It was 42 years ago today that the Beach Boys recorded California Girls. My grandparents lived in the same neighborhood as the Wilsons so it was always cool for me to brag about that when I was a little kid. And when they came out with "Barbara Ann", I lied to all my friends saying my middle name was Ann (lol - I was just a little kid!).
Although they started out with a ton of potential, talent and youthful energy, things didn't go well for the band. After they became hugely successful (on the same level as The Beatles and The Stones in 1966), they fell apart - literally.
In 1961 Brian formed the band with his two younger brothers, Carl and Dennis, his cousin, Mike Love and a friend, Al Jardine. Apparently Brian had some issues with "fame" because his goal became to be more popular than The Beatles (of course at that time he had no idea that The Beatles were going to be... well....The Beatles!).
They hit it big time in 1966 with Pet Sounds, but after that started declining in popularity so Brian QUIT the band!!!
Dennis took the motto "sex, drugs and rock n roll" literally. He was heavily involved in drugs and alcohol and married and divorced five times. He died at the age of 39 after diving off a yacht while intoxicated.
Side-note: I met Dennis and Mike love at a bar in Newport Beach in the early 80's. Dennis was very drunk and eventually Mike took him home. I remember thinking that I should be excited to meet a "Beach Boy" but it was pretty pathetic to see him like that.
Carl left the band for awhile when he felt they were just becoming a "nostalgia act" (he was right, I think people around here got bored seeing them show up at baseball games, and other events, all the time. They had become passe). He eventually rejoined the band and then was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer. Carl toured up to the last months of his life.
Another side note - Carl asked Philip Bardowell to take over for him as lead guitar and vocalist when he could no longer perform. Today Philip leads the worship band at my church and his brother, Habib, is my pastor...kinda cool to listen to rock and roll on Sunday mornings :)