SummerFest is celebrating their 25 year anniversary of food,fun, & family entertainment June 1, 2, and 3 at St. Angela Merici Catholic School at 575 S. Walnut Street. The event draws over 25,000 people and is the largest community event in North Orange County.Founder and president of TEl Entertainment John D. McEntee has been donating the celebrity entertainment every year. McEntee began his career at Brea Olinda High School where he contacted agents and started booking bands charging students $3 a head. Then the entrepreneur decided why couldn’t he be the agent and his career took off. He became so good at his profession of talent buying he opened offices in Anaheim, Sacramento and Las Vegas. Need Snoop Dog at a party just call John. He often provides personalities for sports, film, and television nationwide. He negotiated a contract for America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator and for 5 years with a 5 year option to headline at Mirage Resort and Casino. Recently John produced the Donna Ross show and Liza Minnelli show in Las Vegas. He said he loves his job and would do it for free.McEntee has a very special connection to SummerFest …he grew up attending St. Angela Merici Church and made his Holy Communion there. Nearly 50 years to the day, (last week) his grandson, Isaiah, received his Holy Communion at the same church.Every year during the show he dazzles the audience by dressing up in a fun costume. One year he came out dressed as a chicken, we hope he will continue to surprise us.Some of the talent donated by John and Monica McEntee in past 24 years in SummerFest included artists Peter Frampton, Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo, Rick Springfield, Sugar Ray, Eddie Money, Terry Fator, The Commodores, The Pointer Sisters, Jan & Dean, Les Brown & His Band of Renown. Jim Belushi & the Sacred Hearts, and many more.SummerFest free concerts for this anniversary year are amazing. They include Starship starring Mickey Thomas to perform along with Rick Derringer, Skip Martin (Dazz Band/Kool and the Gang, MC Hammer, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, and Starship to name a few. Go to www.summerfestbrea.org to see the complete list and times. Guests will want to come early to get a good seat because no seats are reserved. Do come for a treat and bring the family. See you there.Susan Gaede
John’s celebrity clients he has booked during his 35-year career reads like a list of who’s who of superstars with well known celebrity Terry Fator of America’s Got Talent fame. Currently, he is working with Jeff Tracta, celebrated impressionist/comedian/singer, who recently performed at The Palms in Las Vegas. Jeff is incredibly talented and John is making him shine. Together they are a great team. We caught up with John today for our BBON Q&A, and here’s what he had to say:
BBON: At what age did you catch the entertainment bug?
John: In 1974, I was 19 years old water skiing at the Colorado River with friends. While there, we entered the BlueWater Marina located on the river, and I asked Cybil, the Restaurant Manager, how come there wasn’t a band there? I went on to tell her that if I brought a band to play, could I collect the door admission and you keep the alcohol revenue. Without hesitation, Cybil agreed! A 4-piece band played for 9 days, the money was split four ways, making a profit of $2,200 back in the day.
BBON: Many fans of Brea SummerFest think you are an alumnus from St. Angela Merici Parish School. However, you did not attend the school, but went to church regularly. What inspired you to give back to St. Angela Merici?
John: I was inspired by the church. I grew up very poor. There were 10 of us in a two bedroom home with one bathroom. My mom and dad could not afford to send us to a private school. I made my Holy Communion at St. Angela Merici at age 7. By age 21, I was an alcoholic. I went to the church for inspiration, making a vow to quit. I haven’t had a drink in 36 years!
BBON: St. Angela’s Brea SummerFest has entered its 25th Anniversary year with your company, TEI Entertainment, providing phenomenal entertainment year after year, tell us one of your proudest moments in running the show?
John: It was the time when the police shut down three city blocks, due to the massive crowds that gathered at Brea SummerFest to see Peter Frampton’s performance.
BBON: As with every event, there are always changes in the agenda causing tension. What stands out most in your mind as a time at Brea SummerFest when everything seemed to be going wrong, but miraculously ended great?
John: The Commodores were scheduled to perform. Five minutes prior to show time the generator broke. Luckily, we had a back-up and fired it up within 10 minutes!
BBON: What is the secret to longevity in running a successful business?
John: Four things come to mind: Enthusiasm, give 100 percent, love what you are doing, and never give up! The youth of today are spending way too much time on the computer. In my day you hustled. There was a Tastee Freez in Brea years ago. I was around seven when I approached the Tastee Freez manager to ask if I could pick up trash for a meal. He said yes. At nine years old I was employed there wiping tables. And at 15, I became the night manager.
BBON: You and your wife Monica have three children and three grandchildren; did any of the McEntee’s follow in your footsteps in the entertainment industry?
John: My daughter Nina is a Music/Spanish Teacher at St. Angela Merici. She is an example of someone who loves what she is doing. Also, my daughter Melissa is currently assisting a director of an upcoming movie. My son, Johnny, is a college football quarterback and senior at the University of Colorado. You can see him on YouTube, "Johnny Mac Trick Shot Quarterback posted by Hardcore Huskie." And my wife Monica has been making costumes for homeless and underprivileged children for 25 years.
On their 25th Silver Annual Celebration, we are thrilled to be working with Brea SummerFest once again in conducting a BBON Brea SummerFest Contest! We have two weeks of contest fun with (6) chances to win great prizes before SummerFest 2012 scheduled on June 1, 2, 3!
- Tuesday, May 22, Wednesday, May 23, and Thursday, May 24
- Tuesday, May 29, Wednesday, May 30, and Thursday, May 31
Starting Tuesday contest dates are as followed:
Two weeks of contest fun - (6) chances to win! Stay tuned for an exciting contest!
Story by Susan Gaede
We are thrilled to announce that BBON will be partnering once again with the Brea SummerFest to conduct a spectacular BBON Brea SummerFest Contest! This year is their 25th Annual Brea SummerFest. For years they have been rocking “Good Old Brea” with an amazing community event like no other! Over 25,000 people come from all over for the fantastic rides, great variety of tasty food, and unparalleled live entertainment including legendary singers and bands such as Pat Benetar, Eddie Money, Peter Frampton, and The Temptations! And this year’s line-up is looking supreme with Credence Clearwater Revisited, Starship, Dazz Band/Kool and the Gang, Bobby Kimball, the original singer of the band Toto, along with more headliners to come!