Almeria 04 - The Spaghetti Western Web Board Re-union
In March 2004 approximately twenty Spaghetti Western fans descended on Almeria for a week long gathering. It was very much an international affair with representation from
Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Scotland,
South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, USA
The week was arranged through John Nudge's Spaghetti Western Web-Board - with most of the hard work of organising the event being done by Mario Marsili and Ray Watts (both of whom will always have my gratitude and respect for pulling this together so flawlessly).
Arriving at the Hostel Alba in Los Albaricoques, our lodging for the week, I was full of nervous anticipation - many of us have chatted for a long time on the SWWB but never before met face to face - but it was like catching up with old friends. And one could not wish for a more wonderful group of people - everyone got on tremendously, and we whiled away the early hours discussing our favourite topic. It was such a buzz to be amongst a group of fellow fans that understood my passion for these movies and that I could converse with in depth.
A major aspect of the convention was to visit many of the locations used for filming and, while there, to make our own movie, recreating many of our favourite scenes. Mario was the mastermind and director of the film, always with the patient assistance of Eva - the rest of us were the actors, using whatever outfits and prop guns we could assemble between us - actually we did a pretty good job of looking the part. Standing in costume on the actual spot that Leone, Sollima and countless other Italian directors had set up their cameras some 40 years previous was an incredible experience - it really brought the locations to life.
Another highlight was meeting actor Dan Van Husen, who appeared in many Spaghetti Westerns and is still actively working today. Dan joined us in the evenings and kept us entertained and fascinated with his insight to the world of movies. A true gentleman.
To say that the week in Almeria was one of the best of my life sounds clichéd, even contrived - but, hell, I say it - and I mean it. The only disappointment was that more of our friends from the SWWB couldn't be there - perhaps next year. Quien Sabe?
The Almeria 04 Galleries >