Classified Ads
German Fanclub
Research Center

This Site

David Lee Marks

Born 22.8.1948 in Pennsylvania


Jo Ann and Elmer Marks

The family (of Jewish Italian heritage) moved to Hawthorne, California when he was seven. He became friends with Dennis and Carl Wilson. "I lived across the street. Carl and I were playing guitar together before the Beach Boys. We idolized another guitarist named John Maus, who later became one of the Walker Brothers.

He was only 13 though and wasn't aloud to stay up late rehearsing, so Al Jardine ended up on the earliest recordings. "I wasn't on those cuts. That was Al Jardine on upright bass,Brian hitting a snare drum with a brush and Carl playing a Kay guitar from Sears. Al Jardine was Brian's friend from college. They were trying to do a Kingston Trio type of thing." Lead singer Love was born in 1941(in Baldwin Hills,CA)

On Nov 8,1962, the Wilson brothers and Marks(all underage) had to appear in the California Superior Court with their parents to have their Capitol contracts approved. Twenty-five percent of all their royalties were ordered to be set aside for trusteeship savings accounts. The group was signed to the William Morris Agency by Marshall Berle(a nephew of Milton Berle) who had seen them open for Dick And Dee Dee. David's father,acting as temporary road manager in 62.

The famous cover of their debut LP(Surfin Safari) (shot at Paradise Cove in the north bay area)

The group had appeared(with Jardine) on the local WINK MARTINDALE DANCE PARTY but the short film ONE MAN'S CHALLENGE (filmed in 62) features their earliest existing appearance. "Somebody was doing a documentary and they filmed us at the Azusa Teen Club.

After the "Surfer Girl" Lp was recorded(in July) Brian (under great pressure from greedy Capitol Records and his horrible father Murry) refused to tour(for the first of several times) and Al Jardine, who had transfered to a local college, returned to replace him on the road. For a few months, both Marks and Jardine were Beach Boys. Visual proof of that lineup is in "The Beach Boys American Band Video. Its a rare silent 8mm color footage shot by David's father in Hawai(with Surfin dubbed in). The Marks/Jardine lineup could have continued but Murry started picking on Marks for minor reasons. Things got worse for David when Jo Ann Marks questioned Murry about the unfair low payment her son was receiving. During an argument in the car on the way from New York to Philadelphia, Marks quit(a big decision for a 15 year old) but he agreed to play the remaining tour dates. According to the updated Capitol contract, as of August 1963, he was no longer a Beach Boy. "I quit the Beach Boys, but played with them for a year afterwards(on and off) which was great. Because during this time, I was playing with my own band. I took a group from Hawthorne High(The Jaguars) and said "I'm taking over and we're going to be called Dave And The Marksmen. They aid...okay.....fine!".

David Marks says he was on the first five albums, but has also said he was not on the "Be True to Your School" "Fun Fun Fun" or "DWB" sessions. Session tapes indicate he he was on the first 3 LPs. Since he played on "409" and "Shut Down" which were included again on the LDC LP he is technically on the 4th album. I don't think he was on the recording sessions for the LDC album or the next one. I think he may be on "Louie Louie' from the 5th LP which may have been an earlier recording. BTW, Al played bass (on some songs) and sang on the Surfer Girl LP, even though he's not pictured on the cover or the cover of the LDC album. Al actually sang on at least one song on the SUSA LP.

I heard not too long ago that David Marks had been offered a long-term contract by Mike. Apparently, that's quite an unusual offer, as none of the backing players have such a deal, only Bruce. However, I was told that the amount of the offer was quite low, in fact working out to less on a "per gig" basis than the backing players get. Reportedly, Mike felt that guaranteed long-term employment was enough of an incentive without having to offer substantial money. At the time I heard the story, I was told that Marks was quite insulted and was considering quitting.

Mount Vernon & Fairway 1997