Brian Wilson's lead guitarist for the past 20 years, Wondermints co-founder, Nicky “Wonder” Walusko, died on Tuesday (August 6th) in his sleep at age 59. Wilson and the band kicked off their tour last night (August 7th) in Lewiston, New York at Artpark Mainstage Theater and dedicated the show to Wonder.
Wonder playaed a crucial role in helping realize Wilson's Smile project for the stage and was also on board when Wilson reunited with the surviving Beach Boys for a 2012 50th anniverary reunion tour.
Brian Wilson posted a mesaage on social media, which read:
Today is a sad sad day.
It is with my deepest regret to tell you that our beloved Nicky Wonder passed away last night in his sleep.
We are in a state of shock as you can imagine.
But we are going to honor him with tonights (sic) show.
Nicky was my favorite guitar player ever. I always loved the way he used his fingers. He was a real Rock and Roll guy and great singer too.
He was a friendly and very nice person and he was really really funny. He had the best sense of humor.
We are all crying today, he will be missed beyond words.
Our hearts go out to his wife Susan and his entire family, friends and fans.
We love you Nicky.
Love & Mercy Brian Wilson