Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck On Tour: Where Cars Meet Guitars
On paper, it seems like at odd pairing for a joint tour: Brian Wilson, Head Beach Boy and pop-music chronicler of sunny California life, with Jeff Beck, fiery and restless hard-rock English guitarist whose work helped lay the groundwork for heavy metal. Not to mention inspire Nigel Tufnel's haircut for This is Spinal Tap.
Photo courtesy of co5media Jeff Beck and Brian Wilson hit the road together, little Deuce Coupes and all
But according to Wilson and former Beach Boy Al Jardine -- who will be joining Wilson and his solo band, along with original Beach Boy David Marks, onstage for Wilson's current tour -- there's more common ground than many would imagine. The tandem tour comes to Houston tomorrow at Bayou Music Center.
"It is unusual, I have to admit," Jardine laughs. "I had questions as well! But after having met Jeff and then understanding his love for the Beach Boys catalogue -- in particular, the car songs -- it makes sense. He probably has the biggest collection of little Deuce Coupes in the world. Plus, he does his own restoration!"
In a separate interview, Wilson says he called Beck into the studio about four months ago to contribute to a solo record he's currently recording (actually, one of three current new studio projects, according to Rolling Stone).
"I remember that he played good guitar. He played on four of my songs, and blew my mind!" Wilson enthuses. "He can play anything on that guitar!"
The structure of the show will also allow plenty of time for both men to play together. After opening the show together, Wilson and his band will play Beach Boys classics and deeper cuts, followed by a set from Beck and his band with his best-known material and specially chosen covers, and concluding both headliners back on stage. Expect a car song or two or three.
Although if Wilson and Jardine had their druthers, they would still be in the midst of the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour. That hugely successful jaunt -- featuring nearly three-hour shows that reunited all surviving original or classic lineup members for 73 gigs around the world last year, including the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in June 2012 -- could have easily gone on.
But Mike Love, who owns the rights to the band's name, booked later shows with his version of the group (which also includes Bruce Johnston). So far, he doesn't seem interested in extending the life of the reunion tour lineup, despite obvious commercial and artistic benefits.
And though publicists for Wilson and Jardine gently warn that they cannot answer questions about Love "due to pending litigation" (or, more accurately, the latest litigation among Wilson/Love/Jardine), Jardine opens up a bit on his own and unprodded.
"I kept telling everybody the [reunion tour] would happen, and it did," Jardine offers. "All the naysayers from Mike and Brian's camps got together, because it was such a great tour. But I was...disappointed... when Mike decided to pull up stakes and leave."
Interview continues on the next page.