Dennis Wilson: the only surfer in Beach Boys

Dennis Wilson was the only member of The Beach Boys who actually surfed. The surfing spirit of the famous US band was in the heart of Dennis Wilson.

The founding drummer of The Beach Boys had a troubled life, but lived it until the end with waves in his mind. "Hey, surfing's getting really big. You guys ought to write a song about it", Dennis once told his brothers, Brian and Mike Love, back in 1961.

Almost all The Beach Boys' tunes had something to do with warm weather, sand, beach, waves, ocean, girls and parties. Dennis Wilson made sure the band kept aligned with the Californian surfing lifestyle.

Dennis Wilson was born on the 4th December 1944, a few months before the end of World War II. He hardly knew how to play drums, but his brother Brian bought him a few lessons until he did okay.

In 1968, Dennis met Charles Manson and immediately became fascinated by the strange character. Months later, The Beach Boys drummer decided to end this new friendship because he thought Manson was, in fact, too strange. Charles Manson answered by leaving a bullet with a cryptic message at his house.

Dennis Wilson had several relationships and kids from several marriages. After battling with alcohol and drug problems, the founding drummer of The Beach Boys drowned at Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, on the 28th December 1983.

Dennis Wilson, the only surfer of The Beach Boys, left us two solo albums: Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) and Bambu (1978-79, uncompleted, and released in 2008). Discover the complete studio album discography of The Beach Boys.