Dennis Wilson’s Last Christmas

Thirty years ago this month, the only Beach Boy who could actually surf took one last, desperate dive in search of his past.

Christmas comes this time each year. So went the lyrics to the Beach Boys 1964 holiday hot-rod song Little St. Nick.” It was an obvious statement amidst a holly bush’s worth of banalities that included a description of Santa as “a real famous cat all dressed up in red” and an increasingly shrill chorus of “Run run reindeer!” Twenty years after singing on The Beach Boys Christmas Album, Dennis Wilson spent his last Christmas in a Santa Monica detox center. He checked himself out before the day was done; his first stop was to spend time with his wife and son. Next up was a night of drinking and a brawl that Dennis resoundingly lost, resulting in a hospital stay in Marina Del Ray. When he got out the next day, he’d head to the water and try to recapture, in some small way, a piece of his past.

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Written by

Luisa Colón is a Brooklyn based writer (WAKING UP IN GRAVESEND) and artist. Recent work is available at luisacolon.com; Insta @suchthingsido.

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