One of the things I am really enjoying about David Leaf's updated book, "God Only Knows: The Story Of Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the California Myth" are all the references to events that we may have missed or forgotten all about that are now "Googleable" to watch and enjoy again.
The other night, Frannie and I sat mesmerized for an hour and a half as we watched the TNT Television Special "An All-Star Tribute To Brian Wilson" from 2001.
This is the program that the incredible "Surf's Up" clip featuring Vince Gill, David Crosby and Jimmy Webb that we ran several weeks back came from ... but that was only one of the MANY highlights to be found during this remarkable program.
Also on hand are Paul Simon (performing a unique, solo version of "Surfer Girl"), Heart, Billy Joel, Elton John, The Go-Go's, Carly Simon and many others. (Brian and his band close the show.)
You can view the entire program here:
Reading about all the behind-the-scenes craziness that went into putting this program together is one of the highlights in Leaf's new book ...
Which you can pick up here:
Meanwhile, Al Jardine's excellent solo CD "A Postcard From California" has just been reissued. Boy, what an all-star cast he assembled for this disc!
Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and Carl Wilson (in what would be his last recorded vocal) are all onboard for various cuts. Even David Marks provides a guitar solo! You'll also find guest appearances by Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America, Glen Campbell, David Crosby, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Steve Miller, Flea and John Stamos. You'll even find a narration by Alec Baldwin!
From the official press release, furnished by UMe ...
BEACH BOYS CO-FOUNDER AL JARDINE’S ACCLAIMED DEBUT STUDIO ALBUM, A POSTCARD FROM CALIFORNIA, RETURNS TO CD FOLLOWING STREAMING DEBUT
FEATURES FORMER BEACH BOYS’ BANDMATES BRIAN WILSON, MIKE LOVE, BRUCE JOHNSTON, DAVID MARKS PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS ALEC BALDWIN, DAVID CROSBY, DEWEY BUNNEL AND GERRY BECKLEY OF AMERICA, FLEA, GLEN CAMPBELL, JOHN STAMOS, NEIL YOUNG, STEPHEN STILLS, STEVE MILLER,
15-TRACK ALBUM INCLUDES PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED, NEWLY REMASTERED AND EXPANDED EDITION OF “WAVES OF LOVE” FEATURING ONE OF CARL WILSON’S LAST-EVER RECORDED VOCALS AVAILABLE NOW VIA UMe
Al Jardine’s acclaimed debut solo album, A Postcard from California, is now available on CD once again via UMe. The album was recently reissued digitally for streaming and download, just ahead of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and legendary co-founder of The Beach Boys’ 80th birthday on September 3rd. Originally released in 2010 on CD and again in 2012 with two bonus tracks, “Waves of Love” and “Sloop John B (A Pirate’s Tale),” the much-sought-after record hadn’t been available digitally for several years before making its streaming debut in September. The album quickly sold out when released on limited edition translucent blue vinyl for Record Store Day in 2018.
Purchase or stream A Postcard from California here: AlJardine.lnk.to/APostcardfromCaliforniaPR
“I can’t believe it’s been twelve years since Postcard came out and I thank everyone involved in the production and creation of this album to help me get my songs out there,” says Al Jardine. “Brian’s advice to aspiring young songwriters has always been ‘finish your songs,’ so I took it to heart and I hope
everyone who has listened to A Postcard from California feels my excitement and enthusiasm for this great land and sea of ours and our need to protect it forever. Thank you for all your support over the years, it is greatly appreciated and I will continue to dedicate Postcard to all the pets we love and who love us back!”
Recorded at Jardine’s own Red Barn Studios in Big Sur, Calif., A Postcard from California touches upon California’s history, natural beauty and other environmental issues. The 15-song collection includes several songs that speak to the relationship of man and his environment. “Don’t Fight The Sea,” “Tidepool Interlude” and “A California Saga” are songs that reflect Jardine’s deep love for the California coastline and his concern for the ecological health of the planet, which more than a decade after its initial release resonates as strongly today as ever. Jardine has always embodied that concern for the environment, and the coastline and ocean in particular. Previously, on the Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up album, he and Mike Love wrote the song, “Don’t Go Near the Water.” The track “Lookin’ Down the Coast” is a tale of the discovery of California by the Spanish, as seen through the eyes of its natural inhabitants, the California condor, the whale, the otter and the bear.
Specially for this new CD and digital release, Jardine has included a previously unreleased, newly remastered and extended version of the bonus track “Waves of Love,” which features former Beach Boys bandmate Carl Wilson in one of his last recorded studio vocals ever.
A Postcard from California was largely penned by Jardine who enlisted a slew of his famous friends to help him bring this album to life, including Alec Baldwin, David Crosby, Dewey Bunnell and GerryBeckley of America, Flea, Glen Campbell, John Stamos, Neil Young, Richie Cannata, Stephen Stills, and Steve Miller. The album also served as a reunion of sorts for The Beach Boys as it brought Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, along with a lead vocal by Carl Wilson, together on the song “Don’t Fight The Sea” several years before the band would reunite for an album and tour in celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2012. Jardine’s sons, Adam and Matt Jardine, also sing on the album, which was co-produced by musicians Stevie Heger and Scott Slaughter.
“‘Don’t Fight the Sea’ started a long time ago with a Canadian friend of mine, Terry Jacks, who was kind enough to allow me to rewrite his song for a solo album that Mike Love and I were planning around an ecology theme. I asked Matt Jardine to help me with the lyrics. I always envisioned it to be the quintessential environmental song, a big statement, but I could never get all the guys together to finish it. I started with Carl, Bruce (Johnston) and myself on backgrounds, then years later Brian put on his falsetto, and just recently Mike recorded his baritone signature line. To top it all off, I added Matt and friend Scott Mathews to the track, to give additional vocal support to the core group; all this over a period of thirty-plus years. I guess persistence pays off!”
"Don't Fight The Sea" (also released as a 7” single on white vinyl on Record Store Day 2011 to help raise funds for Japan disaster relief) is just one of the many highlights of the album that also includes inspired versions of Beach Boys’ classics “Help Me, Rhonda” and “A California Saga” and a heartfelt rendition of The Mamas & The Papas’ biggest hit, “California Dreamin’,” a duet with one-time Beach Boy Glen Campbell, who famously filled in for Brian Wilson on tour in the mid-‘60s. Campbell also lent his incredible voice to the album’s opener title track that chronicles Jardine’s trip with his parents from the Midwest to California.
“Help Me, Rhonda” gets quite a blues makeover as Jardine shares vocals with Steve Miller on the Brian Wilson-penned track that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 for the Beach Boys in 1965 on the strength of Jardine’s unforgettable lead vocal. Adding to the blues feel is harmonica by the late virtuoso Norton Buffalo. Jardine’s reworking of “A California Saga,” his song from the Beach Boys’ 1973 album, Holland, features Neil Young on co-lead vocals with Jardine and backing vocals by David Crosby and Stephen Stills along with Adam and Matt Jardine. Young also sings on “Campfire Scene” which follows Alec Baldwin’s spoken word narration of a Stephen John Kalinich poem on “Tidepool Interlude” that leads into “A California Saga.”
A Postcard from California also includes “Sloop John B (A Pirate’s Tale)” which was originally released alongside Jardine’s award-winning children’s book of the same name.
As Endless Summer Quarterly wrote in their review, “there are great moments of depth, strokes of expression, and ageless vision that could only come from a ‘Jardine musical canvas.’ Although this collection isn’t purely autobiographical; it masterfully captures the transient lifestyle of his biological family as well as the musical consciousness of The Beach Boys.”
A Postcard from California is available once again in a variety of formats for all to enjoy however they prefer to listen to music. For more info on the album, please visit www.aljardine.com
A Postcard from California Track Listing:
1. A Postcard from California
2. California Feelin'
3. Looking Down The Coast
4. Don't Fight The Sea
5. Tidepool Interlude
6. Campfire Scene
7. A California Saga
8. Help Me Rhonda
9. San Simeon
11. Honkin' Down The Highway
12. California Dreamin'
13. And I Always Will
Special Bonus Tracks
14. Waves Of Love
15. Sloop John B (A Pirate's Tale)
Link to buy on Amazon & stream album: https://bit.ly/3Hppwv2
And Forgotten Hits Reader Ed Salamon caught Al's solo show at The City Winery in Nashville last week ... and sent in this excellent review of the concert ...
And Al's disappointing show at The Des Plaines Theater ...