One of the Wilson brothers that were a member of the storied Beach Boys was Dennis Wilson. With their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, the brother’s Brian, Dennis, and Carl founded the band with the intention of forever changing the music industry with records like Pet Sounds (1966).
Dennis, the lone beach boy who surfed, came up with the idea for the concept of the band’s debut single, “Surfin’.”
Wilson primarily supported the Beach Boys on drums and with backing vocals. Contrary to the widespread belief, he was frequently replaced on record by musicians from the studio. His playing can be heard in many of the group’s successes.
His lead vocals on the band’s songs were sparse initially, but after their 1968 album Friends, he gained more notoriety as a singer-songwriter.
He is said to express his “edginess” and “a little of his cheerful charm” in his music. Little Bird (1968) and “Forever,” two of his original songs for the band, were among them (1970).
Friends and biographers said he was an uncredited writer on “You Are So Lovely,” a 1974 hit for Joe Cocker that Wilson frequently sang live.
Dennis Wilson Meets Charles Manson
Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey were two female hitchhikers Wilson encountered while traveling through Malibu on April 6, 1968.
They were picked up and delivered to their destination by him. Wilson observed the identical two girls hitchhiking once more on April 11.
He brought them to his residence at 14400 Sunset Boulevard this time. “Told [the girls] about our engagement with the Maharishi,” he recounted, “and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who’d just come out of jail after 12 years.”
Wilson subsequently left for a recording session; when he returned later that night, Charles Manson was waiting for him in his driveway.
When Wilson entered his house, there were around a dozen individuals, most young ladies. They then became referred to as “Manson Family” members. Manson claimed that he had met Wilson at least once before, when he went to a friend’s house in San Francisco to get some marijuana.
When Manson arrived in Los Angeles, he allegedly received Wilson’s invitation to visit his Sunset Boulevard home. Wilson first found Manson and his followers fascinating; at the time, he referred to Manson as “the Wizard” in a Rave magazine piece.
Following their connection, Wilson’s home became home to several Manson Family members, primarily women treated like servants, at a cost of about $100,000 (about $740,000 in 2020).
Many of these costs were spent on cars, clothing, food, and penicillin treatments for their chronic gonorrhea. The duration of this partnership was roughly six months. Wilson told Record Mirror in late 1968 that “when I met [Charlie], I thought he had terrific musical ideas.
” Now, now we’re writing together. Although he’s stupid in certain aspects, I respect his philosophy and have gained knowledge from him.
When questioned if he had supported the 17 women he claimed to have been living with, Wilson responded, “No, if anything, they’re helping me.
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I owned every sign of wealth—Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, mansion after mansion. After waking up, I gave away between 50% and 60% of my money. Now that I’ve discovered myself, I live in a little room with just one candle.
Wilson introduced Manson to a couple of his contacts in the music industry, notably Terry Melcher, the producer of the Byrds. At Brian’s home studio, Manson cut several songs, although the public has never heard the recordings.
The Manson sessions were completed “for Dennis and Terry Melcher,” according to band engineer Stephen Desper. Wilson recorded a Manson song for the Beach Boys in September 1968.
Originally named “Cease to Exist,” the piece was later altered and released as “Never Learn Not to Love” as a single B-side in December.
Only Wilson received credit for the writing. Wilson responded when asked why Manson was not given credit, saying that Manson had given up his publishing rights in exchange for “around a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of stuff.”
Wilson’s Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari were destroyed around this time; they had been driven to a mountain outside Spahn Ranch.
He was a spendthrift and irresponsible member repeatedly kicked out of the Beach Boys. He didn’t get along with Mike Love, his cousin. He struggled financially and could not pay for Harmony; as a result, the yacht was taken from him and sunk.
Despite the issues, he still created the album Pacific Ocean Blue, which immediately gained a cult following. The album Bambu was his next project. However, it was never released while he was still alive.
He struggled with illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction during his final years. Dennis needed the aid of his buddies because he was broke, prematurely old, and not a member of the Beach Boys.
Dennis Wilson’s Death Cause
The musician had been homeless and traveling since November 1983. He spent a few days in therapeutic facilities before being treated for hospital wounds. He would, however, always excuse himself and resume drinking.
Dennis drowned at Marina Del Rey on December 28, three weeks after turning 39, after binge drinking all morning and diving for his ex-possessions wife’s in the late afternoon.
Three years prior, in the heat of their divorce, he had already been thrown overboard in the marina from his yacht. Michael Hunter, a forensic pathologist, said Dennis had a shallow water blackout right before he passed away.
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