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Music MathersTampa Concert Memoirs Part Two
POSTED BY VINNIE BLESI, July 31, 2014    Share

One of the most exciting events in the early 80's in Tampa was the Blondie "Parallel Lines" concert at the historic Tampa Theater. Benjamin Gregory and myself were dressed to kill and somehow we got one of the classic new wave portraits ever taken of ourselves. I think the mother Trib and Paul Wilborn may have been involved.

I remember the audience was so pumped, the energy so high, it was something that cannot be described in print. When Debbie Harry took the stage it was if Elvis himself had reappeared. Security tried to keep everyone in their seats, but the bulging crowd kept trying to rush to stage. Someone had a life size cardboard cut-out of Debbie Harry, and the crowd kept trying to rush the stage. Eventually the fan excitement was so intense, the security people just got out of the way and we rushed the stage. Everyone danced and worshipped our Goddess of new wave.

Another long gone relic in Tampa, is the Jai-Ala Fronton, which was a gambling lottery style game where grown men threw balls against a wall and caught them in a wicker type glove. It was more exciting than lotto and I won more money there than ever at lotto. But I digress, The Tampa Jai-Ala Fronton also held concerts.

Unfortunately I missed the legendary Devo concert there. But I did see Elvis Costello and the Attractions plus the big label debut of local artists "A New Personality". I had the privilege to attend a Bob Marley concert there.

Just sitting back and appreciating how lucky I was to experience Bob Marley perform is so amazing. I don't think I have experienced anything like this. The audience was not your usual Florida redneck, light a lighter for encore, audience. The audience, the band, and Bob Marley was one. We danced and felt the higher spiritual event that was happening. As the concert went on I continued to fly higher on a cloud of love. I left the concert still high on love, Jah Love. This was not a concert but a spiritual event, that I was blessed to have been in attendance.

Next time, Big Country, AFOS, The Police and my love affair with Richard Butler.

"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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