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Music MathersTampa Concert Memoirs Part One
POSTED BY VINNIE BLESI, June 15, 2014    Share

Living in Tampa, Florida, and not in a major city, I am so lucky to have seen some damn fine live concerts in the last 20 plus years. Most of these were from the late 70's to the early 80's.

The first one that stands out is what I think was WMNF benefit, or it just had Pam and John Debrule DJ'ing. Located at a long closed bar on N. Dale Mabry this band called, U2, performed.
At the time very few people had heard of this Irish band, and their first single, "I Will Follow" produced by Steve Lillywhite. This is still the most precious concert that I hold in my heart. Fucking U2 in a club! I later saw U2 open up for J. Daniels Band, and Peter Wolf was more entertaining. Sorry, Bono.

The now demolished Curtis Hixon Convention Hall in downtown Tampa was once the center piece for performing arts and events. I went to my first comic convention their, as a minor I took the bus downtown just to watch the original Star Trek bloopers.

Back in the late 1070's concert were a way to escape. We had no real video games, the Internet did not exist Being a bored youth in Tampa I went to see someone called, Ronnie Montrose, at the old Curtis Hixon Convention Hall. I was blown away, because they had a full modular Moog Synth, and I became in love with hard rock guitar and synths. This was all live, no Milli Vanelli. This would later lead to my addiction to Be Bop Deluxe and Bill Nelson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Fire_%28Ronnie_Montrose_album%29

The old and crumbling Curtis Hixon Hall, which urban legend has it hosted both the Doors and Elvis Presley would give me two more gifts before the bulldozers took its historical life.

Dire Straits emerged at a time when radio was open to new sounds. When they played the legendary Curtis Hixon Hall, after their 2nd release I was right up front. Mark Knopler actually sweated on me. I was in wonder, this guy did not use picks!

The last concert I saw at Curtis Hixon Hall was The Talking Heads and it was amazing. This was right before they made "Stop Making Sense", and this seemed like a dry run, and it still is one of the best concerts I have attended.

Coming in Part Two, Bob Marley, Blondie and more.

"Music Mathers" is ©2014 by Vinnie Blesi. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2014 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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