Saw Barry Again
By Wendy Winans
January 29, 1997, Athens, Ohio
Barry Williams appears in his college lecture tour, "Growing Up Brady, I Was a Teenage Greg" at the Ohio University Memorial Auditorium. I had heard many things about his show and had even met Barry Williams previously, but nothing prepared me for the fun and joy I experienced at attending it myself.
Bob and I traveled 400 miles round-trip in one day to attend this presentation. While we waited for the show to begin, Brady music was playing over the PA. A few people were dancing and laughing, but for the most part the audience was very quiet and talked among themselves about classes and other school related activities. In the past when I had attended a Brady event everyone was very open and talkative about the show and it was almost like a party. This seemed very strange, I felt like I was so much older than the crowd and that they were too young to appreciate the Brady history.
The chairperson of the student event organization made a few announcements and gave a nice intro, then a slide show started with the opening Brady tune. People tried to sing along but the volume was so low and the music spliced in tandem with the pictures that it didn't really work. But everyone enjoyed and laughed at the old photos. Then the lights came up and there was Barry Williams in the flesh.
He was dressed in a wildly colorful jacket, blue shirt, black jeans and boots. He looked very hip for forty :) His presentation was fantastic, taking the audience through the history of the Brady Bunch, giving current news on the cast members, and telling behind the scene stories of himself and the other Brady actors. He encouraged audience participation both in his speech and in a dance demonstration. The Brady Bunch is so known that he could start a sentence and know that the audience would finish it, and we did. After various video clips from the show, he returned to the stage in a fringe style leather vest, outrageous bell-bottom pants and platform shoes that would make the 70's proud. He invited anyone to come up to the stage to learn how to dance Brady style. He demonstrated and talked everyone through the various dance steps and than did it to music. It was hilarious to watch these antics. He then declared all the participants "honorary Bradys for life".
Everyone returned to their seats and he continued talking about the show and the way it supported the issues of the day (UFO's, civil rights, woman's lib, etc.) He then took a few questions from the floor. Most of these questions were rather basic in that I could have answered most of them. However one piece of information that I did not know and that was answered was, "In what city did the Bradys live?". Barry said that during most of the show it was left unanswered but at one point due to the phone prefixes it was established that the Bradys resided in Santa Monica, CA. So now we know.
He then explained how autographs would be handled and that if we had questions we could ask him at that time. Most of the people present lined up for autographs and either had Barry's book or bought one of the numerous items for sale (pictures, t-shirts, Brady's Greatest Hits, and Barry's book) to have signed. I had Barry sign a printed portfolio of Brady World. We also presented him with a copy of our site and a letter that asked if he would donate some pictures or other stuff to the site. We will keep you posted if we hear anything in the future.
Following the autographs, people were able to reline up and take pictures with him. Only 20 or so people waited for this, but it was still lots of fun. I hope the pictures come out and we will post some of them in the future as well.
Barry is a very personable and considerate person. He took the time to greet and talk with each of his fans. And also made me feel special that he thought our website presentation was important to him. There was some uncertainty at the end about whether the folder would get lost in all the shuffling of the set, but Barry took the time to make sure he had it.
I would recommend this show to anyone, it was fun and Barry is a great person both on stage and off.