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HEROES AND VILLAINS: The True Story of the Beach Boys by Steven Gaines

HEROES AND VILLAINS: The True Story of the Beach Boys

By Steven Gaines

Publisher: New American Library

The nightmare side of fame. The Beach Boys wrote and sang about the California surf, blond women and fast ears. Their records sold in the millions, their concerts were cheered throughout the world, their philosophy embraced by generations. On the surface, the boys from Hawthorne, California, lived the golden life they sang about. But, as Gaines outlines in this mesmerizing account, they also lived a drug-clouded nightmare. Brian Wilson, a magical songwriter, the man behind the surfing sound and ""Good Vibrations,"" ""Sail on Sailor,"" ""409,"" hid in his room for years, living off junk food and cocaine. Dennis Wilson, the surf stud, cheated on all his wives, maintained bizarre friendships (including an ominous one with Charles Manson), and drowned penniless. Sensitive Cad Wilson, attempting to keep a group on the brink together, in the end, was as lost as the others. Cousin Mike Love fell to too many women, too much fame, too much pressure. Murray Wilson, the father they all loved, the madman who abused them as children and exploited them as adults; the Beach Boy wives, forced to leave after the drugs and groupies; the agents, managers, producers and other Beach Boys who took home large chunks of musical pie, caring little for what was left behind. While the boys were hardly faultless, the burden of blame falls on the fast and loose world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Heroes and Villains grabs the reader's attention and never loosens its grip. A devastating portrait of squandered talent and ruined lives.