DobeyCon

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Convention
Name: DobeyCon
Dates: 1980-1983
Frequency:
Location: York, UK
Type: fan con
Focus: Starsky & Hutch
Organization:
Founder: Sue aka The Android
Founding Date:
URL:
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DobeyCon was a Starsky & Hutch convention held in the UK in the early 1980s. There were at least four.

According to the letterzine S and H it was "as far as we know, the nearest thing to an officially organized S&H con to be held in Britain."

While a tenth anniversary celebration was held in the UK (Ten Years On), it took place in London and may have been organized by different group of fans.

DobeyCon 1

The first convention was held over Easter weekend in 1980.

DobeyCon 2

The second convention was held February 1981 at the Ashcroft Hotel. There are con reports in S and H #21. See below.

DobeyCon 3

The founder of DobeyCon says in S and H #20 that there will not be a third one:
The last one was tough enough and left me feeling very equivocal about its success and the value of another attempt. I won’t go into reasons, and I hope it won’t be said that I can’t take criticism, but I feel that now is the time to pull out, rather than halfway through arrangements for another con. However, if anyone would care to take up the mantle, I will be happy to advise wherever I can.

Two fans, Lyndy Harding and Stephanie Jones, did step up, and the third con was held in February 1982 in Swansea, South Wales.

DobeyCon 4

DobeyCon 5

October 28, 1983, Maidstone, Kent, England; Con coordinator, Sandi Chapman.

Some Anecdotal Notes

I know I've said it before, but thanks once again, to you and to Steph, for making Dobeycon 3 such a terrific weekend. It was certainly worth all the hassle of finding someone to look after the kids for the three days, even if I do now owe my Mum a year's supply of chocs. [1]
From all I have heard, Dobeycon 3 was a resounding success and England I think Lyndy and her committee deserve to be congratulated for all the hard work they obviously put into making it the success it was. Due to lack of holiday I was unable to go, but I know enough people who did go to hear any and varied descriptions of its delights. Even British Rail decided to co-operate and suspend their long drawn out strike in time for people to make their way to darkest Wales. [2]
As a point of interest, the subject that caused most dissension at DobeyCon's Speakeasy was not S/H, but the death-story theme. And that wasn't because all the attendees were S/H-ers, either. [3]
Is there going to be another Dobeycon, it sounds good and I wish I was there but I had to work that weekend. Why is it called DobeyCon and not StarskyCon or HutchCon? [4]
However, since we had no committee as such I'd like to put the record straight and mention the people who were responsible for making D3 the great success it was they. They are Terri & Chris (10-13 Enterprises), Jill and Chris (Black Metal Press), Lynne and Shirley, Jan and Cathy and last but certainly not least my partner — Tiger. If anyone deserves praise it's her. She put 'the show on the road' and made D3 what it was. I just wanted everyone to know that. [5]

Some Con Reports

For DobeyCon 2:
Picking up another arrival at the [train] station was highlighted by [name redacted] regarding a BritRail sausage-roll with a lugubrious expression and saying, 'This is the worst lemon-meringue pie I ever tasted,' which resulted in hysterics and nearly caused our eviction from the cafeteria. The con began In earnest very shortly after we got back, with a very short opening dissertation by Lynne, and a showing of 'Omaha Tiger.' It was my first experience of sitting in a room with thirty other people who all breathe, sigh, gasp, laugh, and groan at the same time* Quite a trip, believe me. After that, 'Starsky's Lady' proved too much for me, and I subsequently missed two of the audience succumbing to emotion during the death-bed scene. There was a concerted rush to the TV lounge at 9.25 to watch 'A Body Worth Guarding,' repeated by the BBC, much to the astonishment of the normal guests, who found themselves besieged! We were woken on Saturday by [name redacted] taking a bath (their room adjoined ours). I think she was singing... Refraining from committing homicide, we manned our table in the dealers' room... and managed to sell quite a number of copies of 10-13. 'Vampire' was scheduled, but hadn't arrived—'Deadly Imposter' proved an acceptable substitute. Then came the Writer's Panel, which ran over the alloted time— [two names redacted] and myself faced an interested audience and attempted to answer questions on aspects of writing and zine production. This was followed by a showing of The Great Houdini and 'The Psychic,' before the room had to be cleared for the Costume Party. I think I can fairly say that I have never seen anything to equal the sight of Terrible Tess and the Playboy Island Calypso Singers in performance. Twice. They won some well-deserved applause for their rendering of 'Zombie Jamboree.' [Name redacted] was arrested by a Hutch-clone and handcuffed to a table, but managed to escape—the Starsky-clone was no help at all... The evening broke up into smaller parties and discussions, and again we didn't get much sleep. I was much entertained by Whirly's description of DobeyCon's Big Brother, and her visit to U.S.A. I did not surface Sunday morning until after breakfast. There was a showing of a collage-tape—interviews and the infamous blooper-reel, which had already enjoyed one private running, but was in demand for a second time round for those who hadn't seen it before. Also those who had, but didn't believe it. While we were recovering from that, the organisers cunningly hit us with the Auction... 'Survival' and 'Shootout' followed this—the whole audience breaking into spontaneous applause during the latter, when the Hutchinson Finger made its appearance. This had become something of a standing joke, with almost everyone giving impressions of Hutch's digit. The con closed with [name redacted] proposing a vote of thanks to Sue and the Committee, much to Sue's embarrassment, and the distribution of the various prizes — [S S] for the Fiction and Poetry Contest, [M L] for the Costume Contest, and [R T] for the Quotation Quiz (which was a bitch!). [J L] won the Art Contest—but wasn't with us. After that, it was simply a case of making one's goodbyes. The hotel didn't run out of Coke until Sunday lunchtime, which showed forethought—what is more, they want us back. Which may say something about the hotel... Whatever, It was a great weekend in every way. And we hope to do it again—see you there, folks. Same place, 1982? Know something? I can hardly wait. [6]

Another view of DobeyCon 2:

I got to the hotel (via York Minster and the Richard III inn—hooray!) and they took my room money straight away (waah!) but in return I got a nice badge with my name and a slice of Torino on, so I soon recovered. I soon spotted that everyone else had a similar badge, except the committee. They had alligator badges [7] for speedy recognition. There were lots of old friends to talk to, and some new ones including my room-mate [name redacted], and so we sat around and talked until the opening ceremony: tastefully short, and then we got to business. Three S&H episodes on Friday evening, one courtesy of the BBC, then some of us defected to see a PROFESSIONALS video. There followed another talk session on a variety of subjects largely unconnected with S&H. Odd! Saturday began with breakfast (yes, we did eat from time to time), three episodes and blooper reel, followed by lunch for those who'd survived said blooper reel (it was utterly hysterical) and beautiful 'Coffin.' And we had a Writers' Panel, which produced some fascinating discussion and overran its time somewhat, but who worried? I watched 3/4 of The Great Houdinis and snuck off to see DR. WHO when I got fed up of all the silly spiritualists. In between all this I haunted sales tables, buying little but acquiring much useful (?) information, and also (hazarding life and sanity) embarked on reading the tale of The Black Box. During the costume party, not many other people were dancing, except, of course, Terrible Tessie (a thinly disguised Stuartsky) and her Playboy Island cabaret. Not many costumes in evidence, either (oh all right, fair cop, guv, I'll plead guilty!) but I had great fun playing with 'Starsky' & 'Hutch's guns! Most of us eventually defected to the PROFESSIONALS again (well worth it this time, and say what you like, Bodie Dan sweet, for about two minutes anyway!) and I finally went to bed, only to discuss Deep Things with my room-mate till about 3 a.m. On Sunday morning we saw a tape from America with various lovely DS & PMG interviews, and some home-video bloopers which were...interesting. They cleared up the recent 'Fix' controversy satisfactorily, at least. (It's just like Connie's diagrams, folks! It's amazing how wishfully some people think.) I loved the alternative titles sequence, usriiig the Magnficent 7 theme over instead of the original(s)—a stroke of genius, that. So then we had a bit of an auction and I bought some scripts, and helped run up the bidding on some zines I couldn't quite afford (all for charity, after all—what else are auctions for?). Surprise extra items materialised, in the forms of 'Survival' and 'Shootout'—lovely. A last chance to share our love. Then it was the Awards Ceremony —didn't know any of the winners, but rejoiced with them anyway. And then came the end... Well, nearly. [Name redacted] and I caught the same train, as far as Birmingham anyway. Goodbye to my other good buddies. See you next year at DobeyCon 3! [8]

For DobeyCon #5:

With only an eight-month gap between DobeyCon 4 and 5, it looks like this thing could get to be a habit. It really started for us when our manic taxi-driver dropped us at the hotel with the farewell comment, "Watch my Starsky and Hutch take-off!" He couldn't have known -- could he? We were among the first arrivals, which is probably why we got lost in the maze of corridors before we tracked down Sandi and Freda in Room 22, still feverishly sorting out the Auction material. Nothing loath, we pitched in and helped stick stickers, wrap and write, while folk trickled in, and the Con was under way well before the official Opening Ceremony. There was even a cake, to our delight — no one had thought of that before -- actually the bottom tier of a wedding cake (cracks of "How appropriate") decorated cunningly with red icing, red roses, and a toy Torino. [Lynne D], as one of the few fans who had been at the very first DobeyCon, represented them all and made the first cut, inspired no doubt by the anticipation of a showing of "Bloodbath" later that evening. (It was during that showing that Rafferty, the 10-13 mascot raccoon, was kidnapped a la Starsky by a would-be disciple of Simon Marcos, and for the next twenty-four hours we were deluged by cryptic and threatening notes... Such is Con-insanity.)

Saturday was memorable for "Las Vegas Strangler" — a large contingent of those present hadn't seen it before -- the Charity Auction which raised 300 pounds -- and the Speakeasy. That was when Rafferty was discovered, paws bound, hanging from the curtain rod by his tail. There was also a great deal of spirited discussion, and we would have over-run our time if it wasn't for "Vendetta" — the rat-in-the-fridge scene was all I remembered of the first showing. Abigail Crabtree joined the lengthening list of females with rocks in their heads, but it was Hutch wondering aloud how the perpetrator had got into his apartment that got the laugh of the evening. Doesn't the whole of L.A. know he keeps the key above the door?

Sunday, to accommodate those who had to leave early, the Closing Ceremony was brought forward, with the prize-giving for the Art, Poetry and Fiction Contests. Sandi Chapman, Debra Warner, and Carla Salveta were the respective winners. The Caption Contest produced some hilarious results -- one of ray suggestions even won a prize. It will be treasured... The discussion following dealt with the S/H premise, and was very well attended (there was alter native viewing for non-attendees) and seesawed blithely from the sublime to the ridiculous. It's just as well we've all got a sense of humour! It could have gone on longer, if it hadn't been for lunch-call — in fact, it did go on into the afternoon among some of us. People were starting to say goodbye -- two from Oz turned up to say hello, but then they do things different Down Under. They joined us for a second showing of "Sweet Revenge", which they hadn't seen before. From the whimpers and sighs, I think they enjoyed it. For us and a few others, DobeyCon 5 lasted until Monday morning, but for all who attended, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend spent in company with like-minded idiots -- who, like us, are already making plans to be at DobeyCon 6, in Darlington (where is that?) in October 1984. Proof positive, if any were needed, that

THE LEGEND LIVES ON! [9]
For DobeyCon 5 or 6: in 1985, an attendee offered a belated con report in Between Friends #9:
As someone who attended all the DobeyCons except the very first, I have to say that there has never to my knowledge been cause for complaint. I enjoyed each and every one, and I hope I'm going to enjoy the Cons yet to come. I rely on my own perceptions, too — I don't take heed of rumour and negative comments. Which may be why I have fun. Maybe you get out of it what you put into it, and if you attend with negative expectations, you come away with the same. Anyway, be assured I'll write a Con report next time I attend one! One of any size, that is; the mini-cons that happen serendipitiously, where three or four are gathered in the name of fandom, may not be as enthralling to read about, fun through they are.

Bullet?

In Between Friends #9, there was some discussion of organizing a 10th anniversary celebration in the UK [10]:
We intend to organise an anniversary celebration of 10 years of S&H—the characters, the show and fandom itself. We have lots of exciting plans for this event, and those who attended D3 (DobeyCon 3) will know from experience my partner and I won't let you down. However, to make this work we need your full support! Join us in October and together we'll put British fandom back where it belongs. Our American 'cousins' are celebrating with style and we wish them every success with the venture (we also wish we could join them). Let's emulate their loyalty to S&H fandom and support our own celebratory convention. We look forward to hearing from you.

References

  1. from S and H #32
  2. from S and H #32
  3. a remark in a S and H
  4. a fan in S and H #33/34 asks
  5. from the con organizers in S and H #33/34 asks
  6. from S and H #21
  7. reference to a common SH in-joke regarding alligators, turtles, chelonians, and caymans, see Tagging Along
  8. from S and H #21
  9. from Between Friends #1
  10. The event was to be called Bullet and it was to be held in Wales in October 1985.