It was with keen anticipation that I booked my tickets for this concert. Betty had told me about it a long time ago and said that as a thanks for the work I had done for Mike Love I would be able to get a meet and greet.. So the chance to see my favourite band was enhanced all the more with the opportunity to say hi to them.
We got to Hampton Court at 4ish, just in time to meet Jim and Mike Grant. I took along Liz and her sister and brother in law and later on we were joined by Andrew Doe and his friend Carol.
It was the most glorious sunny day, we ambled to the Palace. Mike, Jim and I went off to get their tickets and meet Betty and had a great chat with her. As we were chatting the band were making their way to the sound check. We parted and went off for a wander, only to receive a call half an hour later to say get back here quick, Bruce has invited you to the sound check… I hurtled across the green much to everyone’s glee, I am no athlete! The sound check was great fun, I had not been to one before they were all larking about, well except for Scott Totem who as the musical director was keeping everyone in line. It was great to see Jeffrey Fosket again who fitted right in and sang ‘Kiss me Baby’ which, as you can imagine, sounded amazing. John Cowsill is just amazing… he can belt those drums and also sing brilliantly. He did a great version of ‘Cottonfields’, which is one of my all time favs. We then got to hear snippets of ‘Please Let Me Wonder’, ‘Disney Girls’, ‘Kiss Me baby’ a few times. Bruce was on fine form and talking to us, telling us how tanned we looked! After the check they came down and said Hi. Bruce signed my copies of his solo lps so we had a chat with them… it was all very relaxed and informal.
After that we went off for our lovely picnic in the glorious grounds. We managed to find the only spot out of the sun, then at 8pm, we headed off for the meet and greet. I must say I was rather nervous as Betty had casually mentioned it was an intimate meet and greet just for the 7 of us.
We were ushered into a small courtyard, John was the first to pop out and say hi, then Mike who was very chatty and signed all our items. I told him I had loved the band since I was 7 to which he replied ‘what happened to the first 6 years, too busy with kindergarden’ ☺ We got to spend almost an hour with them just hanging out and chatting, Mike asked Mike if he remembered him which he did so they had a good catch up and Andrew and Bruce were having a blast as well.. It was really amazing to just hang out with them all.
Then for the concert which was just brilliant, I know the hard core people say it’s not The Beach Boys but for most of the audience who don’t know what we know, it might as well have been… they put on a damn fine show… and threw in some tracks I hadn’t heard live before such as ‘Little Honda’, Mike’s ‘Pisces Brother’ was a beautiful piece and he gave us the reason for writing the song which was very emotive, this got a standing ovation at the end.
One of the highlights for me was the encore, John Cowsill did the best version of ‘Wild Honey’ I have heard. And Scott’s guitar solo had the place on fire….
I wondered what Henry would have thought had he been there to see this wonderful event.
Oh and another funny thing, the security was tight re cameras and then Mike soon ended that as he asked everyone to get their mobile phones out and pop the torch on (as opposed to lighters so the security must have had a fit…) also he had to ask a roadie to figure out how to turn his light on. Brilliant stuff.
We had the best night imaginable, it really couldn’t have been any better. I want to thank Betty so much for looking after us so well and the band for making us feel so welcome.