Well, that’s a bit dramatic. I met Al Jardine a couple of months ago and he was raving about Brian Wilson, their new band and it’s sound. Yet, it was Brian I was worried about. I didn’t want him plunked down in the middle of the stage with some sort of Beach Boys’ tribute going down all around him. I had seen the a band a ton over the years but never with Brian. And once Carl Wilson left us I was finished with the concept. As a musician friend of mine who once toured with the BBs told me, “how can you have a Beach Boys without a Wilson?”
Even after a pretty good “California Girls” (2nd tune) I still wasn’t convinced. It’s like the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Buffalo-Springfield, it’s very sacred territory that I don’t give up easily. But slowly, my icy reluctance melted into a really fine musical celebration. The audience loved the set, Brian seemed to be enjoying himself and Al Jardine and the band were musically outstanding. By the time “God Only Knows” happened, which Brian said was his favorite (mine too), the deal was sealed! Blondie Chaplin even showed up and brought the house down with “Sail On Sailor” with Brian smiling like a proud papa.
Brian’s music is truly a treasure that he has shared with us over fifty years. I sang along, loved it like a 14 year old and got the chills as we stood and cheered after a perfect “Love and Mercy”.