Aidin Vaziri | Al Jardine has had a front-row seat to the drama that has unfolded around the Beach Boys since his high school classmates formed the band 50 years ago in Hawthorne (Los Angeles County). The surviving members of the original group (Jardine, Brian Wilson and Mike Love) are back on the road (along with Bruce Johnston, David Marks and actor John Stamos), touring together for the first time since 1967. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group put aside years of lawsuits and personal crises to make it happen. Jardine, 69, also used the occasion to release his first solo album, “A Postcard From California,” which features several high-profile cameos. He spoke with us from a stop in Pennsylvania.
Al Jardine of the Beach Boys
Q: I know you’re playing better venues, but how is the show different now that Brian is back?
A: It’s immensely different when you have Brian Wilson singing “Good Vibrations” or “Surfer Girl.” When you’re singing with the architect and the performer, it has a certain poignancy, especially when you see him sitting there at the piano. We all gather around the grand for the opening of our second set, and we’re eyeball to eyeball to each other. It’s a good feeling, like when we made our first few records.
Q: Mike and Brian were in court less than five years ago. Are you worried it could all go wrong at any moment?
A: We laugh it off. Half the stuff we do is hilarious, considering all the lawsuits and bad blood. The common denominator is still the music. We’ll keep going as long as we can. I don’t see it going back to the old ways.