Billy Hinsche, one-third of the 1960s boy band Dino, Desi and Billy and a longtime member of The Beach Boys‘ touring band, died Saturday at the age of 70.
Hinsche’s passing was announced in an online message by his childhood friend Lucie Arnaz, whose brother, Desi Arnaz Jr., and the late Dean Paul Martin — the respective sons of Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball and Dean Martin — were the other two members of Dino, Desi and Billy.
“One of the finest humans, friends, storytellers and musicians, on the entire planet just went home to rest. Billy Hinsche has died,” Lucie wrote. “Giant cell carcinoma. Only diagnosed a couple weeks ago. It ravaged him like an out of control train.”
Lucie also revealed that Billy’s 95-year-old mother, Celia, died the same day within six hours of his passing.
Hinsche was born in the Philippines, and during his childhood he moved with his family to Beverly Hills, where he met Arnaz and Martin in school. Dino, Desi and Billy formed in 1964 and scored a pair of top-40 hits the following year with “I’m a Fool” and “Not the Lovin’ Kind,” which reached #17 and #25, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100.
The trio disbanded in 1969, and Hinsche, who played multiple instruments, went on to tour and record frequently with The Beach Boys from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Hinsche also worked on solo projects by The Beach Boys’ Carl, Brian and Dennis Wilson, and he toured in Brian’s backing band in 2007. He also served as musical director for Beach Boy Al Jardine‘s solo band.
In addition, Hinsche’s sister Annie was the late Carl Wilson’s first wife.
Beach Boys frontman Mike Love, Brian Wilson and Jardine all posted tributes to Hinsche on their social media pages.
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