Sandy's Place - Al Jardine and Friends at the Rubin Museum
Remember the Beach Boys? I certainly do! Back in the 60s, the Beach Boys were America's competition for the Beatles. They were a California band that, led by Brian Wilson, composer and harmonizer par excellence, sang about surfing, hot rods and, what else, California girls. I remember hearing Sloop John B for the first time in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania when I was racing slot cars in the 60s. It was a defining moment, much like the first time I heard Jim Morrison. (Click Here for a fun story about my first Doors experience while tooling around LA in one of the original Cobra Daytona coupes with my slot car friend Mike Morrissey.) And, of course, who can forget Good Vibrations? Last year they had a 50th (!!!!!) anniversary tour, which I was lucky enough to experience, along with my wife Anne, at the Beacon Theater in NYC. (FYI, the double album of that tour is just super.)
Well, along with Brian Wilson and Mike Love, of the original Beach Boys, was Al Jardine. Al was the mystical one, sort of like John Lennon, and became a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, along with Lennon, Donovan (whom I also saw a couple of years ago, and he was terrific) and others of that time. Al has continued to be an advocate of Transcendental Meditation, and is a big supporter of the David Lynch Foundation, who teach Transcendental Meditation today. Al recently, along with friends, like Paul Schafer (!), Blondie Chaplin (another former Beach Boy), Professor Louie and Crownatix, Roy Langdon (of Spacehog), and Richard Barone (of the Bongos), among others, performed at the Rubin Museum, and Anne and I were likewise their for the festivities.
Now let me tell you a little about the Rubin Museum and their concerts: I was unaware, until a couple of years ago, as to what goes on some Friday nights deep within the Rubin, until a friend of mine from college, Paul Greene, turned me on to it. You see, the Rubin, housed within the former Barney's Boy's Town (where I shopped for clothes as a kid), is a fabulous museum of Himalayan art. And deep within it is a most wonderful small, intimate concert hall. Seating about 120, the concert hall is sheathed totally in cherry wood for acoustic purposes. Best of all, the performances are pure acoustic. I don't mean just no electric instruments, I mean pure acoustic, with no amplification. And sitting in my favorite second row center seat, this is THE REFERENCE SYSTEM, so to speak. We have heard many folks here, like Eric Anderson, Roseanne Cash, Janis Ian, and the list goes on.
So that night, Al Jardine and friends ran through an incredible mix of music, from transcendental stuff with Tibetan bells and a hand organ like Alan Ginsberg used to play, to, well, Good Vibrations and A Post Card from California, the lead track from his latest album of the same name (which if you haven't gotten it yet, get it). A wonderful time was had by all, needless to say.