Al Jardine

Al Jardine Biography

Guitarist (1942–)
Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Al Jardine is best known for being one of the founding members of the California-based group the Beach Boys, who rose to stardom in the early 1960s.


The Beach Boys founding member Al Jardine was born in Lima, Ohio, on September 3, 1942. His family moved to California, where he met Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, and Mike Love. Together, they formed the Beach Boys, and became the rock 'n' roll voice of the West Coast, with their perfect harmonies and original tunes about sun, surfing and California beaches—and girls. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Early Life

Alan Charles "Al" Jardine was born in Lima, Ohio, on September 3, 1942, to Donald and Virginia Jardine. He has an older brother, Neal. The family moved to California, where Al attended Hawthorne High School. It was there, in 1961, that he met Brian and Carl Wilson. Along with their brother Dennis and cousin Mike Love (Jardine was the only non-relative in the group), they soon formed a singing group.

The Beach Boys

Initially calling themselves the Pendletones because of their matching trademark Pendleton flannel shirts, the band soon changed its name to the Beach Boys.They began singing at local parties and events, and released their first single, "Surfin'," in December 1961. Within a few months, the song made the Billboard Hot 100 singles list, eventually peaking at No. 75 and remaining on the chart for six weeks. The Beach Boys signed with Capitol Records in 1962, and the same year released their first album, Surfin' Safari, which reached No. 32 on the Billboard albums chart.

The Beach Boys released a crop of hit singles during the early 1960s, each with their trademark harmonies and many with a summery, "California beach and surf" sound.

Jardine, an accomplished musician on a variety of stringed instruments, mainly played rhythm guitar and sang harmony vocals with the group. He sang lead on their No. 1 hit "Help Me, Rhonda," and also wrote or co-wrote some of the Beach Boys' songs.

Jardine left the group in the beginning of 1962, and rejoined in mid-1963 at Brian Wilson's request. After Carl Wilson's death from cancer in 1998, Jardine stopped touring with the group (Dennis Wilson had drowned in 1983).

In March 2008, Jardine was sued by Love and Carl Wilson's estate for the use of the name The Beach Boys Family & Friends, a touring band that Jardine had assembled that included him, sons Matt and Adam Jardine, Carnie and Wendy Wilson, and others. In the settlement, he changed the name of the group to Al Jardine's Family & Friends.

In 2012, Jardine, Brian Wilson, Love, Bruce Johnston and David Marks reunited for a new Beach Boys album, That's Why God Made the Radio, featuring vocals by Jardine. The Beach Boys also went on a 50th anniversary tour.

Later Career and Solo Work

In the late 1990s, Jardine toured and recorded with the Endless Summer Band and in 2001, he released Live in Las Vegas with Al Jardine, Family & Friends, a recreation of Beach Boys songs. In the fall of 2006, he joined the Brian Wilson Band for a short tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of the popular Beach Boys album Pet Sounds.

Jardine released A Postcard From California, his first solo venture, in June 2010, and it was re-released with two extra tracks in 2012.

Jardine was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy in 2001 as a member of the Beach Boys.

Personal Life

Jardine was married to Lynda Sperry from 1964 to1982. They had two sons, Matthew and Adam, who became rock musicians. They divorced, and he married Mary Ann Helmandollar in 1983. Their twins, Robert and Andrew, were born three years later.

In the late 1970s Jardine created Red Barn Studios on his Big Sur, California, estate, where he recorded "Santa Ana Winds" (which appeared on the 1980 Beach Boys album Keepin' the Summer Alive) and other tracks.

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