Beach Boys’ Jeffrey Foskett Loses Battle With Cancer At 67
via Dan Spin / Youtube
Jeffrey Foskett, a dedicated touring member of the Beach Boys affectionately known as the band’s “vice principal,” has died at the age of 67 after battling anaplastic thyroid cancer for several years.
Brian Wilson expressed his grief for his longtime friend and bandmate in a social media post, saying:
“I’m so heartbroken that my dear friend Jeff Foskett has passed. 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. Love and mercy to Jeff’s family and friends, we will remember him forever.”
Foskett was born in San Jose, California, on February 17, 1956. As a young youngster, he fell in love with the Beach Boys. He played these songs and other surf rock classics in local bands throughout the 1970s. When Foskett visited Wilson’s Bel-Air residence in 1976, he had his first encounter with the musician.
In a 2012 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Foskett recalled:
“Brian opened the door and said ‘Hey, come on in’ — like he’d been expecting us!
“I said, ‘Great!’ We hung around and went to the music room. [Wilson’s then-wife] Marilyn made us a sandwich. He said, ‘Stay in touch.’ And I did — and I’m glad that I did.”
Jeffrey Foskett’s Story About Joining the Beach Boys
Foskett’s breakthrough came a few years later when Mike Love discovered him performing at a bar near the University of California, Santa Barbara, where Foskett was a student. Love invited Foskett to join his Endless Summer Beach Band, leading to his eventual inclusion in the Beach Boys in the early 1980s. He performed alongside Love, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and occasionally Brian Wilson. Foskett remained with the band until 1990, handling Brian’s high falsetto parts.
After leaving the Beach Boys, Foskett pursued a solo career in the 1990s. He reconnected with Wilson towards the end of the decade, contributing to Wilson’s 1998 album, Imagination. Foskett later became the musical director of the Brian Wilson Band. Foskett remarked:
“I’ve had some great talks with everybody, and it’s just a really, really fun and fulfilling time.
“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.
“I’ve had some wonderful conversations with everybody, and it’s been a truly enjoyable and fulfilling time.”
Up until 2019, Foskett toured with the Beach Boys until he took a leave of absence to get surgery on his throat. In 2018, he disclosed that he had received a stage 4 diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer and that the therapy had taken away a significant portion of his upper vocal range. His last three studio albums Voices, Vintage Summer, and Love Songs, were all released in 2019.