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Carl Wilson hailed as `good vibration' who held Beach Boys together during good, bad times

Even while he was dying of lung cancer, Carl Wilson - the "steady force" who helped keep the Beach Boys together - insisted on touring with the band.

Wilson, the youngest Beach Boy, died Friday at the age of 51. Although lung cancer killed him, Wilson also had brain cancer.His illness forced him to bow out of some shows for doctor's visits and much-needed rest, but Wilson still managed to complete 130 appearances during the band's 36th annual tour last summer, publicist Alyson Dutch said Sunday.

He had to sit down instead of standing for some performances, and during a date in San Bernardino he brought two of his doctors on stage for guest appearances.

"Carl was deeply spiritual being who had an incredibly positive outlook on life," Dutch said. "He had an amazing support system. His wife, Gina, was on tour with him, at his side, on every date this year. His sons said he was a perfect father who was there for their needs."

Brother Dennis Wilson, who died in a 1983 swimming accident, was credited with creating the band's surfing theme, and brother Brian Wilson and cousin Mike Love wrote the lyrics.

But it was Carl's guitar that took the lead and his sweet, melodic voice that anchored the vocals on many of their classic songs, including "Good Vibrations" and "God Only Knows."

When the band was torn by family disagreements, substance abuse and Dennis' death, members turned to Carl, Dutch said.

"All the guys looked to Carl as a steady force," she said. "He was also a peaceful force. Despite everything negative and the media stories that focused on dissension, when they got on stage or in the studio - the magic, the love, the brotherhood that existed between them never failed."