What a wonderful surprise I received this year. Right out of the blue Peter Hobday (a friend of my brother’s whom I had not seen since the 1960s) contacted me and sent me these photos of my brother’s band from over 50 years ago. It made my day!
2018 marks the 50th year that my brother Johnny was killed in a horrific car accident in 1968.
❤It made my heart smile to see a few photos!❤
I was ecstatic to say the least!! I did not have these pictures.
Peter also sent an audio recording of some of the songs the group played with Johnny drumming – music to my ears as you can imagine!!! I’m listening now as I write.
I was moved to tears and so excited to listen to it! These guys were awesome at such a young age. I truly believe they could have become famous. For me, they are famous and I will treasure this recording all the days of my life!!!
Peter Hobday wrote:
“I still remember his grin after all these years.
I remember your mom fussing about us and getting our “look” just right before shows (straighten vest, roll up sleeves, adjust collar 🙂 .
I played rhythm guitar. John Swainson was the guitar genius and Johnny nailed the percussion. All the other guys played guitar (no bass back then).”
This led me to check Facebook and I was able to connect with three more of the guys in the group who shared with me some happy memories.
John Swainson sent this photo and wrote:
“Johnny was a huge inspiration in my life and I think of him often. I truly believe he was destined for greatness! The photo of him on the drums is the only other photo I had. I wish I had more. It was fun following the Moon Beats thread on FB . A real trip down memory lane. The Moon Beats was the first band I ever played in and holds a special place in my heart. I remember practicing in your basement.”
Don Simpson wrote:
“I also played hockey with Johnny for a team representing North York. In addition to his great drumming he was also a really good goalie.
Johnny really did have a big influence in my life. After a few years when another drummer quit I became the drummer AND when Johnny left the hockey team I replaced him as the new goalie. As John Swainson said, I as well think he was destined for greatness.”
Don Henderson (in the band J D and the Lords) wrote:
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the J D and The Lords band. Sure wish I did. We had some great times in that band. I remember Johnny painting the name on his bass drum skin in old English letters at your house like it was yesterday. And practicing at your house on Diagonal Road when you moved from Santa Barbara Road. I do remember your cousin (Marion) visiting and I think I actually stayed over at your place a couple of times that summer. Just writing this made me think of John’s fantastic train set.”
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Thank you ever so much for sharing your memories with me, I am overjoyed! Words are a treasure and bring a smile to my heart!
Johnny was a popular guy at school. I was at our school reunion a few years ago and it truly warmed my heart to hear the wonderful things people shared with me about Johnny.
Today is Johnny’s birthday and he would be 68. My dear cousin Marion always calls me on his birthday and she sent this note today:
“Hallo, heute denken wir an johnny-dietmars 68. Geburtstag … 50 jahre hier nicht mit uns gelebt, man kann es kaum glauben.”
A few of the loving comments I’ve received:
Lynda – Oh my, I will always remember Johnny, I had such a crush on him when we were kids. What fond memories, of you and I dancing for Johnny’s band in our go-go boots. He was so handsome and a good friend.
Vicki – Wow, great to see him, he was gorgeous and so nice.
Karen – I remember singing, or lip singing and Johnny played the drums. I looked so forward to those practices because I also had such a crush on him and thought he was so cool and good looking!
Shirley – Everyone who was lucky enough to have known him is missing him as well.
Doug – Every guy was jealous of Johnny when it came to girls. We all knew they were crazy about him.
It’s been heartwarming to read the comments!
As the years go by, I do not miss him less, I only miss him more.
Death is only a breath away.
Cherish every day and treasure your family and friends!
UPDATE: THANK YOU DON SIMPSON FOR SHARING A PHOTO OF DON HENDERSON – LOVE THAT RED JACKET!!!