The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Blames Dennis Wilson’s Lifestyle For His Early Departure

Living the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle is pretty common among rock icons, but everything comes with a consequence. Speaking to Variety in a recent interview, the Beach Boys frontman Mike Love said that Dennis Wilson lived in the fast lane, and this played a significant role in his departure from the band.

Dennis Wilson had a loving relationship with Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie. Still, this didn’t prevent him from using substances or drinking high amounts of alcohol. Wilson’s substance abuse was so severe that he wouldn’t sleep for days. It was inevitable that this lifestyle would affect his music career with the Beach Boys.

When Variety asked Mike Love whether it’s true he didn’t have much in common with Wilson, Mike Love said, “Right, the lifestyle choices were different. That is true. I got into meditation, and I was invited by the Maharishi to go to India in the spring of 1968, and it was a really big influence on me, and still is.”

“I mean,” Love continued, “I meditate every day. And then some of the other guys went off into other directions, lifestyle-wise, which is too bad because, in Dennis’ case, it contributed to his early departure, you know? Which was sad.”

In his last years, Dennis Wilson frequently missed tours or was too intoxicated to play on stage. The band asked him to go to rehab, but Dennis’ priority was enjoying his life to its fullest. Although he checked into a rehabilitation facility, the drummer found himself drinking again. Three weeks after his 39th birthday, Dennis drowned after diving under the influence of alcohol.