Al Jardine: We Salute You!
Alan Charles Jardine was born on September 3, 1942 to Virginia and Donald Jardine. He was born in Lima Ohio, but during Al's childhood the Jardine family moved to Hawthorne, California when his father changed jobs. Al and Brian went to school together at Hawthorne High, and played on the football team together. It was on November 7, 1957 in a football game that Brian, the quarterback, called the wrong play, causing Al, the halfback, to get tackled by two guys, breaking his leg in the process.
It was at a high school assembly that Al first heard Brian, his brother Carl, and his cousin Mike perform. Al was impressed, and bugged Brian to get together with him and sing for quite a while after that. Finally, when they were both attending El Camino Junior College, Al bumped into Brian on campus one day and convinced him to get together and sing. They tried to sing that day on campus with some friends, but it didn't work out. That's when Brian suggested they get together and sing with Carl and Mike, and The Beach Boys were born.
It was Al's mom who helped the boys with the money to rent the instruments when they put together the song Surfin'. Al played stand up bass for the song. When Surfin' hit #75 on the billboard charts, and the royalty checks amounted to less than $1000 Al didn't see much promise in the future of being in a band and quit to purse his education at a school for Dentistry. Al returned to The Beach Boys a year later when Brian called and asked him to take his place touring. By the time that Al came back, The Beach Boys had several hit albums and hit singles under their belts. He was a touring Beach boy for his first year back.
Al's first vocal lead was on the Christmas Album, singing Christmas Day. On May 29, 1965 Help Me Rhonda hit number one. Al sang lead. You can hear him on, Then I Kissed Her, The Times They Are A-Changin, Vega-Tables, TM Song, Honkin Down The Highway, Come Go With Me, School Days, Cotton Fields, Runaway (Live). He did partial leads on I Know Theres An Answer, Heroes And Villians, Had To Phone Ya, A Casual Look, Good Time, Winds Of Change, Somewhere Near Japan, Make It Big, One Summer Night, Strange Things Happen, Under The Boardwalk, Rock And Roll To The Rescue, and California Dreamin.
Al has also made many contributions to the band as well. He wrote or co-wrote some of the Beach Boys tunes, such as: How She Boogalooed It, Don't Go Near The Water, Take A Load Off Your Feet, Looking At Tomorrow, All This Is That, California Saga: The Beaks Of Eagles, Susie Cincinnati, Good Time, Kona Coasta, Lady Lynda, Sana Anna Winds, Crack At Your Love, California Calling, Island Girl, It's A Beautiful Day, Our Team, and Loop De Loop to name a few. And Al co-produced the MIU Album and produced the hit version of Cottonfields and Island Girl among others.
His first arrangement was in 1969, on a Brian and Carl Wilson song Sail Plane Song/ Loop De Loop. He was the most solid member of The Beach Boys. When the Wilson brothers were suffering the price of being rock stars and abused children with over self indulgence and substance abuse, Al was a family man, he was a loyal band member, and could always be counted on to be at every single performance. He never got hooked on drugs. He was humiliated through out the years that there were drug problems. He never acted eccentric. When asked about Al, David Marks said, "Al is a very serious when it comes to his music. He is one of the most talented singers I have worked with personally. His voice played a big part in The Beach Boys sucess through the years. Al and I have had a few laughs together in the early days back when it was still fun and I wish him well in the future." David has also said that Al has always been a very professional musician.
Al always supported Brian's music, although he was first suprised by Pet Sounds. He was a big song writer contributor in the late 60's and early 70's. He wrote Italia for Murry Wilson's album. He had a big hit with the remake of Come Go With Me in 1983. Al was even made president of the Brother Records studio owned by The Beach Boys in the early eighties. Al wrote for the last time with Brian on The Beach Boys 85 album. He toured all through the 1990's until he left soon after the death of Carl Wilson. His last composition was Island Girl, done in 1989. Al did not receive due credit for showing Brian his arrangement of Sloop John B until 31 years later when the Pet Sounds Box Set was released.
Al is the father of four children. Matt and Adam sing with Al now in his band "Al Jardine's Family and Friends". The band makes up Al, Matt, Adam, The Wilson sisters, Owen Elliot- the daughter of Mamas and Papas fame Cass Elliot, and others who have been a integral part of the Beach Boys machine for so many years. He has been married twice. He met his wife Lynda in 1964, and she is the one pictured with him on the All Summer Long album. He was remarried in the eighties to his present wife Mary ann, and His other two sons (twins) are by that marriage.
Al was with The Beach Boys for thirty some years only leaving with the sad passing of Carl Wilson. He left because he did not like the direction that The Beach Boys had taken. Now, he has broken out on his own with success that only a great and professional musician can do. For years he has been the quiet one, the loyal one, the stable one. The one who has done whatever has been needed of him to do to help the band in any way that he can. He is the most underrated Beach Boy, and has mostly never received the attention and respect that he deserves for his contributions to The Beach Boys. He also deserves sympathy for the years of humiliation and trials that he has had to go through as the infighting of the band escalated. Al has always done what he could to keep the band going at all costs.
Be looking out for Al's new CD coming out soon. It is a live CD by Al Jardine's Family And Friends. Those who have never had the chance to hear Al's band perform will soon have the chance! You can keep updated on the latest about it on Al's site: Aljardine.com.
Tammy Stinnett and Joe Foster
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