Longtime Beach Boys Member Jeffrey Foskett Dies at 67

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
December 13, 2023Entertainment
Longtime Beach Boys Member Jeffrey Foskett Dies at 67
Jeffrey Foskett of The Beach Boys performing during the 27th National Memorial Day Concert Rehearsals in Washington on May 28, 2016. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)

One of the longtime members of The Beach Boys, Jeffrey Foskett, died this week at age 67, it was confirmed by Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson. He had been battling anaplastic thyroid cancer for years.

“I’m so heartbroken that my dear friend Jeff Foskett has passed,” Mr. Wilson wrote on social media, confirming Mr. Foskett’s death. “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 added: “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.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Wilson also confirmed to Rolling Stone and other media outlets that Mr. Foskett died earlier this week.

Born in 1956 in San Jose, California, Mr. Foskett recalled meeting Mr. Wilson in 1976 when he visited the musician’s home in Bel-Air

“Brian opened the door and said ‘Hey, come on in’ … like he’d been expecting us!” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2012. “I said, ‘Great!’ We hung around and went to the music room. [Mr. Wilson’s then-wife] Marilyn made us a sandwich. He said, ‘Stay in touch.’ And I did—and I’m glad that I did.”

Several years later, he joined Beach Boys after member Mike Love saw him performing in Santa Barbara. He performed alongside fellow members Mr. Love, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnson as well as Brian Wilson at times throughout the 1980s.

Ultimately, he was dismissed from the group and pursued a solo career throughout the 1990s, while also performing as part of the Brian Wilson Band. Notably, he appeared on a number of Wilson solo albums, including the critically acclaimed “Brian Wilson Presents Smile,” released in 2004, among others.

Mr. Foskett joined the Beach Boys for their 50th reunion tour in 2012, performing on the album, “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” He remained with the Beach Boys until 2019 when he departed the band due to health issues.

“Because I had remained on good terms with everyone, when it was proposed that this reunion celebration would happen, there was absolutely no problem, no issue at all,” he said. “I’ve had some great talks with everybody, and it’s just a really, really fun and fulfilling time.”

According to the Rolling Stone report, Mr. Foskett was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer and was initially told the cancer was terminal. He ended up living five more years while taking an experimental drug via the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, according to posts he made on his Instagram page.

“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,” Mr. Jardine said in a statement on social media, adding, “Jeff always kept in touch with us, no matter which Beach Boys hat he was wearing.”

“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,” he continued to say.

Todd Sucherman, a drummer who performed with Mr. Foskett and Mr. Wilson, wrote on Instagram that “he had a voice like an angel and had a million stories. He did not suffer fools gladly and you felt great when he was loving what you were doing on stage—and you saw it in his eyes … condolences to his family and friends. Rest well, brother—it was an honor.”

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a rare form of cancer that makes up 1 to 2 percent of all thyroid cancer diagnoses, according to Columbia University’s surgery division. It’s more common in people aged 60 and older, and it’s “one of the most aggressive cancers in humans and is often lethal,” it says.

“Tragically, the five year survival from this type of cancer is less than 5 percent, with most patients dying within just a few months of the diagnosis. However, with new advances in treatment, there has been progress in helping patients with this disease,” the university website adds.

From The Epoch Times

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