DENNIS WILSON Biography - Musicians


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Name: Dennis Wilson                                                                           
Birth name: Dennis Carl Wilson                                                               
Born: 4 December 1944 Inglewood, California, U.S.                                             
Died: 28 December 1983 Marina del Rey, California, U.S.                                       
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               
Born in Inglewood, California, Wilson was the second (middle) of the Wilson                   
brothers. Dennis was included in the band only after the Wilsons' mother, Audree             
Wilson, insisted to Brian that he not exclude Dennis. Urged by older cousin Mike             
Love, Dennis approached older brother Brian, the original conspicuous musical                 
talent in the family, to form a group and compose a song about surfing. The                   
Beach Boys formed in August 1961 under the guidance of father Murry Wilson,                   
meeting immediate success. Though the Beach Boys were named for and developed an             
image based on the California surfing culture, Dennis was the only real surfer               
in the band. In 1976, he described his love for the beach: I don't know why                   
everybody doesn't live at the beach, on the ocean. It makes no sense to me,                   
hanging around the dirty city. That's why I always loved and was proud to be a               
Beach Boy; I always loved the image. On the beach you can live in bliss.                     
During the first few years of The Beach Boys, Dennis was given the role of the               
drummer. His freedom to express himself was limited to playing the drums, as his             
voice was not as clear and was not regarded as being as angelic as his two                   
brothers, Brian and Carl. Because of this, Dennis was not recognized at first                 
for the talent he had and that he went on to show in future recordings. Dennis               
had little musical experience at the outset but quickly learned to play the                   
drums. However, he gained little respect musically due to Brian's reliance as                 
producer on session drummers, particularly Hal Blaine, although contrary to                   
popular belief, Wilson did drum on many of the group's '60s recordings. Likewise,             
although he rarely sang on stage, his rough-hewn vocals were a key ingredient to             
the group's vocal blend in the studio. Despite his lower artistic profile,                   
Wilson became far and away the most popular member of the group, becoming its                 
box-office sex symbol, and his emerging musical talent took a back seat. He                   
developed a personal musical style and taste divergent from the Beach Boys'                   
known style: soulful, even bluesy, compared with the group's famous high                     
Though given few important lead vocals on the early Beach Boys recordings ("Little           
Girl (You're My Miss America)" and "This Car of Mine") he impressed on "Do You               
Wanna Dance?" in February 1965, then later that year on Beach Boys' Party! gave               
an authoritative rendition of The Beatles' "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away".               
He accompanied himself on guitar, and like the other Beach Boys became a multi-instrumentalist.
His piano playing, in particular, developed into a distinctive style and was                 
showcased on his Pacific Ocean Blue album.                                                   
Even though Wilson had managed to taste some success from his recordings off                 
albums such as Friends, 20/20 and Sunflower, his music was still very much under             
rated and under promoted. With the release of Pacific Ocean Blue, Dennis proved               
that he was not just a drummer, but that he could write lyrics and music,                     
produce as well as performing the album tracks. Despite this, Dennis knew that               
Brian was still the main man in The Beach Boys: Brian Wilson is The Beach Boys.               
He is the band. We're his messengers. He is all of it. Period. We're nothing. He's