October 14, 2007

Billy Hinsche, he’s that cool cat that made up one third of the very first teen boy band: Dino, Desi, & Billy. Remember him? If you’re a fan of California music he’s pretty hard to miss. After DD&B, Billy played with the Beach Boys for many years, recently toured with Brian Wilson, and still performs with Alan Jardine. So, when it comes to the Beach Boys—Billy knows his stuff. He is, in fact, family to the Boys through the marriage of his sister to Carl Wilson. He’s the insider that could dig up the best of dirt or put the biggest spin on the Beach Boys legend if he so wanted. Yet, with this documentary of his friend Dennis Wilson, Hinsche chooses to let the voices of various friends and family tell the story of Dennis’s life, rather than beat you over the head with “his take” or an overwritten journalistic diatribe that is so common in rock docs.

Dennis Wilson Forever is a raw film of interview footage of people talking about their experiences, feelings, and memories pertaining to Dennis Wilson. That’s it. And that’s all it needs to be. It’s important to note that the people interviewed are not just fans of Dennis Wilson. They are the people who knew him best, his family, his close friends, other musicians. Hell, it’s worth the price of admission just to see who’s going to pop up next, honoring one of the most underrated musicians in modern music.

David Cassidy, Alan Jardine, Mike Love …

If you’re a fan of Dennis Wilson it’s simply a no-brainer. You have to own this DVD. If you’re a fan of the Beach Boys, 60’s or 70’s music, surf & hot-rod culture, or music documentaries in general—this one’s for you. You’ll like it; I did.

I really enjoyed watching, listening. After years of trying to express to people how I felt/feel about Dennis Wilson, his songs, his voice—it felt actually validating to hear so many people share their positive memories. I was in the Marina, practicing the life of surf bum, while on an unauthorized leave from the United States Navy, when we heard Dennis Wilson had drown. I was already in a disturbed mind frame, being on the run and all, but hearing that news really gut punched me. I gave up my surfin’ safari and went back to the Navy. The fun and sun was over, at least for the moment. They locked me up for 90 days hard labor in the Long Beach brig.

I thought about Dennis Wilson while sitting inside my cage. I thought about what might have made him a creative man with internal sorrows similar to my own, but after a few days in that hell I came to a sort of Dennis Wilson epiphany. The important stuff was about how much happiness he gave. Never mind the unhappiness. Dennis Wilson made more than a million people smile, and that my friends, is what it’s all about.

Bradley Mason Hamlin, somewhere on Mystery Island.

For purchasing information, please see:

"Dennis Wilson Forever Review" by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Copyright © 2007 by Mystery Island Publications.
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