Year: 2020

The Beach Boys’ Personal Appearances, 1961-1963

Jump to Appearances When the Beach Boys formed in late summer 1961, they were neither accomplished musicians nor a cohesive musical group.  Brian Wilson, 19, had been playing piano and organ at home for many years, mastering the intricate vocal jazz harmonies of his musical idols the Four Freshmen after three years of intense home study of their albums.  His brother Carl, not quite 15, had received an electric acoustic guitar for Christmas 1958 and, along with his friend and neighbor, David Marks, 13, had taken a few lessons from John Maus, later of the Walker Brothers fame.  Carl and David were enamored with the first wave of Rock ‘n’ Roll with Elvis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and enjoyed learning the guitar stylings of Chuck Berry and Duane Eddy.  Brian’s Hawthorne High School classmate, Al Jardine, 19, had been playing acoustic guitar for many years and in late 1958 formed a trio at school which emulated the folk sensibilities of the Kingston Trio.  The other two members of the band, Dennis, the middle Wilson brother, …

Do You Love Me, Do You Surfer Girl?

One of the most enjoyable experiences in researching and writing Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963, was speaking with Judy Bowles, Brian Wilson’s first serious romantic relationship, to whom Brian became engaged to be married Christmas 1962.  Judy was engaging, funny, down-to-earth, and full of affection for Brian.  Here’s her story. As Brian finished his first year of classes at El Camino Community College in early May 1961, baseball season in Hawthorne got underway.  Cities throughout the South Bay sponsored baseball leagues tailored to specific age groups.  Hawthorne’s Middle League, for boys thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen, consisted of the American League and its cross-town rival National League.  Brian volunteered as the assistant coach for the American League Pirates, whose manager and head coach was his Hawthorne High buddy Steve Andersen.  As the former starting quarterback and student body president, Andersen excelled at leadership.  He would later attain the rank of captain in the Army, become an attorney, serve on the Hawthorne City Council, and be elected Hawthorne mayor in the early 1990s.  Although Brian was well-liked …