Dennis Carl Wilson (December 4, 1944 – December 28, 1983) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their drummer and as the middle brother of bandmates Brian and Carl Wilson. Dennis was the only true surfer in the Beach Boys, and his personal life exemplified the "California Myth" that the band's early songs often celebrated. He was also known for his brief association with Charles Manson, a cult leader and songwriter later convicted of several murders, and for co-starring in the 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop.
|Birth name||Dennis Carl Wilson|
|Born||December 4, 1944|
Inglewood, California, U.S.
|Origin||Hawthorne, California, U.S.|
|Died||December 28, 1983 (aged 39)|
Marina del Rey, California, U.S.
Wilson served mainly on drums and backing vocals for the Beach Boys. His playing can be heard on many of the group's hits, belying the popular misconception that he was always replaced on record by studio musicians. He originally had few lead vocals on the band's songs, but his prominence as a singer-songwriter increased following their 1968 album Friends. His music is characterized for reflecting his "edginess" and "little of his happy charm". His original songs for the group included "Little Bird" (1968) and "Forever" (1970). Friends and biographers have asserted that he was an uncredited writer on "You Are So Beautiful", a 1974 hit for Joe Cocker frequently performed by Wilson in concert.
During his final years, Wilson struggled with alcoholism and the comorbid use of other drugs (including cocaine and heroin), exacerbating longstanding tensions with some of his bandmates. His solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue (1977), was released to warm reviews and moderate sales comparable to contemporaneous Beach Boys albums. Sessions for a follow-up, Bambu, disintegrated before his death. In 1983, Wilson drowned at age 39. In 1988, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beach Boys.
Dennis Carl Wilson was born on December 4, 1944, the second child of Audree Neva (née Korthof) and Murry Gage Wilson. He spent his family years with his brothers Brian and Carl and their parents in Hawthorne, California. Dennis' role in the family dynamic, which he himself acknowledged, was that of the black sheep. According to neighborhood friend David Marks, Dennis' "raucous behavior" inspired other kids to nickname him "Dennis the Menace". Out of the three Wilson brothers, Dennis was the most likely to get beaten by their father. In 1976, he acknowledged, "We had a shitty childhood ... my dad was a tyrant. He used to whale on us, physically beat the crap out of us. I don't know kids who got it like we did."
Possessed with an abundance of physical energy and a combative nature, Dennis often refused to participate in family singalongs, and likewise avoided vocalizing on the early recordings that Brian made on a portable tape recorder. Dennis later described Brian as a "freak" who would "stay in his room all day listening to records rather than playing baseball. If you could get me to sing a song, yeah, I'd get into it. But I'd much rather play doctor with the girl next door or muck around with cars." However, Dennis would sing with his brothers late at night in their shared bedroom, a song Brian later recalled as "our special one we'd sing", titled "Come Down, Come Down from the Ivory Tower". Brian said of the late night brotherly three-part harmonies: "We developed a little blend which aided us when we started to get into the Beach Boys stuff."
Dennis noted of himself, "If my dad hadn't given me a BB gun when I was nine years old, my life would have been completely different. With that gun I had something I could take my anger out on. Hunting, fishing, racing have been my preoccupations ever since." Brian told Melody Maker in 1966: "Dennis had to keep moving all the time. If you wanted him to sit still for one second, he's yelling and screaming and ranting and raving. He's the most messed-up person I know." Around the time he was 14, Dennis began playing piano and learned to play boogie-woogie styles. He remembered attending church gatherings with the rest of his family "because there was this outasight chick there ... [and] I used to try and play boogie woogie on the church piano on Friday nights when all the kids went there to play volleyball."
Formation of the Beach BoysEdit
The Wilsons' mother, Audree, forced Brian to include Dennis in the original lineup of the Beach Boys. In 1960, Dennis began taking drum lessons at Hawthorne High School. Teacher Fred Morgan later said that Dennis had been "a beater, not a drummer" and "a fast learner when he wanted to learn." According to Brian, "We kind of developed into a group sort of through the wishes of Dennis. He said that ... the kids at school knew I was musical because I had done some singing for assemblies and so on." Recalling their first group rehearsals, Dennis said that he was initially "going to play bass, and then I decided to play drums. ... Drums seemed to be more exciting. I could always play bass if I wanted to."
The Beach Boys officially formed in late 1961, with Murry taking over as manager, and had a local hit with their debut record "Surfin'", a song that Brian wrote at Dennis' urging. Dennis recalled, "We got so excited ... I ran down the street screaming, 'Listen, we're on the radio!' It was really funky. That started it, the minute you're on the radio." Though the Beach Boys developed their image based on the California surfing culture, Dennis was the only actual surfer in the band. Carl supported, "Dennis was the only one who could really surf. We all tried, even Brian, but we were terrible. We just wanted to have a good time and play music."
In early 1963, Dennis teamed with Brian's collaborator Gary Usher. As a duo writing, producing, and performing, and calling themselves the Four-Speeds, they released the single "RPM" backed with "My Stingray". In March 1964, Dennis moved out of the Wilson family home and took residence at an address in Hollywood. For the sleeve notes of the band's July 1964 album All Summer Long, Dennis wrote: "They say I live a fast life. Maybe I just like a fast life. I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. It won't last forever, either. But the memories will." In December, Murry told a reporter that Dennis had been "a little too generous" with money and "cried when he learned about how much he had wasted. ... Where the other boys invested or saved their money, Dennis spent $94,000. He spent $25,000 on a home but the rest just went. Dennis [is] like that: he picks up the tab wherever he goes."
Increased record presenceEdit
In January 1965, Brian declared to his bandmates that he would no longer tour with the group for the foreseeable future. He later said that Dennis was so devastated by the news that his immediate reaction was to pick up "a big ashtray and told some people to get out of there or he'd hit them on the head with it. He kind of blew it." Brian wrote that he felt that Dennis "never really had a chance to sing very much", and so he gave him more leads on their next album,The Beach Boys Today!, released in March. Dennis sang "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "In the Back of My Mind". The former became the first song with a Dennis lead that was issued as an A-sided single, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Journalist Peter Doggett later said that Dennis' performance on the latter song "showed for the first time an awareness that his voice could be a blunt emotional instrument. ... his erratic croon cut straight to the heart, with an urgency that his more precise brothers could never have matched."
By 1966, Dennis had begun experimenting with LSD. His drumming contributions on Pet Sounds (1966) were limited to the track "That's Not Me". During the Smile sessions, he played on "Vega-Tables", "Holidays", and "Good Vibrations". Van Dyke Parks, the project's lyricist, credited Wilson with inspiring the name of the would-be album track "Surf's Up". The Smile album was cancelled, according to Wilson, because the group became "very paranoid about the possibility of losing our public. ... Drugs played a great role in our evolution but as a result we were frightened that people would no longer understand us, musically."
In the latter part of the 1960s, Dennis started writing songs for the Beach Boys. In January 1967, Wilson recorded the original composition "I Don't Know", but it was left unreleased. Music historian Keith Badman states that whether the piece was intended for Smile is not definitively known. In December, Wilson recorded a piece called "Tune #1" that was intended for a solo project to be released on Brother Records, but it was also shelved.
Wilson's first major released composition was "Little Bird", issued in April 1968 as the B-side of the "Friends" single. The outro of "Little Bird" interpolates a reworked melody from Brian's unfinished 1966 composition "Child Is Father of the Man", originally intended for Smile. "Little Bird" and another song, "Be Still", were co-written with poet Stephen Kalinich and featured on the album Friends (June 1968). The group's next album, 20/20 (February 1969), marked the emergence of Dennis as a producer, including his original songs "Be with Me" and "All I Want to Do". In 2018, many of Wilson's unreleased tracks from this period were released for the compilations Wake the World: The Friends Sessions and I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions.
Contact with MansonEdit
On April 6, 1968, Wilson was driving through Malibu when he noticed two female hitchhikers, Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. He picked them up and dropped them off at their destination. On April 11, Wilson noticed the same two girls hitchhiking again. This time he took them to his home at 14400 Sunset Boulevard. He recalled that he "told [the girls] about our involvement with the Maharishi and they told me they too had a guru, a guy named Charlie who'd recently come out of jail after 12 years." Wilson then went to a recording session; when he returned later that night, he was met in his driveway by Charles Manson, and when Wilson walked into his home, about a dozen people were occupying the premises, most of them young women. They were later known as members of the "Manson Family". By Manson's own account, he had met Wilson on at least one prior occasion: at a friend's San Francisco house where Manson had gone to obtain marijuana. Manson claimed that Wilson invited him to visit his Sunset Boulevard home when Manson came to Los Angeles.
Wilson was initially fascinated by Manson and his followers, referring to him as "the Wizard" in a Rave magazine article at the time. The two struck a friendship, and over the next few months, members of the Manson Family – mostly women who were treated as servants – were housed at Wilson's household, costing him approximately $100,000 (equivalent to $740,000 in 2020). Much of these expenses went into cars, clothes, food, and penicillin shots for their persistent gonorrhoea. This arrangement persisted for about six months. In late 1968, Wilson told the magazine Record Mirror that "when I met [Charlie] I found he had great musical ideas. We're writing together now. He's dumb, in some ways, but I accept his approach and have [learned] from him." He told reporters that he had been living with 17 women; asked if he had been supporting them, Wilson replied: "No, if anything, they're supporting me. I had all the rich status symbols – Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, home after home. Then I woke up, gave away 50 to 60 percent of my money. Now I live in one small room, with one candle, and I'm happy, finding myself."
Wilson introduced Manson to a few friends in the music business, including the Byrds' producer Terry Melcher. Manson recorded numerous songs at Brian's home studio, although the recordings remain unheard by the public. Band engineer Stephen Desper said that the Manson sessions were done "for Dennis and Terry Melcher." In September 1968, Wilson recorded a Manson song for the Beach Boys, originally titled "Cease to Exist" but reworked as "Never Learn Not to Love", as a single B-side released the following December. The writing was credited solely to Wilson. Asked why Manson was not credited, Wilson explained that Manson relinquished his publishing rights in favor of "about a hundred thousand dollars' worth of stuff." Around this time, the Family destroyed Wilson's Ferrari, as well as his Mercedes-Benz, which had been driven to a mountain outside Spahn Ranch.
Growing fearful of the situation, Wilson distanced himself from Manson and moved out of the house, leaving Manson and his followers there, and subsequently took residence with friend Gregg Jakobson at a basement apartment in Santa Monica. Virtually all of Wilson's household possessions were stolen by the Family; the members were evicted from his home three weeks before the lease was scheduled to expire. When Manson subsequently sought further contact, he left a bullet with Wilson's housekeeper to be delivered with a threatening message. Commenting on rumors that suggested Wilson had become afraid of Manson, Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks later said
One day, Charles Manson brought a bullet out and showed it to Dennis, who asked, "What's this?" And Manson replied, "It's a bullet. Every time you look at it, I want you to think how nice it is your kids are still safe." Well, Dennis grabbed Manson by the head and threw him to the ground and began pummeling him ... I heard about it, but I wasn't there. The point is, though, Dennis Wilson wasn't afraid of anybody!
Conversely, band manager Nick Grillo said that Wilson became more concerned about Manson after Manson had gotten "into a much heavier drug situation ... taking a tremendous amount of acid and Dennis wouldn't tolerate it and asked him to leave. It was difficult for Dennis because he was afraid of Charlie." Writing in his 2016 memoir, Mike Love recalled Wilson saying he had witnessed Manson shooting a black man "in half" with an M16 rifle and hiding the body inside a well. Melcher said that Wilson had been aware that the Family "were killing people" and had been "so freaked out he just didn't want to live anymore. He was afraid, and he thought he should have gone to the authorities, but he didn't, and the rest of it happened."
In August 1969, Manson Family members perpetrated the Tate–LaBianca murders. Shortly afterward, Manson visited Wilson's home, telling him that he had "just been to the moon", and demanded money, which Wilson agreed to give to him. That November, Manson was apprehended and charged with numerous counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Wilson refused to testify against Manson. He explained: "I couldn't. I was so scared." Instead, he was privately interviewed by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. Wilson's testimony was deemed inessential since Jakobson agreed to publicly testify and corroborate Wilson's claims. Melcher later commented that Wilson had not been taken to the stand because the prosecutors "thought he was nuts, and by that time he was. He had a hard time separating reality from fantasy." Bugliosi said that when he attempted to procure tapes of the songs that Wilson had recorded with Manson, Wilson responded saying that he had destroyed them because "the vibrations connected with them didn't belong on this earth."
In the subsequent years, Wilson allegedly received death threats from members of the Manson Family, who telephoned his home and told him: "You're next". In 1976, he commented that "I don't talk about Manson. I think he's a sick fuck. I think of Roman and all those wonderful people who had a beautiful family and they fucking had their tits cut off. I want to benefit from that?" In the 1978 biography The Beach Boys and the California Myth, Wilson acknowledged the interest in his relationship with Manson and said: "I know why [he] did what he did. Someday, I'll tell the world. I'll write a book and explain why he did it." According to biographer Mark Dillon: "Some attribute [Wilson's] subsequent spiral of self-destructive behavior ― particularly his drug intake ― to these fears and feelings of guilt for ever having introduced this evil Wizard into the Hollywood scene."
Wilson's first wife Carole Freedman later told journalist Tom O'Neill that Wilson and other members of the Hollywood community had closer associations to Manson than what had been reported on the public record. O'Neill quoted Freedman saying that "It's a scary thing, and anyone who knows anything will never talk."
Dennis continued writing songs for the Beach Boys' subsequent albums, including Sunflower (1970), which featured the single "Forever" and three other songs written by Dennis. Their inclusion was said to be at the insistence of the label, which claimed that his songs sounded more contemporary than other rejected Beach Boys tracks. On December 4, 1970, Dennis released his first piece of solo material, an obscure single released only in Europe and the UK under the credit "Dennis Wilson & Rumbo". The single featured "Sound of Free", on his usual theme of freedom, on the A-side with the romantic "Lady" (also known as "Fallin' In Love") on the B-side. The song was later covered by American Spring and released as the B-side to their single "Shyin' Away". Biographer David Leaf wrote that, by this time, "Dennis was constantly quitting [the band] or getting fired and then rejoining."
In 1971, Dennis starred alongside James Taylor and Warren Oates in the film Two-Lane Blacktop as "The Mechanic". The film depicts "The Driver" (Taylor) and "The Mechanic" driving aimlessly across the United States in their 1955 Chevy, surviving on money earned from street racing. That same year, he injured his hand badly enough to prevent him from playing drums for some time, so Ricky Fataar took over as the group's drummer between 1972 and 1974. During this period, Dennis acted as a co-frontman alongside Mike Love while also contributing keyboards and harmony vocals. The live album The Beach Boys in Concert (1973) features only Dennis onstage among thousands of fans on the album cover.
During the three-year recording hiatus following Holland, Dennis' voice deteriorated markedly. By then his onstage antics (including streaking) occasionally disrupted the Beach Boys' live shows. In 1974, concurrent with the success of the '60s hits compilation Endless Summer, Dennis returned to his role behind the drums. According to Dennis' biographer, Jon Stebbins, it was this year that he co-wrote the lyrics and modified part of the melody of "You Are So Beautiful" at a party with Billy Preston.
Pacific Ocean BlueEdit
By 1977, Dennis had amassed a stockpile of songs he had written and recorded while factions within the Beach Boys became too stressful for him. He expressed: "If these people want to take this beautiful, happy, spiritual music we've made and all the things we stand for and throw it out the window just because of money, then there's something wrong with the whole thing and I don't want any part of it." He then approached James William Guercio, owner of Caribou Records, who stipulated "a structured recording process" before signing Dennis to a two-album contract. According to Guercio: "My discussions with Dennis were along the lines of, 'You just tell Gregg [Jakobson] what you need - you have the studio and your job is to finish the dream. Finish the vision. Trish Roach [personal assistant] will do the paperwork and Gregg's the co-ordinator. It's your project... You've got to do what Brian used to do. Use anybody you want - it's your decision and you're responsible."
Dennis released his debut solo album Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977. Although it sold relatively poorly, peaking at No. 96 on the US Billboard chart, it outperformed the following two Beach Boys albums. Dates were booked for a Dennis Wilson solo tour, but these were ultimately cancelled when his record company withdrew concert support in light of the album's commercial performance and a perception that he was becoming increasingly unreliable. He did occasionally perform his solo material on the 1977 Beach Boys tour. Despite Dennis claiming the album had "no substance", Pacific Ocean Blue received positive reviews and later developed status as a cult item, ultimately selling nearly 250,000 copies.
The album remained largely out of print between the 1990s and 2000s. In June 2008, it was reissued on CD as an expanded edition. It was voted the 2008 "Reissue of the Year" in both Rolling Stone, and Mojo magazines and made No. 16 on the British LP charts and No. 8 on both the Billboard Catalog chart and the Billboard Internet Sales chart.
Pacific Ocean Blue's follow-up, Bambu, began production in 1978 at Brother Studios in Santa Monica, with the collaboration of then Beach Boys keyboardist and Dennis' close friend Carli Muñoz as songwriter and producer. The first four songs officially recorded for Bambu were Muñoz's compositions: "It's Not Too Late", "Constant Companion", "All Alone", and "Under the Moonlight". The project was initially scuttled by lack of financing and the distractions of simultaneous Beach Boys projects. Bambu was officially released in 2008 along with the Pacific Ocean Blue reissue. This material was also released on vinyl in 2017, without Pacific Ocean Blue, for Record Store Day.
Two songs from the Bambu sessions, "Love Surrounds Me" and "Baby Blue," were lifted for the Beach Boys' L.A. (Light Album) (1979). Dennis and Brian also recorded together apart from the Beach Boys in the early 1980s. These sessions remain unreleased, although they are widely bootlegged as The Cocaine Sessions.
In succeeding years, Dennis abused alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Following a confrontation on an airport tarmac, he declared to Rolling Stone on September 3, 1977, that he had left the Beach Boys: "They kept telling me I had my solo album now, like I should go off in a corner and leave the Beach Boys to them. The album really bothers them. They don't like to admit it's doing so well; they never even acknowledge it in interviews." Two weeks later, disputes were resolved, and Dennis rejoined the group. At some time, Brian's then-girlfriend and nurse Carolyn Williams accused Dennis of enticing Brian to purchase about $15,000 worth of cocaine. When Brian's bodyguard Rocky Pamplin and the Wilsons' cousin Stan Love learned of this incident, they physically assaulted Dennis at his home. For the assault, they were fined about $1,000, and Dennis filed a restraining order.
Death, aftermath and commerationsEdit
As the Beach Boys pressured Brian to readmit himself into Eugene Landy's Twenty-Four Hour Therapy program, Dennis was informed by friends that he would be the band's next target, to Dennis's disbelief. He was proven wrong as the rest of the band gave him an ultimatum after his last performance in November 1983 to check into rehab for his alcohol problems or be banned from performing live with them. By then, he was homeless and living a nomadic life. He checked into a therapy center in Arizona for two days, and then on December 23, checked into St. John's Medical Hospital in Santa Monica, where he stayed until the evening of December 25. Following a violent altercation at the Santa Monica Bay Inn, Dennis checked into a different hospital in order to treat his wounds. Several hours later, he discharged himself and reportedly resumed drinking immediately.
On December 28, three weeks after his 39th birthday, Dennis drowned at Marina Del Rey after drinking all day and then diving in the afternoon to recover his ex-wife's belongings, previously thrown overboard at the marina from his yacht three years earlier amidst their divorce. Forensic pathologist Michael Hunter believed that Dennis experienced shallow-water blackout just before his death. On January 4, 1984, the U.S. Coast Guard buried Dennis' body at sea, off the California coast. The Beach Boys released a statement shortly thereafter: "We know Dennis would have wanted to continue in the tradition of the Beach Boys. His spirit will remain in our music." His song "Farewell My Friend" was played at the funeral.
Dennis's widow Shawn Love reported that Dennis had wanted a burial at sea, and his brothers Carl and Brian did not want Dennis cremated. At the time, only veterans of the Coast Guard and Navy were allowed to be buried in US waters without being first cremated, but Dennis's burial was made possible by the intervention of then-President Ronald Reagan. In 2002, Brian expressed unhappiness with the arrangement, believing that Dennis should have been given a traditional burial.
Legacy and musicianshipEdit
PopMatters writer Tony Sclafani summarized in 2007:
By all appearances the happy-go-lucky Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson lived out the proverbial live-fast-die-young motto. To some degree, that's a fair assessment. Dennis did indeed drive fast cars, hang with hippies (including Charles Manson) and dated his share of beautiful California women. But like his older brother Brian, Dennis was bullied mercilessly by his father. His wild side masked an underside that was, by turns, brooding, self-loathing, sensitive, and anxious. Dennis's music reflected his edginess and exhibited little of his happy charm, setting it apart from Brian's music. Dennis never sang about fun, and no images of surfboards or surfer girls ever appear in a Dennis Wilson song.
A common misconception is that Dennis' drumming in the Beach Boys' recordings was filled in exclusively by studio musicians. His drumming is documented on a number of the group's singles, including "I Get Around", "Fun, Fun, Fun", and "Don't Worry Baby". During the early years of the band, Brian took note of Dennis' limited drumming technique and, as the mid-1960s approached, often hired session drummers, such as Hal Blaine, to perform on studio recordings. Dennis accepted this situation with equanimity, generally giving high praise to his older brother's work, as Brian's compositions became more sophisticated and complex.
In 1967, Dennis was cited as "the closest to brother Brian's own musical ideals ... He always emphasises the fusion, in their work, of pop and classical music." Dennis said his brother Brian was an "inspiration", not an influence, and that "Musically, I'm far apart from Brian. He's a hundred times more than what I am musically."
Wilson's first wife was Carole Freedman, with whom he had a daughter, Jennifer, and adopted son, Scott, from her previous relationship. His second was Barbara Charren, with whom he had two sons, Michael and Carl. Dennis was then married twice to actress Karen Lamm, the ex-wife of Chicago keyboardist Robert Lamm, in 1976 and again in 1978. From 1979 to 1982, he also had a relationship with Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac.
At the time of his death, Wilson was married to (but separated from) Shawn Marie Love (born Shawn Marie Harris on December 30, 1964), who claimed to be the daughter of his first cousin and bandmate, Mike Love, although Love disputed the claim. Music journalist Bob Stanley remarked, "It says a lot about [Mike] Love's low standing and the persuasive powers of Dennis Wilson's music that the drummer isn't regarded as the Beach Boys' real monster – after all, he slept with Love's first wife, ending their marriage, and later married one of Love's daughters." Wilson and Shawn had one son, Gage Dennis, born September 3, 1982.
|Year||Album details||Chart positions|
|1977||Pacific Ocean Blue
|2017||Bambu (The Caribou Sessions)
|December 1970||"Sound of Free" / "Lady"||Stateside|
|September 1977||"River Song" / "Farewell My Friend"||Caribou|
|October 1977||"You and I" / "Friday Night"|
Songs (written or co-written by Dennis Wilson)
- Surfer Girl (1963)
- Shut Down Volume 2 (1964)
- "Denny's Drums"
- Friends (1968)
- 20/20 (1969)
- Sunflower (1970)
- Carl and the Passions – "So Tough" (1972)
- "Make It Good"
- "Cuddle Up"
- Holland (1973)
- "Only with You"
- Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)
- Pacific Ocean Blue CD reissue bonus tracks
- "Tug of Love"
- "Holy Man"
- Bambu (The Caribou Sessions) (2017)
- "School Girl"
- "Love Remember Me'
- "Wild Situation"
- "Are You Real"
- "He's a Bum"
- "I Love You"
- "Time for Bed"
- "Album Tag Song"
- "Piano Variations on "Thoughts of You""
- L.A. (Light Album) (1979)
- "Love Surrounds Me"
- "Baby Blue"
- Ten Years of Harmony (1981)
- Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys (1993)
- Endless Harmony Soundtrack (1997)
- Ultimate Christmas (1998)
- "Morning Christmas"
- The Smile Sessions (2011)
- "I Don't Know"
- Made in California (2013)
- Wake the World: The Friends Sessions (2018)
- "Untitled 1/25/68"
- I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions (2018)
- 1969: I'm Going Your Way (2019)
- "I'm Going Your Way"
- Orme, Mike (July 8, 2008). "Pacific Ocean Blue: Legacy Edition". Pitchfork.
- Sclafani, Tony (November 1, 2007). "Dennis Wilson's Majestic Solo Work". PopMatters.
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- Webb, Adam (December 14, 2003). "A profile of Dennis Wilson: the lonely one". The Guardian.
- "The Beach Boys, inducted in 1988". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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- Badman 2004, p. 10.
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- Badman 2004, p. 14.
- Leaf 1978, p. 15.
- Badman 2004, p. 11.
- Leaf 1978, p. 18.
- Leaf 1978, p. 11.
- Leaf 1978, p. 19.
- Badman 2004, p. 15.
- Leaf 1978, p. 27.
- Badman 2004, p. 16.
- Badman 2004, pp. 16–17.
- Badman 2004, p. 17.
- Badman 2004, p. 52.
- Badman 2004, p. 73.
- Badman 2004, p. 83.
- Wilson & Greenman 2016, p. 173.
- Dillon 2012, p. 47.
- Doggett 1997, p. 164.
- Love 2016, p. [page needed].
- Slowinski, Craig. "Pet Sounds LP". beachboysarchives.com. Endless Summer Quarterly. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
- The Smile Sessions (deluxe box set booklet). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. 2011.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
- Badman 2004, p. 156.
- Griffiths, David (December 21, 1968). "Dennis Wilson: "I Live With 17 Girls"". Record Mirror.
- Badman 2004, p. 173.
- Badman 2004, p. 207.
- Leaf, David (1990). Friends / 20/20 (CD Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records.
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- Badman 2004, p. 222.
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- "Happy New Music Friday! 'Wake the World: The Friends Sessions' Is Out Now!". thebeachboys.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Badman 2004, p. 216.
- Emmons, Nuel (1988). Manson in His Own Words. Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3024-0.
- Dillon, Mark (June 13, 2012). "Mark Dillon: Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson". National Post.
- Badman 2004, pp. 224–225.
- Doe, Andrew Grayham. "Unreleased Albums". Bellagio 10452. Endless Summer Quarterly. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- O'Neill, Tom (2019). Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-47757-4.
- Barlass, Tyler (July 16, 2008). "Song Stories - "Never Learn Not To Love" (1968)".
- Nolan, Tom (November 11, 1971). "Beach Boys: A California Saga, Part II". Rolling Stone.
- Badman 2004, pp. 223–224.
- Badman 2004, p. 224.
- Holdship, Bill (April 6, 2000). "Heroes and Villains". Los Angeles Times.
- Bitette, Nicole. "Beach Boy Mike Love alleges bandmate watched Charles Manson carry out murder". Nydailynews.com. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
- Gaines 1986, p. 216.
- Leaf 1978, p. 136.
- Leaf 1978, p. 137.
- Badman 2004, p. 223.
- Gaines 1986, p. 219.
- Leaf 1978, p. 146.
- Leaf, David (September 1977). "Dennis Wilson Interview". Pet Sounds. 1 (3). Archived from the original on December 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- "Dennis Wilson solo recordings". Local Gentry. Archived from the original on December 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05.[better source needed]
- "The Making Of Dennis Wilson's PacificOcean Blue". Recordcollectormag.com. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
- "Wilson's 'Ocean' Set For Expanded Reissue". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on June 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- Doe, Andrew Grayham. "GIGS82". Endless Summer Quarterly. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- Stebbins 2011, p. 221.
- Goldberg, Michael (June 7, 1984). "Dennis Wilson: The Beach Boy Who Went Overboard". Rolling Stone.
- Swenson, John (October 20, 1977). "The Beach Boys - No More Fun Fun Fun". Rolling Stone.
- Gaines, Steven (October 21, 1986). "Beach Boy drummer 'goes for it' and ends up beat up". The Spokesman-Review Spokane Chronicle.
- Jerome, Jim; Buchalter, Gail; Evans, Hilary; Manna, Sal; Pilcher, Joseph & Rayl, Salley (January 16, 1984). "Death of a Beach Boy". People Magazine.
- Autopsy: The Last Hours of Dennis Wilson. Reelz. March 18, 2017. Nar. Eric Meyers. Exec. Prod. Ed Taylor and Michael Kelpie. Television.
- "Beach Boys drummer buried in rites at sea". The Day. January 5, 1984.
- "Death of a Beach Boy". People.com. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
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- Ginny, Dougary (May 31, 2002). "After the wipeout". The Guardian.
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