Dennis Wilson

Dennis Carl Wilson was born on December 4, 1944 in Hawthorne, California, the second son of Murry and Audree Wilson. He was only sixteen when the Beach Boys were formed; the group consisted of Wilson brothers

Christine McVie & Dennis Wilson
Brian, Dennis, and Carl, cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Handsome, rebellious Dennis, who was often the object of Murry's harsh temper, spent much of his life chasing girls and getting into trouble of one kind or another. His relationships with women tended to be passionate and tumultuous; he had just divorced his second wife before he and Christine McVie fell wildly for each other in 1979 while Fleetwood Mac was making the Tusk album.

Christine referred to the drummer as "a multifaceted jewel...Dennis has thrown me into the deep end, literally and figuratively." For two years, the couple more or less commuted between Wilson's ketch at Marina del Rey and Christine's house in Coldwater Canyon-- they had even made 'definite' plans to marry. Although he was adored by Christine as well as other members of Fleetwood Mac (Dennis and John McVie even used to have drinking contests after Mac gigs), the Beach Boy eventually proved to be too eccentric for Chris to handle. Lindsey Buckingham recalls, "I knew him pretty well. . . . he was a good guy. He was kind of lost, but I thought he had a big heart. I always liked him. He was crazy just like a lot of other people, but he had a really big heart, and he was the closest thing to Brian (Wilson) there was, too. He was halfway there."

Mick Fleetwood, who had introduced the pair, wrote that Chris "almost went mad trying to keep up with Dennis, who
Christine McVie and Dennis with garden in background
Christine McVie & Dennis Wilson
was already like a man with twenty thyroid glands, not counting the gargantuan amounts of coke and booze and pills he was always shoving into himself." He surprised McVie once by having a beautiful heart-shaped garden planted in her backyard (shown at right); she later learned that he'd charged it to her. Wilson crashed Christine's Rolls Royce so many times that finally the vehicle had to be written off. He would storm through her house in a drunken rage, breaking things, before leaving for a few weeks to get himself together, at which point the two would reconcile yet again. Needless to say, Christine soon tired of this and called an end to the relationship. The couple did not part on very amiable terms and had not seen each other for about two years when she received news of his death; "My secretary called me up at eight in the morning. I knew something was wrong. She said, 'Dennis drowned today.' And my first reaction was to say, 'My God, is he all right?' I still really can't believe it. He just seemed indestructable." The thirty-nine year old drummer drowned on December 28, 1983 while diving off the boat slip on Marina del Rey (an autopsy showed he was legally drunk) and, with a special dispensation from the White House, was buried at sea.


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