EBI PARTY in Holland





Doors again were open very early at EBI's Autumn Party this year. The signs were there and numbers before we went up to the center of the Netherlands already were very promising. It turned out 142 fans were going to attend the highlight of the Everly year at Spakenburg. Last year's Party maybe showed a bit louder, sometimes even dancing crowd.

This year there was hardly room to dance. We saw a lot of new faces this Saturday. You could see that they all enjoyed our menu very much. Lots of familiar faces too of course and from the compliments that we heard all through the afternoon and night, they will turn up for many more years to come. Everly fever sure lives on and we all cannot do without it. Imagine meeting each other here at Spakenburg after sometimes 15 years!?

We have to pay them a big compliment for the discipline of all the fans who attended in a real jammed place like this. It's by tradition a long, heavy day for us, the EBI Staff. Especially for Yvonne  who does most of the organizing.

As always we were welcomed at the venue by the hostesses of Restaurant 't Haantje'. And right after 12:00 we started to arrange seats and tables and got the stage build up for our live music acts. This whole procedure is done as a real smooth team effort. Everybody knows what he or she has to do. By the time Harmony Trail and its crew and family show up, the stage is all ready to set up the equipment, till it's time for a sound check.  

Rob Blokland and my son Mark helped me with the big video screen and The Kentucky Shop.

And like every year dozens of fans flog around the place before 2:30.....long  before we officially open. We have to let them in and they know it and they enjoy watching the video testing and sound check. And of course to tease them we never start at 4:00!?!?  

So many know that I never do an opening speech before 4:30 and they even anticipate by not sitting quietly before that time. Yes, similar program as so many years before.....and no one complains, we all love it.

There was not much news I could inform the audience about, but of course we talked about the concert of Simon and Garfunkel and the DVD and CD coming up soon now. After my speech Harmony Trail did their first block of live songs. They were in superb form and would render several blocks of 25 to 30 minutes of Live Everly harmonies throughout the Party. As we said before, staying fresh and always adding Everly songs to their repertoire.  

It's safe to say the audience especially comes to see them perform. We still have high hopes Fred and Geoffrey will be successful with this act for much bigger numbered crowds. They'd deserve that. 

The special attraction I'd say lays in the fact that most of the Everly songs they sing won't be heard during a show of the Everly Brothers themselves. Where will you hear songs like 'The Dollhouse Is Empty' done this well on stage? 

All through the evening we showed Everly clips on a big video screen. We were able to show very special video material again. Thanks to the help of Peter Guyken we had it all compiled on quality DVD's this time to make  our work and that of Rob Blokland a lot easier. Rob, as usual these past years, provided the most professional beamers plus very sophisticated lap top computers to make the big screen video showings possible.

Of course the fans were most amazed when we started the show with the first footage of the Everlys performing live at Madison Square Gardens, NY as special guests for Simon and Garfunkel 'Old Friends' Tour. We also had the official video clip of René Shuman's duet with Phil Everly 'On Top Of The World' which we had to show 3 times!?!?   If only René's CD was ever released. Many more clips old and new, followed in between the live performances and other scheduled programs.  

Yvonne van Rooijen and John Cornax had put out big tables of prizes to be won during a lottery draw and later at night of course the Bingo final. Yvonne prepares to hunt for prizes for these segments months in advance.  She makes a real happening of the draws. Quite a one woman show she turned out to be meanwhile. And as you may know by now people who yell 'Bingo' before their turn have to sing a song, which leads to funny, sometimes very quality results. Thanks so much to Leonie Kooman for helping her and me out (in more ways than one).

Harmony Trail were heavily involved in the making of the new CD of the Fortunes Producer Fred van Vugt invited co-producer and singer songwriter Michael Robertson to our Party. Michael sang a few songs before Harmony Trail went into their second last segment of songs. He got the crowd going with some nice Irish folk  traditional. After a short introduction by me, Thijs van Oudenaarde and Rob Blokland burned CD's of the 'Sleeves and Such' project for the people who brought along some blank CD's. Thijs was able to explain a little more about the project to them. Now it's up to the fans again to pass these on to their friends for free.

A very good initiative that the fans appreciated.  

My son Mark presented the Kentucky Shop where people could buy very special vinyl albums and singles, lots of DVD's and CD's etc. As always a perfect job again. He took some nice photos during the whole evening.

I had an emotional speech prepared that was scheduled before the last performance of Harmony Trail for the night. But I decided at the spot not to talk much but SING. Fred thanked all the people at the end of their last series of beautiful songs that had the people standing.  I added a few words of thanks and then convinced them into adopting me to sing one song with them, 'Walk Right Back'.  

I had a squeaky voice when the Party opened and hardly any voice left when it ended. This was a spontaneous thing that took Fred and Geoffrey by surprise......and I am sure everybody else, including my son Mark who I am  sure had never seen his father doing anything like this before!?!  Everybody is entitled to do some crazy things in his life, right?  No we didn't rehearse 'Walk Right Back', you could hear that. Could not hit  the highs and not always harmonized with these guys who turn all our Parties into a big success but Harmony Trail and the audience got me through it........ and I did not forget the words nor did I have to read them from the sheets!  If it was delight (and not pure fear or anguish, hahahaah), that I saw in the eyes of the fans and one fan in particular (very sorry for misunderstanding), 

I might do it again next year at the start of a real SING-A-LONG. We do not do those spontaneously anymore.


Mostly as a lack of time by the way!?!? We should.

It was another very pleasant Party, packed with surprises, many may have missed this but there was dancing at the very end even. After all there was some room after some of you had to take the last train home. Even the personnel was singing while collecting the last empty glasses.

We would like to thank the personnel of the restaurant ' 't Haantje', Jacqueline, Marijke, Jolanda who always look forward to this evening and enjoy it very much. It's a pity their boss Henk could not be there but we hope he enjoyed a well-deserved, wonderful vacation.

Our own Lydia, John, Rob Blokland and Bas Siewertsen, my son Mark, all the people there, thanks so very much, you are a great help and inspiration.