The DW Bash…Thanks to all who bashed.
A note from Jon Stebbins

I’ll leave it to others to describe how good it was…let’s just say our expectations were met in a beautiful way. We hoped for something different and that’s what we got. We hoped for something that allowed everyone there to feel they were a part of the event…not observers of the event…but participants. And everyone who came to Chez Jay’s participated…they came, they ate, they drank, they sang, they shared, some laughed, some cried, love ruled, and everyone bashed. It will never be re-created…a moment like this one can’t be duplicated. I just want to humbly thank every soul who was there…it wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Major thanks to our list of DW family and celebrity friends…Barbara Wilson, Carl B. Wilson, Michael Wilson, Scott Wilson, Gage Wilson, Marilyn, Diane, and Ginger…the fabulous Honeys, Billy Hinsche, David Marks, Stephen Kalinich, Eddy Medora of the Sunrays, Mike Kowalski, Mike Meros, Eddie Roach, Garby Leon, Alan Boyd, Trisha Roach Campo, Susan Lang, Jason Penick, Domenic Priore, Mark London, Brian Chidester, David Bash, Lee Dempsey, Margaret Dowdle-Head, John Zambetti, Tom Vier, the amazing Beach Toys, and the great Jay Fiondella. Also thanks to those who managed to pitch in even though they weren’t there physically…like Hal Blaine, Fred Vail, David Beard, Adam Webb, Felix Brenner, Paul Crawford, and Alan Jardine. My total respect and gratitude for my wonderful partners Dan Addington and Betty Collignon cannot be two are the best. And to all the fans who were there to celebrate…you made the bash…Bash!! Dennis loves you all.

Thanks for a day that was one in a million.

Love, Jon Stebbins

Saturday, December 6th was a great day for fans and friends of Dennis Wilson. The anticipation seemed thick in the air as one approached Chez Jay's around noon. Some of the first things people noticed as they neared the restaurant were the beautiful woody and hot rods sitting out in the parking lot, invoking the spirit of the "Noble Surfer" and "Mechanic" himself. The familiar harmonic strains of our favorite music wafted from the parking lot: Beach Boy tribute group "The Beach Toys" were on hand to entertain the early arrivals. Dressed in the classic blue and white striped shirts and white jeans, the group perfectly evoked the early days of the Beach Boys. As these musicians re-created those beautiful harmonies a stone's throw from Santa Monica pier with a classic woody in the background, it seemed like the perfect way to get the event off to a great start.

A collectibles tent was also set up in the parking lot, with buttons (like the one you see at the top of this page) for sale, as well as t-shirts, a few pairs of Dennis Wilson Drumsticks, posters by Mark London, a painting of Dennis by Dan Addington, CDs and press photos, and other memorabilia.Above left, the amazing Beach Toys entertain the parking lot crowd, photo courtesy Will Thompson.

The doors opened a little after 12:00, and people began to fill the restaurant. The center tables had been cleared out, and a makeshift performing area w/ a PA, keyboard and microphones was set up. Framed, poster-sized images of Dennis Wilson covered the walls, and smaller, handbill-sized images of Dennis, the Beach Boys, and vintage illustrations from HotRod magazines were taped to the walls and spread on the tables. Wherever you were in the room, the presence of Dennis was felt. People milled about and struck up conversations, and soon a line formed at the buffet table in the back of the restaurant. An amazing meal was provided by the Chez Jay's kitchen staff, and behind the bar, Pete, the bartender, moved fast and kept everyone happy. Above right, Steve Kalinich and friends, photo courtesy Paula Friedman. (That's David Marks in the background!)

Scott Wilson, Paula's friend from Jersey, Ed Roach, Paula Friedman, Jon Stebbins, Jason Penick, Betty Collignon, Dan Addington.
Photo courtesy Paula Friedman

Meanwhile, conversations continued outside. David Marks was seen hanging out with fans and friends, reminiscing about the early days and discussing current projects. Ed Roach held court in a back table by the memorabilia tent, regailing people with stories, meeting new friends, and enjoying the great weather. Dennis' sons all arrived together, and they all spent time inside and outside the restaurant shaking hands, taking pictures, and meeting people who loved and were touched by their dad's music.

The Wilson brothers: Carl B., Scott, Michael, and Gage.
Photo courtesy Scott and Sherry Wilson

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