Thursday, 7 April 2011

Sunday - Day 4 L.A.

This was a day we were really looking forward to. A party had been arranged in our honour at the home of Domenic Priore and Becky Ebenkamp. But first up was a visit to Pasadena college for a monthly market with loads of CDs and records to salivate over.

We got the gold line metro out to Pasadena from Union Square, a stunning marble covered railway station. The trains in LA are SO clean.

Metro station in the middle of the freeway

When we got off at Pasadena, we found ourselves in the middle of the Interstate highway! The train-line runs in between both sides of it.

We walked to the college, and eventually hooked up with Domenic who introduced us to  Gary Schneider. The CDs Gary had on his stall could have burned a real hole in our holiday money! After a bit of a browse we headed out to Dom's place. And what a place it was!

As we got out of the car, someone was parking up across the road. It was none other than Bobby Figueroa, former drummer with the Beach Boys. This was before we even got INTO the house. He and his wife were first to arrive. Bobby and his lovely wife Joanne were great company. He's a real gent, and Joanne has a million anecdotes that will make a great book one day. Unfortuantely they could not stay long as Bobby had a gig in San Diego that evening.

The Beeb, Bobby Figueroa, Joanne, Minty and Darian

Already in the house though, was Lina and Rory Litonuja. Lina and The Beeb have been on-line friends for about nine years now, and this was the first time there was the chance to meet.

Lina with The Beeb

She was chief tamale maker (along with loads of other tasty goodies which included a very good, tangy coleslaw salad) and all her hard work was appreciated by everyone through-out the day. Within minutes of meeting Rory and Lina, they felt like long lost friends.

Rory brought along his Celtic shirt to make The Beeb feel at home

Dom and Becky's place is like a 1960's cool museum. You could spend all day just looking the wonderful collection of artifacts that fill the house. Amazing.

Next to arrive was Nicky Wonder. We couldn't believe our eyes. The quiet Wondermint! Then Darian, then Probyn, then Nelson...can you imagine how we were feeling?? These guys had came along to a party in OUR honour.

It was great to see Probyn's wife Julia again too. These were guys we knew, and the rest of the whole afternoon was spent meeting really cool people, which included Ron Silva who played with San Diego bands in the 80's and Monkee supremo, Andrew Sandoval. Later in the evening, Kari Kaos a DJ from Luxuria Music came by too.

The jam session
Rory had brought a selection of guitars along, and it didn't take long for the music to begin. Along with Rory, we had Darian on bongos, Nelson on acoustic bass, Probyn on banjo and Nicky and the Beeb on guitars. The Beeb is now claiming his position as an honourary Wondermint!

The Beeb and Probyn

The Beatles, The Byrds, The Stones, The Kinks...songs from them all were given work-outs throughout the day. The Beeb also managed his kazoo solo when Del Shannon's "Runaway" was rolled out!

Darian on the bongos

Darian also pointed out how much easier it was to understand the Beebs' accent when he was singing as opposed to talking!

A friend of ours from the UK, Mal Young, had come along too, It was great to see so many of the people at the party showing such great interest in the work he does. Mal looked like he had a great time there too.

The Jam session, with vocals from our host, Domenic

Another old friend who turned up was Steve Kalinich. It's not possible to mention everyone who was there, but everyone we met were so incredibly nice to us. It's really humbling to think they came along to a party hosted for US.

All through the day, the house was filled with the sound of chattering, laughing, music and glass clinking. We've been to some truly wonderful parties with some of these guys in the UK, but having a party like this, in a PLACE like this, with everyone so relaxed, off-guard and at ease with each was just awesome.

Stevie K, Becky, Julia and The Beeb

We can't thank everyone enough, but you made it a day we'll remember for the rest of our lives. THANK YOU ALL, especially Domenic and Becky, the hosts.

The Beeb with our host, Becky

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