The endless summer is over for Carl Wilson. One year after announcing that he had cancer in his brain and lungs the Beach Boys co-founder died Friday night in Los Angeles hospital of complications from the disease. He was 51.
Wilson’s death comes just two months after the passing of his mother Audree. He is survived by his wife, Gina (the daughter of the late Dean Martin) and two sons, Jonah, 28, and Justyn, 26.
Carl Wilson was the youngest of the three Wilson brothers who formed the sixties surf band in 1961 along with cousin Mike Love and childhood friend Al Jardine. They were later joined by Bruce Johnston and other players. Carl is survived by his oldest brother, Brian, the group’s chief songwriter. The middle brother, drummer Dennis, drowned in 1983.
Carl was known as the stable one, sandwiched between Brian, who suffered from a well documented mental illness throughout much his career, and the hard partying Dennis. Carl’s voice was featured as the lead
on such hits as “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and “Good Vibrations.”
Following chemotherapy treatments, Carl toured with the band last summer, but bowed out of appearances co-billed with fellow sixties act Chicago this past fall. His withdrawal left the Beach Boys with no Wilsons in their ranks–Brian had stopped touring early in the eighties, only makes sporadic appearances with the band and only occasionally contributed to recordings. Al Jardine’s son Matthew had been taking Brian’s place on stage. David Marks, who was an early member of the Beach Boys but left after the first few albums, replaced Carl.
Love and Johnston were the only bandmembers at the SuperBowl’s Pregame Show tribute to California’s music industry in January.
The Beach Boys had been expecting to record their next album with Brian Wilson, although he recently announced plans for a solo album, “Imagination,” tentatively set for release on Giant Records this April. Brian has also been working with
his two daughters, formerly two-thirds of Wilson-Phillips, currently recording and performing as The Wilsons.
The family of Carl Wilson has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be marked “In memory of Carl Wilson” and sent to the American Cancer Society:
- L.A. Unit 3255 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 701 Los Angeles, CA 90010
Private funeral services will be held this week.