Beach Boys Co-Founder Al Jardine Announces Storytellers Concerts: Exclusive

Al Jardine
Randy Straka

Al Jardine

Al Jardine, one of the founding members of The Beach Boys, is going out on the road, Billboard has learned exclusively. The show, which features him and his son Matt, is titled Al Jardine – A Postcard From California - From the Very First Song With a Founding Member of the Beach Boys. The name comes from Jardine's debut solo album, 2010's A Postcard From California.  

It will include Jardine telling stories about the Beach Boys' music and singing, as well as Matt Jardine singing and playing alongside his dad. The first four shows will take place Jan. 23-24 at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Minn., and Jan. 29-30 at the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Ariz. Tickets will go on sale Dec. 1 for the first two shows and Dec. 7 for the Phoenix shows. Additional shows may be added in other cities.  

"The show is a very much storytellers' style evening. That's intentional," says show producer Keith Putney. "It's designed to be acoustic, up close and intimate. There will be multimedia aspects, but the thrust of the show will be the music, and the stories behind how it came to be. Al's voice is still so incredibly strong, so this show will highlight that. With Matt Jardine on board, the harmonies will shine as well. "   

The Postcard shows will be quite a change from the large ensemble Pet Sounds shows he and his son have been doing with Brian Wilson. “It'll be music and storytelling explaining the derivation of the sound that we created as the Beach Boys,” he told Billboard in a phone interview Monday. “It'll be kind of instructive and kind of fun at the same time. It'll be designed to highlight certain eras and a couple of songs here and there from different eras.” Jardine said he and his son have worked out the harmonies quite well from doing the Pet Sounds shows. “He does Brian's falsetto parts and I do my leads and it works out pretty good. We have a nice musical component.”   

Jardine was born on Sept. 3, 1942 in Lima, Ohio. The family moved to California, where Jardine attended Hawthorne High School. Also attending the school were Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson and their cousin Mike Love. In 1961, they formed a singing group, the Pendletones, which later became the Beach Boys. Jardine, who played lead guitar and sang harmony, was the lead singer on “Help Me, Rhonda,” which was a No. 1 hit for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Besides “Rhonda,” Jardine wants to include “Sloop John B,” “Surfin'” and “Surfin' Safari” among the songs in the upcoming shows.

As an example of the stories he'll tell, Jardine says "Surfin'" wasn't the initial focus of the group's first recording session. “We had to sneak that one in,” he said. “They had a couple of other songs they wanted us to do, but we decided we would do that and make that our focus, and I'm glad we did. That was the start of it all.”