Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s Friend Called Him ‘a Notorious Womanizer’: ‘He Called Himself The Wood’

Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys was married five times, even having a brief relationship with Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie. According to people close to Wilson, though, this member was a “sex fiend,” who did most things in excess — including his relationship with women. 

Dennis Wilson was a founding member of the Beach Boys

American singer, songwriter and drummer with the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson (1944 - 1983)
American singer, songwriter, and drummer with the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson (1944 – 1983) | Michael Putland/Getty Images

When first formed, the Beach Boys were comprised of Brian Wilson, his brothers Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Since bursting onto the music scene, the rock band earned recognition for songs “I Get Around,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and “Kokomo.” 

Although he was one of the founding members of the band, Dennis Wilson died at 39 years old. He drowned in 1983 near California’s Marina Del Rey but not before earning a reputation for his drug use and his “womanizer” tendencies. 

The Beach Boys’ manager describes Dennis Wilson as a ‘sex fiend’ 

Deemed the “wild one” by many Beach Boys listeners, Dennis Wilson had a tumultuous relationship with drugs and alcohol up until his death. 

“Whatever he did, he did in excess,” Wilson’s friend, Chris Clark, said during an interview with Rolling Stone. That includes his relationship with women with some calling this musician a “notorious womanizer.”

“Dennis was a sex fiend, plain and simple,” Beach Boys’ manager, Steve Levine, said of Wilson. “The man used to think more with his sex organs than with his brain.”

“He called himself ‘the wood,’” one friend said, motioning to his crotch. The artist was married five times, with Wilson beginning his six-year relationship with actor/model Karen Lamm in 1974. As noted by Lamm, their first date at a Beverly Hills restaurant was an uncomfortable experience.

“He reached over and grabbed my right breast and said, ‘Great tits!”‘ Lamm said, according to Rolling Stone. “I ran to the bathroom; I was so humiliated. I thought, ‘I never want to see this guy again.’” 

At one point in their relationship, Lamm shot the couple’s Mercedes with a ​​.38-caliber revolver after being hit by Wilson. On another occasion, Wilson doused Lamm’s Ferrari with lighter fluid and set it on fire.

“We were so out of control,” said Lamm. “It led to a very wild existence with each other.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie was briefly in a relationship with the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson

One of the Fleetwood Mac band members, Christine McVie, started a relationship with Dennis Wilson. At the time, Wilson’s heavy drinking put stress on the relationship. As a result, the artist said that Wilson made her “feel the extremes of every emotion.” The two broke up in 1981.

“Why do people stay with people? ’Cos they love them I guess. And I loved him for a while,” she said in 2004, per the book Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac. “He was very charismatic, great looking, very charming, very cute — if you can call a guy with a beard and a voice like Satan ‘cute’. He used to draw people into his life, strangers off planes and off the streets, and they’d become his best friends.”

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