Original Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine unveiled a monument to their former group last Friday, on the site of the Hawthorne, California, home where Wilson and his late brothers, Carl and Dennis, grew up.
The two-hour dedication climaxed in note-perfect renditions of "In My Room" and "Surfer Girl" by Wilson with his solo band.
"This was a big thrill," Wilson told Rolling Stone afterward. "I was thinking about all my memories -- my mom and dad and my brothers, my childhood, my high school experiences, my piano, my organ and my hi-fi."
The house at 3701 W. 119th St. was razed in the mid-Eighties to make room for a freeway. The monument -- featuring a stone carving of 1963's Surfer Girl album cover and a plaque designating the site as a state landmark -- stands on what was once the front yard.
Performers at the dedication also included early Beach Boys member David Marks, who offered up an unreleased Dennis Wilson tune, and In Bloom, a Sublime-like alt-rock band starring the sons of Carl and Dennis Wilson.
The dedication drew a crowd of 800 from all over the world; one British fan club contingent numbered 50 alone. "We wouldn't have missed this for the world," said London resident Sue Levinson, 47, who stood in the scorching sun for six hours.
Unfortunately for fans, that sentiment was not shared by Wilson cousin Mike Love. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the third surviving Beach Boys founder explained that he couldn't attend due to a Beach Boys booking in Hollywood, Florida, later that day. (The singer is the only original member currently playing under the group's name.) "I've profoundly clear memories of our days there -- the house, the music room and the neighborhood," Love's statement read. "I remember cousin Dennis dragging his Chevy up and down the block while we recorded the ambient sounds for '409.' That was right outside the front door. It was wild."
However, the dedication's organizer insists that Love -- who is estranged from Wilson and Jardine -- was invited months before his Beach Boys booked their gig.
"It's an incredible faux pas, I think, for Mike to be somewhere else and not acknowledge our beginnings," Jardine said. "It's not a cool PR move for him. Hey man, show a little respect to the homestead where we carved out some cool harmonies around the piano."
Wilson was more diplomatic. "If Mike Love would have showed up, it would have been more special," he said. "But it was OK without him, too."
In other Beach Boys news, Love says he's just recorded a solo album, Mike Love, Not War, featuring a remake of the Beach Boys tune "Brian's Back"; the Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE DVD hits stores tomorrow; and Jardine and his Endless Summer Band perform on June 18th at Denver's Mile High Stadium.