Jeffrey Foskett, Member of the Beach Boys, Dies at 67

American singer-songwriter and record producer Jeffrey Foskett, United Kingdom, 2007. Since the 1980s he has been a touring and studio musician for Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys
Richard Ecclestone/Redferns

Jeffrey Foskett, longtime member of the Beach Boys, has passed away at the age of 67. He died after a four-year battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer. His last social media post was on March 4, when he shared a video of himself celebrating the end of his cancer treatments. He wrote, “These people have given me what no one else on earth could have… LIFE…. Some of the past four years has been trying (I guess that’s why it’s called a clinical trial). It tries your body, mind and spirit but it has left me THRIVING and most importantly able to meet my grandson Domenic.”

Sadly, he ultimately succumbed to the disease months later. His Beach Boys bandmate Brian Wilson shared the sad news on social media with a heartfelt tribute. He said, “I’m so heartbroken that my dear friend Jeff Foskett has passed. 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.”

Musician's Brian Wilson (L) and Jeffrey Foskett perform during Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp on April 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Bryan Steffy/WireImage/Getty Images

Foskett began his first band in the 1970s called Cherry, named after the street he lived on in San Jose, California. Later, he formed two bands called The Reverie Rhythm Rockers (aka Reverie) and The Pranks while attending college at UCSB in Santa Barbara, California. He heard the Beach Boys, became a big fan, and decided he was going to meet Brian Wilson. He tracked down his address and showed up at his door, which might seem alarming to some, but Wilson welcomed him in the and two became close friends and collaborators.

Musician Jeffrey Foskett performs onstage with The Beach Boys at Fred Kavli Theatre on March 3, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Foskett played with the Beach Boys for many years as well as pursued a solo career and helped Wilson with his solo shows. In 2012, he joined the Beach Boys on their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour and recorded the studio album That’s Why God Made the Radio. After, he toured with Wilson for a while but then took a break, citing stress and burnout as his reasons for slowing down. In 2014, he re-joined the Beach Boys as a permanent member. Sadly, he was diagnosed with stage 4 anaplastic thyroid cancer in 2018 and had to have throat surgery in 2019.

The Beach Boys Perform At Fred Kavli Theatre John Stamos

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

John Stamos, best known for his role in Full House, had been lucky enough to play with the Beach Boys several times over the years. He shared his own tribute which read, 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. This morning, when I got the news, uncontrollable tears streamed down my face, a physical manifestation of the heartache within. My son Billy heard my cries, joined my wife in holding me up, and then ran off, only to return with a small, tender offering — a drawing. His innocent hands sketched a picture of Jeff with hearts ascending to heaven, with me, waving goodbye. A stairway of hearts, and next to the top heart, he wrote God. A simple yet powerful symbol of love and loss that pierced through my grief.” May he rest in peace.

Pop Music Legends
Want More?

Pop Music Legends

August 2017

Dedicated to the sights, sounds and stories of the golden age of pop.

Buy This Issue