Surprisingly Dark Facts About The Beach Boys, America’s Band

Of all the bands that have come and gone over the years, few have been able to create a style as distinct, long-lasting, and instantly recognizable as the Beach Boys. These California kids became American icons in the early 1960s—and their music remains popular and well-known to this day. But behind the clean-cut image and sweet sounds, there was a lot more going on with this group than meets the eye—and not all of it pleasant. Family feuds, personal struggles, and dealings with sketchy characters are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the story of this beloved band. From the tragic to the hilarious, and everything in between, here are 51 fascinating facts about the Beach Boys.

1. It Started When the Cat Was Away…

The story of the Beach Boys began when California teenager Brian Wilson decided to explore his passionate interest in music. His parents took a weekend trip to Mexico and left him some allowance money to feed himself and his brothers with—but Brian had a different idea. He instead used that money to buy musical instruments and recruited his brother Carl and his cousin, Mike Love, to help him recreate the harmonies of his favorite songs.

Childhood friend Al Jardine and Brian’s other brother Dennis soon joined these efforts—establishing the lineup that the world would soon know and love.

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