DENNIS WILSON

DENNIS WILSON

 

Basic Background Info

 
Birth: December 4, 1944 - December 28, 1983
Location: Inglewood, California
Band: The Beach Boys
Genres: Pop, Rock
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician
Links:  
 
 

Biography

 
 
Dennis Wilson, older brother Brian, and younger brother Carl created pop sensation the Beach Boys with their cousin, Mike Love, and classmate Al Jardine in 1961 in Southern California. Although the majority of early Beach Boys music revolved around surf culture, Dennis was the only brother who ever rode a surfboard. Relegated to the drums because Brian played bass and Carl played guitar, Dennis was forced to create the rhythm section of the band with little training and virtually no innate aptitude.

After their debut, Surfin', in 1961, Dennis occasionally contributed lead vocals to several early tracks, including "Little Girl (You're My Miss America)," "Surfers Rule," "This Car of Mine," and the top 20 hit "Do You Wanna Dance." Dennis started to write songs for the band in the early 1970s and he typically performed them as the lead vocalist with his rough masculine voice.

Dennis was the first of the Wilson brothers to pursue a career outside of the Beach Boys. In 1970, he released the mostly unnoticed single "Sound of Free" under the name Dennis Wilson & Rumbo. He recorded his first full-length album, Pacific Ocean Blue, in 1975 and 1976, during a lull in the Beach Boys' success. He collaborated with Daryl Dragon and Gregg Jakobson. Dennis' album appeared in the top 100 and received critical praise. He actually started work on his second solo album before the release of his first. Dennis struggled to complete his work on the album, and he eventually abandoned the project, although two songs, "Love Surrounds Me" and "Baby Blue," appeared on the Beach Boys 1979 album L.A. (Light Album).

In 1983, Dennis drowned in the Pacific Ocean while out on his boat in Southern California after struggling for years with drug and alcohol use.
 
 

Discography

 
 
Album Year Album Name Album Band
1962 Surfin' Safari The Beach Boys
1963 Little Deuce Coupe The Beach Boys
1963 Surfer Girl The Beach Boys
1963 Surfiní U.S.A. The Beach Boys
1964 4 by the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1964 All Summer Long The Beach Boys
1964 Beach Boys' Christmas Album The Beach Boys
1964 Beach Boys Christmas Special The Beach Boys
1964 Concert The Beach Boys
1964 Shut Down, Vol. 2 The Beach Boys
1964 The Beach Boys Christmas Album The Beach Boys
1965 Beach Boysí Party The Beach Boys
1965 Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) The Beach Boys
1965 Today! The Beach Boys
1966 Pet Sounds The Beach Boys
1966 Pet Sounds The Beach Boys
1966 The Best of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1967 Smiley Smile The Beach Boys
1967 The Beach Boys Deluxe Set The Beach Boys
1967 Wild Honey The Beach Boys
1968 Friends The Beach Boys
1968 Stack-O-Tracks The Beach Boys
1969 20/20 The Beach Boys
1969 Beach Boys' Biggest Beach Hits The Beach Boys
1969 Close-Up The Beach Boys
1969 The Beach Boysí Biggest Beach Hits The Beach Boys
1970 All Summer Long/California Girls The Beach Boys
1970 Bug In The Beach Boys
1970 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
1970 Live in London The Beach Boys
1970 Summertime Blues The Beach Boys
1970 Sunflower The Beach Boys
1971 Do You Wanna Dance The Beach Boys
1971 Fun, Fun, Fun/Dance, Dance, Dance The Beach Boys
1971 Surfís Up The Beach Boys
1972 Carl and the Passions - So Tough The Beach Boys
1972 Girls The Beach Boys
1972 The Beach Boysí Greatest Hits The Beach Boys
1972 The Best of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1972 Wow! Great Concert! The Beach Boys
1973 High Water The Beach Boys
1973 Holland The Beach Boys
1973 The Beach Boys in Concert The Beach Boys
1973 Their Twenty-Two Greatest Hits The Beach Boys
1974 Endless Summer The Beach Boys
1974 Friends/Smiley Smile The Beach Boys
1974 Wild Honey/20/20 The Beach Boys
1975 American Summer The Beach Boys
1975 Good Vibrations: The Best of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1975 Spirit of America The Beach Boys
1975 Spirit of America The Beach Boys
1975 The Golden Years of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1976 15 Big Ones The Beach Boys
1976 20 Golden Greats The Beach Boys
1976 Beach Boys 69 The Beach Boys
1977 Beached Ricci Martin
1977 Love You The Beach Boys
1977 Pacific Ocean Blue Dennis Wilson
1977 Sail on Sailor The Beach Boys
1978 1962-65 The Beach Boys
1978 1966-69 The Beach Boys
1978 M.I.U. Album The Beach Boys
1978 M.I.U. Album The Beach Boys
1978 The Beach Boys Super Hits The Beach Boys
1979 L.A. The Beach Boys
1979 Surfing with the Beach Boys, The Marketts and Frogmen The Beach Boys
1980 Fun Fun Fun The Beach Boys
1980 Girls on the Beach The Beach Boys
1980 Keepiní the Summer Alive The Beach Boys
1981 Rare Early Recordings The Beach Boys
1981 Ten Years of Harmony The Beach Boys
1982 Be True to Your School The Beach Boys
1982 Bustin' Surfboards Various Artists
1982 Profile The Beach Boys
1982 Sunshine Dream The Beach Boys
1990 Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long The Beach Boys
1993 Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
1996 Cowabunga! The Surf Box Various Artists
1996 Pet Sounds [Bonus Tracks] The Beach Boys
1997 Christmas Sessions: The Alternate Beach Boys Christma The Beach Boys
1997 Live in Sacramento 1964, First Show! The Beach Boys
1997 Live in Sacramento 1964, Second Show! The Beach Boys
1998 Endless Harmony The Beach Boys
1998 Rarities The Beach Boys
1998 Ultimate Christmas The Beach Boys
1999 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 The Beach Boys
2001 All Summer Long [Compilation] The Beach Boys
2001 Hawthorne, CA The Beach Boys
2002 California Feelin': Best of the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
2002 Good Timin: Live at Knebworth, England 1980 The Beach Boys
2003 Pet Sounds The Beach Boys
2003 Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys [US The Beach Boys
2004 Christmas with the Beach Boys The Beach Boys
2004 Sights and Sounds of Summer The Beach Boys
 

Noise

 
 
  • Dennis' many relationships with women, including five marriages (twice to Karen Lamm, Barbara Charren, Carole Freedman, and Shawn Love), were typically equally passionate and chaotic.  In the late 1970s, he dated Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac.
  • Dennis also developed a relationship with Charles Manson and “the family”.  Dennis introduced Manson to Terry Melcher, who owned the home where Manson’s followers murdered actress Sharon Tate and her unborn child.
 

Instruments of Choice

 
 

Drums

Drums: Camco
Cymbals:  
Hardware:  
Heads:  
Electronics:  
Percussion:  
Sticks:  
 
 

Pics & Clips