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Author Topic: Who is the 'real' Al Jardine?  (Read 21723 times)
matt-zeus
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« on: March 28, 2006, 12:29:42 PM »

I find Al Jardines character very confusing. Is he (in  Beach Boys terms) a goodie or baddie? Some random facts I can muster out of the back of my head:
Early promise in writing/co-writing/producing - Wake the World, At my window, Good time, take a load off your feet, don't go near the water, back home (1970), Susie cincinatti.
The Beach Boy who can most sound like Brian
The Beach Boy who (apparently) most sounds like he used to
He was suspended during SIP for 'attitude' problems! according to AGD. not surprising, I'd have an attitude if I was recording that album.
His long documented 'mental' problems....?
His team up with Mike Love from the mid 70s onwards
His defection from Love in the late 90s (a bit like when Darth Vader finally becomes good at the end of Return of the Jedi)
He insulted Brians shoes
He was mostly responsible for the MIU album (which I quite like)
He met Brian again at the BB Hawthorne statue thing
A stern champion of Dennis Wilsons music - but that wasn't the case in the past  (when it mattered)
This might seem like a load of random facts (which they are) but I wonder if anyone shares my problem of trying to work him out?
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2006, 12:41:32 PM »

 
Quote
Is he (in  Beach Boys terms) a goodie or baddie?

Like everybody in the world, he's neither a goodie or a baddie.  He's just a person, like all of us.

Like any of the Beach Boys, "working them out" requires one to take into consideration the unique factors that go into making a person who they are, why they have their peculiar biases, why they would make a decision or act a certain way.

In Al's case, I think it's really important to keep in mind the various issues that might come along from not being a Korthof, if you will.  I think I would find it difficult to be part of a family operation and not be part of the family.

Still, I say overall, Al's a good guy who, like all of us, has had to act in his own self interest.  And sometime people's self-interests don't really co-habitate well.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2006, 12:45:18 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
Jardine Power!
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2006, 12:50:19 PM »

Anybody who writes a song called "Crack At Your Love" is a champ in my book.  Grin

But seriously, Al seems like the kind of guy that always just went with the flow. He had his share of brilliant moments. In addition to his songwriting which you have mentioned already, I feel the "In Concert" album is a prime example of his talent as a vocalist.  I was just listening to this album earlier today, and his strong leads on "You Still Believe in Me", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Don't Worry Baby" and "Heroes and Villains" easily stand alongside the original versions, which is really saying something.

On top of that he was always dependable as a performer, very professional, and he still seems to take a lot of pride in being a Beach Boy.  As aeijtzsche said, he easily could have been the odd man out due to not being in the "family," but he did a great job of fitting right in. He knew his role and he fulfilled it.

PS - I like the Darth Vader analogy.  LOL
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matt-zeus
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 01:00:02 PM »

I think perhaps when I got into the BB I wasn't that big a fan of the man. But recently my thoughts have been changing - however theres no need for that spoken intro at the beginning of Santa Ana Winds.
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 02:00:53 PM »

what about making fun of Brian's shoes?
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 04:48:38 PM »

The thing about the shoes was in Brian's "autobiography" as I recall, but I thought it was said by Mike. 
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2006, 05:11:51 PM »

Why did he get "suspended" during the recording of SIP? Too much musical taste?
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2006, 06:31:55 PM »

There was a nice interview with Al in either Goldmine or whatever the other one is a few years ago.  It was a nice chance to finally get inside his head a little bit, since we've heard pretty much everyone else's story.  (Actually, I'd love to see a really decent Carl interview turn up somewhere).

Incidentally, the original version of the song was called "Crack At Your Shoes", but, like Lennon's "Sexy Sadie", it had to be toned down to avoid controversy.  Al's two fetishes: feet and teeth.
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2006, 06:47:36 PM »

The thing about the shoes was in Brian's "autobiography" as I recall, but I thought it was said by Mike. 

Correct.  In the book Mike was the one who insulted Brian's shoes; according to the book, they were those cheap black vinyl/nylon kinds with the velcro straps, popular among those who just can't stand to tie their own shoes, and a top seller at your local Wal-Mart.  Sort of like these:

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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2006, 07:38:40 PM »

They can say what they want about Brian's shoes, but they spent twenty years proving they couldn't fill 'em. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2006, 07:58:58 PM »

Surfer Joe...that was one of the best lines I've read in a long time. Major props.

Oh, but those *are* some ugly shoes. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2006, 08:21:29 PM »

KUDOS TO SURFER JOE!
that was prime and grand!

you're looking at the shoes i wear to work....and when im not at work, it's the lounging deck shoes purchased at the local walmart for a low price of 6.59    Grin
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"Well, you reached out to me too, David, and I'd be more than happy to fill Bgas's shoes. You don't need him anyway - some of us have the same items in our collections as he does and we're also much better writers. Spoiled brat....."
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2006, 08:26:27 PM »

Thanks, guys; happy to make myself useful.  We should all chip in and send Brian a pair of Bruno Maglis.
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2006, 08:35:33 PM »

wish i knew what those were
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~post of the century~
"Well, you reached out to me too, David, and I'd be more than happy to fill Bgas's shoes. You don't need him anyway - some of us have the same items in our collections as he does and we're also much better writers. Spoiled brat....."
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2006, 09:39:00 PM »

I think I have a pretty good idea of what Al's like.  I don't see much not to like about him at all.  He seems like a really cool guy to me.  I know he's been critical and done some kind of backhanded things over the past few years as far as lawsuits and such... but I don't feel any of them were really just way over the line or anything.  If you look at it from his perspective, I think most of the stuff he's done is really kind of the right thing for him to do at the time. 

Basically you have a guy that because he wasn't there for a few months at the beginning of their career (although he was there before, and permanently after)... is kind of on the outside looking in when it comes to business decisions.  Then, you have a guy who spent his whole life as a 'beach boy', and he's told he can't even reference that he's obviously been a member of that band his entire adult life whenever he does concerts.  "Beach Boys Family and Friends" is enough of a 'what?' title to call your band, that anybody who heard that band was playing, would look @ a lineup list or something to see if it was in fact the Beach Boys, or something else they were going to see.  That seems like a fair name to show that yes, Al was a Beach Boy, but his band isn't the actual 'Beach Boys'.  I don't have a problem with it, but then again I don't have money at stake in it.

Plus, weren't Brian's daughters singing in the band? 

I'm gonna have to play Pilate on this one and find no fault with the man.

The absolute last two things I saw Al Jardine do were the following:

1. He showed up at the landmark dedication, and gracefully shared the stage with Brian.  He recognized and showed through that, that the event, their musical legacy, and the gathered fans were something bigger than any petty personal differences him and Brian may or may not have.

2.  He dropped the lawsuit against BRI just days before Mike sued Brian over some petty bullsh(t involving the SMiLE album.  The only reason Al would have possibly dropped that lawsuit, at that time, was because he knew in advance that the Mike lawsuit was about to become public, and he couldn't with good conscience sue BRI (and Brian by default) when he felt Brian was being so unfairly pounded by Mike.  At least that's the way I take it.

Al's made comments about how he felt it was degrading to crawl around on the floor and make animal noises during the SMiLE sessions, I can see where he might feel that way.  I wouldn't, but if he did... that's no slight on his character, he just wasn't comfortable with it. 

I really can't think of 1 thing I don't like about the guy. 
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2006, 12:58:23 AM »

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(Actually, I'd love to see a really decent Carl interview turn up somewhere).

There apparently aren't many. I have a videotape of an interview Carl did on some latenight PBS talkshow in 1983, I believe. The interview doesn't probe too deep, but it goes well beyond the standard inane questions. I believe Brian was just starting to reappear on stage with the BB's at this point after his second Landy stint began, and I think Carl discussed this in the interview as well. I don't remember the name of the show, but it was a Larry King-style thing with a viewer call-in segment. If I recall correctly, there were actually a few fairly knowledgeable fans who called in. I recall some lesser-known albums being brought up during the show.

Quote
His team up with Mike Love from the mid 70s onwards

This is often put about, this "alliance" of some sort. But I've heard from a number of people, including people who were more familiar with the actual BB's, who have said that in reality the "alliance" that pitted Al and Mike against Carl and Dennis really only lasted a few years in the late 70's, during the contentious 1977-1978 period or so. I've heard several different people say that, in fact, by the 80's and certainly into the 90's, Al and Carl were much closer than any of the other band members.

Quote
A stern champion of Dennis Wilsons music - but that wasn't the case in the past  (when it mattered)

This is certainly the case, although I think Al or any of the BB's could be cut *some* slack in light of the non-musical problems Dennis brought to the band. That probably made it difficult to recognize, let alone champion Dennis' work at the time. Interestingly, in that Goldmine interview from 1999 or 2000, Al not only touts Dennis' work, but goes so far as to say it was better than a lot of what the BB's were doing.

There are things to criticize, though most of those things are in relation to past events. It may have cost Al a cushy gig of playing 180 shows per year, but being on his own has seemed to liberate him to some degree. Some of the things he's said in recent years are things I can't imagine him saying in the 80's or 90's, and I don't think it's a case of sour grapes or anything.

Al is the only one of the BB's I've met, and that happened in August of last year at a little benefit show he did. I just spoke to him a bit before and then after the show. He struck me as a really humble, low key guy. But at the same time, I got the sense that he was aware and proud of his legacy and the legacy of the BB's. He didn't seem big-headed in the slightest, and didn't seem to need to remind anybody of the BB's importance. But he's aware of it.

I used to sort of feel bad for Al that he wasn't able to tour regularly or be more active, particularly in a live setting. But I think the fans who can't see his shows are the ones that we should feel bad for. I think Al must still be quite well off if he's having custom-made hot rod cars done for him. So I don't feel bad for him in that sense.

At this point, what I would criticize Al for more than anything is the lack of an appearance of a solo album or any substantive new material to release. We've had a live album (a very good one), and a few stray tracks here and there. He's surely got enough solo-ish material in the can recorded during the BB days that he could put together a "solo" album comprised completely of stuff that's already been recorded. A related item that I also could criticize is that he's clearly not getting a huge amount of bookings with his current live show (even if we assume he's doing some "private" shows we never hear about), so I'd like to see some sort of stripped-down live show with him and maybe just a few others in a small band performing some BB rarities. If he's not able or willing to do some huge countrywide tour of little clubs, he could just do a gig or two of that sort and put it on DVD or something.
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2006, 03:35:53 AM »

Al is probably the most "normal" guy in the BBs. He's a great singer and hasn't lost his voice very much. Even Brian seems to have nothing bad to say about him. I remember an Interview from '95 where Brian calls the BBs "a$$holes" but when asked about Al, he says that Al is a real nice man and that he has nothing against him.
In that BBC-documentary from 2004 (I think) Al seems real upset that he isn't allowed to talk to Brian (whom he calls his best friend). And also in that doc. there's one of my all-time favorite BBs-interview parts, and it comes from Al. They talk about "Surfin' USA" and Al says "Mike Love will tell you that he wrote them (lyrics to "Surfin USA")", then the camera switches to Mike (I believe he was in England at that time) and he claims exactly that.....Cool moment from Al...
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2006, 04:47:33 PM »

 Hug  I love Alan.
I found an interview from 1998 Bam

http://www.angelfire.com/la/Beachboysbritain/alint.html


He kinda kept to himself and didn't really get too much into the bickering until after Carl died.
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2006, 05:36:32 PM »

That's a great interview - very articulate and sincere.  Thanks.

It's a real shame his endeavour got the legal flack it did - he might have gone on to reveal the band's true artistic legacy under the tarnish that Mike keeps producing.
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2006, 05:43:59 PM »

I like Al Jardine a lot and I definitely think he's a "good guy" -- and that's based on first-hand experience. Al is a bonafide gent and a "real" human being, not some stuck-up star on a fame trip. He'll take time out to sign autographs and shake hands after shows. "Humble, low key guy" is a very apt description. He's very much a family man, as well. No complaints here.

I can also confirm what HeyJude said about Carl and Al's relationship. They often shared dressing rooms in the '80s and '90s.
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2006, 05:49:14 PM »

Go Al.

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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2006, 06:40:39 PM »

Al seems to be one of the nicest people who ever lived. When you hear him talk you hear kindess flowing out. Just to look at him you see a great man.

I love his songs, his voice, his playing, and his excellent beard that he had. It was the best in the band in my opinion.
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2006, 07:12:46 PM »

Two words: football huddle
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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2006, 07:46:02 PM »

Al is a bit odd, at least going by interviews with him.  He praises Brian's genius, but is often more pointedly critical of Brian's work than Mike Love.  He's anal retentive, what with his obsession with "Loop De Loop" and the cardboard quality of the "Love You" sleeve.  He seems to not see the forest for picking at the trees.   However, I have read he has the most impressive collection of Beach Boys memorabilia of any of the band members, so he must appreciate what they accomplished.

It would have been interesting if Al had been as obsessed with completing the Smile album as he was with "Loop de Loop."  I wonder what he would have done with those tracks?
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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2006, 08:00:18 PM »

Al seems like a great guy but only gets topped by Bruce...cos lets face it people, Al is a bit of a flip-flopper.





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