Happy Birthday to Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, who turns 71 today (September 3rd)!!! Jardine began singing with Brian Wilson while the pair were high school teammates at Hawthorne High School in Southern, California. Jardine played a major role in securing the session for the group's 1961 debut single "Surfin'" on which he sang and played double bass. Jardine will once again join Wilson on the road later this month for a fall tour, which will also feature Beach Boys co-founder David Marks and legendary guitarist Jeff Beck.
In 2010, Jardine released his first solo album, A Postcard From California. The critically acclaimed collection features appearances by Neil Young, David Cosby, and Stephen Stills, Beach Boys co-founders Brian Wilson, the late Carl Wilson, Mike Love and David Marks. Longtime member Bruce Johnston also appears. Also featured are his sons, Matt and Adam Jardine, Steve Miller, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell from America, Glen Campbell, and the Red Hot Chili Pepper's bassist Flea.
Throughout 1962, Jardine, who had left the band to attend college, would pop back into the lineup to fill in for the road-weary Brian Wilson. When fellow co-founder David Marks quit the band in late 1963 to start up his solo band, David Marks & The Marksmen, Jardine became the band's rhythm guitarist for the next 35 years until inner-band politics finally forced him out of the Beach Boys.
By the late-1960's Jardine had come into his own in the group, contributing flawless harmonies and an ecological theme in his songs which predated most other bands' return to nature-based material.
But Jardine will always be best remembered for singing lead on the Beach Boys' second Number One hit, 1965's "Help Me, Rhonda." Jardine recalled the recording session for the song: "Oh, I was delighted. I was honored. But the pressure (laughs), the pressure on me was enormous! Everybody in the band -- everybody was there listening. But I was honored. I was really thrilled to have that opportunity."
Throughout the years, Jardine has written and produced many California-themed songs for Beach Boys albums, including the "California Saga" suite with Mike Love from the group's 1973 Holland album, and "Santa Ana Winds" which he co-wrote with Brian Wilson for the group's 1980 Keepin' The Summer Alive album. In 1981 the Beach Boys scored their first Top 20 hit in over five years with a Jardine-produced remake of the Del-Vikings' "Come Go With Me."
Following the death of Carl Wilson in 1998, Jardine was forced out of the Beach Boys by Mike Love. Years of lawsuits followed as Jardine battled for the right to bill himself as a Beach Boy.
In 2006, after a decade-long hiatus, Jardine joined Wilson on select concert dates where the pair played a two-hour show including numerous Beach Boys hits and the group's 1966 album Pet Sounds in its entirety.
During the Beach Boys' short-lived 2012 50th anniversary tour, Jardine's vocal spotlights were often singled out as the show's high-points -- including, "Then I Kissed Her," "California Dreamin'," "Cotton Fields," "California," "All This Is That," "Come Go With Me," and "Help Me, Rhonda."
Out now is the Beach Boys' latest career spanning box set, Made In California. Among the highlights is the previously unreleased version of "Back Home" from the Sunflower sessions, which Jardine co-wrote with Brian Wilson and Bob Norberg.
Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, & David Marks with Jeff Beck tour dates (subject to change):
September 27 - Hollywood, FL - Hard Rock Live
September 28 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
October 1 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
October 3 - Saint Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
October 4 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
October 5 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
October 6 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center
October 8 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
October 9 - Boston, MA - Wang Theatre - Citi Performing Arts Center
October 11 - Wallingford, CT - Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre
October 12 - Westbury, NY - NYCB Theatre At Westbury
October 13 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
October 15 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
October 16 - Montclair, NJ - The Wellmont Theater
October 18 - Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater
October 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
October 22 - Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre
October 25 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
October 26 - Toronto, ON - Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
October 27 - Akron, OH - E.J. Thomas Hall
October 3 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre
Photo Courtesy of Annie Liebovitz