Billy Hinsche, longtime touring member of The Beach Boys, has died. He was 70 years old.
Outside of touring with The Beach Boys, Hinsche performed as part of ’60s band Dino, Desi And Billy, alongside Desi Arnaz Jr. (son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) and Dean Paul Martin (son of Dean Martin).
His passing was confirmed by Arnaz Jr.’s sister, Lucie, who shared the news on Instagram.
“One of the finest humans, friends, storytellers and musicians, on the entire planet just went home to rest,” Arnaz wrote.
Arnaz confirmed that Hinsche’s cause of death was giant cell carcinoma, sharing that he was only diagnosed “a couple weeks ago” and that it “ravaged him like an out of control train”.
“He was Dino, Desi And Billy’s most talented member,” she continued. “He had never stopped working as a musician. Played with every incarnation of The Beach Boys for decades. And, during COVID, performed a wonderful show each and every week from his home in Henderson, NV.”
After thanking people for sending their thoughts and prayers during Hinsche’s illness, Arnaz said that his 95-year-old mother passed away within six hours of his own passing, while she was in hospice care.
Following his tenure with Dino, Desi And Billy, Hinsche joined The Beach Boys as a session musician and member of their touring unit in 1971. He spent six years with the band initially, appearing on all their albums from that period, before rejoining the band for 14 more years in 1982.
The Beach Boys’ Mike Love paid tribute to Hinsche on Twitter, writing: “We lost a great friend, family member, and forever member of The Beach Boys band on Saturday.
“We’ll miss him greatly, especially his family members will feel his loss most deeply. All of us who had the pleasure of knowing him will miss his jovial nature and immense talent and sense of humor. Billy was a loving son to his mother Celia who incredibly passed Saturday as well.”
All of us who had the pleasure of knowing him will miss his jovial nature and immense talent and sense of humor. Billy was a loving son to his mother Celia who incredibly passed Saturday as well.
— Mike Love (@MikeLoveOFCL) November 21, 2021
View some more tributes to Hinsche, including from fellow Beach Boys member Brian Wilson, below.
Billy Hinsche, a dear friend of Lisa and I sadly passed away Saturday from cancer. He was known from the 60’s pop group called “Dino, Desi and Billy”. His talent + beautiful nature will be missed. Here’s Billy and I in Jan 2020 playing the same guitar from ‘66 at his Vegas home. pic.twitter.com/kSor4PGWUN
— Bruce Kulick (@brucekulick) November 21, 2021
RIP Billy Hinsche, we love you and will miss you dearly ? pic.twitter.com/1wSVegeked
— Al Jardine (@ALANJARDINE) November 21, 2021
Another sad loss this week.. Sorry to hear about the passing of our friend Billy Hinsche.
Formerly of Dino, Desi and Billy and the backing band for The Beach Boys.#RIPBillyHinsche pic.twitter.com/dmuFaQQ1UU
— Micky Dolenz (@TheMickyDolenz1) November 21, 2021
I am in total shock right now. RIP Billy Hinsche, Dino, Desi, and Billy. He was a friend of mine, and we had just spoken a few months ago. Condolences to his family ? pic.twitter.com/rOa7r8nOo6
— Stephen Bishop (@BishSongs) November 21, 2021