I manually dropped the needle on individual tracks. After Side1, I flipped to Side 2 and went for “Do You Wanna Dance.” But I missed the leader and caught the tail end of the previous track. Hearing that, I thought, “Wait, Wait . . . Wait just a minute, here. That’s ‘Sidewalk Surfin’’ by Jan & Dean.” But lo and behold, it was “Catch a Wave.”

My next acquisition (in 1979) was Live in London—a revelation. To my young mind, the sound of the band playing live across the pond in the late '60s made it seem like eons had passed between their early incarnation and this different sound. But it was only about seven years, and that still resonates with me.

This was the album that got me interested in Dennis Wilson as a drummer.

From there, I found the Endless Summer compilation . . . which led to everything else.

Having seen Jan & Dean perform live in 1981, I saw the Beach Boys in concert in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1982. My oldest sister bought the tickets, and we went together. I remember Al Jardine singing their current hit, a cover of “Come Go with Me.” They also performed two Jan & Dean hits: “Surf City” and “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena).”

I would later learn that it was a dark time for the band. Neither Brian Wilson nor Dennis Wilson was present for the Fayetteville performance. That fact was obvious, but I did not know why at the time. As it turned out, both were experiencing some of the lowest points in their lives.

Brian would claw his way back, but Dennis died the following year. This was long before the Internet and 24-hour cable news coverage. But when Dennis drowned in Marina Del Rey, his death earned a brief mention on the national television news.

I now know that the year 1978 marked the beginning of Dennis’s end. His sad decline—much of it public—is easily traced from there.

Looking back on that era, I always gravitate to my memories of hearing Live in London for the first time in 1979, and how I later came to appreciate that album as one of the best examples of Dennis’s live drumming.

As I got older, Dennis’s evolution as a songwriter amazed me.


It's nice to hear from someone who appreciates Dennis as a drummer. I remember the first time I saw that 1964 concert on one of the cable movie channels - I think it was AMC. Might have been the same night they aired Endless Harmony. I was just blown away by his energy. He wasn't technically brilliant, especially at that young age, but his playing made the band rock. In fact, the drums were louder than the guitars. But I had the same reaction when I'd seen the 1980  Washington D.C. footage years before; he played his heart out. The Beach Boys never had that kind of energy live after Dennis died.
Was Carl at the Fayetteville concert? I know he came back sometime that year; it seemed like Brian and Dennis were at a lot of shows in that era, even though both were  going through hard times.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2021, 05:05:04 PM »

I was in high school—17 years old (almost 18)—when Dennis died in 1983.

My interest in Jan & Dean had led me to the Beach Boys in 1978. With my meager pocket money, I bought a Capitol Special Markets compilation LP called Beach Boys Super Hits—complete with an ad for the Ronco Record Vacuum on the back cover. I still have it—yellow disc label with an illustration of the Capitol Records tower. This album introduced me to some of the most recognizable early material, plus the later “Barbara Ann.”

I tore off the wrap and put the LP on my turntable. Rather than letting it play through, I manually dropped the needle on individual tracks. After Side1, I flipped to Side 2 and went for “Do You Wanna Dance.” But I missed the leader and caught the tail end of the previous track. Hearing that, I thought, “Wait, Wait . . . Wait just a minute, here. That’s ‘Sidewalk Surfin’’ by Jan & Dean.” But lo and behold, it was “Catch a Wave.”

My next acquisition (in 1979) was Live in London—a revelation. To my young mind, the sound of the band playing live across the pond in the late '60s made it seem like eons had passed between their early incarnation and this different sound. But it was only about seven years, and that still resonates with me.

This was the album that got me interested in Dennis Wilson as a drummer.

From there, I found the Endless Summer compilation . . . which led to everything else.

Having seen Jan & Dean perform live in 1981, I saw the Beach Boys in concert in Fayetteville, N.C., in 1982. My oldest sister bought the tickets, and we went together. I remember Al Jardine singing their current hit, a cover of “Come Go with Me.” They also performed two Jan & Dean hits: “Surf City” and “The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena).”

I would later learn that it was a dark time for the band. Neither Brian Wilson nor Dennis Wilson was present for the Fayetteville performance. That fact was obvious, but I did not know why at the time. As it turned out, both were experiencing some of the lowest points in their lives.

Brian would claw his way back, but Dennis died the following year. This was long before the Internet and 24-hour cable news coverage. But when Dennis drowned in Marina Del Rey, his death earned a brief mention on the national television news.

I now know that the year 1978 marked the beginning of Dennis’s end. His sad decline—much of it public—is easily traced from there.

Looking back on that era, I always gravitate to my memories of hearing Live in London for the first time in 1979, and how I later came to appreciate that album as one of the best examples of Dennis’s live drumming.

As I got older, Dennis’s evolution as a songwriter amazed me.


It's nice to hear from someone who appreciates Dennis as a drummer. I remember the first time I saw that 1964 concert on one of the cable movie channels - I think it was AMC. Might have been the same night they aired Endless Harmony. I was just blown away by his energy. He wasn't technically brilliant, especially at that young age, but his playing made the band rock. In fact, the drums were louder than the guitars. But I had the same reaction when I'd seen the 1980  Washington D.C. footage years before; he played his heart out. The Beach Boys never had that kind of energy live after Dennis died.
Was Carl at the Fayetteville concert? I know he came back sometime that year; it seemed like Brian and Dennis were at a lot of shows in that era, even though both were  going through hard times.
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Mark A. Moore
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2021, 08:40:35 PM »

Yes, Carl was at the Fayetteville show.
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2021, 10:39:22 PM »

I really got into Pacific Ocean Blue at the start of this year. Prior to that I hadn't gotten much out of it - it sounded too different to his Beach Boys stuff for me. As I'm nearing my mid-20's I'm understanding it more and more - it's a very 'adult' album, contrasted with Brian's writing which has always had more of a youthful energy, lyrically and musically.
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