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Shut Down

New Lows

The more Dr. Landy helped Brian, the farther away the Beach Boys' founder drifted from the rest of the group. Stephen and Mike Love were angry over the psychologist's increasing salary, while the other band members resented his control over Brian. Even Marilyn began to be suspicious of Landy's influence. Around Christmas of 1976, with Brian's questionable consent, Eugene Landy was fired. Stan Love and his friend Rushton “Rocky” Pamplin were hired to keep Brian on track, but they lacked Landy's experience. Instead of building trust with Brian, they intimidated him—and, Brian later claimed, physically and emotionally abused him as well. They managed to keep him off drugs and in the studio for a while, but it wasn't long before Brian was back to his old habits.

Around that time, the Beach Boys were signed to the CBS label. They were under tremendous pressure to live up to this lucrative new contract: Their final Warner Brothers LP, The Beach Boys Love You, failed to generate any chart action when it was released in April 1977, and CBS executives had begun to have second thoughts. Instead of pulling together, though, the band splintered. Mike flew to Switzerland to be with the Maharishi, Dennis booked studio time for a solo album, and Brian retreated to his bedroom after separating from Marilyn (the couple remained close even after divorcing in 1979). Worse yet, Carl began using cocaine and Stephen Love was fired for taking more than his fair share from the CBS deal. It was the Beach Boys’ lowest point yet, highlighted by onstage and backstage squabbling during a tour of Australia and New Zealand. To top things off, Dennis's 1977 album, Pacific Ocean Blue, was a commercial and critical success, and the rest of the band resented him for it.

The group ended the seventies with two lackluster releases, 1978's The M.I.U. Album and 1979's LA. (Light Album). Although Bruce rejoined the band to help out with L.A., neither LP was a hit. Their 1980 follow-up, Keepin’ the Summer Alive, fared even worse. There didn't seem to be much reason for the Beach Boys to go on.

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Musician BiographiesThe Beach BoysShut Down - Dennis And The Wizard, Nick Of Time, The Rieley Factor, “in My Room”, New Lows