2012/01/19

Al Jardine, A Beach Boy Still Riding The Waves

July 28, 2000 -> oocities.org
- a very insightful interview by Ken Sharp from 2000 (4 pages!) -

Let me ask you about your role with the Beach Boys.

Carl and I were the anchors in the back.

Did you want more recognition?

No. No way. I was happy. We locked, our harmonies locked, that's all I cared about. Carl and I had a really good blend.

Eric Carmen (*?) once described the Beach Boys' voice as each being an instrument: "I think Brian was a French horn, Carl was a flute, Al Jardine a trumpet, Dennis a trombone, and Mike a baritone sax before their present incarnation as the Beach Boys."

Yeah, that's a good point. That's kind of how we saw ourselves too. In fact, "Heroes And Villains," at the start, was one of the first things we ever did, really early on, even before we recorded "Surfin'." We were working on that song way back in '61. We all became instruments for Brian's barber shop concept. He said, "Let's all do this, let's sing this idea." Carl would be one instrument, I'd be another. Mike would be another instrument.

So the idea of "Heroes And Villains" was born back in '61.

Yeah, the idea, not the song. We started singing a capella first because we didn't play instruments. With none of us really being players, we would just scat in the car going to a show or something or going to school, anywhere.

Was it pretty natural where each member would find his place singing harmonies?

Instantly. And Brian had this wonderful gift for remembering lines off of records. He'd pick up harmonies off of Four Freshmen records and he'd just feed them right back to us. We'd go, "Woah!" and like a sponge, we'd just absorbed it.

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(*?)NOTE I remember reading in a book (by Tobler or Preiss?) that it was not from Eric Carmen, but a description from Brian Wilson

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