It was with great anticipation that we set forth to go to this year’s Beach Boy Convention. The guest was Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford, who had very kindly visited us ten years previously and had been a brilliant guest! So I was very much looking forward to hearing her stories and saying hello to her again. For those who read my blog about her last visit, you may recall the hilarious incident, in which I had asked her what she would like to drink and bearing in mind the location, she had requested a cosmopolitan, needless to say the Visitation Parish Center in Greenford was ill equipped for such beverages. I was however this year prepared and had come along armed with a bottle.
We had a hitchhiker with us on the journey, James was broadcasting his radio show from the back seat of the car. We arrived just in time for them to open the doors at 11.00 am. Mike Grant was already selling his great Cds, Roy was donned in his ‘ladies day’ bow tie and looked most dapper. The usual faces were there, but it was also great to see some new ones as well.
Roy kicked off the proceedings in his usual manor, seated behind his flags and mixing desk. Marilyn was brilliant and wandered about the room making sure she got to meet everyone and spending a lot of time just chatting with everyone. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, she took to the stage for her first Q & A at 12.30, which was hilarious as it was rather tricky as the questions were all on a piece of paper. Her Hubby hollered out it was boring and to have questions from those in attendance. I decided to be brave and ask about ‘Spring’, mostly of course about my chum David Sandler’s involvement and how that had come about. Her face just lit up as she spoke of David and said what a great guy he is and how much fun they had and of course how very talented he is. I also asked specifically about ‘Sweet Mountain‘, as that is a particular favourite of mine and she spoke of that and how tricky it was to learn the French for it, some one in the audience translated it for her.
One of the brilliant things about Marilyn, is that she doesn’t hold back, she tells it as it is. I asked her about the new movie, which she is very much looking forward to seeing but had decided not to cooperate in. This is something that was echoed throughout during the day, she really has very high values and has been approached on many occasions to sell her story but just can’t bring herself to do it. I believe she still loves Brian very much and would much rather remember the happy times than the sad ones, that most people seem so keen on focusing on.
Marilyn told us about how she sang on the backing vocals to ‘Feel Flows‘ and that Carl had asked her specifically to do and that it was about the most amazing song and experience in the studio that she had ever had. Favourite music from the time was songs from the ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ album, ‘Cherry Cherry Coupe’, she welled up as she told how Brian had bought her father a car as a gift and how very generous he was. Some of the stories were very personal so I will not add them here.
Throughout the day Marilyn took to the stage, other entertainment was provided by a dvd that Betty Collignon had very kindly sent over for us to see. A tribute to Carl Wilson, that was used at one of the Carl Wilson Benefits. It was a brilliant film, very emotive and really a great insight into who Carl was and what made him tick, with some great film and interviews with his friends and Brian. It was also great to see Betty there too.
Jim Grant was a star as always, dealing with great aplomb with all the IT issues that Roy threw at him. The main one being some great clips Marilyn had on her phone, that he managed to get to play through the projector, the man is a genius. It was most entertaining as they tried to deal with US dvd format playing on UK dvd players, we had some wonderful greetings from Carnie and Wendy and all their children.
All in all it was a wonderful day, I even won an autograph of Brian’s in the raffle :-).
As the day drew to a close, I thought Marilyn could probably do with a stiff drink. So took over my cosmopolitan complete with ice and a brolly, she was thrilled to bits and said ‘God that’s good’. So it might have been ten years late but I got there in the end.
As always some of us went downstairs to the bar and were able to chat more informally with Marilyn and Daniel, then sadly it was all over for another year and we hit the road home, armed with some great memories.
Thanks so much to Roy for putting the event on for us and Marilyn and Daniel for coming so far and sharing their world with us, if just for a day.
Here’s to next year.