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John Beecher.jpg
                    JOHN BEECHER presents:

                  CLOVIS MUSIC FESTIVAL 2006 (3)

                        








       Love Clovis - The Clovis Music Festival 2006 - by John Beecher - Part 3






        John Mueller might take a few brickbats from Holly purists over his

        impersonation of our hero, but he does a great show and deserves

        credit for the work he puts into it – with JP Richardson jr (the Big

        Bopper) and Ray Anthony (Ritchie Valens) he rocks the joint to

        the point that your hands and feet ache. 




Brilliant John Mueller.jpg



John Mueller
rocks the joint
in Clovis NM.




John brought up Gary & Ramona Tollett, David Bigham and Peggy Sue

to do the backup vocals on “That’ll Be The Day” and this was a huge

hit with the crowd.  But the highlight of his show for me is his

‘undubbed NY demo’ section where he runs through the songs Buddy

recorded in New York with great simplicity and understanding of the

mostly sad lyrics.  And this year John refused to be intimidated by

Maria Elena’s legal team – who again tried to shut down not just him

but the whole festival with threats of legal action, invoking

non-existent laws and silly demands that Mueller remove his

BH glasses while on stage.  Credit to him for refusing and laughing

at the idiocy of it all; and to Liz and her team for ignoring the empty

threats from the Richbitch.

Party through the night til dawn seemed to be the order of the night

back at the hotel and we did our best before falling into bed in the

early hours to dream of driving with Joe B along Highway 84 at

135 mph while he took his hands off the wheel to light a cigarette.

All this excitement meant we were up late and missed the Desert

Cruzers 50s car show at the Hillcrest Zoo Park, by all accounts

something to be seen.

The FanFair (or Fanfare as it seems to be called in Clovis)

beckoned at noon the next day and we went along to set up our

merchandise and meet other fans and artists for a bit of ‘meet

and greet’.  A short interlude for me in manager Nick

Mondragon’s office with Liz to view some previously unseen

pictures of the studios brought along by Vi’s cousin Georgiana

Hagen was fun.  Pictures of Vi and Norm looking young and

happy was a reminder of how thrilling the 50s and 60s must

have been for them, with all those young rockers flocking to

the studios (and helping out with decorating).  Georgiana told

us how she travelled to New York by train (her dad worked for

the railroad so she got a free pass) to meet the Crickets and

Norman during their first tour – and she produced the picture

of herself, Jo Harper and Vi with Buddy, Niki, JI and Joe B to

prove it. The fans meanwhile were getting stuck into

autographing and buying with a vengeance and we happily

flogged a few CDs and rare bits of vinyl while the LA Party Dolls

entertained in the auditorium.  Meanwhile we heard that

Tommy Allsup and a few others were actually recording in the

7th Street studio – and as I left the hotel later, there he was.  

Despite my sequencing his “Songbook” album in the 60s we’d

never met so introductions were made and Tommy was

charming.  I hope we’re now old pals.



SonnyWest.jpg

Sonny West

just rocking

the joint at

the Clovis

Music 

Festival

2006.




Finally the grand finale - the Saturday evening show.  Sonny West

drew the short straw and was first up, although he’s so modest

nothing like this bothers him.  Sonny turned in a very professional

show, backed by Johnny Mulhair’s band, who get all his riffs just

right.  If he talks a little too much one can forgive him; he’s such

an engaging personality that I believe he could stand on stage in

silence and get applause.  Some stories of old Lubbock and Clovis

gave him a chance to breathe between his uptempo old and new

song, with the crowd going wild for “Rock-Ola Ruby” and “Oh Boy”.

Sonny does a neat “Cast Iron Arm” with his own mutterings thrown

in and I doubt many in the crowd knew the history of the song but

they loved him just the same.



CLOVIS POSTER 2005.jpg












  Clovis

  2005 poster



Again, a family night out for many people, which led to a few leaving

before the end with tired children.  This seems strange to those of

us who know only Rhythm Riots and Hemsbys but it does seem all

ages in Clovis are happy to embrace a good show of any kind if it

comes to town.  This means that The Fireballs hit the spot as they

are entertaining (almost to the point of cabaret some might say)

and very visual.  They’ve been working on their act for a long time

and as their hits encompass 50s RnR, 60s instros, beat vocals and

almost-progressive rock, there’s something for everyone. Apart

from a sad moment as some of us remembered last year when

Chuck Tharp appeared with the group for the last time and

charmed us all, it was all good rockin’ stuff.  I suspect many, like

me, prefer their instrumentals like “Bulldog” and “Kissin” and they

certainly didn’t disappoint anyone who had come to hear their hits,

but the surprise appearance of their vocalist Jimmy Gilmer to sing

a few in the later part of the show drew even louder applause.

Jimmy was obviously delighted to be back on stage after 30 or

more years and he was visibly thrilled by the reception he got.

I have to make a confession; I like “Daisy Petal Pickin’” – one of

his more bubblegum hits, so it was just a tad disappointing when

he announced he didn’t like it and wouldn’t be performing it.

The Fireballs undoubtedly would have gone to two or three

encores but they were dragged off at the end of their slot as it

was time for Mike Berry.

Mike is the ultimate professional.  Having struggled in the 60s to hit

the same notes as his speeded up Joe Meek productions on record,

he finally took advice and had some voice training.  The difference

is amazing.  Despite carrying a load of coal to Newcastle so to speak,

Mike delivered a great show, sensibly sprinkling the Holly and

Crickets hits throughout a wide-ranging rock’n’roll and rockabilly

set.  He’s as much at home on “It’s Late” as he is on “It’s So Easy”

and “Stay Close To Me”.  A real highlight was Lee Jackson’s “Holly”

but the show was lifted higher when Mike brought back Sonny West

to join him on “Rave On” and “Oh Boy”.  These two guys appreciate

each other and this might have closed the show, but Mike got a

second wind and carried on for another 20 minutes before the

audience finally let him go.  It was great to see the Union

flag-waving Brits at the front giving him encouragement all through

his act, and the Outlaws – Alan Jackman, Alan Jones and Mark Lewis

– were sensationally cool with great solos, sounds and backing

vocals and deserve equal credit for a great set.  The PA sound, as

with all the artists on the Festival, was exemplary – visually the

provision of giant video screens was probably unnecessary but

probably helpful for those in the poorer seats (or at least it was

until some clown in a hat tripped over a cable and pulled the plug).



JohnBeecherMikeBerry.jpg









John Beecher


and Mike Berry.




The Festival closed with a Gospel singing session at the 7th Street

studio on Sunday morning.  It was good to see so many fans

attending this and contributing to a collection for the ailing Carl

Bunch who came along in a wheelchair, having travelled hundreds

of miles to attend the Festival.  The Dead Good Tours (man!) bus

was revving up outside and many had to leave but those of us

who never miss a party were soon back in the hotel for more chatter.

Hopefully the minor irritations of the venue this year will be sorted

for 2007 and I understand artists are already booked for the event.

Anyone with an interest in West Texas and Clovis music history

should book up early, details will be announced on the festival

website.  We should all be grateful to all the nice folks on the

Chamber of Commerce team who made things run so smoothly,

the people of Clovis who forgave us trying to drive on the left,

and especially to Liz Eisenbraun who had the vision and

determination to put it altogether – for Clovis. 


We’ll be back!


John Beecher

www.clovismusicfestival.com
 




LA party dolls.jpg
Here they are: 

The LA party dolls with a car from yesterday.



Mark Lewis.jpg









Mark Lewis Outlaws Guitar Man



Mike Berry Clovis 2006.jpg









   Mike Berry



MikeSonnyClovis2006.jpg




Mike Berry

and 

Sonny West



Good fellas.jpg







   Mike

   and

   Sonny



Mike Berry signs everything.jpg



Mike Berry

signs

everything



Mike Berry USA 2006.jpg






Mike Berry on stage at the Clovis Music Festival 2006



He's got it.jpg






He's got it.



Mike, forever young.jpg








Keep Rockin' Mike !



Just like Buddy.jpg








I know you can do it just like Buddy



Happy Mike.jpg









Happy Mike



Friends for life.jpg







Two good buddies on stage:

Mike Berry and Sonny West



Cutie from Clovis.jpg







  Hey cutie.



DaveTobinJohnBeecher.jpg


Ol buddies:

Dave Tobin and John Beecher

Dave passed away on the 28th of September, 2007





Peggy Sue Clovis 2006.jpg





Peggy Sue's there, too



RandySteele.jpg




RANDY STEELE + killer glasses gets the gals



Gentleman Sonny West.jpg





The "Gentleman" on stage:

Sonny West



Dr Pepper.jpg





Sponsor drink



Crazy Brits.jpg




These Brits

get

everywhere



Georgiana.jpg




Vi's cousin Georgiana Hagen



Carl Bunch Clovis 2006.jpg 

Carl Bunch, Hans' good buddy, attended gospel sing at 7th Street Studios.

All the best to you Carl from Buddy's German buddy Hans.



Clovis garage band.jpg





Gospel sing at studios.



Ken Broad.jpg





Ken Broad leads Gospel Sing at studios



Sing out in Clovis.jpg






Sing out !



Buddy Holly Dave Tobin.jpg







Dave Tobin from the UK, a real Buddy nut.

Now he is near to Buddy in heaven.

R.I.P. ,

DAVE !



Ernie Kos.jpg





Balloons go up for Chamber of Commerce' Ernie Kos



Buddy's birthday 2006.jpg





Buddy's birthday and we're here for a good time



Clovis Pat.jpg




Clovis Postmistress Pat gets in the groove



Guitar winner.jpgCongratulations, son, you win the guitar



Jimmy Torres.jpg






Hans' friend Jimmy Torres of the String - A - Longs



Soldier boy.jpg





LA Party Dolls

"Soldier Boy"



Early birds.jpg




LA Party Dolls get the festival started for the early birds



On stage Clovis.jpg




String - A - Longs

on stage



Clovis 2006 Music Festival.jpg





Great music

to listen to



Tommy Roe.jpg










Tommy Roe



Tommy rocks.jpg










Tommy rocks



What a show.jpg








What a show



Forever young.jpg








Forever young



Tommy Roe brilliant.jpg








Brilliant Tommy





                                          
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                            Keeping the flame alive and burning bright



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