Monday, December 28, 2015

Vintage Video: Dennis Wilson Performs "Forever"

On December 28, 1983, 32 years ago today, Dennis Wilson drowned while diving in Marina Del Rey, CA.

Only 39 at the time, Wilson had been through a tumultuous decade-plus leading up to his death, including fighting with both alcohol and heroin. In the late-60's, he became involved musically with Charles Manson and, in the early-70's, his throat and voice were damaged in a bar fight. Dennis had regular disagreements with Beach Boys members and staff over his activities and, by 1983, he was banned from the group until he went through a detoxification program.

By November 1983, Wilson was living as a homeless person and tried to straighten himself out at two different hospitals but was unsuccessful in either program. After another bar fight, Wilson checked into a hospital for his wounds and almost immediately checked out and started drinking again.

On December 28, he spent the day drinking before deciding to dive into Marina Del Rey to recover items he had thrown into the bay three years earlier. He never surfaced.

Dennis Wilson was buried at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard on January 4, 1984.

Here is a rather rough concert film from 1971 with Wilson singing the song Forever from the Beach Boys' Sunflower album.