Dinner included introductions of all attendees and a few games and give-aways. Robert Ensler and Quentin Flagg did a great job of performing some BD tunes without imitating or inpersonating Bobby. Robert did more of the standards -- "Clementine," "Lazy River," and "Mack," while "Q"(what he likes to be called) did the early up-beat songs -- "Queen of the Hop," and "Splish Splash." They both did a great job.
Bobby’s "Little Cutie" was Joanne Romeo. Joanne spoke to us about how her family came to meet Bobby and her friendship with him. She and her family visited Bobby at his home in LA a few times, and often went and visited him wherever he was entertaining. Bobby was a great influence in Joanne’s life. She recalls one story when she was eight; she came home from school very upset and wanted to talk to "Uncle Bobby." Upon calling him, Joanne spent much time on the phone with Bobby, and he did not hang up until she was once again happy. Because of Bobby’s influence in her life, Joanne is a professional drummer and is in several musical troupes in the Northern California area.
May 12, 2007
Saturday's Theme --- BOBBY ROCKS!!!
Lorraine spoke to us about her friendship with Andy DiDia and his love and relationship with Bobby. She shared with us about Andy, Bobby and "The Dream Car." She told us all about the car itself, how Andy and Bobby used it and how it is now in the automobile museum
in St. Louis, MO.
Bobby’s friends on video shown Saturday morning were Connie Francis and Frankie Avalon. Thanks to Jamie for the interview on Connie and thanks to Robert Ensler for the piece with Frankie Avalon. Jamie asked Connie what song she would sing to Bobby, if she could and her answer was "every love song ever written." YES, we all were in tears. Frankie told a funny story of touring in the early years with Bobby. In 57-58 they were on a long tour and very tired. Somewhere they got a car and went out driving. Bobby was so tired that he went to sleep in the back seat while Frankie drove. Frankie was so tired that while stopped at a light, his foot slipped off the brake. When he stomped on the brake, he threw Bobby off the back seat and that resulted in breaking a few of his ribs! He also mentioned that he and Bobby were neighbors in LA and spent quite a few New Year’s Eves together.
Our guest speaker on Saturday was Gary Walden. Gary and his wife, Chris, put together a powerpoint presentation for all of us that was fantastic. It was also set to all Darin music; Gary would stop from time to time to share stories and memories with us throughout the presentation. Some items included were family photos, some of Bobby’s early contracts, show programs, and even one of Bobby’s report cards from Bronx School of Science. Needless to say, the crowd was mesmerized!
Next up that afternoon was a tour of the Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel. The person who agreed to meet us did not show up, so we just went on in and enjoyed! It was great fun to just sit and imagine and relax in such a memorable spot for a Darin fan! This was also a memorable spot for Gary, and he pointed out some things and shared more memories. We were actually rather glad our "tour guide" did not show up!
Chris Edwards, our DJ began his "Sock Hop" show at 6:00 pm. This is a guy that has certainly made the right career choice -- the voice and the personality are a perfect "DJ" fit! He did a fantastic job! While he broadcast, we dined, danced, had drawings for Miss Susan’s fantastic gifts and personalized bags AND had musical entertainment. The gifts that were provided by Susan, Nicolle, Toni and others, were quite a hit. First of the gifts to be given out was the "Duet Scents" -- a bottle of Sandy’s "Joy" and Bobby’s "Zizanie" (provided by Miss Sue). This top notch gift went to our number one star gal, Miss Jamie Ney! During the DJ time, the Darinettes did their musical tribute to Mr. Darin, and all was good in Darinland. The Darinettes were joined with male vocals by Quentin Flagg, Mark Houseman and Ray Quattrone, each doing a solo number of a Darin song.
Next up that evening were Billy Aikins and Tommy Amato. They played, sang and certainly did Bobby proud. They, of course, played to a very friendly crowd and left us on our feet when the music ended. From there,they took a seat and were joined by Billy McCubbin. Sharing stories, thoughts and memories of the friend and fellow musician was a time of pure pleasure for them as well as all of us. Yes, Billy Aikins still likes to kid that "he plays like he has four hands" and Tommy is still and always will be "safely tucked." Billy Mac can recite the famous BD intro that we all have heard on Mack Is Back, and to this day goes by Billy Mac, the nickname that Bobby gave him. These guys have not forgotten for a minute their love, friendship and pure pleasure of having worked with Bobby. They will all tell you that it was sometimes hard to move on, when you "have worked with the best." Yes, they did move on, but it was not always easy. I will tell that, individually, they each shared this with me in private conversations, without input or pressure from the others. Bobby was simply the best, musically and emotionally. He was a friend, and a fellow musician. For all of them, no one else has ever come close -- and of course, they know now, that no one ever will.
After "The Boys in the Band" -- "Q" once again picked up the mic and sang and danced us into the end of our evening -- nobody in the room wanted any of it to end!
May 13, 2007
Sunday's Theme --- AS LONG AS I'M SINGIN'
Breakfast with Billy Mac in the Alexis dining room was a great hit -- Billy and his sweet wife Sharon found themselves surrounded with many new friends and everyone enjoyed the time we shared together. Billy is a warm and friendly guy, with many fun stories of his life in the music and entertainment world.
Next up was our early morning call from Donny Kirshner. Lorraine was the expert interview gal, leading us all along with conversation and questions & answers with Mr. K. Only our Lorraine could have the poise and charm to pull this one off. Once the Q&A time was up, Gary greeted Donny and the two guys had a great conversation for us all to listen in on! It was heartwarming and emotional for both guys. Gary shared later that he had had no contact with Donny since he was 5 years old! Shortly after the call, Lorraine was informed by Donny's assistant that he had been so touched and moved by his time with us, that he sat and had himself a good cry after the call.
Next on the agenda were driving tours of the Darin house and the Pamplemousse. To our great surprise, the tenant of the home, allowed us all in for a tour and pictures. She was well aware of exactly who had once lived in this home and was gracious and welcoming to us all. Gary once again headed up the little tour with descriptions and memories of the times he and all of his family had been at the house. Once again, this was a time of mixed joy and sadness for Gary. This was the last place he saw his Mom and his brother together. I had the opportunity to be with Gary as he thanked the current resident, and his heartfelt appreciation for this time of closure was very special. Because there had been no service for Bobby, many of the events of the weekend were a kind of finalization for Gary. Seeing the Pamplemousse was a kick, too. This was an outside only stop, but many laughs and pictures were shared.
Dinner began early evening (5:30) as we still had a lot to cover. As the meal was winding down, we viewed videos from Roger Kellaway, Arthur Friedman, and of course, Dodd. Each of these was special in a very sweet and different way. Roger with musical memories, Arthur with youthful and movie making memories (BTS) and Dodd with all sorts of fun, humor and great memories. Dodd’s little film(as he calls it!) was so sincere, open and caring that there was not a dry eye in the place. Even the gal who is a local magazine publisher, was caught dabbing at her eyes. Our guest speaker for the evening, Mr. Bob Rozario, was next up, and of course entertained us with his sweet spirit and thoughts on his life with Bobby. He graciously took questions and answers and kept us all laughing with his gentle humor. Next up was Jimmy with some sweet, and encouraging words, as well as greeting from "The Boys"(that would be Dodd and Steve). Then he shared a video of the NBC Amusement Company clips that he put together for us. After that it was "Birthday Time" and the Darinettes entertained us with more numbers and together we all sang "Simple Song of Freedom." What more could you want?? Of course, none of us really wanted it to end, so once again "Q" picked up the mic and got us all rockin’ once again -- thank goodness for that youthful energy! Robert Ensler grabbed the other mic and the two gave us an impromptu concert, solo and duet.
What a blast! Bobby would have loved it all!
We did it, and we did it up really nice for Bobby!!!
May 14, 2007
Monday -- The Star Ceremony
Office of the Governor
Proclamation from Clark County, Nevada
Words of the Proclamation
The Darin Lifetime Event 2007 Links
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