Book Review:: "The Lost Beach Boy" By Jon Stebbins & David Marks

“Lost Beach Boy”
by Jon Stebbins with David Marks
Published Virgin Books, 2007

Ever read Pete Best’s tales from the Beatles early years in “Beatle! -The Pete Best Story”? Well it was a good look at a time when such a legendary group was just beginning to become “legendary”. Pete Best as everyone knows, was fired from the Beatles in 1962 and his post Beatles life never really equaled that amazing period. Although the stories aren’t quite similar, David Marks, the original Beach Boys guitarist and his new book “The Lost Beach Boy” written with Jon Stebbins (also author of “The Real Beach Boy – Dennis Wilson”, 1999) – takes on a similar retelling, the beginnings of an important Rock n’ Roll band – and where his life went after.

The David Marks story takes a great glimpse into the Beach Boys formative years. He played on the band’s first four LPs and helped define the band’s classic guitar sound. Throughout “The Lost Beach Boy”, he recounts early events, most told in humorous fashion – from fistfights with actual surfers; detailed tour episodes, like David and Carl Wilson’s escapades with hookers and the trashing of several hotel rooms. The book also writes about his close relationship with Dennis Wilson – both having their appetite for living every moment.

The book also sets out to correct important facts in Beach Boys history – Most biographies have omitted David Marks as being an important part of the group. He in fact had been written by most as Al Jardine’s “fill-in” – according to the Marks, Jardine had left early on, not finding any real financial gain from the band. Another interesting find was Brian Wilson’s road weariness, which was present as early as 1963 – he was in favor of being in the studio producing other acts (Al Jardine would replace Brian on bass guitar and complete a BB line-up with Marks). Brian would eventually quit touring for most of the 1960’s in part to a nervous breakdown in late 1964.

Although only in The Beach Boys until 1963, his exit came after an argument on the road with Murray Wilson. Al Jardine would eventually replace him for good, but David Marks’ story after his departure reads like a classic episode of VH1’s “Behind The Music”. At 15, he embarked on a solo career that would never be fully realized – from various single releases from his band David Marks And The Marksmen and The Moon to several other bands throughout the 60’s and 70’s. He would cross paths and play in music projects with many California notables, from members of The Turtles, The Byrds, Warren Zevon, among others. The book also recounts Marks’ first LSD trip, courtesy of Rodney Bingheimer which would later spiral into harder drug and alcohol abuse – discussed in great length throughout the later chapters of the book. The birth of his daughter would signal a turning point that would bring his life back in order and would eventually bring him back to the Beach Boys. “The Lost Beach Boy” is not only a biography of a musician but an essential chronicle of an important period in music – the youthful, timelessness of early rockn’ roll.

Video: The Beach Boys w/ David Marks “Surfin’ Sufari” 1962

Video: The Beach Boys “Surfin’ USA”/”Things We Did Last Summer” 1963

Video: Entertainment Tonight ca. 90’s – Where Are They Now: David Marks

For More info on David Marks/The Beach Boys
Be Sociable, Share!
Bookmark the permalink.
  • Archives

  • Bogs et Cogs