On December 27, 1983, Dennis Wilson got in touch with a friend named Bill Oster and made plans to visit him on his boat, the Emerald, which was docked at Marina Del Rey. Compared to the events of the previous two days, which included a fistfight with one of his wife’s male friends and a disturbing phone call to his pal Steve Goldberg, the evening of December 27 appeared comparatively light-hearted. Apparently, Wilson wanted to have one last night of fun before finally cleaning up. “He said, ‘We’re going to the boat; we’re going to have a good time. And tomorrow I’m going to go to detox,'” the drummer’s friend Colleen McGovern recalled to Rolling Stone.

Everything seemed to be going well as Wilson, McGovern, Oster, and Oster’s fiancee, a woman named Brenda, were having fun talking about the good old days while drinking on the boat. Chillingly, Oster remembered telling Wilson about the time he told his fiancee that he hoped “the next [time] we see Dennis, it’s not at his funeral.” The musician reassured his old friend that he had nothing to worry about, and the conversation then turned to Wilson’s plans to enter a rehab facility in New Mexico. He was, however, drinking copious amounts of vodka on that night, though this initially didn’t worry Oster, who explained that “Dennis drank like that normally.”

Waking up from a fitful sleep, Wilson wanted nothing more than to have another drink on the morning of December 28. At that point, his female companions had hidden his booze, definitely concerned about his well-being. It wasn’t long, though, before he found his bottle of vodka and continued drinking.

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