A few months ago James Crowther approached me to help get the word out that the convention was back at its spiritual home of Greenford, a few years ago it had moved but most of us were keen for it to be held in the usual place, I don’t know how to convey how important this is, other than that whilst I was talking to Ian at this year’s event I cast my eyes over to the spot that he and my dad would sit each year and chat about life over a pint, I feel it is so important that whilst we can still have the event there we do so. Speaking to others on the day they felt the same, it is to some a marking that the summer has passsed, that on the 3rd Saturday in September we meet in Greenford, it matters not to them if we have a guest or not, of course it is wonderful when we do, but the main event is to meet up with our long-time friends and to share our love and passion for this wonderful wonderful music that has been the soundtrack to all our lives.
This year was of course even more special, marking the 50th anniversary of our Boys and better still seeing them all back together again and as if that weren’t enough releasing, what for most, is their best album since Sunflower!
The room looked just as we had left it those few years ago, we got there early and it seems others were keen to get the day started as lots of people were also already there.
Roy was setting up on the stage, I have said it before but will say it again that man just never ages! It was great to see Mike and Jim with him as well. Paul Shakespeare was there with his amazing memorabilia; I immediately purchased an Endless Summer platinum presentation disc, and joked that I would take it to the local David Lloyd centre and hold it aloft in the pool…
The day kicked off at 12 sharp, Roy gave us his traditional introduction, I looked around the room and saw so many friends, and it got a bit lively towards the end of the introduction with Angela asking Roy to focus on the positive… Harvey and I had a look at the auction items and decided what we would love to bid for, his being the 45 of Good Time by American Spring signed by Brian, Diane and Marilyn and mine was the All Summer Long LP signed by Mike, Carl, Brian, Al and Bruce….. More of this later.
A new TV had been installed in the bar downstairs so we all ambled down there at 1.30 to watch an hour or so of the latest dvd 50 Big Ones which was brilliant, such a positive celebration! Just what Angela had ordered! Great to see David Marks back in the band, who was a previous guest at the Convention in 2008.
Once that was over we had time to mingle and check out the stands once more.
Then it was time for the auction, Harvey went first and had a slight bidding war for his item but managed to get it for £50. then there were a few other items before it was time for the ‘All Summer Long’ signed LP that I had my eyes on… the bidding started and I played it cool, Liz, James and Andrew kept telling me to get in the game, but I thought I would wait for it to lull…. then once it did. At £80 I upped the game to £100, gasps around the room…. especially from Liz…. then it went up, Caroline another chap and me… but finally it was mine… for £160 which I think was a bargain! So I was very pleased…
After this we had more videos, Jim played the one I had got of Stevie Kalinich and David Sandler saying Hi via Skype, so that was cool. Maybe one day David will come and join us there.
Back upstairs for the raffle…. I had bought £5 worth of tickets…. and won three prizes! I did suggest they put them back in but Roy would hear none of it. So I won a signed copy of David Marks brilliant book ‘The Lost Beach Boy’ a signed copy (pending) of Orange Crate Art personally signed by Van Dyke Parks and finally a cool little postcard signed by David Marks for the Lost Beach Boy cd set. So I was thrilled (if rather embarrassed) by my hoard…
After this it was time for Roy to review the day and also pending events, we have two concerts to look forward to at the end of the month, Roy is trying to get those that attended the convention some back stage passes for after the Royal Albert Hall show, so we shall see If that comes off, it would be great if it did.
The close of the day was spent in the bar with great friends, Mike, James, Ian, Matthew, Ken to name but a few. What a wonderful day and so great that it was back where it belongs
Huge thanks go to Roy, James and Jim for putting on such a great day and of course the Beach Boys for making such bloody wonderful music!