When the date of this concert was announced all those months ago I thought ‘what a wonderful birthday prezzie for me’ as my birthday is the 1st of June. The Beach Boys have been a part of my birthdays since I was 7 – most years a tape or LP would form part of my birthday presents. This year I got a present from The Beach Boys themselves but more on that later.
I drove Liz, Carol and myself to London, it was a glorious sunny afternoon, I put The Beach Boys Today and Summer Days and Summer nights CD on to get us in the mood, managed to park right near the Albert Hall !
We met Betty at door 5 as requested at 5pm, and were issued with a fab silver VIP pass and a brilliant tour programme designed by David Beard of ESQ fame. To begin with we were given a tour of The Albert Hall, which they had set up for us, it was a fascinating potted history of the building, how it came into being and also who owns the seats which are on a 800 year lease. I never knew that before, they sometimes come up for sale for an awful lot of money. We saw The Royal Box and also a little room adjacent where the Queen can go and have a G and T between sets… Andrew sat in the seat she would sit in! I was getting more and more anxious as the time passed before we were ushered down to the front of the stage and there they were, Mike, Bruce, John, Tom, Jeffrey, just getting ready for their evenings work, it never ever ceases to amaze me that I get to say hello to them, listen to them warm up, get a fab kiss and cuddle from the adorable John Cowsill. I did wonder if Andrew was up to mischief when he asked me what my fav Mike Love song was…. I immediately said ‘All I Wanna Do’ then thought no more about it and went off taking pictures all over the place 🙂
The Sound check was brilliant, laughter, unbelievable harmonies, a few requests, Be True to Your School being one of them, after the music they decided to do the meet and greet there. I had needless to say brought lots of things to be signed… ever the optimist so dished those out, most important of all was the wedding card copy of Shut Down Vol II for Josh who is 6 and had kept it all year, Andrew very kindly took charge and Mike signed that for him! I had a fab poster that Panayiotis had sent over years ago, Mike Love in fact asked me where I had got it from, and asked him if he knew Panayiotis which of course he did, David Marks signed the drumstick, so a great success, we had a picture taken but not received that as yet..
Then it was a whirlwind of running round the hall finding a bar and staying there until the gig, had a great time chatting with Betty and Carol, before we knew it we were off to the show. As you can see from the set list on the right it was amazing! so many emotional moments, I just stood transfixed as they played ‘Surfs Up’ and ‘Till I Die’. John goes mad singing Wild Honey and Cottonfields, amongst others, I really do think he ought to put an album out with him singing those songs. I can’t believe how great he is ‘multitasking’ as Mike put it! There is a new addition to the band a chap called Brian Eichenberger who was in The Four Freshmen, he did an outstanding version of ‘You Still Believe In Me’ and they also did a lovely A-Capella of ‘Their Hearts were Full of Spring’
Then all of a sudden my world just came to a stand still… Mike started to sing ‘All I Wanna Do’ which was a thing of wonder itself, and then behind him my name appeared on the video screen ! it lingered for a few moments during which I grabbed my phone from my pocket to get a picture, Liz whooped and pointed at me for all to know it was indeed my Birthday! How about that, 30 odd years later after birthdays filled with Beach Boy music I get a birthday prezzie from them themselves! I have Andrew G Doe to thank, who had a word with the wonderful Jacqueline Love who made it all happen! thank you both so much!
After the concert we had been invited back to the bands bar! so headed down there, I was able to get some more things signed, and say hi To Carrie Marks, and thank Jacqueline personally for the message!
What an AMAZING day, I am just sooo very lucky! and thanks to everyone involved in the day, the music and most of all the company