Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Kids and the Animals

Oh, look! The women are after my money. Oh, wait. I don't have any money. Oh well, no women, either.

Sixty years ago my mom took me to Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa to see what was billed as "The Biggest Rock'n'Roll Show of '56." Bill Haley & The Comets, LaVern Baker, Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the Platters, the Drifters and the Teen Queens. Oh, yeah- Clyde McPhatter showed up in uniform to sing with his pals, the Drifters. He was home on leave.

Nothing was ever the same for me after that.

Now my mom's gone and of course so are most of my heroes. I eventually worked with Bo Diddley and Bill Haley. I played shows at the armory over the years with Chuck Berry, the Allman Brothers, Michael Bloomfield and plenty who don't come to mind. I promoted concerts there with the Byrds, the Kinks, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd.

Of course this will come as a shock to those second amendment folks but we don't need much of a militia these days. The city has given the armory building to the Jewish Foundation and it is being rehabbed as the new Jewish Community Center.

In these dreams I shake my snow globe and Chuck Berry duckwalks back and forth to Johnny B. Goode. Hail, hail, boys. Hail, hail.

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