The Beach Boys, heading into the sunset, remember years of harmony and anguish in a documentary

Both the Beach Boys and “The Beach Boys,” the new documentary premiering Friday on Disney, try to combine a variety of voices.

The Beach Boys, heading into the sunset, remember years of harmony and anguish in a documentary

The three Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, brought a harmonic revolution to group vocals with their Southern California sound that lit up the 1960s with songs like “I Get Around”, “Good Vibrations”. and “Only God knows.”

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In his documentary about them, director Frank Marshall took oft-told stories from the band’s six decades of anguish and harmony, and tried to make them broader and brighter, blending as many voices as possible.

“It was a mix of everything,” Marshall told The Associated Press in a joint interview with Love and Jardine at a Hollywood recording studio. “It is the combination of not only family history, but also the combination of harmonies. “If you took out one element, you wouldn’t have the Beach Boys.”

Love, 83, said Marshall’s project was “a monumental effort” for everyone involved and that they had “never done so much promotion in our entire lives.”

“This guy, Frank, is able to take all that ridiculous amount of information and turn it into a wonderful, coherent documentary that really offers not only a look at the individuals, but also the collective impact,” he said.

The film includes extensive new interviews with singer Love and singer-guitarist Jardine, 81. And it draws on many archival interviews to provide the perspectives of singer and guitarist Carl Wilson, who died of cancer in 1998 at age 51, singer and drummer Dennis Wilson, who was 39 when he drowned in an area harbor Los Angeles in 1983, and his older brother Brian, mastermind of the band’s sound.

Brian Wilson, 81, makes contemporary appearances in Marshall’s film, including in an emotional scene in the coda whose details remain intact. But the mental deterioration that recently led his loved ones to establish a court guardianship for him left his contributions limited.

Often, media admiration for the group’s music focuses entirely on the elder Wilson, with what many consider his incomparable musical imagination and innovation. Marshall’s documentary does not minimize his genius, but emphasizes that he was not alone.

It is rarely acknowledged, for example, that Love wrote the lyrics to dozens of songs, including “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda” and the sweetly poetic “Good Vibrations,” written in the car on the way to the recording session: “I love the colorful clothes she wears and the way the sunlight plays with her hair.”

The Wilsons’ father and the band’s first manager, Murry Wilson, in one of the many instances of mismanagement described, sold the Beach Boys’ song catalog for $700,000 in 1969 without consulting the band members and left Love’s name as a collaborator.

“That’s tough,” Love said, “when your uncle sells your songs without giving you any credit. And this really affected Brian a lot.” But, Love added, “the good thing is that I contributed. “My cousin and I wrote some great songs together.”

The surreptitious sale led to the rights to the song becoming a tangle that, for years, prevented Marshall, who made similar documentaries about the Bee Gees in 2022 and Carole King and James Taylor in 2020, from making the Beach Boys movie. that I had dreamed of for a long time. of. But the recent purchase of the rights by his friend Irving Azoff gave him the green light.

Marshall’s film also includes the voices of David Marks, who was briefly in the group in its early days; Bruce Johnston, who became Beach Boy in 1965; and celebrity fans across generations, including Don Was, Lindsey Buckingham and Janelle Monae.

“The Beach Boys” doesn’t shy away from the less than sunny moments of its story, including Dennis Wilson’s flirtations with the Charles Manson family and his dark, devastating drowning.

It also examines the mental health problems that left Brian Wilson unable to make music for long periods and the bitter band-related disputes that escalated into wider family feuds.

Love is reduced to tears in the film when talking about her estrangement from her cousin Brian and wanting to tell him she loves him.

Happier moments also abound, especially from the earliest years. Jardine gets emotional in the film when he talks about the kids who auditioned a cappella for their mother, singing her a Four Freshmen song and the Beach Boys’ first original, “Surfin,” so they could buy instruments and become a real band.

“I worked at Macy’s up the street and made about $300 a month,” Jardine told the newspaper. “She gave us the 300.”

That would make The Beach Boys possible, a name, Jardine said, he never liked.

Love said she tries to let go of the bitterness and focus on those moments.

“I mean, we know the impact of the Beach Boys’ music. “It has been felt around the world,” he said. “We have much more to be grateful for than to grieve.”

This story has been corrected to report that Dennis Wilson died in 1983 at age 39, not 1984 at age 30.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to the text.

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