The group's publicist Alyson Dutch said Wilson
had been diagnosed last year
with cancer of the lung but still insisted on touring with the
group while undergoing chemotherapy. A private funeral
is planned for this week, Dutch said.
Last year, The Beach Boys undertook their 36th
anniversary tour and at the time of Carl's death, the group
were lining up a 1998 US tour to be accompanied by a
Carl Wilson was the youngest and initially the most
reluctant member of the Beach Boys. When he was 14,
he and his brothers Dennis (then 16) and Brian (19) were
asked to sing at the Hawthorne high school in California.
Legend has it that Carl was unwilling to perform. As
encouragement, older brother Brian christened the band
Carl And The Passions for their performance. The name
would eventually resurface as a Beach Boys album 20
Carl's influence on the band was felt in the quality of his
harmonies - like Brian, he had perfect pitch - more than
his songwriting which, in the band's early days, was the
preserve of brother Brian. He was instrumental in turning
the Gershwin obsessed Brian Wilson - whom he idolised
- on to Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Berry's influence
can be clearly heard in the guitar solo on The Beach Boys
As Brian Wilson's mental health deteriorated from the
mid-'60s onwards, Carl's input into the band grew. He
contributed a number of songs to the 'Surf's Up' album
and produced the 1972 LP 'Holland'.
Carl continued to tour on and off with the band until 1981
when he left to record an eponymously titled solo album.
He returned to the band full time after Dennis Wilson's
drowning accident in 1983. The Beach Boys were
inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 -
the year they enjoyed their last US Number One,
Carl Wilson, guitarist, singer and founding
member of the Beach Boys, died Friday in Los
Angeles from lung cancer. Wilson, 51, had been
undergoing treatment for both lung and brain
cancer since being diagnosed in the spring of
1997. In spite of his health concerns, Wilson
continued to perform with the Beach Boys
throughout 1997. Wilson was surrounded by
family members at the time of his death, which
came just two months after the passing of
Wilson's mother Audree. Wilson is survived by
his wife, Gina and two sons, Jonah and Justyn.
Born in December of 1946 in Hawthorne,
California, Wilson formed a high school band with brothers Brian and
Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, forming one of the
most influential and original groups of the rock era, the Beach Boys.
The Beach Boys' first album Surfin' Safari was released in 1962, two
months before Wilson's 16th birthday, and on the strength of the
double-sided hit single Surfin' Safari / 409, thrust the teenagers into
the sudden whirlwind of fame, while introducing America and the
world to a new sound, thick with harmonies and reverb, tangy with
Fender guitar twang and as far from the politics and drama of the day
as one could get.
Later albums and singles delved into a deep well of musical
landscapes, showcasing both the compositional genius of primary
songwriter Brain Wilson and an instrumental, vocal and production
acumen far beyond most groups of their day. Bands as diverse as
Queen, the Bangles, Jellyfish, Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles, Pink
Floyd and Tom Petty have ventured into acknowledged Beach Boys
sonic territory through the years.
Wilson, who left the group in 1981 to pursue a solo recording career,
rejoined in the years following the 1983 drowning death of brother and
fellow group founder Dennis Wilson. Wilson enjoyed a prolific singing
career outside the Beach Boys as well, appearing on albums by
Chicago, Elton John, Warren Zevon, David Lee Roth, Olivia
Newton-John, Joan Jett, Tom Petty and Collin Raye.
Billy Hinsche, friend and touring member of the Beach Boys, posted
the following message Saturday to a Beach Boys web site: "My best
friend, bandmate and mentor, Carl Wilson, passed away yesterday
Feb. 6, 1998. I told Carl how many of you had posted messages of
concern in the past few months. He was grateful for your positive
thoughts and prayers. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts
and in your hearts at this time."
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Carl Wilson, a founding
member of The Beach Boys and lead guitarist for
the seminal surf band, has died from complications of
lung cancer, his family said Saturday.
He was 51.
Wilson, who also had brain cancer, died Friday
evening in Los Angeles with his family at his side.
"Even though he was diagnosed with cancer last
year and going through treatment for a year, he was
real fighter," said publicist Alyson Dutch.
"He participated in the entire summer tour this
Dutch said family members, including brother and
fellow Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, would not
be available for comment.
Carl Dean Wilson was born in Hawthorne, a Los
Angeles suburb about eight kilometres from the
Pacific. He learned to play guitar as a teenager and
-- with brothers Brian and Dennis, cousin Mike Love
and friend Alan Jardine -- founded The Beach Boys
Dennis Wilson, who was killed in a swimming
accident in 1983, came up with the idea of a surfing
theme for the music. Brian Wilson and Love started
writing lyrics, capitalizing on the surfing craze that
began in the mid-1950s.
The southern California quintet made its first public
appearance New Year's Eve 1961 at Long Beach's
Municipal Auditorium. Their stage fright was not
helped by the fact they could play only three songs.
Despite the limited repertoire, the audience
embraced the group. Throughout the 1960s and later,
the band defined the "surfing beat" with such songs
as I Get Around, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda
and Surfin' U.S.A.
In the early 1980s, Carl Wilson said he was tired of
the Beach Boys' focus on nostalgia and lack of
musical growth. He left the quintet in 1981 to work
on a solo career and released an album that year.
But he later rejoined the group and had performed
with them ever since -- including the Beach Boys'
induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife
Gina and sons Jonah and Justyn.