6 Underrated Beach Boys Stories
Updated: May 4
Despite their carefree and relaxing sound and the reputation as an influentially innovative band, things were anything but perfect for The Beach Boys. The band members experienced reoccurring troubles throughout their careers impacting both their personal and professional lives. Below are 6 underappreciated stories from The Beach Boy's wild careers.
The Infamous Babysitter
In 1968, the Beach Boy's lead singer Mike Love had dinner at his cousin and bandmate Dennis Wilson's home to meet Dennis' new pal. Dennis had become involved with an aspiring musician that lacked talent but could provide the drummer with one of his most ardent vices: girls. The dinner turned out to be too weird for Love and he split. Something he could not quite put his finger on was off about Dennis' new friend, a guy named Charles Manson.
Later that year, Love and his wife split after she revealed she was having an affair with Dennis. She and Love's cousin would sneak off for romantic interludes. But someone had to watch their children while she was off doing the nasty. On at least one occasion they got one of the Manson girls named Susan Atkins to babysit. Atkins would later be a willing participant in the slaughter of eight people in the gruesome Manson murders.
Bigger than the Beatles
The peak of the beach/car genre of music was 1963-64, afterwards the Beach Boys turned out some hits, but they were moving in different direction musically. The group's star power began to fade in 1965 and by 1966 the Beatles had totally eclipsed the Beach Boys in popularity within the United States. Hits that barely cracked the Top 40 in America became huge successes in Europe. Across the pond the Beach Boys were enjoying a resurgence. In 1966, New Music Express, the authority on music in the UK, had its annual poll for top groups and performers. In previous years, the Beatles had ruled the polls, but in 1966 the Beach Boys were handily chosen as the best vocal group in the world. For a time in Europe, in the late 60's, the Beach Boys were indeed bigger than the Beatles.
Keith Moon’s Birthday Party
Moon’s birthday party was organized through his record company, promotions, and management, to celebrate his 28th birthday in 1974. At this party, executives presented Keith Moon with the pinstripe suit worn by Robert Redford in the film The Sting (designed by Edith Head). Brian Wilson turned up to Moon's party in a bathrobe and slippers while choosing the same attire to interrupt a set by a jazz musician at a club called the Troubadour to sing 'Be-Bop-a-Lula'. Ironically enough, Wilson held court at the Moon party and nearly stole the show.
The Hearing Impaired Genius
Brian Wilson, formerly of the Beach Boys, suffers from extremely diminished hearing in his right ear from an unknown cause. Wilson has publicly stated the hearing damage was the result of physical abuse from his father.
There are theories that he may have been born this way, but we will never know.
A Second Cousin Marriage
The story goes that Dennis Wilson had a rivalry with his fellow bandmate and first cousin, Mike Love. It’s well-know that Wilson was The Beach Boys’ sex symbol and girls everywhere rarely resisted him. So, when he and Love had a falling out, he put that to good use. Dennis pursued and later married bandmate’s daughter Shawn Marie Love – his second cousin.
Even Too Much Trouble for the Troubled
In 1983, having been barred from touring by the band, Dennis was broke and homeless. He finally agreed to enter a rehab program in an effort to work past his destructive behavior. However, when Dennis applied to the rehab program, he was denied.
The rehab clinic had concluded Dennis would be too much trouble, and so they refused to let him enter. It would only be a few days later, on December 28, 1983, that Dennis would pass away from a drowning accident.