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Author Topic: My Hour with Al, Mike, and Bruce in the Summer of '85  (Read 698 times)
onkster
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« on: March 12, 2021, 12:07:50 PM »

I was just out of college and was working at a cable TV station--I was 22 then, and had just "discovered" the BBs thanks to taking a chance on a $10 copy of the SMiLE #2 boot. One day, I lucked onto a great assignment--to go on a quick promo shoot downtown with 3 of the 4 touring Beach Boys! They needed to do promos for their next concert in Spokane, Washington; it was all very short notice.

Everything took place at an old but very nice hotel, The Savery, which used to host live radio broadcasts, and where many movie stars passing through had stayed. (Apparently not all of the room there were that great, though!)

It was a quick hour, and I scribbled down EVERY detail in my journal--every boring little detail.

It may not be the most exciting BB tale ever, but to a 22-year-old Midwestern guy, it was something at the time! Here you go:

   Location: Suite 1100, Savery Hotel, downtown Des Moines. Assignment: tape promo footage of three Beach Boys—Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston. Date & time: 1:15pm, August 16, 1985.

   A guy from our studio said to be sure and make it on time, because he'd “dealt with the Beach Boys before, and their management, and they're real bastards.” That, and the fact that our shooting schedule was tight, made me decide to leave my brand new copy of their new album behind—I didn't want 'em to be annoyed or anything.

   No sign of anyone. We got all set up by 1:30. Beach Boys manager calls—though it was s'posed to be 2 o'clock. Apologizes profusely—I explain we were late too, so don't worry (baby).

   5 of 2: a knock on the door. I go to answer it, and there's Bruce Johnston, in a Nike cap, shorts, tennies, and a polo shirt!

   Me: “Hiya, Bruce! Come on in, we're all set up!”

   Bruce: “Where's Al?”

   Me: “I don't know. You're the first person to show up.”

   We get him set up. He does the audio-only spots first.

   Video takes: “HI [meter pegs] I'm Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, and I'm looking forward to seeing you September 2 at Cox Cable's Summerfest '85.”

   Knock at door: Al Jardine, tanned and looking like a middle-aged shopkeeper, enters the suite.

   Al: “Now *this* is a room.”

   Bruce: “Why? What did they give you?”

   Al: “A real crummy one.”

   Al sits on the couch for his readings. “My God, this is a mouthful: 'Cox Cable's Summerfest '85...do you have cue cards or...”

   Me: “I'm afraid you'll have to memorize it...”

   Al: “Hmm...(notices script misspellings)...that's Johnston, not Johnson, and Jardine, not Jarden. Okay...'Hi, I'm Mike Jardine of the Beach Boys'...did I get that right?” [laughs]

   Me: “Sorry about that...we didn't type that script!”

   Several takes later, Mike Love and the group's manager show up. Love walks through lights during a take; he then glances at the script.

   Mike: “No wonder Carl didn't want to do this, that's a mouthful!”

   Al: “He's still sleeping, isn't he?”

   Manager: “No...”

   Al: “Hi, I'm Al Jardine and I'm looking forward to seeing...you...at a McDonald's Burger Stand...nope, sorry. Hi, I'm Al Jardine of the Beach Boys and I'm a look...ha ha...”

   Al, Bruce, and manager thank us and leave. Mike Love zooms through his takes with hardly a hitch. Thanks us, disappears. We pack, see Bruce again in the lobby.

   Bruce: “Did you get Mike?”

   Me: “Yup!”

   Back at the studio, I dub off the footage to keep a copy for myself before I send the master to Spokane via FedEx. Phone rings—it's the guy from Spokane.

   Him: “How were the boys? Were they friendly?”

   Me: “Yeah, sure were!”

   Him: Great, thank you so much. I'll be sure to send you something.”

   I never got anything from Spokane, but I did get a nice little memory, and a cool little tape as a souvenir. And the Beach Boys were just fine, thank you.
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Ian
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 12:36:51 PM »

Interesting-that show ended up taking place on September 1 1985 at Albi Stadium instead
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onkster
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 12:42:57 PM »

What I thought was funny at the time was that it was after 2 in the afternoon--and they thought Carl was still asleep? Though the manager says he wasn't--maybe he was just avoiding trying to read a "mouthful" of copy!
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Ian
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 12:53:49 PM »

The truth is that they were leading very separate lives at that time. I own all of their 1980s itineraries and Carl was living In Colorado for much of that time and would only meet the BBs at the hotel or venue. Al spent a lot of the 1980s living in Arizona. Mike was using virtually every day off to do a solo show or some event and was already spending a lot of time in Nevada (where he now lives)
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ppk700
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2021, 06:44:40 AM »

onkster this was truly a joy to read and put a smile on my face!
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c-man
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2021, 08:13:26 AM »

Yes, thanks for posting this! At the time, I too was a 22-year old Midwesterner, and saw them in at the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln the 30th of August. Great seat, close to the revolving stage. Great to hear a good handful of songs from the then-current album performed live - the band was really good & full of energy that night!
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