Though the early days of The Beach Boys are well-documented, the role of founding member Al Jardine is often overshadowed by the Wilson brothers. Inspired to play guitar by The Kingston Trio, it was Jardine who first suggested he and Brian Wilson sing together. It was also Jardine who thought adding Brians brother, Carl, and their cousin, Mike Love, would work, thus forming The Beach Boys. In addition to guitar, Jardine sang lead on some of The Beach Boys biggest hits, including Help Me Rhonda, Sloop John B, Heroes and Villains, and a cover of Leadbellys Cotton Fields, which Jardine rearranged to make a bigger hit.
David Marks joined The Beach Boys after the bands first year and after Al Jardine temporarily left the band to go to college. Marks phenomenal guitar playing and the chemistry between him and Carl Wilson is often credited as creating The Beach Boys sound. Appearing on the bands first five albums, Marks shared guitar duty for a couple of years upon Jardines return to the group; however, by the time he was 16, Marks left The Beach Boys. Marks became a successful studio musician, working with such artists as Leon Russell and Delbert McClinton. When Carl Wilson was sidelined with cancer in 1997, he returned to The Beach Boys.
Consequence of Sound had the opportunity to talk with both of these legendary musicians as The Beach Boys embark on an international tour in support of the bands 50th Anniversary and their latest album, Thats Why God Made the Radio. We discuss what it was like making this album compared to the bands first releases, the division of labor in the bands early days between their appearance and the studio, why it took Jardine so long to do a solo album, and why both men left and what brought them back.