For Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Life's a (Busy) Beach

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Beach Men: David Marks, Brian Wilson, and Al Jardine
He may be 71 years old, but Head Beach Boy Brian Wilson might be busier today than at any point in his career. Having already completed the band's 50th anniversary reunion tour and new studio record last year, he's now on the road with two of the Boys (Al Jardine and David Marks) and guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck for a fall co-headlining tour.

Then, he's working with journalist Jason Fine on a new autobiography (1991's Wouldn't It Be Nice is often dismissed as a whitewash under the influence of then-controversial therapist/manager, Eugene Landy). And filming on a biopic, Love & Mercy -- featuring Paul Dano as the young Brian and John Cusack as the mature one -- just wrapped.

REWIND: Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck On Tour: Where Cars Meet Guitars


Oh, and he's in the studio working on three new records: a traditional pop effort, a mostly instrumental disc with Beck, and a concept album with a "suite" of songs.

"This is a time of creativity for me!" Wilson enthuses. "We're doing an album now of mellow and beautiful music."

And the movie?

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"We've seen some of the film. So far, so good. The guy who plays me, John Cusack, he's really good. And he sings well."

Finally, the Beach Boys have also just released a massive, career-spanning box set. Made in California's six discs combine the big hits, deep cuts, live recordings, demos, alternate takes, and nearly 60 unreleased tracks.

Among the ephemera is Brian Wilson's 1959 high school essay "My Philosophy," reproduced in its original handwritten form. All five surviving original/classic lineup Beach Boys had a hand in its compilation.

"I just wanted to keep the stuff on there that people should hear and not the trials and errors, which weren't so flattering," Jardine offers. "But what's on there is amazing. It's seven hours of music! And lesser-known songs I'm glad to see on there like 'Kiss Me Baby,' 'Our Car Club,' and 'Custom Machine.'"

Jardine is also excited about getting a rare lead vocal on two songs for Wilson's upcoming pop album, "Right Time" and "Run James Run" -- the latter of which he calls a "2013 Beach Boys car song."

In fact, it's Jardine who often had the most interesting perspective in a five-man band which, for much of its glory years, consisted of three brothers (Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson) and their cousin (Mike Love). The outsider's view let him see his bandmates in a different sort of light.

"I didn't have a lot of brothers and cousins [in my own family], so it was quite a big leap for me," he says. "And watching these guys fuss and fight over the years could be pretty traumatic."

"At the same time, you can see how people can still work with each other after they fight, and that's important. To get beyond that and create great music. I like to think that I was the glue at some point who kept things together."

Jardine also credits the late Carl Wilson -- who he credits as being the band's "moral center" -- with keeping the various egos and personalities and frailties of his bandmates on an even keel.

"He had a great sense of fairness and the right and wrong beyond all the emotional stuff," he says. "He became a great leader for the band in the later years, even as a stage manager. He was a very astute guy."

Carl Wilson even had a catchphrase that would signal the end of any intense discussion or confrontation, no matter how heated it got.

"Carl's last line was always 'It is what it is,'" Jardine laughs. "When you heard that, you knew it was the end of the conversation!"


Interview continues on the next page.


Location Info

Map

Bayou Music Center

520 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music


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4 comments
john.mylett
john.mylett

1) To compare Mike Love to the musical genius of Brother Brian is nothing short of aggravated   stupidity which should be a felony crime : )

2)  Mike Love, did, in fact, make a ton of money for Brian law suits notwithstanding.

3)  Mike Love and his brother Steve were both heavy handed bullies for sure and parochial in terms of MUSIC in general; he is in fact Not a musician and he never was nor will he ever become a musician.  Still, there was a day back in the early 70's when Mike Love played an integral role in returning the Beach Boys back to any sense of relevancy.  He did that and he deserves credit for it.  So, its evident Brother Brian is chock full of present and future new music and we celebrate HIS on-going legacy in so doing any mention of Mike Love is a distraction from Beauty, plain and simple : )

davidhutton1994
davidhutton1994

Mike Love would still  be pumping gas if it weren't for Brian Wilson. He is a disgrace and a total classless, talentless jerk. Brian Wilson is a rock icon who created the soundtrack for summer. Wherever he is performing, THAT is the Beach Boys. Not that peanut circus with Love and Bruce Johnston taking people's money to hear Love's old and tired voice.

pink
pink

Mike Love is amazing!

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