‘It’s about the music’: How Al Jardine and Brian Wilson are carrying on without the Beach Boys

As Brian Wilson begins a series of summer dates with David Marks and Al Jardine tonight, here’s a sneak peek into what the ousted trio of Beach Boys will be performing.

Jardine, Marks and Wilson were, of course, each part of last year’s celebrated 50th anniversary tour with Wilson’s cousin Mike Love, before that long-hoped-for reunion fell apart. 2012, in fact, marked the first time Wilson had toured with Love since 1987.

Wilson has since intimated that there won’t be another.

He’s also announced a separate tour with Jardine and Marks, both of whom appeared with Wilson on the initial Beach Boys studio recordings, with the first taking place tonight, July 20, 2013, at Atlantic City.

Together with Wilson’s solo band, who provided invaluable support on last year’s Beach Boys jaunt, they’ll continue to Pittsburgh on July 21; Interlochen, Michigan, on July 23; Kettering, Ohio, on July 25; Highland Park, Illinois, on July 26; Apply Valley, Minnesota, on July 27; and then Los Angeles later in the year, on October 20, 2013.

More dates could be forthcoming. So, what can fans expect?

Wilson’s arranger Paul Mertens is promising a hits-filled evening that will make room for deep cuts from the Beach Boys catalog, including “some songs that have rarely, if ever, been performed live.” Special emphasis, Mertens says, will be given to Jardine (so, yes, expect the timeless “Help Me, Rhonda”) and Marks — who Mertens praised for adding a “seminal surf-guitar style” to the band’s first recordings.

Of course, the question then becomes how to deal with what’s missing: Namely Love, who despite their on-going differences, was the voice for Beach Boys’ hits like “I Get Around,” “Be True to Your School,” “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Surfin’ USA,” among others.

Jardine, in a talk with The Post Gazette, says “we’ll probably cut a few of those out, but there’s no reason why we can’t do ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ and a couple of those. Why not? It’s not about the messenger, it’s about the music.”

Both Jardine and Wilson have toured extensively for years, separate from Love, so the split hasn’t had as much of an impact on the setlist as it might appear: “I go out and sing those songs; I love them,” Jardine adds. “They are priceless little gems. It’s just how you present them, that’s the only difference.”

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