A buzz surrounds the possibility of Big Sur luminary Al Jardine and the Beach Boys reuniting.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
One of Big Sur’s prize jewels is not a park or a chanterelle platter but a senior citizen with a guitar, original Beach Boy Al Jardine, who’s lived in the area since 1973. So it’s a pretty big deal for folks around here – and music fans around the world – that there are talks that the legendary rocker is going to reunite with surviving Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston for a string of shows likely to happen sometime next year, to coincide with the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary.
It’s been a big week for the historic group. This Tuesday, Nov. 1, The Beach Boys released a monster archival project called Smile Sessions, a five-disc catalog of the band’s original recording sessions.
It was on the Weekly’s last visit to Jardine’s Big Sur studio, ahead of his solo debut A Postcard From California, that he confirmed that he and the remaining bandmates have already agreed to do five free concerts. Interestingly, that solo studio disc Postcard was new songs; Smile reaches back.
“It would be great if we [the Beach Boys] had some new material for the public,” Jardine said of Postcards. “So my album is really the Beach Boys album that should have been made, the way I see it.”
The massive Smile, meanwhile, features outtakes, alternate versions, session highlights and rehearsals. It was originally intended to hit the streets more than 40 years ago and has since become known as the best rock album never finished, though Wilson did eventually finish the LP in 2003, rerecorded the songs with his touring band and released it solo.
Jardine and company’s reunion was the center of a Rolling Stone piece earlier this month. “We’ll do maybe 50 amphitheater [shows] here and 50 or 60 overseas,” Jardine told R.S.’s Patrick Doyle.
“We don’t know where,” he told the Weekly in Big Sur. “We are still debating how that might work; it’s complicated with so many managers, lawyers and candlestick makers. It’s kind of like a crazy little nursery rhyme.”
While Jardine and Love have positive outlooks about the Beach Boys reuniting, Wilson has voiced concerns.
“I don’t really like working with the guys, but it all depends on how we feel and how much money’s involved,” Wilson told Doyle. “Money’s not the only reason I made records, but it does hold a place in our lives.”
For millions around the world, and scores in Big Sur, so do the Beach Boys.