So another year rolls swiftly past, and another fine Beach Boys Stomp Convention under our belt! This year we were treated to the wonderful company of not one but two guests. Bobby and Joanne Figueroa, Bobby was The Beach Boys drummer for over 15 years, and played with them at some pretty amazing gigs, one of which was of course ‘Live Aid’ Joanne his lovely wife, has been a fan of the band forever, and hung out with them all! And had the kind of life I can only dream of.
James Crowther arrived right on time; we set off, and then got lost in exactly the same places as we did last year! Arrived at 11:00am, people were already milling about, I headed over to Mike’s table as we always hang out together, said hello to everyone, Roy was milling about looking dapper in shades and bow tie, as always the man hasn’t changed….
I saw Bobby and Joanne arrive; I let them settle in then headed over to say hi to Joanne, we have chatted an awful lot on facebook so it was wonderful to finally meet her.
Bobby took to the stage and told us how he got to be in the band, and how it was thanks to his chum Carli Munoz, who called him up one day and said The Beach Boys want you to audition, when? he asked, tomorrow was the reply, he played a different track for each of the band, and was hired on the spot, ‘when would you like me to start’ he asked Tomorrow Dennis replied, and that was him all set for the next 15 years, it sounded quite a wild ride too!
There was also a great slideshow, they bought some great behind the scenes photos for us and reminisced about the people and places they had been. Bobby told us the highlight for him gig wise was Wembley on ’75 Mike Grant and David Slater had in fact been to that gig!
Later in the day Bobby took to the stage to sing us a few songs, Brian Barry had kindly offered to accompany him, and after a few days notice had learnt ‘You and I’ ‘Sail on Sailor’, ‘Sloop John B’ and ‘Caroline, No’.
During the times Bobby wasn’t on stage he milled about chatting to people and made everyone feel so comfortable, what an interesting guy too! Throughout the day he signed albums that he had played on like ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’, ‘L.A. (Light Album)’, ‘Live At Knebworth’ and Ricci Martin’s ‘Beached’.
As the day wore on we had the raffle (I won a fab replica 45 cover autographed by Mike Love and David Marks) we had the auction Harvey and I bid for a concert ’64 ticket’ but I remembered I have a kitchen to buy… so didn’t get too carried away.
In the evening we adjourned to the bar for a fab sing along with Bobby and Brian, what a treat, Bobby said ‘I’m coming to sit next to Lucy Hall’ and then sang ‘God Only Knows’ in Spanish! We all chatted and sang and had a blast.
During the evening Joanne produced a little brown envelope and passed it to me…. therein I discovered ‘A postcard from California’ a signed song sheet from Al Jardine’s band signed by Al. Ed Carter, Bobby, Billy to name but a few’ some fab photos of Bobby and not in the envelope; two wonderful Carl Wilson Foundation beakers and two of Bobby’s very own brand of drum sticks! this was all as a thank you for helping them with the website for the California Surf Inc band!
It’s very sad that year on year the numbers for the convention are dropping, I tell you those that don’t attend really do miss out on a very special day! These people come halfway across the world to spend some time with us, and I for one feel that a huge honour.
Next year we will have Alan Boyd and Mark Linett to look forward to!
Thanks as always for Roy Gudge for organising the event, long may it continue
Bobby and Brian singing ‘You and I’