Dennis Carl Wilson (December 4, 1944 ? December 28, 1983) was an American rock and roll musician best known as a founding member and the drummer of The Beach Boys. Though he sang few leads early on and was occasionally augmented or replaced by studio drummers, starting in the late 60s Dennis became a composer and multi-instrumentalist. In 1977, he released a critically acclaimed solo album, "Pacific Ocean Blue".
Though he sang few leads early on and was occasionally augmented or replaced by studio drummers, starting in the late 60s Dennis became a composer and multi-instrumentalist.
In 1977, he released a critically acclaimed solo album, "Pacific Ocean Blue".
Dennis is purported to have been the only surfer in the Beach Boys, and suggested that the surfing craze be the topic of some songs. The advice paid off, and to this day "The Beach Boys" moniker is synonymous with sun, surf and what some have labeled the "California Myth".
Dennis Wilson's personal excesses and relationships are legendary in musical circles. This includes his odd association with Charles Manson; even co-writing a song with the would be musician turned cult leader. He appeared with James Taylor in the 1971 road movie "Two-lane Blacktop".
Dennis was generally considered the ladies man of the group, and his solo rendition of Joe Cocker's hit "You Are So Beautiful" (written by Dennis and Billy Preston) was a staple at many Beach Boys concerts, eliciting female audience member screams.
Off stage, his relationships included his co-band member and cousin Mike Love's daughter (with the predictable friction), whom he was married to at the time of his death. He was also married to Chicago's Robert Lamm's ex-wife twice (a relationship rumored to have started when the Beach Boys and Chicago toured together in the mid 70's); and had a tumultuous relationship with Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie.
His personal life began to detract from his professional performance, as his chemical excesses made him unfit to perform on numerous occasions. In 1977 the Beach Boys felt forced to fire Dennis, presumably in hopes this would encourage him to seek help, but he was re-hired in 1980.
On December 28, 1983, Dennis drowned at Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles. With a special dispensation from President Ronald Reagan, Dennis Wilson was buried at sea. On the day of his death, he was quoted as saying "I'm lonesome. I'm lonesome all the time."
Another artist known as Dennis Wilson is a British composer known for the "Fawlty Towers" theme.