Jeffrey Foskett, renowned member of the iconic Beach Boys band, has passed away at the age of 67 after a battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer. Known for his exceptional vocal abilities and instrumental skills, Foskett left a lasting impact on the music world and the legacy of one of America’s most beloved bands.
Born in 1956, Foskett’s journey into the world of music was marked by his early fascination with harmonies and melodies. His passion for music led him to master multiple instruments and refine his vocal skills, which would later become an integral part of The Beach Boys’ sound.
Foskett joined the Beach Boys in the late 1970s, bringing with him a fresh energy and talent that helped rejuvenate the band during a critical period in their history. His high falsetto vocals, often likened to those of the band’s original member, Brian Wilson, became a signature element in many of the group’s performances and recordings.
“Jeff was always there for me when we toured and we couldn’t have done it without him,” Wilson said to Rolling Stone. “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.”
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Foskett, a San Jose native and avid Beach Boys fan, visited Brian Wilson in Los Angeles in 1976. Mesmerized by Wilson’s casual music session, he later impressed Mike Love while performing at a restaurant. This led to Foskett joining Love’s Endless Summer Beach Band and eventually the Beach Boys, filling in for Carl Wilson who was pursuing a solo career.
“Two months later Carl came back and I assumed that I would be gone,” Foskett stated back in 2019. “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.”
Throughout his time with the Beach Boys, Foskett was involved in several of their major tours and albums, contributing not just as a musician but also as a harmonist and occasional songwriter. His role in the band went beyond performing; he was often seen as a bridge between the original members and the new generation of musicians who joined the group over the years.
Foskett’s influence extended beyond the Beach Boys. He was a respected figure in the music industry, known for his collaborations with other artists and his contributions to various musical projects. His expertise in the classic California sound made him a sought-after musician and producer in the industry.
Foskett’s contribution to the band and to the broader music scene was significant. His absence will be deeply felt.