Good times at the Ultimate 80s Throwback Party
The Ultimate ’80s Throwback Party in the Park is now over, but what a treat it was! MJ Productions and the Town of Pleasanton put on the best Throwback event yet.
The Texas Tone Rangers kicked off the night with a 90-minute set of Texas country/red dirt and classic rock music with a few 80s tunes thrown into the mix. Between groups, a Michael Jackson impersonator kept the crowd going until it was time for the main event. When Michael finished, eight-and-a-half-foot-tall transforming robots began working the crowd, posing for photos and dancing the night away for the rest of the evening.
Just after 9 p.m., 86’D took the stage, starting with Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” and tearing up another 90 minutes of hellish rock and roll with an 80s hair band. The band played covers big names from the 80s like Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Billy Idol, Eddie Money, Def Leppard, Journey and more. MJ Productions’ Mark Carroll even made an appearance as a “guest vocalist” on the cover of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” The band ended their set with a catchy rendition of “We’re an American Band.” The crowd wanted more, but they’ll have to wait until next year to get it.
86’D guitarist and MJ Productions partner John Mayse explained that 86’D is a one-time event band tied exclusively to the Ultimate 80s Throwback Party at the Park, and he wouldn’t want him to. either otherwise. He said, “All I want is for everyone to have a good time. As a musician, it’s the best feeling in the world. I love being up there and entertaining, and I love it when people really appreciate what we do (laughs).
The audience loved every minute of the show. Pleasanton Police Chief Ronald Sanchez said the PD estimated the crowd at around 1,500 to 2,000 people. Sanchez said: “It was a very well-behaved crowd and we have no incidents to report. We were happy to see everyone having a good time and are looking forward to next year.
Mark Carroll summed up the evening as follows: “This year’s event was our best yet. 86’D and the Texas Tone Rangers looked amazing. The crowd was bigger and better. Without the participation of the Town of Pleasanton; the love of the community and the generous support of our sponsors, this would not be possible.
The sponsors of the event were:
PHS Class of 1987, PHS Class of 1988, The Pleasanton Express, Bank of Houston, Shifters American Grill, Atascosa Materials, Dairy Queen, Shiloh Development, JM Connected Auto Sales, Pleasanton Finance, Alpha Iron Gym, Poth Plumbing, Cantu Harden LLP, Sotello Electric, ABC Storage, Tradin Post Pawn and Guns, Temper Equipment Rental Services LLC, Farm Bureau (JJ Elizondo), Brohill Realty (Pandy Salinas), Cummins Welding, P2 Septic Service LLC (Joel Poth), Pleasanton Golf Course, Ford of Pleasanton, Sunshine House Coffee, Mane Attraction Hair Salon, Adari Spa, Hurley Monument Company, Café Cris, Chicoine Insurance Agency, WaveFire Construction (Jack Strange and Ryan Richter), City of Pleasanton, Country Girl Designs and the Pleasanton Police Department.
Jeep Sponsors – MJ Productions and Texas Auto Exchange (Jamie Sutton and Will Davidson).
The raffle grand prize, a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, was won by Rhonda Chancellor on her birthday. Rhonda is the Commercial Director of Pleasanton Express. “We are all shocked but delighted!” Pleasanton Express editor Noel Wilkerson Holmes said. “I was out of town and Rhonda suggested we buy some extra raffle tickets to try and win the Jeep as a Pleasanton Express work vehicle. I said what a great win-win idea because we love John Mayse and Mark Carroll and their generous, larger-than-life personalities. Second, Larry Brown was my favorite principal and he was the principal for three other Pleasanton Express pros. Giving to the Larry Brown Memorial Fund and the Pleasanton Athletic Booster Club is a win in itself. This jeep will be a blessing to us and we will drive it full of love and appreciation.
The winners of the 80s costume contest gave it their all. Jeremy Graham and Briana Williams took first and second place respectively.
The event organizers will struggle to improve next year, but rest assured that they will do their best to ensure everyone has a good time while focusing on what it all benefits: the Scholarship Fund of Larry Brown Memorial Studies. With the three 86’D/Ultimate ’80s events they’ve hosted since 2018, John and Mark have raised over $55,000 for the Larry Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. $35,000 in teacher scholarships and grants have been distributed since the first were awarded in 2019. Figures for this year’s event are not yet available, but the Pleasanton Express will report when available.
Larry Brown’s daughter, Stephanie Brown, who was up for an ’80s costume contest in her Twisted Sister Dee Snyder-inspired outfit, was stationed at the raffle ticket booth for most of the evening. She said: “I’m really happy with the whole evening. The music was great, but I also loved the new stuff – it was cool to see the Michael Jackson impersonator and the robots. Stephanie said she couldn’t thank Mark Carroll and John Mayse enough for all their hard work in making the event happen. She also praised the partnership with the town of Pleasanton, saying: “I think it helps to get the word out and I think with the help (of the town) it’s just going to get bigger. and improve.” And, she says, “I’ve already started thinking about next year.”