The Beach Boys’ Disney+ documentary recounts decades of history

Nope Beach Boys And “The Beach Boys” — the new documentary coming out Friday on Disney+ — is about mixing a range of sounds.

The three Wilson brothers – BrianAnd Karl and Dennis – with his cousin Mike love and his friend Al Jardine, revolutionized group singing with their Southern California sound that lit up the 1960s with songs like “I Getaround,” “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows.”

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

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

Love, 83, said the Marshall Project was a “tremendous effort” for everyone involved and that they had “never done so much promotion in our entire lives.”

“This guy here, Frank, is able to take all this ridiculous amount of information and turn it into a cohesive, fascinating documentary that gives not only a look at individuals, but the collective impact,” he said.

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

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Brian Wilson, 81, currently appears in Marshall’s film, including an emotional scene at the end, the details of which remain completely intact. But recent mental decline led his loved ones to establish A His judicial guardianship He left his contributions limited.

Often, the media’s admiration for the group’s music focuses entirely on the eldest boy, Wilson, who has what many consider to be his unparalleled imagination and musical innovation. Marshall’s documentary doesn’t try to diminish his genius, but it emphasizes that he was not alone.

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

Wilson’s father and early band manager, Maury Wilson, in one of many photographed moments of mismanagement, sold the Beach Boys’ song catalog for $700,000 in 1969 without consulting the band members, leaving Love’s name as a shareholder.

“It’s hard, when your uncle sells your songs without giving you any credit,” Love told the AP. It hit Brian hard. But, Love added, “The upside is that I did contribute. My cousin and I wrote some great songs together.”

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

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Marshall’s film also includes the voices of David Marks, who was briefly a member of the group at its inception; Bruce Johnston, who became a beach boy in 1965; And famous fans from several generations including Don Was, Lindsey BuckinghamAnd Janelle Monáe.

“The Beach Boys” doesn’t shy away from the sunny moments in their history, including Dennis Wilson’s dalliances with Charles Manson’s family (before their reputation as a murderous cult) and his own dark, devastating plunge.

It also addresses the mental health struggles that left Brian Wilson unable to make music for long periods, and the bitter feuds associated with the band that became wider family feuds.

Love turns into tears in the film when he talks about his breakup with his cousin Brian and his desire to tell him that he loves him.

Happy moments are also many, especially from the early years. Jardine gets emotional in the film when he talks about the boys who audition a cappella for his mother, singing her a Four Freshmen tune and the Beach Boys’ first original song, “Surfin’,” so they can buy instruments and become a real band.

“She worked at Macy’s down the street and made about $300 a month,” Jardine told the AP. “She handed us all 300.”

This would make possible the creation of The Beach Boys, a name Jardine said he never liked.

Loew said he tries to put bitterness aside and focus on those moments.

“I mean, we know the impact of the Beach Boys’ music. They’ve felt it all over the world,” he said. “We have a lot to be grateful for rather than regret.”

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

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