EBI PARTY 2006
~ 40TH ANNIVERSARY ~
40 years of EBI and the party still goes on.......................!
by Martial F. Bekkers
everybody, this was the best Everly party ever. Without a doubt. And I have been
to a few ! Organized more than 40.
In fact we started talks and meetings about the ideas for a very special party last year right after the 2005 edition. Fred and Geoffrey then talked to me afterwards and said they would have wanted that one to be their final appearance as Harmony Trail. They wanted to do another year as they could not step out completely unannounced.
there and then we started talking to some very dear and die-hard Everly
fans who have contributed a lot to this fan club throughout the years. They
always at Everly concerts and often even trips abroad.
We concluded that a farewell to Harmony Trail and our 40th Anniversary
a special entourage, some spice, some class.
A bigger venue, a real stage. With the help of sponsors it should be possible if
we asked a little bit more for
an entry ticket!?!?
So here we were at the empty Jacobi Theatre in the Spring of 2006. Fell in love with the place.
Don’t know how often we heard that this was not going to work. But it did! We had booked a very classy place, acoustically perfect for the intimate sort of music we planned to present. We wanted to offer a high quality buffet, befitting this happening. It could all be arranged. We had to do it….but jeez, who’s going to pay 40 or 50 Euros for EBI’s Anniversary Party? Well you all did!
You started reserving seats straight after that inspiring and well-packed invitation folder, that Dick Kooiman wrote, fell on your doormats.
Yvonne, John, Dick and I worked out a plan and a schedule. We found our sponsors, to whom we are very grateful. And together we got to where we were on 14th October, 2006.
We wanted a night full of live music (especially Yvonne so she did not have to do the annual bingo and lottery presentation, haha) and good food in a nice atmosphere. We wanted a good rock 'n' roll band. And there was Ruud Kuijpers, EBI member since many years, who wrote to me through our Yahoo! Group that he was in a band, and that they could do a special set for an Everly party at a friendly price for us….as well as many rock ‘n’ roll classics. Turned out to be The Explosion Rockets, a band that was way above our normal budget but within our reach for this occasion.
that is how this plan got together, almost through sheer coincidence and luck,
and the kind help of the best sponsors you could find.
here we were on 14th October, 2006, in a special
theatre with beautiful scenery,
the right atmosphere and great acoustics.We
were at the Jacobi Theatre in the heart of
We got there at 11:30 according to plan. The truck of the Explosion Rockets had already been parked in front of the
door. We had some unpacking to do ourselves and then lent the roadies and sound
a hand with their flight cases and equipment. There
was only just enough time to set it all up and check the sound. First The
Explosion Rockets and then Harmony Trail tested the complete set up. It sounded
nearly perfect to me.
never had so many people in our audience, 246, a full house. From the
we got we can safely say most of them will be present again next year
October. Missed a few people (whom we hope will be back next time) and
a lot of new faces.
Doors opened at 2:30 and it did not take long before the whole place was packed
and extra tables and chairs were needed while Harmony Trail were
ending their sound check.
officially opened the party almost exactly on time, asking for a moment of
silence to remember the friends we lost along the way since 1966,
often very active EBI members and die hard Everly fans whom I and many
of you will fondly remember.
The moment had a big impact on me. During the last two weeks before the actual
opening we lost two….imagine! Like Henk, who did some superb lay out for our
so well loved
names of them and many other fans, still here and present or no longer with
that I wanted to thank were printed in very big letters on long lists that we
and hung up in all corners of the theatre.
was a tight schedule; very good acts were ready to perform. Very little time to
lose in between. And halfway through the party a big, wonderful buffet.
No time for a long speech. The fans came to see this first act perform!
into the first set of songs delivered by Harmony Trail. Painful to hear Fred
remind us, their very last performance as Harmony Trail after 15 great years of
EBI parties. Fred and his son Geoffrey delivered quality versions of songs like
‘When Will I Be Loved’,
‘Born To Lose’, and ‘That’s Old Fashioned’ getting lots of applause
very appreciative audience.
came Mike Everly. Great renditions of rockers like ‘Three Steps To Heaven’,
Suede Shoes’, ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ and other fine classics.
Imagine we put him on the stage right there and then. No rehearsals, nor sound
No hard feelings even!! Sorry for the mix up, Sue and Mike.
Since we lost some time at the start the breaks between performances were short as can be to meet with our time table.
up were The Explosion Rockets. Just before they started a guitar amplifier broke
down. It did not shake the guys much but of course it took them a little time to
cords and plugs around before the band could really come alive.
started their first set of 45 minutes with the Shadows instrumental ‘
Toon Tijs and Ruud Kuijpers then did a very enthusiastic Everly set of songs like ‘Bird Dog’, ‘Till I Kissed You’, ‘Bye Bye Love’, ‘Brown Eyes’ (very original version that got loads of applause), ‘On the Wings Of A Nightingale’ and ‘Let It Be Me’. Also one of the most upbeat Everly songs ‘Thinking About You’ with that nice skiffle feel, followed by ‘Devoted To You’, ‘Claudette’, and to close off this set with a bang: ‘Lucille’ !
The Everly set is not always on the Rockets repertoire but for special occasions like these, Toon Tijs joins Ruud for real good Everly harmonies. Well, Ruud will explain that later. Very, very slowly it dawned on me why these guys had such familiar faces. It appeared they had been at several EBI Parties in Spakenburg and earlier even. Toon’s brother has been in EBI for at least 25 years.
The spirit among the performers and the sound technicians and crew was very good during the whole happening. Thom, manager and guitar player of The Explosion Rockets, mentioned for instance the fact that Gerard, soundman and technician of Harmony Trail was able to inspect and repair the Rockets’ guitar amplifier during the break. Their own soundman Antoon wanted to thank the members of EBI’s organization who were of great help in the short time he had to set the equipment up and do the sound checks by getting all the flight cases down with the elevator, thus saving him valuable time.
I must stress we were lucky and things could not have been done much better as
far as the circumstances and atmosphere. Thanks also to the acoustic quality of
the theatre, the sound they put down was just perfect!
Trail started of their second set with ‘Pocket Full Of Heartaches’ that Fred
wrote with our own Lee Towers (a very sympathetic singer, the best we have in
The Netherlands….and one of the biggest Everly fans). Then ‘First In
Line’. All artists formed a good combination and spread because they all
fitted at this party but touched different grounds. Fred and Geoffrey got some
great harmonies going and they have always done the lesser known Everly songs
combined with some very good
songs of their own that could have been Everly songs.
They continued with ‘That’ll Be The Day’, and ‘Don’t Ask Me To Be
Friends’. Those high notes that Geoffrey reaches sound like heaven to me. Next
up ‘Rip It Up’. Where do you hear songs like these? What a contrast to
‘Down In The Willow Garden’! Soaring harmonies by Geoffrey again,
just like on ‘Long Time Gone’. And then ending the set with Gene Vincent’s
Bop A Lula’.
Around 6 o’clock, three different types of buffets with the greatest food were displayed all over the width of the theatre. What a sight. Good quality food that was enjoyed by all. And we all took our time for it as there was food in abundance.
the buffet video footage was shown on the very big flat screens hanging from
ceiling. We could enjoy some very good recordings that were shot during the
Brothers’ UK Tour of last year. I
saw fans watch the recordings of Garrison Keilor’s ‘Prairie Home
Companion’ from 1987
and 1988 in awe and with mouths open.
Well, everybody, we got it all in our vaults for you.
Was still enjoying the delicious food so now I know why everybody was waiting in such a relaxed manner after the buffet. When I was done my good friend Dick Kooiman to my surprise took the stage. He took his papers out so then I could imagine what was coming…..a detailed, witty and funny speech about EBI and my role in it, the contents of which he must have gathered the last couple of months when he was so seriously taking me back to memory lane, talking for hours. He painted the audience a picture of what life as a leader of this type of organization was like, from the 60s till right this day and onwards. The work load, the fun, the very interesting moments, the criticism, sometimes positive and oh so true, but also often unfair, unjust, based upon lies or rumours that were not true at all. Notwithstanding that last bit (which I almost always ignore).
I have enjoyed it
all and still
Having to make personal decisions during 40 years you’re bound to make some
I can count them on the fingers of one hand. But the nastier some destructive
fans behaved, the bigger EBI grew.
It’s a great pity but a fact that a very small minority prefers to put their
energy into negative
behaviour in a downward spiral, boycott even (I would laugh if it was not
sad), in stead of working alongside on the many projects we’re working on at
stories like these gets to be a heavy task as you all will have noticed. But
meeting the Everly Brothers, their parents, their families, band and crew
many wonderful fans on many occasions, getting birthday and Christmas cards
Mrs Margaret and Mr Ike Everly, even cards to congratulate us on the birth of
of our sons.
Of course our well-known Glossy Deluxe Kentucky magazines were mentioned. Very
to have been able to produce them with Henk, Henk, Anne and Rick. We hope
will soon be shown in a booth at the
mentioned the extensive collection that turned my simple room into a small
museum. Thanks to Elly den Dekker many photos and documents were preserved
in 48 scrapbooks and more boxes now to be scanned and shared with all
Everly fans world wide.
Dick stressed that the fans clearly ‘wanted Martial’, that EBI has now over 4,000 members, that the fan organization is healthy and vibrant with Bas Siewertsen updating the www.everly.net website at least once a week (he has done so for
more than 10 years at a stretch now, imagine that devotion).
And then came a very big moment for me when Dick had a big box brought on stage and his sweet wife Jannie pulled out a big cup. I slowly read the inscription on it and it was not my only silent, emotional moment of the night :
From all your EBI-fans
Thank you Mr. President
for 40 beautiful years.'
grateful to all who made this party possible, to all that contributed to that
cup that is now on my mantle piece!
The applause from all warmed me.
What Yvonne and John did not know was that I had asked Dick to do something as a thank you to them. Funny of course to realize he had the request from them to think of something to thank me not much earlier!?!?! The result was that Dick invited them on stage and gave them both a cup as a memory and token of gratitude as well, little smaller than mine but they surely cherished the idea. They got well-deserved praise from Dick and me for their very important part in organizing most of the ‘post-split’ EBI Parties.
course we all agreed we had to send Fred and Geoffrey off with a nice piece to
them of these days with EBI and the fans.
On behalf of us all Dick thanked them for 15 years of songs that drew people to
parties. They were indeed keeping EBI’s parties alive and drew the crowd.
Under thunderous applause father and son were presented with a replica of a golden microphone for all services rendered and for the way they entertained and amused us. I am sure the golden mikes will get a nice place in their houses.
For the occasion Fred’s son Sylvester joined Harmony Trail for their 3rd set of songs. The trio sang ‘Walk Right Back’ and then Sylvester took care of percussion on ‘Not Fade Away’. Fred reminded us that we’re all at least 30 years old after he had announced this song as a Buddy Holly oldie. Geoffrey of course told us that all these songs were oldies and
in the audience were all oldies too!! Haha. Truth hurts, for most.
Then Geoff’s brother Sylvester joined in again for ‘Back To You Again’ (one more written by Fred and taken from their gorgeous CD ‘Loving You’, which you should have bought instantly…..let me know if you’re interested because these compositions could all have been Everly songs!!). They got the whole audience clapping and singing to the blues song ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’. It was time for Fred’s version of ‘Words’, which everybody knows by the Bee Gees
course. He did the guitar work himself and got the crowd to sing with him as
off another nice set of songs.
There was real good camaraderie between sound technicians Antoon and Gerard. It pleases me deeply to see all that happen so automatically. This is the chemistry I often rely on and somehow we’re blessed with it every time.
a short break I announced Anthony Lauren doing a tribute to the late great Roy
Shall we give the secret away? Yeah it is the same guy we saw some hours
I know he fooled quite a few of you under that Roy Orbison wig, wearing the
dark glasses. Always am afraid he will trip over something and fall, haha.
It’s the same Mike Brambles, alias Mike Everly! He does a very classy job on
songs like ‘Only The Lonely’, ‘Dream Baby’, ‘Blue Bayou’,
Man’, ‘So Beautiful’, ‘You Got It’, ‘Claudette’, ‘I Got A
Woman’ and ‘Pretty Woman’
and other well-known songs of Roy.
Lots of applause for this guy. And well deserved. Sue and Mike have become good friends of ours. No wonder.
bumping into you tourists the next night in
Hanne Gers, elegant Flemish lady (Dutch Belgian) of Pilot Productions came to join the party with Peter Thyssen and Erik Goossens to promote Martin King’s play ‘Brothers’ that we reported about earlier. Peter and Erik made us familiar with some of the dialogue and dealings between the brothers that we can expect at the show. There will be lots of music in it too like the nice and witty version of ‘Wake Up Little Susie’ that the guys did, including a very funny introduction.
They also delivered a very good rendition of ‘Be Bop A Lula’. There will be a few test showings in
this very original, appetizing break it was time for Harmony Trail’s 4th
and final set of
songs, the red thread through the whole event, especially loved by all for their
Everly repertoire. Most of them not really the songs you will hear during an
Geoff and Fred did their superb version of ‘The Doll House Is Empty’.
Here’s a song you
really never hear in a live show, right Colin? So how come these guys make
so special out of it that it’s now among the favourites of those attending our
On with ‘Less Of Me’ and ‘Story Of Me’. Then Geoffrey’s spot to sing
the lead, a self-penned song called ‘Waiting For Dawn’. On with Mark
Knopfler’s ‘Why Worry’, ‘Sing Me Back Home’, ‘All I Have To Do Is
‘Let It Be Me’ and Rod Stewart’s sing-a-long giant ‘I Don’t Want To
It’ to close this set with, sung by Fred.
Explosion Rockets started off their second set of 45 minutes of pure rock 'n'
half past 9, all according to plan. We have seldom been this disciplined before.
Classics by Elvis, Cliff Richard, Shakin’ Stevens, so many greats, introduced
by Ruud, firing
up the audience, even got lots of them dancing.
Songs like ‘Move It’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Julie’ and Ruud even
doing al the classic moves there.
Must have been murder in that smart blazer.
Also on the menu ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, ‘That’s All Right
Mama’, ‘Pretend’, ‘Do You
Wanna Dance’, ‘One Night’, ‘Stuck On You’ and ‘Shake Rattle &
Thom stopped the show for a few minutes and asked our attention for two
who made this their birthday party: Jim and my girlfriend Sylva from
with the show nearing its climax with ‘Marie, Marie’, ‘Bossa Nova Baby’,
‘It’s Now Or Never’, ‘Please Don’t Tease’ and ‘Honey Don’t’.
The Explosion Rockets had prepared a surprise. To our great joy as a very nice
Harmony Trail they invited them on stage to sing with the band for an emotional
and some of the Everly Brothers most well-known hits:
‘Cathy’s Clown’, ‘Wake Up Little Susie’ and ‘Lucille’.
Nothing better than their own guitars or a live band to accompany them, right? Then the band stepped aside to make room for the duo that has made us all enjoy these last 15 EBI Parties like The Problems, The Askay Brothers and
EBI Band had done way before them in much older editions of the EBI Parties.
music had the last word. Geoffrey playing guitar and their voices, blending well
come full circle indeed. The first shows Geoffrey was standing there with his
They’ve come full circle indeed. The first shows Geoffrey was standing there with hishands in his pockets not knowing how to play guitar. This last show it was Fred standing there with his hands in his pockets.
final encore ‘Don't Blame Me’.
word of thanks from Fred and Geoffrey and it was all over. Flowers from Yvonne
to all performers.
And then time to say goodbye.
everybody gathered in that theatre had enjoyed themselves for 7 hours plus....
and they all thought it was too short. What more can you want? Need more proof
of the fact that this has been a memorable event?
had people there from many different nationalities, the UK, Australia, Guiana,
Germany, Belgium……our Australian National Coordinator Anneke Drese
the way from down under, Bob Naylor for years and years our National
in the North of England, also well-known for his articles in the UK
‘n’ roll magazine ‘Now Dig This’.
would like to thank Ineke and Ben and the personnel of the Jacobi Theatre
their hard work and great service, the wonderful buffet that was served,
the equipment that was offered to us, which was of great use.
you Chris for helping us out behind the Kentucky Shop counter and showing
your wide knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll music and the Everly Brothers in
There’s always Bas who welcomed all the people at the door, guarded the
entrance. Thank you, Bas and my apologies for not showing your special Power
on 40 years of EBI history.
We completely forgot to include it and I think we should highlight it on EBI
Thank you Rob for bringing my birthday girl and me to the spot safely and exactly on time as per usual…… and for always smiling, doing a lot of hard work and enjoying yourself as much as we do.
special thanks to Yvonne, John and
year I see so many fans at the parties that I’d like to talk to. This year
ever. I regret I was not able to talk to all the people I wanted to talk to or
to talk to me.
you so very much Fred and Geoffrey!! Hats off.
you all for being there.
And finally a special word of thanks to our sponsors who made Harmony
farewell and our 40th Anniversary a fitting and classy one :
and Rik Muller
and Jan Garretsen
van der Holst and his wife
photos and videos:
Sue and Mike Brambles, Robert Phillipson, Martin Alberts, Sylva Webb, Ida/Rik Muller, Tonny Arkenbout and Arie Brinkman
ARE MADE OF THIS
by Ruud Kuijpers
are a few words from The Explosion Rockets about the latest Everly Brothers
First of all (as I may speak for myself) I´ve been a Everly fan since I was a kid. My dad was a truck driver and he had only 1 cassette tape in his truck. You´re right, it was an Everly Greatest Hits cassette. He played it over and over again, and I can still dream every word of every song. Later on, I became a huge Elvis fan, but the Brothers were always part of my musical life.
I became a member of The Explosion
Rockets (now some 12 years ago) the first thing I wanted to do was an
Tribute set. Before I joined The Rockets I sang the Everly songs with a
of mine, Toon Tijs. We used only one guitar and I played drums on a
box, but it sounded great!
Anyway, now with the Rockets as our backing group, Toon and I could
play those Everly
songs, we never did before. We did those tributes every once in a
while, and always
with great success. There are not a lot of bands in the
I heard about the main Everly event in
fact was, they
had Harmony Trail! Who can sing Everly songs better than they do?? (except of
the Evs themselves). But it all went very well! Of course, Harmony Trail
the, not so familiar album tracks, and we did the hits. What a party!! Everyone
Colonel, you did it again!!! I really hope we can do it again, of course not as
big an event as in
lead singer E/R )
Visit the Explosion Rockets WEBSITE
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