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Interview:
Al Jardine with Brian Wilson in Royal Oak, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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Brian Wilson has been doing a lot of smart and wonderful things since he began touring in earnest during the latest 90s. Among the Beach Boys mastermind's best moves, though, was adding fellow band co-founder Al Jardine to his own band since 2013, adding an extra dash of authenticity to show that's already jaw-dropping in its recreation of musical landmarks such as "Pet Sounds" and "Smile."



This fall Wilson, Jardine and company are playing plenty of the hold hits but also focusing on two other Beach Boys albums -- 1968's "Friends" and "Surf's Up" from 1971. It gives the troupe a chance to highlight highly regarded but more obscure material, while Jardine, whose son Matt is also in the band, is able to step out front for the likes of "Lookin' at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)" from "Friends."



Former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin is also part of the lineup, handling favorites such as "Sail On, Sailor," "Long Promised Road" and "Feel Flows." It keeps the surf up for the whole crew, giving Wilson's material the best possible showcase...



Jardine, 77, was part of the Beach Boys (led by singer Mike Love) until after the group's 50th anniversary tour in 2012. He says there's a definite difference between that band and what Wilson is doing. "I think we're more authentic. We're the note-for-note guys, so you get more of a sense of the recording studio in the Brian band as opposed to the other kind of performance, which is more entertaining, I would say, in a way. They're mainly more about the hits. This band is a lot more technical and a lot more precise but it's still fun. We still load it up with all the hit songs we're famous for, but it's definitely more cutting edge."







Jardine says recreating the material so precisely is no easy feat. "It's like revisiting old friends in a way; It's familiar, but then you have to relearn it, and there's always little rough edges to work out. I just gravitate to what I do, or did, as a singer. As a player, yeah, it's difficult I think. The guys that back us up are all very good, but they have to be in sync 'cause the singers have to sing those parts as they are. And of course we're players, too, Brian and I. We all have to be in sync. It's a lot of work."



"Friends" and "Surf's Up" are very different creatures in the Beach Boys' canon, according to Jardine. "'Friends' is an album we did at home. It's very understated and mellow -- Brian would call it mellow, that's the term he uses, and that's a good way to describe it. 'Surf's Up' is a little darker, a little more dramatic. It has a lot of dramatic lyrics and the music is very deep and complex, and at the same time very elemental. There's a lot of balance in that album, I think."



Earlier this year Wilson, whose struggle with mental health issues has been well documented, postponed summer tour dates he did not feel up to performing. But Jardine says things are better now. "he's there. Every day for him is a challenge I can only imagine. He carries a great burden with him. We just always pump him up and give him as much support and we can, and it's really cool. He's singing really well right now."



Jardine says the Wilson troupe is already discussing future albums it hopes to delve into. "We've talked about next year possibly revisiting (1970's) 'Sunflower,' and maybe (1968's) '20/20,' which is kind of a hodgepodge, a collection of stuff. We've definitely talked about 'Sunflower,' so we'll see."



Brian Wilson and the Zombies perform Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors at 7 p.m. $39.50-$179.50. Tickets for the Masonic Temple Theatre, where the show was originally scheduled, will be honored. 248-399-2980 or royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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