Book Size: 9" x 6"

Pages: 256

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623717513

Imprint: Interlink Books

Illustrations: Black and White Photos

Release date: Fall 2023


A Fool's Journey

To the Beach Boys and Beyond


$ 30

A Fool’s Journey, like the metamorphosis of any artistic soul, is one that is born of innocence and curiosity and awakens through the lessons learned from triumph and loss. Our quest for enlightenment and fulfilment, and the communal search for understanding, is informed through this wondrous, shared experience.”  —Adrien Brody, Winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor in The Pianist

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About this book

A tell-all memoir of a rock and jazz sensation and former pianist of the legendary Beach Boys.

Cutting his musical teeth in a Puerto Rican jazz club in the 1960s, Carli Muñoz came of age during the countercultural flowering of that era; he lived for music, knowledge, and the mind-expanding magic of LSD. Wanting to expand creative horizons for his successful psychedelic rock band, Muñoz flew to New York on a whim with $11 in his pocket and embarked on a deep dive into the gritty scene of gigs, girls, and trips, struggling to fill his pockets with dollars and his belly with food. Free-falling into the dark underbelly of the city, Muñoz ended up homeless and penniless until an epiphany on the subway brought him back to the surface.

On the cusp of a new decade, Muñoz moved to LA to fight for a new life and a second chance. Hanging out in Houdini’s old mansion in Laurel Canyon, he watched the free-loving idealism of the ’60s melt into the disco- and cocaine-saturated hedonism of the ’70s, until one day he found himself on tour with the Beach Boys. He became close friends with Dennis Wilson—a friendship that ranged from pranking each other to working on an album together to watching him spiral irretrievably into self-destruction. He witnessed the feud between Mike Love and the Wilsons firsthand, as well as the unchecked instability of Brian Wilson. Despite the chaos and power struggles within the band, Muñoz was able to create enthralling music with them, as well as with some of the other popular musicians of the ’70s, including Wilson Pickett, the Association, George Benson, and Peter Cetera.

Populated with an eclectic cast of artists, musicians, clairvoyants, record producers, hippies, hobos, and superstars, A Fools Journey is a vivid snapshot of an era-defining moment that will never be repeated.

Although Muñoz toured with the Beach Boys for ten years and partied with rock stars, he was also just an island kid from Puerto Rico, forever in exile, forever “the other.” The story of his journey is as compelling as it is timely.


About the author

Carli Muñoz is a pianist, composer, writer and visual artist who had the rare distinction of excelling in the mainstream of pop music and jazz. In 1971 he joined the Beach Boys, and left them in 1981 to pursue a career in cinema and jazz performing. Recordings and performances followed with top jazz artists such as George Benson, Les McCann, and others. Muñoz’s own works followed, culminating in his 2018 release Follow Me to a wide acclaim. Since 1998, Carli has performed live nightly at his venue, Carli’s Fine Bistro & Piano, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.


A Fool’s Journey, like the metamorphosis of any artistic soul, is one that is born of innocence and curiosity and awakens through the lessons learned from triumph and loss. Our quest for enlightenment and fulfilment, and the communal search for understanding, is informed through this wondrous, shared experience.”  —Adrien Brody, Winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Pianist.

“To me, Carli is like several different artists in one. There’s the pianist, the composer/lyricist, vocalist, arranger, producer, but then there’s the poet of how to speak with people, how to listen and hear them, how to be kind, how to create a gracious environment, how to make magic. Carli is a kind of angel, a pioneer, a rogue, and a mystic. He is the most highly original kind of human, who never looks over his shoulder for a sense of direction. His soul is his guide.” —Benny Green, jazz pianist.

“I think anyone that knows Carli Muñoz will agree that he is the quintessential Renaissance man. He demonstrates his capability as a great pianist as well as a composer, and producer, and he knows how to put that all together into a recording that displays all his attributes as a musician, and now as a writer. He is definitely someone that stands out—Carli is a special one.” —Eddie Gomez, jazz bassist.

A Fool’s Journey keeps you reading—uncovering a deeper meaning, opening doors to the known and unknown. One can sense a meandering and soulful spirit in Carli’s journey of life. Carli is a larger-than-life composer piano player that you just step back and say: Where does he come from?” —Roman Klun, Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer.

“Carli has a musical vision which is refreshing. Now he’s written his memoir, and hopefully readers are inspired by what they discover once they lift off that rock, or when they open that door.” —Billy Drummond, jazz drummer.

“Pianist Carli Muñoz is best known for the decade he spent touring and performing with the Beach Boys, which explains why he is frequently asked an “impertinent question” in the restaurant he owns and operates: How did a Puerto Rican get to play with the Beach Boys? He replies that his home country has bonfires, surfers, hot rods, and beaches, “not to mention great musicians.” Muñoz proceeds to answer the question more fully in this vibrant, dishy memoir, which is characterized by dramatic fluctuations in fortune. His path takes him from a highly successful career as a Puerto Rican band leader to a down-and-out existence on the streets of New York. Muñoz is reborn in the music scene of 1970s Los Angeles, where he lands the gig that changed his career. It’s a pleasure to go behind-the-scenes with the Beach Boys—who were fiercely divided by who practiced transcendental meditation and who didn’t—but the greatest pleasure comes from spending time inside this remarkably musical mind.” —Booklist,

“Muñoz writes in a straightforward, conversational style, explaining how a turn to vegetarianism, spirituality, and astrology helped him pull his life back together … A good chunk of his memoir is devoted to that era, so readers get another look at the fabled band and its inner turmoil … But A Fool’s Journey also recounts the joy Muñoz had performing with the Beach Boys and with many other musicians over the years: Wilson Pickett, George Benson, Rickie Lee Jones, and Les McCann, to name a few.”
— Daily Hampshire Gazette,


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