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Breaking Away

The Beach Boys embarked on their first tour of the United States in the summer of 1962, traveling together in a cramped station wagon. Mike, David, Carl, and Dennis loved the freedom of being away from home, but for Brian it was an obstacle to writing songs. To make matters worse, Murry, who accompanied the group on some of their early gigs, established an elaborate “fine” system in which the boys forfeited pay for swearing or talking to girls. Even though the group members easily got around Murry's restrictions (especially when he didn't tour with them), the arrangement made life on the road as miserable for the rest of the band as it was for Brian.

Fans and music industry insiders alike were beginning to take notice of Brian's good looks and musical talent, and in some ways this made up for his troubled home life. So did his girlfriend, Judy Bowles, the blond-haired, blue-eyed inspiration for many of his early songs. But as Brian became more committed to his music career, he had less time to devote to Judy, and the relationship ended. Even worse, Murry's incessant nagging was becoming too much for the emotionally fragile Brian to handle. He moved out of the Wilsons' Hawthorne home shortly after Surfin' Safari was released. He roomed for a while with a young University of Southern California student named Bob Norberg.

Around this time, Brian met teenaged sisters Marilyn and Diane Rovell at a Beach Boys show at Pandora's Box, a popular underage club on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. He was soon smitten with both girls and began spending a lot of time at their parents' house in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. Irving and Mae Rovell were gentle, tolerant people who indulged Brian and encouraged his songwriting. Their household was as soothing and supportive as Murry and Audree's was tense and demeaning, so Brian and the rest of the Beach Boys made it an unofficial group hangout. Brian also wrote and produced a few songs for the Rovell sisters and their cousin Ginger Blake, who recorded under the name the Honeys, but the group failed to score on the charts. Brian's affections swung between Marilyn and Diane—and even their younger sister, Barbara—for years to come, but it was Marilyn he turned to for companionship when he finally moved out on his own.

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Musician BiographiesThe Beach BoysCATCH A WAVE - “two Step Side Step”, Breaking Away, “loop De Loop”, Fun, Fun, Fun In Europe