REVIEW: Al Jardine Honored Back Home

By Leon Lively

It was a homecoming for Beach Boy Al Jardine as he returned to landlocked Lima, Ohio (Aug. 4), to view a new art exhibit in his honor, receive a State of Ohio proclamation, and break in the city’s new Pangle Pavilion.

After taking the stage in front of an anxious crowd, Jardine was presented with a collection of framed memorabilia that will take its place next to other items in tribute to him in ‘ArtSpace/Lima.’ Jardine, who last visited Lima in 2012 and was given the key to the city, joked that he “Brought it along just to make sure it still worked.”

Jardine kicked off his setlist with the 1962 song that started it all – “Surfin’.” “This song was actually inspired by Dennis Wilson,” Jardine commented. “He doesn’t get enough credit for that.”

Wasting no time, the Big Sur resident shifted into car songs that had the audience swaying along. Several of the hit surf/beach songs were performed, along with lesser-known classics like “California Saga.”

Each song was preceded by a short narrative about its creation – the longest of which was when Jardine explained how his family left Lima “when I was 6 or 7” for Rochester and then finally made it to California (San Francisco) as his father took a managerial position for a blueprint company. The story became the title track to 2010’s “Postcard from California” and was shared with a crowd of around 625 people.

The concert wrapped up with “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and judging by the crowd’s smiling faces, that’s exactly how the night went.

Al Jardine’s Endless Summer Band features many faces familiar to those who have seen The Beach Boys/Brian Wilson/Al Jardine tours over the past 50-plus years. Matt Jardine flawlessly tackled the night’s falsetto parts and took the reigns when he sang leads on “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Good Vibrations,” and “Surf’s Up.” Bobby Figueroa provided the steady backbeat and sang the soulful lead on “Sail On, Sailor.” Ed Carter provided the bass while Probyn Gregory brought the guitar and charismatic Debbie Shair played the keyboard.

I hadn’t seen Al Jardine, 81, since 2017 when he toured with Brian Wilson. I can honestly say he didn’t miss a beat.

NOTE: Brian Houston and Justin Plank’s review of the show can be found in ESQ’s VIP fall bonus PDF edition.

©2023 Endless Summer Quarterly/All Rights Reserved


Leave a comment

Visit our store to purchase any of our available back issues.