DENNIS WILSON BASH
Inside Jay's the activities started to heat up. People finished their lunch to the familiar strains of Dennis Wilson music, while monitors at both ends of the room ran vintage film of the Beach Boys from various eras.
Once lunch was over the house band assembled on the south side of the room to lead the crowd in a loose singalong of some of Denny's tunes. Alan Boyd anchored the music on piano, Jon Stebbins, Jason Penick and Dan Addington played guitar and sang, and Susan Lang contributed nifty harmonies and spot-on percussion. The set list included What's Wrong, Slip On Through, Got to Know the Woman, Only With You, All I Want to Do, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, Do You Wanna Dance?, Surfers Rule. Highlights included Brian Chidester and Domenic Priore sitting in for a rousing rendition of "Surfer's Rule", with Domenic taking the lead, and Brian contributing the trademark falsetto while beating time on the drum. Another great moment saw Billy Hinsche pick up a guitar and Eddy Medora of the Sunrays take the vocal lead on "Do You Wanna Dance". Billy and Eddy's energy was felt by the crowd, and by the second verse, they had all joined in. Above right, Alan Boyd plays the closing tag to "Only with You" on keys, while Jon Stebbins, on guitar, sits reverently.
Jon leads the crowd on "Got to Know the Woman".
Jason, Susan and Dan harmonize on "What's Wrong".
Jon takes the lead on "Slip on Through".
Susan, Dan, Brian , and Domenic pose after "Surfer's Rule".
With Denny's music still fresh in our ears, Jon Stebbins stood up, and invited Billy Hinsche to the mic. Billy had been on tour that weekend, and he dramatically altered his travel plans, arranging connecting flights and spending all day in the air so he could make it to the Bash. Billy told us about a song he had written as a tribute to Dennis. He had begun the song a few years ago, but had just not been able to bring himself to finish it. He decided finally that he would complete it this year, and present it for the first time at the Bash. A film student in college, Billy had shot a lot of
footage during his years touring with the Beach Boys. He told us that he had recently found and spent countless hours viewing this old footage, and editing a short film to accompany his recording of the song. He then motioned to the bartender, who pushed play on the monitor, and we all watched the beautiful film, which featured great images of Dennis goofing around w/ Billy, Carl, Carli Munoz, and the rest of the boys on tour. The editing was flawless, and many moments in the film made direct or passing references to the lyric of the song. Glancing around the room, one was able to see people fighting back tears, alternatly laughing and crying as they watched the images and listened to the song. Once the film ended, Billy explained the back story to a number of the shots, and described the circumstances of some of the scenes. We all watched the film again, this time with an even greater understanding of its context. Many in attendance would agree afterwords that this was one of the emotional high points of the day.
Below is an introduction written by Billy, followed by the lyrics of the song.
"This was the most difficult song I have ever written and it took me twenty years to finish. After much reflection on this I realized that when it was completed, I would have to finally admit and accept that Dennis was really gone. I guess that's something I wasn't ready to do until now."
“One in a Million”
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