Al Jardine is a founding member of the Beach Boys, as well as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of a Lifetime Grammy. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, the Beach Boys are one of themost critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and influential bands of all time — selling hundreds of millions of records worldwide.
Beyond playing bass, rhythm guitar, and banjo, Jardine also lent his vocals to the Beach Boys, singing lead on the hit “Help Me, Rhonda” and also can be heard on other singles like “Then I Kissed Her” and “Heroes and Villains.” The Beach Boys’ early days are well documented, but some biographies call Al Jardine the “lost Beach Boy.” After all, he was the only member of the band who was not a Wilson or related to a Wilson.
However, his contribution to the Beach Boys was significant, and he and Brian Wilson were technically the first two members of the band (having met in high school, with Wilson as football team quarterback and Jardine as halfback). At a school assembly Jardine heard Brian and his brothers and cousin Mike Love perform. Jardine suggested to Brian Wilson that they sing together and invite Carl and Dennis and Mike along. Thus, the Beach Boys were formed. (And it was Jardine’s mom who paid for the instruments they used in the early days.)
Jardine spent years of his childhood in Rochester, as his photographer father took a job with Eastman Kodak Company and also taught at Rochester Institute of Technology. His parents were musicians, with his father playing clarinet and his mother violin. “At home, they had a good collection of pop 78s, and we sang as a family,” Jardine recalled.
It was here that his love for music began. “In Rochester my parents bought me a four-string ukulele that I picked on,” Jardine said. “I also played the clarinet in grade school, but the instrument was difficult and discouraging.” Another thing about his childhood that he found exciting, however, was growing up near Lake Ontario. “That was kind of cool,” Jardine. said. “I grew up around a lake. It was really beautiful.”
Performance at the ceremony: Al Jardine will perform hits of the Beach Boys, joined on stage by his son, his musical director, and Prime Time Funk.