The Musical Glow That Is Al Jardine

AL JARDINE plays The Coach House Jun 16; photo Spud

AL JARDINE plays The Coach House Jun 16; photo by Spud

“My pal, Brian Wilson and I, went to college together,” muses Al Jardine of the legendary Beach Boys. “And we started at El Camino Junior College. He introduced me to his family; I came up with the production money to make our first record – my mother actually gave us the money for it, that first record – a recording called “Surfin’”.”

Al Jardine is now on tour, aptly titled A Postcard from California, From the Very First Song with a Founding Member of The Beach Boys, and it is described as a storytelling tour.

“That’s what my concert is all about, how we generated that first song,” Jardine explains. “And we give a little soliloquy or monologue at the start of the show, bringing people into the living room of the home of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson. Looking through the recording glass window while we are making our very first song. You know what I’m sayin’, right? It’s like a trip through time.

“And then we come out of that recording, there’s an actual tape recording of conversation rehearsing the song. At the conclusion of that, Matthew Jardine my son, Jeff Alan Ross, and I sing the song in its entirety. That’s how the show starts.”

So why a storytelling tour at all, and where did such an idea come from? Jardine has the answer: “To be honest with you, it was a long developing idea an agent brought to my attention some time ago. He came back with it eight years later because he has had success with Peter Asher and Jeremy Clive, a couple of English musicians who were popular at the time. They have combined their forces to do shows here; Peter of course was a producer of great renown, Linda Ronstadt to name one and James Taylor is another. He has his own band now and he is doing it with Jeremy. And it has been such a success story for Peter that it was brought to my attention.”

In 2010, Jardine released his solo album A Postcard From California, which featured a wide variety of musicians.

“It’s people I have grown up with during my Beach Boy years, and we all have shared the stage with,” Jardine said. “We all have fond memories of the sixties and seventies. I just called people and they were generous with their time and ideas.

AL JARDINE; photo Randy Straka

AL JARDINE; photo Randy Straka

“Glen Campbell is featured in a video explaining his involvement with The Beach Boys. And I go on to extend the conversation to his involvement with me and my album. It’s kind of informative and beautiful. He was our sixth Beach Boy at the time, Brian Wilson couldn’t tour at the time and Glen Campbell came in to help us out.”

The tour also features each member displaying their wide range of abilities. Jardine elucidates this aspect: “I play the upright bass, just for fun. On that first record, that’s what I played and on the very first Beach Boys song. We have one of those that I play. I play acoustic and electric guitar. Matthew plays guitar and percussion as well. Jeff Alan Ross does the keyboard orchestration and the video imaging that we have on stage, which is very impressive.

“I’ve always loved singing harmony, I’m a harmony guy,” Jardine continued. “I just love singing with Brian Wilson, and the guys, and my son Matt now. Matt and I both tour with Brian Wilson when he is touring. When we are not with Brian, we go out in our trio, celebrating the stories behind the music.”

Like almost any musician, there are pre-show rituals he likes to engage in.

“We like to get there early and get sharp,” according to Jardine. “We like to get the lighting and the sound right. But with a trio, it’s so easy. It’s so much fun. You don’t have the constraints of so many mixes and challenges, like with the major systems of an arena. We have a jazz club sound, you know. The mixes are tight; they always sound great cuz there is very little that can go wrong.”

Bask in the magic and history of Al Jardine and The Beach Boys when he comes to The Coach House on June 16th.