Al Jardine is not one to say, “I told you so,” but, well . . . he told you so. He said that the Beach Boys were going to reunite for one more endless summer.
“I told everybody last year that this was going to happen and nobody believed me,” said Jardine. “Even in my own band, they didn’t believe me. I just kept saying it. If you say something enough times, it starts to become true.
“The fans wanted it and we finally agreed to do it, to drop what we were doing individually and come together as a whole,” he said.
Jardine, one of the original boys of surf and summer, joins Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and David Marks for the Beach Boys 50th anniversary worldwide tour, which kicks off in late April for more than 50 concert dates, three of which bring them to the greater Philadelphia area — May 17 at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center, May 19 at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City and June 16 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J.
Jardine is also re-releasing his first-ever solo album, “A Postcard from California,” which was originally finished in 2011, to coincide with the 50th anniversary tour.
A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award — both as a member of the Beach Boys — Jardine said the album showcases his own personal style while evoking the classic sound of the Beach Boys.
And he brought in some big-name musicians to help him with the album, including Neil Young, Steve Miller, Glen Campbell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley of America, Flea (bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and, of course, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. Even actor Alec Baldwin lent his voice to one track, what Jardine called a “spoken-word piece” titled “A Tide Pool Interlude.”
“I really needed to sing, so I brought a little harmony to the picture with these great singers,” said Jardine in a recent telephone interview from California. “I’m really impressed with the outcome, to be honest.”
The album features four songs that Jardine calls “the green side” of the project, compositions that speak to the relationship of man and his environment. “Don’t Fight the Sea” is one that particularly reflects Jardine’s love for the California coastline.
“I’m very pleased that the Beach Boys lent their considerable talent to the lead single, ‘Don’t Fight the Sea,’ which is about preserving the ocean environment and the marine sanctuaries specifically off our eastern and western coasts and the Hawaiian Islands. These sanctuaries are pretty important ecological areas, but they remain unprotected,” said Jardine.
“Maybe I’ll be able to integrate some of the music from this album into this tour. ‘Don’t Fight the Sea’ would be a great one to have on the tour.”
In addition to several new songs on the album, Jardine said that Steve Miller “breathed new life” into a blues version of the Beach Boys’ hit, “Help Me Rhonda”; and Glen Campbell, who toured with the Beach Boys in 1964 and 1965 filling in for Brian Wilson and played guitar on the group’s famous “Pet Sounds” album, lent his vocals to Jardine’s version of “California Dreamin’,” which was a Top 5 hit for the Mamas and the Papas in 1966.
Jardine said that Campbell, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was spot-on with his vocals.
“When he steps to the microphone, there’s no hesitation, there’s no forgetfulness,” said Jardine. “He’s as snap-crack as he’s ever been. He did it in one take. And then he did the second verse flawlessly.”
Jardine, whose sons, Matthew and Adam, also contributed vocals to “A Postcard from California,” admitted that it was a wonderful time to be celebrating not only the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys but also his first solo album.
“It’s just a nice synergy; it kind of comes together and makes sense,” he said. “We should all be helping each other. We should be friends. We should let bygones be bygones. All those things between us, we all have differences of opinion after years and years of being together.
“But it’s nice to be able to come back together and do it again.”