CarliIt was with great delight that the morning of the 21st September dawned.  Liz and I set off to the annual Beach Boys Convention, with the added excitement that we would get to meet Carli Munoz, who was in the Beach Boys touring band for most of the 70s when they were at the height of their musical live force.  Carli had come a long way to meet us all, all the way from his bistro bar in Purto Rico!

It is always great to be back at the trusty old Visitation Parish Centre in Greenford. Each year rolls past and life takes its path but for one day each year time seems to stand still and we converge in the same place with the same lovely people and talk of all things Beach Boys.

Mike was there setting up as was Val, Roy was on the stage in his usual spot with his American Flag in front of his table. I joined Mike for the day at his table and sold 50 odd cds of Carli’s brilliant reworkings of the songs from Bambu.

Carli Munoz at Stomp (2)Carli arrived with James looking very dapper. We went and had a lovely chat prior to starting the convention. Roy took to the stage at 12.00 and introduced the day, Carli then followed and told us of his musical career and how he had got to be in The Beach Boys – how it was through his good friend Jack Reiley who was a DJ at the time.

Ken Isherwood was one of the many people to ask questions, Carli was very generous with his answers, really gave in depth interesting answers.

Ken Isherwood: ‘I liked his responses to my questions, agreeing that the Beach Boys were at their best as a live band with Ricky and Blondie in, and that the backing band were referred to as The United Nations because of the different nationalities. It also showed that the 70s Beach boys were again ahead of their time by having quite a bit of diversity within its musicians. A shame that they could not have exploited this further in the studio between “Holland” and “15 Big ones ” Another “what if” in the Beach Boys career.

Carli said his favourite concert of his tenure with the band was the Wembley gig in ’75 that starred Elton John amongst others. Some of the people at the convention had been to that gig and agreed, I loved hearing of the dynamic of the band from someone who pretty much lived with them for 6 months each year, very interesting stories of those times.
photoIn between Carli’s moments on the stage he was very generous with his time, chatting to all the fans, signing copies of his cd and tickets. He very kindly signed my LP sleeve for the in concert sleeve and pointed out that it is in fact him behind the 8 ball on the inlay, see attached piccie.

The day passed all too soon, there were lots of new faces at this year’s convention which was great to see. One couple who came over and purchased a few of my cds had loved the band when they were younger and got back into them after seeing them at Wembley last year and said what an AMAZING concert that had been, I concur.

As with each year after the event we adjourned to the bar and had the pleasure of chatting with Carli about the music he likes, people he has met. Mike and I were thrilled to hear he is also a big Gene Clark fan and has met David Crosby. Liz noted and was impressed to hear that Carli had shared a car with David Cassidy…. We had a lovely pint of cider and chatted about his bar in South America, which sounds and looks like a great place.

It was, as always a splendid day, thanks to Roy for putting it on and Carli for travelling so far to come and see us, it was MUCH appreciated.