Unbelievable as it may seem a year has rolled past since Joanne and Bobby came to see us from California, and we are once again to be found convening in the Visitation Parish Centre in sunny…… Greenford. This year we were in for another treat, Alan Boyd had come to see us, bringing with him film and stories of our favourite band. James arrived here at ten proclaiming all the doors were blue and which was ours…. We set off and arrived at 11.30 managing not to get the roundabout wrong for the first time ever!
As we entered the building Alan Boyd was there with Betty and Andrew. There were more people than the last few years which was lovely to see, lots of the usual faces. I headed straight over to Mike’s table where I love to hangout with him each year.
Chris and Deborah had come over from the States, what a lovely couple. Chris had the best t-shirt ever! A tribute to the legend that is Panyiotis.
People ambled over to say hello and buy some of Mike’s great cds and lps. Roy took his spot on the stage and welcomed us all and went through the plan for the day. Now what do they say about plans…. Alan came over in a bit of a panic as Jim has a pc and the videos were on a mac…. so the only thing for it was for Liz to head back home and collect my mac and projector lead, which she did thank goodness but bit of a hellish journey. However, well worth it as we saw later on. In the mean time Alan regaled us with stories of Beach Boy land, how it was in fact due to Stomp that he ended up where he was, as whilst he was over here in the 70s he happened upon a shop that was selling Stomp and in the latest one there was an invitation from Kingsley Abbott for fellow Beach Boy fans to meet at his house. So Alan went along and met Mike, Roy, Andrew and others who suggested to him that he hook up with Les Chan and Panyiotis in the States and one thing led to another and he is now in charge of the Beach Boys Archives and also has made by and far the best documentaries about them.
Liz returned a few hours later and the movies started. I had asked Alan in the Q and A what his best find was, he said musically it had to be Dennis’s ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to i’ve again’ and how moved they had been when they first listened to that and film wise it was the 1966 Good Vibrations footage that someone had found only very recently and it was the only footage of The Beach Boys actually working in the studio, doing the vocals and also Brian directing the Wrecking Crew. He had in fact brought this film with him for us to see, which was just amazing, the first film he showed was some great outtake interviews from the various films he has made some wonderful moments. What a treat to see all this amazing footage and also getting the commentary from Alan on the GV video of who the people were, it was like you were there, looking through a crack in time… back to that amazing musical moment. Alan was telling us when they were doing the Smile box set that there was a moment when Brian was heard to say, Bob you will have to turn the camera off when we are recording and he and Mark had looked at each other and wondered what that was all about, and then low and behold the video appeared.
After the film Alan then took a break and we all mingled, then once he was back he was telling us about what the archives are actually like, and how they go about finding lost masters and how they appear in the strangest places and how one chap didn’t even want paying he just wanted Alan to sing and Mark to produce an LP for him, which they loved to do.
After this it was the raffle this year I won a Tony Asher autograph on a God Only Knows image. then after packing up we all adjourned to the bar for some refreshment and great conversations, Alan was so generous with his time, and he wasn’t feeling on top form, he spent time with each of us telling us wonderful stories of his life with The Beach Boys.
Once again a brilliant day was had by all. great company, great music, oh and in the bar some of the locals asked us what it was all about as each year they see all us lot turn up and talk Beach Boys all day, and when I told them the great man himself had once graced their very stage they were just amazed!
Thanks to Alan for coming to see us, Roy for hosting it, and Liz for rescuing the video situation.