Whatever happened to the Mirror Universe Beach Boys?

13Sep07

Brian Wilson
While his sloppy, rough-and ready production style earned him the nickname “Basher” and accolades as a West Coast proto-punk pioneer and the so-called “grandfather of grunge”, Brian Wilson was nevertheless an enthusiastic early adopter of quadraphonic sound. The strong-willed and fearless musical director of the Beach Boys always followed his own path, famously taking four years off music during the early 1970s to earn a psychology degree at UCLA under respected professor Dr. Eugene Landy before returning to the band for the triumphant “Brian’s Back” tour. In later years, Brian has concentrated mainly on his production work, though he returned to recording for the album An American Family, a considerably mellowed three-generation collaboration with his daughters Carnie and Wendy and his father Murry that paid tribute to the loving, tight-knit familial bonds that had given Brian support and stability throughout his career.

Carl Wilson
As soon as he was old enough to serve, athletic lead guitarist Carl Wilson left the Beach Boys to enlist in the Marine Corps and contribute to his country’s successful cause in Vietnam. After temporary touring replacement Bruce Johnston declined to join the Beach Boys full-time in favour of a successful solo career that eventually led to a Grammy for his recording of “I Write the Songs”, Carl was permanently replaced by Glen Campbell. Before his retirement, Carl’s successful military career led him to the rank of brigadier general and no small number of friendly arguments with peacenik Mike Love.

Dennis Wilson
Clean-living and abstinent drummer Dennis Wilson was replaced behind the Beach Boys’ drum kit by Ricky Fataar when he left the band during the 1960s to join the Manson Family, a racially integrated Christian rock collective. Along with bandleader Charlie “Wizard” Manson and guitarist Sly Stone, Dennis topped the charts several times with such notable hits as “Never Learn Not to Love” and “Everyday People”. Dennis made headlines in 2001 for saving a drowning child at the home of fellow drummer and Los Angelean Tommy Lee, despite his own inability to swim.

Al Jardine
Al Jardine never returned to the band after quitting during the Beach Boys’ early career in order to return to college, and was replaced by David Marks, who is generally considered to have original-member status. Today, Al is a successful dental surgeon in Beverly Hills, a vocation that provided him an additional footnote in pop music history when he repaired Shane MacGowan’s famous pearly whites after the Irish musician chipped a tooth while drinking a bottle of root beer during the Pogues’ 1993 US tour.

Mike Love
Though always an ardent supporter of leftist causes, as on his solo protest album Mike Love, Not War and during his vigorous defence of free speech in his testimony during the Parents Music Resource Center hearings, Mike Love nevertheless enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as rock and roll’s “Mr. Nice Guy”. Mike’s abstract lyrical wordplay and steadfast encouragement for Brian to “fool with the formula” of the Beach Boys helped the group’s ambitious masterwork Frown score the decisive blow in their musical arms race with their chief rivals, the Rolling Stones, though he graciously invited Stones frontman Mick Jagger to join the group onstage for a raucous medley of “Hang On to Your Ego/Jumping Jack Flash” at the Beach Boys’ induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Sadly, following his tragic murder at the hands of a deranged fan the following year, the idea of a Beach Boys without Mike Love fronting the band was unthinkable, and the group called it quits after decades of critical acclaim and chart success.



11 Responses to “Whatever happened to the Mirror Universe Beach Boys?”

  1. Whatever happened to the Mirror Universe Peter Lynn?

    Known to his friends as a polite reserved fellow, Peter Lynn didn’t talk about the Beach Boys way more than normal people do.

  2. Mike Love, Not War – That’s f*%#ing gold!

  3. 3 Peter Lynn

    I should point out that Mike Love, Not War is the name of an actual Beach Boys bootleg, so I can’t take credit for it. As a bootlegger made it up, neither can Mike, though that’s allegedly not stopping him from ripping off the title for a solo album he’s making that may or may not ever surface.

  4. 4 Pearl

    Ummm…cough cough nerd cough cough.Excuse me.

  5. Oh, that’s just beautiful.

  6. 6 Riley

    I don’t think that Mirror Sylvester Stewart ever went by the “Sly Stone” moniker.

  7. 7 Patrick

    I know I’m a ‘bit’ late on that one, but: Great great great! Can’t stop laughing!

  8. it boggles the mind…ina good way!

  9. 9 Riubin

    Whatever happen to The Beach Boys?

  10. 10 alburtise

    enjoyed this so much. such a relief to read someone (else) who (thinks) about the Beach Boys way more than normal people do. i thought i was the only one who had that Dennis Wilson scuba-gear dream.

    • You know what’s heartbreaking? I recently read that Carl had planned an intervention for Dennis in Colorado on New Year’s Eve. Dennis drowned on December 28th, so he missed it by only about three days. If only we had got him those scuba tanks.


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