The Beach Boys' Al Jardine

Except for a few years during which he studied dentistry, singer/guitarist

Al Jardine has been with pop legends the Beach Boys since 1961.

Alan Jardine was born 57 years ago today in Lima, Ohio. He attended

junior college with Brian Wilson in California and broke Wilson's leg

during a football game. Still, that didn't stop Wilson from inviting

Jardine to join the vocal group he started with his brothers Carl and

Dennis and his cousin Mike Love.

The quintet was first named Carl & the Passions, then tried the moniker

the Pendletones. Meanwhile, Jardine, who had been in a folk group, used

his connections to arrange for Wilson's band to meet publisher Hite Morgan.

Morgan invited the Pendletones to record the Brian Wilson/Mike Love-penned

"Surfin'" at his home studio. Morgan acquired publishing rights to the

song and arranged for the group to record it. Based on the song's title,

various label executives agreed to call the band the Beach Boys.

Upset that the band only made about $200 each from the record, Jardine

took the money and dropped out of the group to enroll in dentistry school

in 1962. Midway through the following year, after "Surfin' U.S.A." had

become a top-five hit, Brian Wilson's increasing tendency to miss gigs

became a problem, and Jardine was invited back into the band.

With Jardine back, the top-10 smashes began flowing: "Little Deuce Coupe,"

"Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)," the

Jardine-sung "Help Me Rhonda," "California Girls" and others.

In 1966 Brian threw Beach Boys' fans a curve with his multilayered

masterpiece Pet Sounds, one of the first LPs to marry studio

wizardry with tuneful pop songs. Though the album was not an immediate

best-seller, it featured the hit singles "God Only Knows"

(RealAudio

excerpt), "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B."

In succeeding years, Brian retreated from the Beach Boys to deal with

personal demons. Jardine was a mainstay of the band through its '70s,

'80s and '90s incarnations, which endured the deaths of Dennis Wilson in

1983 and Carl Wilson in 1998.

In 1978 Jardine, who had co-written a few Beach Boys tunes (such as 1973's

"California Saga"), wrote the title theme to the movie "Almost Summer"

with Love and Brian Wilson. The track, recorded by the band Celebration,

made #28 in the States.

Jardine, who along with Love, the Beatles and others, became enamored of

transcendental meditation from the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

in the late '60s, co-produced the Beach Boys' 1978 LP M.I.U. The

LP was named after and recorded at the Maharishi International University

in Iowa. The following year, Jardine's "Lady Lynda," written for his wife,

became the band's first UK top-10 song since 1970.

After Dennis' death, Jardine's son Matt played percussion for the Beach

Boys and sang falsetto in Brian's absence.

When the Beach Boys took a hiatus after Carl's death, Jardine formed the

Jardines with sons Matt and Adam.

In 1988 Jardine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along

with his fellow Beach Boys. Last year, Jardine's "Loop De Loop" was one

of several unreleased tracks included on Endless Harmony: The Beach

Boys Story.

Other birthdays: George Biondi (Steppenwolf), 54; Mike Harrison (Spooky

Tooth), 54; Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy), 52; Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad),

51; Lester Noel (Beats International), 37; and Freddie King, 1934-1976.