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Al Jardine's All-Star Beach Band Concert--June 22, 2002

Al Jardine's All-Star Beach Band
Sebastopol, CA
June 22, 2002

The guys did nine songs, including Al's old favorite, "Runaway", then the Ripchords came on and did a few numbers with Al's band backing them up. It was great to see Billy up front on lead guitar. There were three more songs, then the Surfaris did their three big hits, including an awesome "Point Panic", played by Jim Pash, originally the group's sax player. After that, the three groups were all onstage for the rest of the set. The vocals and band were really tight. The vocals are noticeably different, of course, without Wendy and Carnie, but still a very nice blend.

I couldn't help thinking that this must have been what it was like in the beginning for the Beach Boys, everyone there simply to have fun and make good music. When they hit the end of the set list, Al still wanted to play, so they did four more songs (two of which had previously been skipped, probably because the show had been pushed back). I was impressed by how smooth the transitions were between these extra songs, in different keys. Billy did a fine job of communicating with everyone and keeping it flowing. Not easy to do when you're adding songs on the fly! The show ended with Billy singing "Johnny B. Goode." Al would have gone on, but he said that Mary Ann was motioning not to. "The boss says we're done!"

Afterward, Tom again paved the way by getting the guys to autograph something for me. I had a picture of Al from about 1970 with his dog, and when I handed it to him, he got kind of excited and said, "Wow, where did you get this??" It apparently brought back some memories. He signed it "Al Jardine and Largo" (the dog). I don't think I've ever seen it published. In short (too late now ), I got royal treatment. Tom went beyond the call of duty to make sure that I had a great time. Everyone was just really nice. I didn't see much of Billy and Matt, but got to chat a bit with the others. The whole group signed a set list for me, and Bobby gave me a pair of drumsticks. So it was quite a night to remember. The only thing I didn't get, oddly enough, was pictures. I didn't want to bother anyone before the show, and afterwards it was dark, and I wasn't going to ask them to look into a flash. Oh well!

These guys all have SUCH good karma now! :-)

Contributed by: Tracy Bryant

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