In a vintage black and white photo, Brian Wilson sits at a piano, immersed in song with his eyes closed as he plays. Standing beside him from left to right are the other members of The Beach Boys: Al Jardine, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson, who are singing along.

Surfing Through Memories: Mike Love and Al Jardine Reflect on Their Musical Odyssey with The Beach Boys

By Cecilia Sarantopoulos

Prepare to ride the nostalgia wave as The Beach Boys documentary hits Disney+ screens on May 24, inviting fans to embark on a fun, fun, fun journey through the legendary band’s legacy. From The Beach Boys’ trailblazing harmonies to their sun-kissed aesthetic that defined the California dream, this documentary is a celebration of the tunes—and the musicians—that have captivated generations.

The Beach Boys showcases rare footage featuring band members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston, as well as musical luminaries such as Lindsey Buckingham, Janelle Monáe, Ryan Tedder, and Don Was. Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny, with a script penned by Mark Monroe, this labor of love was produced by Kenney/ Marshall and White Horse Pictures.

The Beach Boys pose for a portrait against a yellow backdrop. From left to right are Al Jardine, Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, Brian Wilson, and Carl Wilson. They are all wearing short sleeve plaid shirts, pants and white loafers. Love and Carl Wilson are sitting on two red mopeds.

During a press conference for the Disney+ documentary, Marshall spoke candidly about his personal connection to The Beach Boys’ music, recalling how it shaped his youth in Newport Beach, California—not far from Hawthorne, California, the hometown of The Beach Boys. “I was totally into surfing and surf music. I still remember the first time I listened to ‘Surfin’,’” he reminisced. For Zimny, working on the documentary was “a dream come true,” a chance to blend his love for filmmaking with his admiration for the band.

As for timing, there are several reasons why it made perfect sense to release The Beach Boys now, the panelists said. As Marshall pointed out, “Summer’s just around the corner,” making it an ideal time to fully embrace our inner Beach Boy. The legendary band also recently marked its 60th anniversary, prompting reflection and celebration of their incredible journey. “It’s miraculous that after over 60 years since we started, we’re still singing,” Love said. Given the enduring popularity of the band’s music and the ongoing renewal of their fanbase across generations, this documentary presents an opportunity to engage both longtime fans and younger audiences. “We appeal to the 8-80 [age] group,” Jardine remarked.

Brian Wilson from the band The Beach Boys is leaning on a desk in a recording studio control room. He is wearing a red and white striped t-shirt and beige pants. He gazes straight ahead, surrounded by recording equipment in the background.

From the members’ humble family beginnings to their global tours, The Beach Boys is comprehensive, focusing on the band as a group but also on their individual relationships—“what made the band work,”as Marshall put it.

“I’m super happy with the way the documentary turned out; they did an amazing job,” said Brian Wilson. “It really brought me back to those days with the boys, the fun, and the music. And, of course, those incredible harmonies.”