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The Big Huerta Gives Dennis Wilson Sum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Folks, before we all get a little upset, let me do some ‘splainin’..This painting is not paying homage to Chuck Manson by any means. I was just trying to beat some get-rich-quick dude on a CD or LP cover….imagining if some lost tapes were unearthed between Dennis Wilson and the Manson, a what-if, if you will, of album art.

So dig, Numero Uno Wilson brother Brian, is getting a lot of ink right now, so I thought it would be cool if my favorite Beach Boy, Dennis, got a little press here. I truly grew up a Dennis Wilson fan. When I was the Little Huerta, I would sneak listens to my bro’s The Beach Boys Live in Concert from Santa Monica Civic from 1964 with “Papa-Ooom-Mow-Mow” and “Long Tall Texan” on it. The best was “Graduation Day” where Denny sings the last word of the song off mike and before it was supposed to be sung…a bit of theatrics that got this kid every single time…freakin’ hilarious! Then I come to find out that Hal Blaine actually played all of the drum parts on records. I did get the chance to talk to Hal Blaine and thanked him for all of those years of nights of lugging drums back to the house at 3:30 a.m. in the pouring rain and cold. He dug it and laughed!

So, in a nutshell, and don’t quote me, this is a short article and no time for real facts.. .we have Dennis, being the nice guy that he was, picking up some young teen girls that happened to be hitchhiking and being the swinging dude that he was, he invited them all back to his place and later met the hippie guru Charles Manson. Soon Charles was in charge of his daze and his nights and Dennis had his hands full with this group of ragtag hippies. Chuck was an aspiring singer and conned Denny into recording some of his songs. One, “Cease to Exist”, was actually released under the title “Never Learn Not to Love”, which I mistook for The Beach Boys to never give Mike Love any more singing parts. Anyways, the grim story is this little Manson character (5’2” tall!!! Freddie Patek laughed at him!!!) terrorized all of Southern California during the late ‘60’s. You East Coast peeps might not relate to this as much. It’s like how your Son of Sam captivated the whole city for awhile. I remember being a little kid and being totally scared that these killer hippies were going to find us in Westminster and get all of us. This is how the news was portraying these tragic murders. No one was safe! So Manson is in every California kid’s psyche somewhere and I am sure he digs it. I am not pro Charlie…quite the opposite. I am pro Dennis though…and as you can tell by my portrayal of both characters in this painting. Dennis is looking like “oh crap, I have to deal with this dude again?!” and Manson almost has a simian look, a caveman from Geico ads resemblance, if you will.

I based the colors and look on The Beach Boys Wild Honey lp cover. I used hippie-esque displays and colors and font stylings. I did try to make it hippy looking with a bit of corporate dash cool thrown in too. I gave Dennis some metallic sun splashed hair for that surfer California look that he was known for (RIP).

One funny story, I was having an art show at Dipiazza’s Restaurant in Long Beach and no one really talked to me much there. I think it was because of this painting, but towards the end of the evening, this like 6 or 7 year old kid just stood there and was transfixed by the painting. I tried to move him along to other works and he ran off. A few minutes later, he brought his mom over and he pointed to the painting and said “I want that one!” The mom and I looked at each other and I just told her it wasn’t for sale and she knew I was just trying to save face for her. We looked at each other and laughed and I said “of all the paintings I have here, this is the only one that anybody likes.” We had a good laugh…Gracias, The Big Huerta.

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