The Beach Boys lineups

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The Beach Boys began in 1961 when brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson formed a rock band with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. Since then, the band has undergone many variations in composition, being represented by fill-ins onstage as often as not. Today, the concert performing Beach Boys are represented by Love and Bruce Johnston in addition to many supporting musicians.[citation needed]

Wilson neighbor David Marks appeared on their first four albums, played with the group in its formative stages, and was a member from 1962 to 1963 as a replacement for Jardine, who had left the group to attend college. Jardine returned to the band in 1963 as an onstage fill-in for Brian, who was already feeling the stresses of touring. Marks rejoined the band in 1997, during Carl's last illness, and remained with them for two years.

In 1965, Bruce Johnston joined their live performances as a replacement for Brian, who had briefly relinquished touring in 1964, later becoming a semi-permanent member. In 1972 drummer Ricky Fataar and guitarist Blondie Chaplin joined the band, replacing Johnston who had officially resigned from the group. In 1973 and 1974 Fataar and Chaplin left. In 1979, Johnston returned.

Since the deaths of Carl and Dennis, only surviving members Brian, Love, Jardine, Johnston, and Marks have remained as corporate participants in the group.[citation needed]

The Beach Boys[edit]


Founding members are bolded. Only Love and Johnston currently tour as "the Beach Boys"; other members perform solo.

Current members
also saxophone and songwriter
  • Al Jardine – vocals, rhythm guitar, songwriter (1961–present)
  • David Marks – vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (1961–1963, 1998–present)
  • Bruce Johnston – vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, songwriter (1965–1972, 1978–present)
Former members
  • Carl Wilson – vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, songwriter (1961–1998, died 1998)
also keyboards
  • Dennis Wilson – vocals, drums, songwriter (1961–1983, died 1983)
  • Blondie Chaplin – vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, songwriter (1972–1974)
  • Ricky Fataar – vocals, drums, songwriter (1972–1975)

Detailed configurations[edit]

1961–January 1962
February 1962–1963
Early 1963
October 1963–March 1965
March 1965–February 1972
March 1972–1974
1975–August 1978
September 1978–1981
July 1981–May 1982[1] N/A
May 1982–December 1983 N/A
Dennis Wilson dies
(December 28, 1983)
1984–February 1998
Carl Wilson dies
(February 6, 1998)
February 1998–present

Live personnel[edit]

Though not corporate members of The Beach Boys, supporting players have featured in their live performances over the years.[2]

Keyboard players Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille (later the "pop" duo The Captain & Tennille), have toured with the band.[2]

In 1969, drummer Mike Kowalski and bassist/guitarist Ed Carter became two of the first outside musicians to join the group. Percussionist/drummer Bobby Figueroa was added in the mid-1970s and played through 1987. Billy Hinsche (of Dino, Desi, & Billy fame) was a longtime member of the supporting band throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s. Carli Muñoz, who been playing keyboards with the band since 1970, replaced Daryl Dragon on keyboards from 1971 until 1979, when Mike Meros took over from May 1, 1979 until July 4, 2000.

Around 1980, Joe Chemay played bass on tour. Ernie Knapp played bass on tour from May 1981 to May of 1982.

Adrian Baker joined the band in 1981 as a vocalist/guitarist; he left sometime in mid-1982.[2] Jeff Foskett came aboard in early 1982 as a guitarist and vocalist; his last show with the band was July 4, 1990. During 1981-1982, there was an overlap where both Foskett and Baker were members. Generally, Foskett filled in on Carl Wilson's harmony parts when Carl was unavailable. Baker performed falsetto vocals. Foskett eventually became a member of Brian Wilson's group. Baker re-joined the band from 1989 to 1993 as a vocalist/guitarist.

Matt Jardine, son of Beach Boy Al Jardine, joined in 1989 through 1998 as singer/percussionist.

John Stamos played drums and recorded with the band in 1990. He played the title track of the comedy film Problem Child. Later, he performed as lead vocalist on the song "Forever" from the 1992 album Summer in Paradise. As of 2010, he had continued to tour with the band, usually as a drummer.

Saxman John Renner was added in the Summer of 1991 for live sax on Kokomo and other tunes.

In 1992, Ritchie Cannata, one of Billy Joel's early live band and recording saxophone players, replaced John Renner.

In 1998, Adrian Baker re-joined the band (for a record-breaking third time) until 2004. In 2004, Randell Kirsch replaced Baker as falsetto vocalist/guitarist. Nashville musician John Foster temporarily filled in on falsetto vocals and guitar between Baker's tenure and the addition of Kirsch.

John Cowsill (original member of the 1960s "pop" band The Cowsills) joined as a vocalist/keyboardist in 1999. Cowsill replaced Mike Kowalski as the full-time drummer in late 2007, leaving his secondary keyboard spot vacant.

Current band[edit]

The Beach Boys
  • Mike Love – lead vocals, tambourine
  • Bruce Johnston – keyboards, vocals
Supporting musicians
  • Jeff Foskett - guitar, vocals[3][not in citation given]
  • Scott Totten – guitar, vocals, musical director
  • Brian Eichenberger - bass, vocals
  • Tim Bonhomme – keyboards
  • John Cowsill – drums, vocals
Part-time/fill-in musicians
  • David Marks - guitar, vocals
  • John Stamos – electric guitar, drums, vocals, percussion
  • Ambha Love – lead vocals



  1. ^ Badman 2004, p. 373.
  2. ^ a b c Stebbins 2011.
  3. ^ Blistein, Jon (May 15, 2014). "Beach Boys Plan Tour to Celebrate 50 Years of 'Fun Fun Fun'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Stebbins, Jon; Rusten, Ian (2013). The Beach Boys in Concert!: The Complete History of America's Band On Tour and Onstage. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1617134562.