Before they were award-winning artists, the Beach Boys were renting instruments and borrowing money from Al Jardine’s mother. Here’s what Jardine said about the beginnings of this surf rock band.
Al Jardine appeared as a founding member of the Beach Boys
The Beach Boys perform on the Summer In Paradise Tour at the Minnesota State Fair | Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
As the artist behind “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows,” brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Jardine were the founding members of the Beach Boys.
With three of the Beach Boys being siblings (and another a cousin), family members were very involved with the surf rock group, especially in the beginning. Murray Wilson acted as the Beach Boys’ talent manager until he was removed from the role. Jardine’s mother also received credit for her involvement.
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Al Jardine’s mother helped pay for the Beach Boys’ instruments
The Beach Boyd had humble beginnings, starting their careers in California. It was thanks to Jardine’s mother, though, that these artists had the money to rent instruments.
“Yeah, my mother doesn’t get enough credit,” Jardine said during an interview with Consequence. “She started the band, actually. She auditioned for us. She even forked over the money to rent the instruments.”
“We rehearsed it, our first song,” he continued. “And I don’t even know if we paid her back. Isn’t that funny? We all laughed about it every once in a while, ‘Hey, you ever pay your mom back?’ But she never got any credit. But she will. We’ll get it in there in the documentary.”
The Beach Boys were still relatively young while starting out. Jardine even left the band at one point to attend college (persuing a career as a dentist). Of course, he reunited with the group, lending his voice to some of their biggest hits.
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Al Jardine celebrated the Beach Boys’ radio hit with his mother
Jardine’s mother was especially involved when the Beach Boys found success with “Surfin.’” According to James B. Murphy’s Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963 Jardine and Brian Wilson went to Jardine’s parents’ apartment to listen to their song on the radio.
To celebrate, Jardine took his mother to a hamburger restaurant on his school’s campus to listen to “Surfin” on the jukebox.
“We kept listening and hoping, and finally it came on the radio,” Jardine said, according to the same source. “It was the most unbelievable feeling.”
“We thought it was so marvelous,” Jardine’s mother said. “The boys were so excited. They’d call each other up on the telephone and say, ‘listen to this! It’s on so and so station.’ They’d listen to it together on the phone. It was sweet. Like little kids.”
Decades since his debut with the Beach Boys, Jardine continues to make music. In 2022, he toured with Brian Wilson, co-headlining concerts across North America with Chicago. Music by the Beach Boys remains available on most major streaming platforms.
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