David Marks was an original Beach Boy from their initial signing with Capitol Records on July16, 1962 until October of 1963, contributing guitar brilliance to their first five albums on such classics as, “Surfin Safari,” “409,” Surfin U.S.A.” “Shut Down,” “Surfer Girl,” “Be True To Your School” and “In My Room.” A neighbor of the Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl and Dennis), his guitar work with Carl Wilson changed the sound of the band and helped establish them as an American institution. Though his tenure in the group was short, he played 100 concerts with them all across the mainland and Hawaii. A disagreement with The Wilson’s father/manager Murry led to Marks’ leaving the band.
Marks formed the Marksmen in 1964 and eventually played with psychedelic bands Colours and The Moon, establishing himself as an expert guitarist. In 1969 he relocated to Boston, where he studied jazz and classical guitar at the Berklee School of Music and later the New England Conservatory of Music (1971). He spent the next 25 years playing with an assortment of talented musicians like Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, Carl Radle and Delbert McClinton, to name a few.
Marks was immortalized as one of the founding members of the Beach Boys in 2005 on a historical landmark in their hometown of Hawthorne, California and in 2006 was present on the roof of Capitol Records as the surviving members of the Beach Boys received a Platinum record in recognition of sales of two million for the CD “Sounds of Summer: the Very Best of the Beach Boys.” In recent years Marks has played with Beach Boy Al Jardine and Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) as The Legends of Surf Music and with Jardine’s touring band. His book “The Lost Beach Boy”chronicles his amazing life story and he will be releasing a solo and live album in the coming months.
Reviewfix.com recently visited Marks at his home and spoke to him about the early days with the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson’s genius, surfing, hot rods, guitar gear and recording. It is an interesting talk with a member of Rock and Roll royalty.