Wally & The Beavs Newsletter
Here’s to You in Twenty-Two (Volume 14 Issue 1 / September 2022)
After a thirteen-year absence from these pages, Eddie Forte suggested that I share a few tidbits with you, our number-one fans and friends. So, here are a bit of tids.
You probably know, or at least can imagine, that it is not easy to put a band together, become proficient enough to earn money-paying gigs, build a fanbase large enough to create a demand for your product, and keep that band together through all the egotistical as well as self-doubting moments that plague every member of the band at some point in this joint venture. You know that, right? But, from my experience, the real question is, do you know how hard it is to NOT play in a band? I moved to Cincinnati last year and, believe me, I get tired of the long drives to and from the northern Ohio gigs. Sometimes, I resent having to make those hours-long trips, and I think to myself, “I don’t need this.” But I know that I’m deceiving myself because, in fact, I do need this. I need to sing. I need to act out the lyrics I’m singing. I need to interact on stage with my bandmates, and I need to see you enjoying (and yes, showing your approval of) my exertions. You see, I’m a singer, or maybe a front man who can sing in pitch most of the time. More than a half-century ago I was lucky to have the opportunity to practice and perform with some of the best musicians in the area. Today I enjoy that same opportunity. I love to practice with these great musicians. I haven’t got a clue what the horn section is talking about when they discuss the sheet music in front of them. I don’t know how AJ can make the guitar sing those beautiful harmonies and perfect notes with just a few moves with his fingers. When Joel and Nathan discuss adding another note to an already complicated chord, I don’t know why. It already sounds great to me. I’ll never understand how Glenn can keep a steady drumbeat and then add accents while using only four human limbs. But they choose to accept me as one of the musicians that make the band complete. In over half a century I’ve never been in a bad band. Heck, I’ve only been in two bands. Maybe it is hard to be in a band, but, like I said, it would be even harder on me not do it.
A View of 2008 (Volume 13 Issue 1 / December 2008)
Well, 2008 is nearly at an end and another season of Wally and The Beavs’ soulfully silly shenanigans will soon begin. Looking back on the past season, it’s obvious that you, our friends and fans, have had an awful lot to do with the success of the band. In March, you Defiance folks showed up in such huge numbers that we’ve been invited back to play the 2009 version of the Optimist’s Beach Party on March 9th…in a much larger building. Last May you 40 & 50-somethings dominated the dance floor at Cabana Jacks: and, one week later, the Mellingers and all their family and friends were perfect hosts in Washington, D.C. Over five weekends throughout the summer, we played to very large crowds in The Beer Barrel at Put In Bay. A great many of those in attendance were you friends and fans of our band, proudly sporting “Got Beavs?” shirts. Because so many of you supported us on the island, we’ve been asked to perform nine weekends at The Beer Barrel in the 2009 summer season.
In June (in between Beer Barrel dates) we made return visits to party with the friendly folks at the Shawnee Country Club in Lima and with Steve & Sue & Jim & Diane at Lake George, Indiana. Diane still makes the best Margaritas. July was a perfect month for the Beavs when we played to a record outdoor crowd at Mon Ami Restaurant & Historic Winery. It was such a good time that we have been asked to return in 2009 on Sunday, July 5th. We had an equally good time in Boz’s hometown at the Huron River Fest amphitheater. What a beautiful setting for a concert. On the following weekend, a great crowd stuck with us through the rainstorm at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church festival in Fremont. Once again, because of the overwhelming support you have given our band, we have been asked to perform again in 2009. We finished off the summer with outdoor gigs at the Napoleon Elks “Rally in the Alley”, “Dancing in the Streets” in Delta and a truly fun wedding reception for the Kruegers; held at the McCoy Farm in the rural wilds outside of Utica, Ohio; where we jammed AC/DCs “Shook Me All Night Long” while the young males- -trousers down- -performed a strange ritual dance. Those veterinarians sure know how to party!
There was also no lack of enthusiasm from the Beav Generation in the autumn months. 5,000-plus attended the second annual Defiance Fall Festival to eat ribs and dance to the tunes of Wally and The Beavs. We were also invited to perform for the classy ladies who attended the “Girls Night Out” charity event at the Kalahari Nia Center in Sandusky. The event raised $30,000 for Cancer Services, the Fisher-Titus Mammography Fund, the Firelands Regional Medical Center Cancer Program Fund and North Coast Cancer Foundation. Although there was no official dance floor, several ladies took the matter in their own hands (or upon their own feet) and came forward to dance to the rhythms of The Beavs. Thanks, Doug, for letting us be a part of such a great event. We finished the year with performances to a loyal crowd at Vermillion’s Red Clay On the River, a fund raiser for Lima Central Catholic High School at the Shawnee Country Club, and a spirited club gig at The Pump Bar & Grille in Sandusky.
So, thank-you: my good friends. Have a very merry Christmas and prosperous new year. Over the winter, the Beavs will not hibernate. Instead, we’ll be busy in Joel’s basement: pounding out the newest additions to the Wally and The Beavs song list. If you have any suggestions for tunes that you think would fit the Beavs style, email them to anyone in the band. Come back and visit our website often. Eddie Forte will be adding continuous updates.
2008 Pre-Season Notes (Volume 12 Issue 1 / March 2008)
Spring has nearly sprung and The Beavs are preparing for a big 2008 season. We’ll warm up with a visit to Defiance to provide the music for the Optimists Club’s annual beach party on March 15th. Since Jimmy Buffett songs are mandatory at this wild party the Beavs are putting the finishing touches on four Parrothead favorites. The party is open to the public, but if you miss it you can probably still hear the Buffett tunes now and then at one of our many summer gigs at the Beer Barrel Saloon on South Bass Island. Speaking of Put In Bay, many friends and fans ask me what people wear when they visit the Erie Islands. My suggestion is Beav-Wear! Access our Beav Wear and CDs web page by left clicking on the cartoon image of Wally on steroids. It would be great to see our fans decked out in Got Beavs? Shirts and Wally Caps at our performances this summer. With a pair of shorts, flip flops, and a bathing suit under your Beav Wear, you’ll be ready to hit the many swim up bars on the island, dry off in the sun, have an early dinner and then catch Wally and The Beavs performance at the Beer Barrel beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Good news for our fans in north central Ohio. We’re playing many gigs in your area throughout the summer months. On Saturday, May 10th we’ll light up the dance floor at Cabana Jacks in downtown Sandusky, followed by Put In Bay gigs in May and June, an outdoor party at Mon Ami Restaurant and Winery on July 5th, an appearance at the Huron River Fest on July 12th, a 3-set early evening performance at the Fremont Sacred Heart Catholic Church Festival on Saturday, July 19th, and three days at Put In Bay celebrating Christmas in July on the Island. That’s a lot of chances to see Wally and The Beavs, and we hope you’ll make it to every one of them.
Those of you who have been watching our growing schedule on our wallyrocks.com web site may have noticed that we are playing in Washington D.C. in May. Last year a nice couple that live and work in the D.C. area caught our act at the Beer Barrel and they decided that we must perform at their wedding reception. To the Mellingers we say thanks for the offer (and the airline tickets): we’ll see you in Washington D.C. on May 17th! If you would like to book our band, contact Joel Bokerman at 1-800-450-5540 or double-click on the booking info button on our web page. If you have comments about our web site, contact our Webmaster, Trumpeter Ed “Eddie Forte” Adams, by double-clicking The Band button, clicking on Ed’s picture (he’s the one with the trumpet) and then clicking on the hyperlink, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are on our gig-reminder email list and change your email address, please contact Ed, or just email him and let him know what a great job he is doing on our web site. In February we had 4500 page views, and nearly 2500 views of our youtube videos (available by clicking on the movie camera icon in the top right corner of our home page). We are grateful for your interest in and support of Wally and The Beavs.
Wally & The Beavs 2007 The Year in Review (Volume 11 Issue 1 / November 2007)
2007 was another great year for the Beavs. However there were a few sad moments when two long-time Beavs left the band. Trumpeter, Brian Gray and guitarist, Eric Smith left the life of “Wallys weekend-warriors” to spend more time with their families. The surviving Beavs wish Brian and Eric much future joy. On a happier note, Jimi Goare and Ed Adams have taken over the duties on guitar and trumpet respectively. After a full season of dancin, drinkin, pickin and blowin with the Beavs, I can truly say Wally and The Beavs are better than ever.
After beginning the warm-up season in Huron, Ohio playing for the Huron Alumni fund raiser in February, we set our sights on the summer season ahead of us, which began early in May at the Beer Barrel Saloon in Put In Bay, our summer home-away-from-home. On the following weekend we provided the dance music for the Adams/Crandall wedding reception. The wedding-party table was gorgeous, with dozens of glowing candles arranged in tiers: and nobody asked us to “turn it down a little” or “play a polka.” It was a great time: we even had to end the night one song early in fear that the moshing on the dance floor was getting a bit out of hand. After that, it was back to the island for the official opening of the vacation season with Memorial Day weekend performances at a packed Beer Barrel Saloon.
On June 1st we got down with our biker friends at the Kickstart Party behind Roeder Harley Davidson in Sandusky. The night was made special by a unique pyrotechnic show. Flames shot 60 feet into the night sky from behind and at each end of the stage. Born to be Wild never looked so good. The middle of June and early July found us back at the Beer Barrel in our usual 6 to 9 p.m. time slot. The last half of July and early August offered the opportunity to visit some nice towns in northwest Ohio. After a few years absence from performing in Lima, we revisited the Rally in the Square, a special every-Friday-evening-throughout-the-summer event featuring a great many unique bands. Lima is Jimi Goares hometown, and he didnt disappoint his many friends and fans that were in attendance. The frenzied superhero-type dude in the makeshift-coalminers cap who never quit moving through the entire concert was the only one who came close to matching Jimis enthusiasm. On the following evening we traveled to Wapakoneta for the first time and provided the musical entertainment for the Summer Moon Festival. Despite being downwind from the pony ride we had a great time and the Wapakonetians were very gracious hosts; although it left us wondering if anyone is actually born in Wapak, since everyone we talked to started the conversation with, “Im not originally from Wapakoneta.” Before returning to Put In Bay, we made a stop in Napoleon to appear at the famous “Rally In the Alley”, sponsored by the Elks in downtown Napoleon, Ohio. The heat was suffocating that day; but, by nightfall, the beer drinkers were out in force and the as usual great dance party was on. Napoleon will definitely be on our schedule for 2008. At the Beer Barrel in August, we finally got to share the stage with the ladies from Mustang Sally: a nice bunch of girls with a great show. Of course, at The Beer Barrel Saloon, every band has a great show; and the Menus are certainly no exception. We reprised our Memorial Day collaboration with Tim and the boys from Cincinnati performing for another packed house at the Barrel on Labor Day weekend.
We finished out the summer season, playing every remaining Saturday evening in September at street festivals in Port Clinton, Clyde, Continental and Defiance. We huddled in the big tent at Waterworks Park in Port Clinton for the Hogs by the Lake. Despite the relentless rain, the event was well attended. Talking with the folks from Port Clinton, it sounds like they have some great future plans for the area along the river where the “Hogs by the Lake” event was held. We traveled to Clyde for the first time and had a wonderful time performing in the beer tent (a perfect venue for us). With Clyde located so close to Ed Adams hometown, there were many enthusiastic friends and fans present to watch our suave and debonair trumpeter perform. Eddie Forte didnt disappoint them: going so far as to don a zoot suit to recreate the roll of the trumpet playing Big Bad Wolf in the Looney Tunes cartoon classic “The Three Little Bops.” The weather continued to be pleasant for our return to the Continental Fall Festival. There were a plethora of Putnam County partiers under the big top, as we danced until midnight accompanied by the rattle and roll of the passing trains. We finished the summer season in Defiance, Ohio, performing before approximately 5,000 people at that citys first annual Fall Festival and Rib Cook-off. Wow! The food was fabulous and the crowd was congruent (Im reaching here for the sake of alliteration)! What a perfect way to end the season.
Heres to you: our friends and fans. Thanks for your support and encouragement. We hope youll join us in 2008 for another great season of good time rock and roll with Wally and The Beavs.