Hier geht es nun weiter mit John Beecher's Bericht vom 2006er Clovis Fest.
Jimmy "Wheels" Torres and a nice fan of the Clovis Music Fest.
It was a little disappointing to discover that this year’s festival was
to be held at the brand new Clovis Civic Center – last year’s venue,
the Marshall Auditorium, was almost perfect as it had a genuine 50s
feel (it was built in 1956 and even sported PA speakers installed by
Norman Petty in the 60s). And fine though the Civic Center is, it felt
a little cold despite the organisers attempts to give it some charm
with 50s decorations.
Next year the plan is to return to the Marshall – it was unavailable this
year due to refurbishment of the airconditioning. That apart, things got
off to a fine start with a nice touch – an opportunity for fans to meet
the artists at a reception at the Civic Center on Wednesday 6th
September, something appreciated by the early birds, although
unfortunately some of us didn’t arrive until the next day.
On the 7th, Buddy Holly’s birthday, there were tours of the Petty
studios and the downtown Lyceum Theater (where Sonny West
recorded Rock-Ola Ruby”) and the Mesa Theater, once the home
of Norman’s second studio.
I’d been travelling to Clovis with Mike Berry and his Outlaws since
the previous day and we’d taken the opportunity to visit Lubbock’s
Buddy Holly Center during the morning with one of the town’s
treasures, Jack Davis.
Jack took the time to show us all the sights in Lubbock, including the
spot where he and Elvis stood at the Fair Park Colisuem in that
famous photo - with Buddy a few yards away. A quick but moving
visit to Buddy’s grave and those of his parents and then we were
on the road again – to Clovis.
Mike was thrilled to be recognised – “Aren’t you Mr Spooner?” (he
was played by Mike in the TV sitcom, 'Are You Being Served') in a
supermarket in Muleshoe, Texas. An early evening event, a dance
contest entitled “Twist Off” may have been great fun but we avoided
it , going instead to meet the probably far more fun Sonny West at
the Lyceum Theater.
I learned later that the afternoon ended with the presentation of a
signed guitar to the raffle winner, a young local Tommy Allsup lookalike
who was thrilled to bits and attended all the week’s events picking up
tips and licks from the bands.
poster of the
The String-A-Longs opened the music event proper later in the
evening. They confessed beforehand that they hadn’t played together
in 40 or so years and only had one rehearsal. They soon proved that
old saying that once you can ride a bike, you never forget.
They ran through their hits, from “Wheels” to “Matilda” sounding
just like the records, to the delight of the crowd, which was as
cosmopolitan as could be – OAPs, babes in arms and teenagers,
all out for a good time. And they got it.
Tommy Roe followed - a class act; despite being backed by what looked
but didn’t sound like a bunch of hippies (the Techniques). They got the
feel of his records and other songs just right and with the seating being
a little like those arse-aching doctors waiting room chairs, folks were
soon happy to be up and bopping. Tommy rocks more than you might
imagine and although some of his hits were sometimes what we’d call
lightweights (Hooray For Hazel? Oh, come on, Hazel was a real PT!)
he tore into a few RnR standards with gusto, proving that he has a
rock’n’roll soul. His band too knew what to do – they’d need a lot of
haircutting and Brylcreem to make it at Hemsby but they’ve been to
the college of rock’n’roll knowledge.
No beer ?
I don’t know who was inspired to book the LA Party Dolls onto the bill
but they were well qualified to close the show. Despite coming on
looking like Marge Simpson and the Simpettes, they soon sounded like
Veronica and the Ronettes – these young gals have the 60s girl group
scene off pat (whoever she was) and their accentuated beehive
hairdos and busty frocks only serve to back up the illusion.
They rocked through “Stupid Cupid” and rolled the “Loco-Motion”
and “It’s My Party” with great dance moves and real flair. Fabulous
stuff and much appreciated by the crowd who by now would have
all been on the floor if there had been room. Out into the night and
back to our hotel to hobnob with the triumphant String-A-Longs and
a few folks we hadn’t seen since last year and a few we hadn’t seen
since the month before back in the UK – the event attracts an
ever-increasing mob of people who speak proper English and do
their best to sip the US beer with appreciation.
Mike Berry and Jimmy Gilmer meet at Petty studios.
Mike Berry and The Outlaws in the 7th Street Studio.
Mike Berry and The Outlaws outside studio.
Ella Holley grave in Lubbock TX.
John Beecher and The Outlaws in Clovis.
L O Holley grave in Lubbock TX.
Alan Clark visiting
More Alan Clark photos of the event on this website.
John Beecher and
in front of
arrive for the
I'm a bigger
fan than you!
a while -
Broad at the
By the way, page 3 is waiting for you . . . . . . . .
Viel Spass, es lohnt sich !