According to Al Jardine, the Beach Boys are going to reunite for at least one concert next year to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary. Jardine tells Rolling Stone the lineup will include himself, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and possibly even early guitarist David Marks. “We’re definitely doing at least one show — you heard it first,” Jardine says. “It’s a big deal. I don’t know where it will be yet, but it’ll probably be free. Golden Gate Park was mentioned, as was the [National] Mall in Washington, D.C. and the north shore of Chicago by the beach.” A source close to Mike Love says there have been discussions for a reunion concert, but nothing is set. Brian Wilson’s manager, Jean Sievers, says she’s unfamiliar with reunion plans. “Brian has a big new album coming out in August [Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin],” says Sievers, “and that’s what he’s a hundred percent focused on.”
Jardine, who stopped touring with the Beach Boys in 1998, recently released his own solo debut, A Postcard From California, on iTunes. He spent three years crafting the harmony-filled disc, which has a stunning roster of guests that includes Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Steve Miller and Glen Campbell, along with every surviving member of the Beach Boys. Jardine says he’s been pushing for a Beach Boys reunion for years.
“I want to see a 100-date anniversary tour,” he says. “I want to go all around the world, but if this is the way it has to be, then so be it. We’re going to have to rehearse one hell of a show. My point is, if we’re going to rehearse and make this such a wonderful show, we should take it on the road. It’s the next logical step and it disappointments me that the other guys don’t see if that way. I mean, it really bothers me. I know Live Nation has their fingers crossed we’ll hit the road. We’ve gone one show definite, so at least we’ve got our foot in the door.”
For the past decade, Love, Wilson and Jardine have toured separately — often communicating only through their attorneys. In 2001, Love sued Jardine for touring under the moniker Beach Boys Family and Friends, and four years later he sued his cousin Brian for misusing the Beach Boys name while promoting SMiLE. Love and Jardine settled out of court, while a judge dismissed Love’s charges against Wilson.
Jardine says that the relations between the three camps have improved dramatically in the past few years. “Once we finished our business, all the negativity was gone,” Jardine says. Love even laid down vocals for Jardine’s A Postcard From California last year. He’s on the opening track “Don’t Fight The Sea,” a song Jardine began fiddling with in 1978 that also contains vocals from Brian, Bruce Johnston and the late Carl Wilson. “The song speaks to the respect we should have for the ocean,” Jardine says. “It’s really about not being careless with the environment.”
A mutual friend introduced Jardine to Alec Baldwin, who recorded a spoken-word soliloquy about the ocean for the album. “I wanted Alec to read that in a godlike voice because it’s the ocean speaking,” Jardine says. “It’s really powerful and beautiful.” The disc also includes a rerecording of the Beach Boys 1965 “Help Me Rhonda.”
While the album is available on iTunes, Jardine hopes to find a distributor to put it out on proper CD. “Beach Boys fans would rather have something they can touch,” he says. “I thought I’d get it out now and then take advantage of the second opportunity when the anniversary kicks in next year.”