Al Jardine Took His Mother to a Hamburger Restaurant To Listen to ‘Surfin’ by the Beach Boys on the Jukebox
The Beach Boys were “so excited” at their initial success. Al Jardine even took his mother to a hamburger restaurant to listen to a Surfin’ Safari track on the jukebox. Here’s what we know about the surf rock group’s “Surfin.’”
The Beach Boys released ‘Surfin’’ off ‘Surfin’ Safari’
The Beach Boys, with founding members Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine, started releasing music in 1961. A year later, the group released a full-length album featuring “Surfin’ Safari” and “409.”
Originally included in 1962’s Surfin’ Safari, “Surfin’” was remastered in 2001. Since its Spotify debut, this track has earned over a million plays on the music platform. Like most Beach Boys songs, the original was about the group’s love for summer, surf, and sand. (Even if this album was inspired by surfing, only one group member could actually surf.)
“I got up this mornin’ turned on my radio,” the lyrics state. “I was checkin’ on the surfin’ scene / To see if I would go / And when the DJ tells me that the surfin’ is fine / That’s when I know my baby and I will have a good time.”
The Beach Boys were ‘so excited’ to hear their song on the radio (and a hamburger restaurant’s jukebox)
As noted in Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963 by James B. Murphy, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson went to Jardine’s parents’ apartment to listen to their original song on the radio. Then, Jardine took his mother to a hamburger restaurant on his school campus to listen to “Surfin” on the jukebox.
“We kept listening and hoping, and finally it came on the radio,” Jardine said. “It was the most unbelievable feeling.”
“We thought it was so marvelous,” Jardine’s mother said. “The boys were so excited. They’d call each other up on the telephone and say, ‘listen to this! It’s on so and so station.’ They’d listen to it together on the phone. It was sweet. Like little kids.”
Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys was ‘so thrilled’ by the ‘Surfin’’ success
By December 1962, local radio stations played “Surfin’” repeatedly. Because Brian Wilson and Mike Love cowrote this song, the success held extra significance for these performers. Dennis Wilson even heard about this song from students.
“Dennis was so thrilled because he was living it,” Carl Wilson said, according to the same biography. “He went to school and his friends said, ‘We were on our way home from the beach, totally exhausted from riding the waves all day. We heard your record come on, and it turned us on so much that we went back to the beach.’”
Of course, the Beach Boys became one of the most popular bands of the 1960s and 1970s. They released “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Good Vibrations,” and “God Only Knows” and enjoyed a cameo on the sitcom Full House.
RELATED: ‘Pet Sounds’: Al Jardine Initially Misinterpreted the Meaning Behind the Beach Boys’ Album Name