Jeffrey Foskett, a beloved longtime touring musician for The Beach Boys, died Monday at age 67. He had been diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer.
The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson confirmed his bandmate’s death on Facebook and offered a heartfelt tribute to the late member.
“I’m so heartbroken that my dear friend Jeff Foskett has passed,” Wilson wrote. “Jeff was always there for me when we toured and we couldn’t have done it without him. Jeff was one of the most talented guys I ever knew. He was a great musical leader and 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 in, and we were friends ever since. I don’t know what else to say. Love and Mercy to Jeff’s family and friends, we will remember him forever.”
Foskett told the Los Angeles Times in 2012 about their first meeting, saying, “Brian opened the door and said ‘Hey, come on in’ — like he’d been expecting us! I said, ‘Great!’ We hung around and went to the music room … He said, ‘Stay in touch.’ And I did — and I’m glad that I did.”
A few years after meeting Wilson, Foskett was recruited by Mike Love, another co-founder of The Beach Boys, to join his Endless Summer Band. Around the same time, Carl Wilson decided to step away from the Beach Boys in favor of a solo career, and Love suggested that Foskett replace him.
In 2019, Foskett told Rolling Stone, “Two months later Carl came back and I assumed that I would be gone. We had a big rehearsal at the Beach Boys’ building on Lincoln Boulevard. We got out four songs and Carl stopped it. I remember this very clearly. He said, ‘First of all. I’m not responsible for anyone’s personal financial situation. I’m responsible to make this band sound as good as it can sound. So there will be some changes made.’ And everybody left with their tails between their legs, thinking that no one was coming back. So fortunately, Dennis [Wilson] pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re good, man, you’re in the band, don’t worry.’ I felt really good about that.”
He ended up leaving the band in 1990 after touring with them for nearly a decade. He worked on a solo career of his own, but in 1998, he rejoined Wilson and began touring with him again.
Foskett toured with Wilson steadily for several more years before taking a break in 2013. In 2014, he rejoined The Beach Boys under Love’s leadership. Four years later, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He survived for five years before passing away this month.
John Stamos, who has had a decadeslong connection with The Beach Boys, posted a lengthy tribute to Foskett on social media, writing in part, “Today, I lost more than a friend; I lost a part of my soul, my history – Jeffrey Foskett, my dearest friend, brother, and the brightest light in my life, has left this world.”
He added, “Jeff was more than just a friend; he was the one who brought the harmonies of The Beach Boys into my life, and with them, a spectrum of color and joy I never dreamed would be part of my life. He was a vibrant force, a radiant soul whose laughter and wisdom touched everyone he met. He was an older brother in spirit, guiding, lifting, and loving me, sometimes more than I thought I deserved.”
Nancy Sinatra also paid tribute. She wrote, “@jeffreyfoskett was such a sweet man and I was very sorry to hear of his passing. He and @brianwilsonlive were there for me when I needed them, beautifully recreating @thebeachboys sound on my recording of ‘California Girls’ for my California Girl album and I’ll never forget it. Thank you, Jeffrey, and godspeed.”
Al Jardine, another member of The Beach Boys, told Rolling Stone, “He was so talented on so many different levels but it was his wonderful sense of humor that kept him balanced and helped him navigate all the hard knocks you get in the music business. Jeff had a contagious positive spirit and never gave up hope. God bless his beautiful spirit and zest for life, we will really miss him and cherish all the great times we shared together. Keeping his wife Diana, his daughter and family and fans everywhere in our thoughts. Rest in peace Jeff and thanks for always making us smile.”
Source : Fox News