Jeffrey Foskett joined the Beach Boys touring band in 1981 and his voice has become an integral part of their sound over the past four decades.
Jeffrey Foskett, a singer-guitarist who spent decades with the Beach Boys and was instrumental in Brian Wilson’s comeback in the late 1990s thanks to his falsetto voice and ability to effortlessly harmonize, died Monday after a long battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer. He was 67 years old. A spokesperson for Wilson confirmed Foskett’s death to WECB.
“ Jeff was always there for me when we were filming and we couldn’t have done it without himBrian Wilson said in a statement. Jeff was one of the most talented men I have ever known. He was a great musical leader, a great guitarist and he could sing like an angel. I first met Jeff in 1976, when he knocked on my door in Bel Air and I invited him inside. I don’t know what else to say. Love and mercy to Jeff’s family and friends, we will remember him forever. »
Jeffrey Fosekett grew up in San Jose, California and became a huge Beach Boys fan as soon as he heard ” I Get Around “. On his 20th birthday in 1976, he found the courage to knock on Brian Wilson’s door on Bellagio Road in Los Angeles. “ Brian opened the front door and said “Come in”remembers Foskett for WECB in 2019. He had no idea who we were and I was in awe. There was a bass guitar lying around, a piano in the living room. He started playing music. »
A few years later, Beach Boys singer Mike Love walked into a restaurant where Foskett was playing with his band. He impresses her that evening and is invited to his Endless Summer Beach Band for the recording of his solo album Looking Back With Love. Around the same time, Carl Wilson withdrew from the Beach Boys to concentrate on his solo career, and Love, who saw in Foskett similarities to Carl’s voice, invited him to join the group for fill the void.
“ Two months later Carl came back and I assumed I was going to leaveFoskett said in 2019. We had a big rehearsal at the Beach Boys’ building on Lincoln Boulevard. We did four songs and Carl stopped everything. I remember it very well. He said: “First of all. I am not responsible for anyone’s personal financial situation. I’m responsible for making this band sound as good as possible. So there will be changes.” And everyone left with their tails between their legs, thinking that no one would come back. Luckily, Dennis (Wilson) took me aside and said, “You’re good, man, you’re in the band, don’t worry.” It did me a lot of good at that time. »
Foskett spent most of the 1980s in the Beach Boys’ touring band. The group made a resounding return to the forefront in 1988 with “ Kokomo “.
He left the group in 1990, but remained close to them. In 1998, while Brian Wilson was receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Foskett was invited to play guitar with him. “ Everyone went crazy hearing Brian sing, because he had been out of the public eye for a whileFoskett said. I walked the Wilsons out to their limo and Melinda (Brian’s wife) said, “We’d like to tour with this album, but we don’t know how to start a band. Would you be interested in helping us?” I replied: “Yes, absolutely”. »
Jeffrey Foskett reached out to his friends Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko of the Los Angeles-based band The Wondermints. In 1999, Brian Wilson’s solo tour with Foskett and the Wondermints was a resounding success and led to a 15-year odyssey for Foskett, including tours in honor of the albums Pet Sounds And smile (long before full-album concerts were commonplace in the classic rock world). He also joined Wilson in the studio for his solo albums Gettin’ in Over My Head, Brian Wilson Presents Smile, What I Really Want for Christmas, That Lucky Old Sun, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin And In the Key of Disney.
In 2012, Foskett joined Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys when they reunited to celebrate their 50th anniversary. He returned to work with Wilson the following year, but the demands of the road wore him down and he parted ways with him in 2014. Soon after, he teamed up with America’s Gerry Buckley to direct the band was on tour when the band’s co-founder, Dewey Bunnell, wanted to take some time off.
When Love learned that Foskett was no longer in Brian Wilson’s band, he invited him to his home in San Diego for a chat. He told him : ” You know, we’re considering making some changes to the group, would you consider coming back? “. “ We worked out some loose ends and I was back in the Beach Boys », explained Foskett in 2019.
It lasted four years, but he had to step away shortly after being diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer. He was initially told the cancer was terminal, but he survived for five years by participating in an experimental drug trial at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
“ He was so talented in so many ways, but it was his wonderful sense of humor that kept him balanced and helped him overcome all the hard knocks you get in the music businesssaid Al Jardine, a Beach Boy, in a statement. Jeff had a contagious positive spirit and never gave up hope. God bless his beautiful spirit and his joy of life. We will miss him dearly and cherish all the good times we shared together. We are thinking of his wife Diane, his daughters, his family and his fans around the world. Rest in peace Jeff and thank you for always making us smile. »