Reprinted with permission from the May/Jun 1998 edition of The World Beatles Forum, the official publication of The Toronto Beatle Bash 1998.
We headed for Toronto, early on Saturday, May 2, 1998. We were going to The Toronto Beatle Bash! Our four and-a-half hour drive was made easier with a full-carload of Beatles fans. On board were TWBF's Peter Stone, and K. B. Rambler, with super-fan and buddy, Dave P.
We discussed our strategy for signing up new members, and interviewing the guests. Sooner than later, we arrived at J. J.'s Bar and Grill - the home of the Bash!
Remember the saying, the early bird gets the worm? Well, we were the first of the fan clubs to arrive. Therefore, we had first choice for setup location. (One club did not show up until 20 minutes after the event had started.)
Lloyd Monaghan, our host was most gracious. He took time out of his busy day to show us around and introduce us to various people involved with the event. Throughout the day, he ensured that we were able to interview the guests.
The band, The Fav Four, treated us to a soundcheck performance. They were good, and would be better for their costumed show. A real treat was hearing Roy Young belt out a couple of numbers.
At noon, the Bash began. Beatles fans were entertained with rare Beatles videos that were playing on the many monitors throughout the venue.
Although, the vendors area was small, it was packed with many rare items. Prices were very reasonable. There were items for a few bucks to the more unique pieces commanding several hundred dollars.
The guest line-up was very orderly. After a few technical glitches, host Joe Passion, as John Lennon, introduced Brian Kendall, author of Our Hearts Went Boom. Brian spoke of his desire to write his book, and gave a history of Beatlemania in Canada.
Mr. Kendall shared the stage with one of the original fans, Edith Manea (covered extensively in Brian's book). Surprisingly, Edith had some interesting Beatlemania stories to relate.
After a few minutes break, Paul White, former Capitol Canada executive, took to the stage. He spoke of signing The Beatles to Capitol Canada in 1963, a good year before the States, Canadian Beatlemania, and the uniquely Canadian Beatles releases of the early sixties.
Doug Thompson was the next speaker. Mr. Thompson has produced four Beatles' radio specials, including Ringo's Yellow Submarine, 25- part series. He revealed several, fresh anecdotes.
The final guest, Roy Young, gave his version of early Beatles' history. Roy is very charismatic, and a good storyteller.
All the guests assembled for a final time and an audience Question and Answer period took place, for about ten minutes.
In between each guest presentation, Joe Passion entertained the crowd with his very convincing John Lennon personification.
The Fav Four in concert had the crowd bopping to your favourite Beatles tunes. After their brief set, Joe Passion performed a few Lennon songs, with Imagine being his show-stopper!
Many of the guests had tables, selling memorabilia and books, and were available for autographs.
Peter Stone set out for his first interview, Paul White. Mr. White gave TWBF 40 minutes of his time. Brian Kendall had many young fans at his table. There, Peter was able to catch him for 15 minutes. Doug Thompson had so much to tell us, that we interviewed him for approximately 80 minutes. All were very supportive of our newsletter and were impressed with its uniqueness and quality.
(Our interviews will be featured in TWBF, over the next year. Due to scheduling and corroboration difficulties, we were unable to interview Roy Young, at the time.)
K. B. Rambler meandered around the crowds, guests, and tables. The cynic that he is, he searched out faults, flubs, and faux-pas'. He features his own thoughts in his regular column.
Throughout the day, the crowds were small, but appreciative. That evening, the Fav Four were going to give a full concert, starting at 9 P.M.. The Bash would move into party-mode with a near-capacity crowd. All reports are that a splendid time was had by all.
We packed up at 8 P.M. and thanked everyone, especially Lloyd Monaghan. After dinner, we headed back to Ottawa, with great memories of a great show.
There is a chance that Mr. Monaghan will take his Bash on the road. Who knows. You may have a Beatles convention on your doorstep, in the not- too-distant future.
Thank-you, Lloyd Monaghan, Randy Richardson (vendor organiser), guests, C.F.R.A.'s Geoff Franklin for the Bash promotions, new TWBF members, and friends. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
One final thank-you goes out to Dave P. for his help at the TWBF table.