Vincent Lavery

Robert Kennedy, Vincent Lavery
Robert Kennedy, Vincent Lavery Merced 1968

VJ PRODUCTIONS was the name of Vincent Lavery’s concert promotion. He lived at 1830 I. Street, Merced California. 

He started with “The Echos” a band from Castle Air Force Base – made up of Bob Caywood, John Guerra, Danny Freitas, Greg Gaffney, and some other guy that was in the airforce.  The first time the Echos played was in Modesto at “”The Pussy-Kat-a Go-Go” in 1965. 

Vince ended promoting in 1968 when he started working for “Kennedy (Robert) for President  He would love to hear from anyone who was associated with the concerts in Merced, Turlock, Modesto, Los Banos, Dos Palos, Stephenson, Hilmar and other points North and South – all of which were sponsored by VJ Productions.

It was Jamie Murdock – who told him first about “The Doors” – playing in the Whiskey-A-G-Go in Los Angeles. He signed them up for four gigs.

The first night they played in Merced they drew 81 people – three days later “Light my Fire” was nationwide. – and you all know the rest of the story!

He was asked to be their manager but turned it down – how things might have been? Vince Lavery today

Vincent Lavery came home to Ireland 2 years ago after 50 years in the US, only to find that his county had turned it’s back on him. Vincent left Ireland when he was 20 but never forgot his roots. He came home every year. As he says “I left Ireland when I was 20 but Ireland never left me.”  Amongst other things he was an activist and a teacher in the US for 35 years but his credentials were not recognised here in Ireland. He was also heavily involved in coaching soccer in the US and has written 4 books about the subject, and even at that he struggled to get a coaching job.

There was a made for tv film about a charity he founded named Children in the Crossfire in 1984.  NY Times review here

He was also briefly featured in Michael Moor’s Farenheit 911. 

You can reach him at:

Vince Lavery, Robert Kennedy, Cesar Chavez 1968
Vince Lavery, Robert Kennedy, Cesar Chavez 1968
Vincent Lavery Nov. 17, 2009 Buswells lounge,Dublin Ireland


  1. Vince,

    I remember you and VJ productions well. I was in Summer and Smoke with you at the college. I also worked for a while at KYOS as a radio disc jockey. One saturday afreiend of mine from Venice Beach dropped by and I played the doors record he had with him. I recorded it and continued to play it…what i later found was illegal, and was promptly fired Monday.
    I last saw you at a mass in Fresno. I was dating Grainne” O”Flynn at the time. She and I were also friends of Ray and Priscill Fitchell and Jerry and Maureen Reid.
    I saw Carol Harner a few yerars ago and your name naturally came up.
    Hope all is well with you,

    John Griffiths

  2. Hi Vince,
    My name is Pat Mercer. I played bass/buitar in nimitz freeway several hundred years ago. I remember you and your attempts to help that band. I’m glad to know your’e still around.

  3. Mr. Lavery,
    I was a student of yours at Hoover High School in the mid 70’s. As a child, I had questions of my own regarding Jack Kennedy’s Murder. When I was privileged to have you as an instructor, my mind was truly opened.
    I will not be on this earth when they decide to release the findings of the Warren Commision, but I know then, it will have been tainted.
    I want to thank you personally for your passion and integrity.
    But, I still quander why the big Mac is in a box instead of a wrapper!
    All my love and prayers,
    Barry Eldridge
    Hoover High School 1977
    Fresno, California

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