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GvilleCharlie

Wanna See a REALLY RARE Mudcrutch Poster? Check THIS Out! 1972!

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Great story Charlie. So he is getting beat up at home, beat up at school, is far from a tough guy, more an artist. No wonder he left Gville.

After you starting scouting him for bookings, what was your impression, had he changed from high school? what did you see in them that you knew was special and made you want to hire them so many times? Did you pay them direct? sign contracts? can you walk us through that time?

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:icon_neutral: Doggone. And just yesterday I was tellin' my dad how I'd had PayPal for a long time and never had a problem with them! Y'all have opened my eyes a bit... thanks, I'd rather be warned. I don't do much eBay these days, looks like I'm behind the times.

Enjoyed the stories, Charlie! Thanks for sharing. Hope to hear some more.

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>>>After you starting scouting him for bookings, what was your impression, had he changed from high school? what did you see in them that you knew was special and made you want to hire them so many times? Did you pay them direct? sign contracts? can you walk us through that time?<<<

Well, my memory is a bit hazy on the contract/payment question. I know we did have rudimentary contracts with some bands, more legalistic ones with others (mostly out of town bands that had managers) and with some it was all just a handshake deal. I really don't remember exactly the arrangements with Mudcrutch. I didn't personally sign any contracts since I was too young to legally do so.

Tom was pretty much the same guy from high school to the time we booked Mudcrutch. He was pretty down to earth and to a casual, outside observer, probably came across as a bit of a slacker. He always had a strong sense of mission and self-determination when it came to music. It was obvious to me that he had talent and I was always interested in promoting talented musicians - and still am, although not in the same manner.

I do remember an incident that gave me some added motivation. This was the year before the Rose started doing shows. I was living in the dorms during my freshman year and I looked out the window, which was a few floors up, and saw Tom outside. Tom was working for the Physical Plant division of the University of Florida. He was dressed in a light blue work uniform and had a stick with a nail in the end of it and a canvas bag slung over his shoulder and he was walking around stabbing little bits of paper and litter and putting them in the bag. Well, that was a sight that really affected me because I was aware of his abilities and I couldn't help but be a bit angry and sad that he was obviously not able to support himself doing music at that point. So the next year, when I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment and met Bruce Nearon and the whole Rose thing got going, I tried to book Mudcrutch as often as possible.

But, hey, there were lots of really good bands around and we did what we could to help them all.

Gotta go but I'll try to post again soon . . . Charlie

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always cool to hear rags to riches stories and how it happened. the luck involved, the coincidences. how many other band members never went beyond the stick with the nail in it picking up trash.

now he is filthy freaking rich beyond belief.

I am sure he is not exactly the same down to earth guy, it would be impossible with the life he has led since that time.

I guess you didn't hang out too much with him? think he would remember you? I know you said you didn't care to be remembered personally, just wondering do you think if you met him today and said hey it's Charlie, if a lightbulb would go on in his head.

I guess not since he left you off the whole rdad movie :085:

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Hell, according to Danny Roberts story at the bowling alley, Tom didn't remember his own ex bandmate! "no pictures, no pictures"

( BTW that is probably for the riff in my opinion, if this is the honest story, and Danny continued to laugh at Tom in front of everybody. Tom is trying to get this guy back in the band, and he quits, and then makes Tom look ridiculous in front of his peers. Tom probably thought screw this asshole.)

But back to TP's memory and whether he would remember Charlie, probably Too much herb, people in his life, associates.

That is Probably why he didnt include the Rose community bookings in his movie or book. You got a guy like Charlie giving him his first MAJOR bookings, much more than some dive bar, it would seem to get a mention, a line. Danny calls himself a catalyst, I would call Charlie one.

Tom seems like he has forgotten a lot. Or doesn't want to remember certain parts.

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I'll respond to some of your recent comments in a couple days or so but, in the meantime, here's another old down-to-earth Petty story that I recall. A bit involved, but maybe you'll find it interesting . . . .

In the spring of 1971 the Rose put on a local rock festival called the Gainesville Music Festival. It was held on a 240 acre farm about 25 miles outside of town that was owned by some friends of ours. It was a success musically but, unfortunately, we lost money. We had about 20 bands in two days, free camping, even some free food, and charged $5 admission. It drew about 5000 people. Mudcrutch played, as did Skynyrd, RGF and a bunch of other great local bands. The headliner was a band called Goose Creek Symphony, which I had heard at the Atlanta Pop Festival the previous summer. A great, and very innovative, band. Check them out.

Well, there was another group of people from South Florida who were also trying to put on a festival about the same time. Actually, the festival was just a means to an end. Their real goal was to buy some area land that was for sale and sell lots or build a subdivision or something. Only problem was they didn't have the $$$. After learning that the owners of the land lived in Chicago and had no local realtor connections (there was just a sign on the property with a Chicago phone number on it) they figured they could just use the land without the owner's knowledge. Their plan was to put on a rock festival, make a bunch of money, and buy the land. They were in the process of getting the property ready when the Sheriff found out about their scam and chased them off the land.

Well, the people who owned the farm we had used hadn't made money on our festival either - I think there was some profit-sharing arrangement or something. So, despite our warnings about these scumbags, they offered their land to the other promoters since it had just been used and had a stage set up and everything. So a week after our festival, the Duserah (sp??) Festival was held on the farm. Many people in the crowd were not from the Gainesville area and the promoters let things get way out of hand. Their so-called 'security force' consisted of a group of 'karate experts' whose leader drove around in a car with a pet lion (yes, a full-grown lion!) in the back seat. Colorful, but not particularly effective. The Sheriff was especially upset with the rampant drug dealing that was going on so he decided to shut the festival down. He called in officers from surrounding counties and when he started busting people the whole crowd immediately fled the scene en masse! The result was that the whole farm was covered with abandoned campsites and trash - 240 acres of garbage.

Well, we couldn't just let the farm become a trash dump so the Rose eventually organized some clean-up events. We put up posters all around town urging people to come out on Saturday mornings and pick up trash and then, in the evening, we'd have a band play and have a party. Well, Mudcrutch volunteered to play at one of these events. So early one Saturday morning people were starting to gather and we were getting things organized when here comes Tom (and Mike?) with a van full of equipment. I figured he was confused about the schedule and told him that they weren't supposed to play until evening. He said, "Yeah, I know. But you need help picking up garbage, right?" He spent the whole day helping to pick up trash and I think some of the other members came a little later and helped some too. Then the band set up on the stage and played in the evening. So, yeah, they were pretty down to earth back then. It took a few of these trash parties but the farm did eventually get cleaned up.

. . . . Charlie

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That is a very cool mental picture of Tom (Mike?) etc coming by to help de-trash the festival grounds, and then stick around and play the gig later.

I know I tend to put these guys on a pedestal, but hearing your story just makes me feel more justified in my high opinion of these guys.

Its sad to think of all the music I missed because I wasn't born until '62. The stories you tell of the Gainesville music scene seem so grand. Like a slice of heaven that fell from the sky and landed amongst the swamps and pines outside of Gainesville.

Has the Gainesville music scene remained so vibrant? There is just something about a town that really appreciates live music. Almost like the people who live there are more 'plugged in.'

Thats a great thing to be don't you think?

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Since Charles started posting I have been getting some great stories on this whole time period from both Charles and the promoter.

Apparently this halloween concert was attended by over 20,000 people, all dressed up in very elaborate costumes. The campus was calm for 1972, half the number of students that were are now, but there was an edge in the air with the war going on.

John Jones opened in the late afternoon and people just started showing up like woodstock. The university pulled the Plug on Mudcrutch at midnight and a minor riot occurred. Even the security staff( dressed like evil droogs from Clockwork orange) started breaking stuff. The university then stopped the Halloween concerts after that last (3rd) one.

I Just love these stories from first hand accounts. Thanks to the people that have a story to tell!!! It had to be a petri dish of new bands starting.

There is no more Gainesville "scene" like then. It faded away.

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>>>Since Charles started posting I have been getting some great stories on this whole time period from both Charles and the promoter.<<<

Hmmm. Other than myself, who have you been in contact with? Who's the person you describe as "the promoter"? Is there someone else from the old Rose crew out there who's been following this? If so, it'd be great if they would join in and post here. I certainly don't claim to be the definitive historian of this saga. The Rose was a group of people, headed by its founder Bruce Nearon, but I wouldn't characterize any one person as THE promoter, even though Bruce could be described as the driving force. He's one of the most energetic guys I've had the pleasure of knowing and he has a real gift of being able to get people enthused about a cause.

As I mentioned in the ebay description of the poster (I was the seller and I've been under the impression that gatorhugger was the buyer, correct?) there was a huge crowd - at least 15,000 and 20,000 is a real possibility - and probably 85%-90% were in costume. And, yes, the size of the student body was much smaller then than today.

>>>John Jones opened in the late afternoon and people just started showing up like woodstock. The university pulled the Plug on Mudcrutch at midnight and a minor riot occurred.<<<

Not sure where you got this info. First, the show didn't start until 9 pm or, probably a bit later ("musician's time zone" is generally in effect at any show) just as it says on the poster. I can't say I recall exactly when it ended, nor do I recall that the power was cut off but that is entirely possible. I believe that Mudcrutch was able to play essentially all of their set though. From the 9 pm starting time, which would have been approved by UF officials, I'm thinking the show went to at least 1 am, after which time the power may have been cut off. They did make us start this Halloween Ball earlier than the previous ones, which started at midnight and ended at 4 am. I'm still not sure how we got them to go along with that but somehow we did. I'm sure there were noise complaints after the ones that started at midnight, so the starting time was moved up for the 3rd one. I can't say that I specifically recall anything resembling a "minor riot" although there may have been some disgruntled fans who may have caused some trouble. I certainly didn't see or experience everything that went on in such a huge crowd.

>>>Even the security staff( dressed like evil droogs from Clockwork orange) started breaking stuff. <<<

Well, there WAS a whole group of guys dressed in costumes from the movie A Clockwork Orange - white jumpsuits with black bowler hats and billy clubs. So I guess someone else who was there filled you in on this detail. Lots of amazing, creative, costumes. However, I don't recall that they were the "security staff". There were some guys who helped with security at the shows we promoted in the University Auditorium and those guys would have helped to secure the stage area at Halloween but they wouldn't have been involved with crowd control. The crowd was way too large for that to be effective. I remember the "evil droogs" cavorting through the crowd and acting "in character" by chasing some people (I assumed their friends) around.

The UPD (University Police Dept) was out in force but even they were relegated to directing traffic. The crowd that year completely filled up the Plaza of the Americas and spilled out into the surrounding campus streets, which had to be closed. I remember hearing reports that there were major traffic issues on University Ave and other streets too, so I guess the Gainesville Police were also pretty busy.

The UPD always complained about the Halloween Ball being a major problem and UF officials would be up in arms afterward. Our standard response was to ask how many people they had arrested. The answer was usually none, although on this occasion there may have been a few. I'd have to research old newspaper accounts to say for sure. We would then point out that either (if it was as bad as they claimed) the police weren't doing their job or the event really didn't cause that much of a problem. We would then ask how many people were arrested at the most recent football game. The number would usually be from 30-60. So, of course, the next question would be whether they were considering eliminating football too. We also had a great supporter and guardian angel in the person of the late Dr. Jack Faricy, who was our faculty advisor. (Sorry we gave you so many headaches, Jack!)

>>>The university then stopped the Halloween concerts after that last (3rd) one.<<<

Well, as I mentioned in the ebay description, the Halloween Ball WAS banned from UF the following year but the statement above is a bit misleading. First, the University did not promote the first 3 events and they did continue. The 4th Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball was held on the campus of Santa Fe Community College. We were not allowed to return there either because some bushes at the newly built campus had been trampled and, although we replaced them, we were told we couldn't use their facilities again. The following year we were scrambling around trying to find a location for the 5th Annual Ball. We approached the small town of Micanopy, just south of Gainesville, and met with their town council. We suggested that we would include an arts & crafts show, which would run all day long, and then provide music at night. They thought it was a great idea but they wanted it to be a two-day event and questioned whether we could put it all together in time so they told us to come back the following year. This is how the Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival got started. We gave them the idea and they promoted it themselves starting the next year. That event is still going on - although the meaning of the term "harvest" has changed over the years. Back then Micanopy's main crop was known as "Micanopy Madness" Tom probably remembers THAT! =8^)

We were running out of options so, with Halloween approaching, we talked to our friends at the farm where the Gainesville Music Festival was held and the event was held there using remnants of the festival stage and portable generators for power. The crowd at the stage was very small yet thousands of people came. Huh? Well, the roads into the farm were very sandy we were quite understaffed and when some of the early arrivers got stuck they just abandoned their cars and started walking before we could get a tractor there to pull them out of the sand. Other cars just pulled up behind them and parked and walked too, apparently thinking that the parking area was already full. There was a long line of cars leading out of the farm and down the road while the field that we planned to use as a "parking lot" was virtually empty. The people who made it there heard some great music but most didn't get that far. We heard stories of how there were cars pulled over on the side of the road with people partying on the roadside and that this stretched for many miles - all the way from the farm thru the small town of Archer and back towards Gainesville. So it was a party but most people didn't get to hear the bands!

The following year we were able to infiltrate UF Student Government when some of our members (I was no longer a student) formed the Rock 'n Roll Party and one of our members, Jeffrey Goldstein, became the chairman of Student Government Productions (SGP), which received money from student fees. So, beginning with the 6th Annual event, it became an official UF event promoted by SGP and was toned down enough that UF administrators accepted it. In all the event was produced for over 20 years, although it was pretty lame towards the end and by then almost no one dressed up. Sad. I may be the only person who attended every one of these events.

. . . Charlie

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Thanks for all the great info and stories, Charlie. I love hearing about how down to earth the guys were, and still are as far as I can tell. My hubby told me once that he usually doesn't like to learn too much about the personal lives of the musicians he likes because he finds out that he really doesn't care for their personalities, but he said that the more he learns about Tom and the heartbreakers the more he loves them!

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I am sorry Charlie, I didnt mean to infer you were not the promoter, when I said "Charlie and the promoter." I was referring to your old roomie Bruce Nearon, but you certainly were the promoter of these events as much as Mr.Nearon.

So I misspoke badly.

Bruce Nearon gives you full credit for booking and finding Mudcrutch, I have been corresponding some with him, also pestering him for information on the Rose community.

I didnt' see your Gainesville Music Festival post, wasn't sure if you were coming back, so I added a snippet I had heard from Bruce just in excitement for all the Mudcrutch fans.

In no way did I mean to imply you are not accurate, you are an excellent historian of a really cool time in Gainesville history, you definitely were the driving force for booking and finding mudcrutch, and your memories and knowledge firsthand are simply amazing. I will leave the stories to you, they are yours, not mine. I can only screw them up :)

Yes, I purchased the poster, thank you so much again, I am very proud of it on my wall, and love these memories added for the record.

They have never been told before I do believe, and to me at least, they are invaluable in documenting the birth of a famous band.

Many thanks again for both the poster, your time, and opening up your memory for all TP fans! It doesn't get any better for a lot of us to hear the real deal from the guy who set it all up.

Gator

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Hey - no apology necessary. That's not how I took it at all. I was just curious who you had talked to and I figured it might have been Bruce. (the phrase "evil droogs" gave it away) By the way if you could contact me privately (I think you can just click on my screen name here to do that or through ebay is good too) with info on how to contact him I'd appreciate it, or ask him to contact me - I'm in the phone book. I haven't seen him in about 10 years, I think. And, if anyone could be called "the promoter" it would be him. He was the driving force, as I said, and the Rose would not have existed without him . . . or without a guy named Andy Kramer who was (how to put it?) almost a spiritual inspiration since he was the quintessential Gainesville hippie and had put on some free shows before the Rose was organized and then worked with us too. (I sure would like to know what happened to him!) I played my part but I don't think my role was central to that scene. I have heard Bruce say to other people "Chawles (trying to imitate his NY accent) discovered Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd." Well, that's bullshit and he's gifted like that =8^) And as far as accuracy goes, I really don't remember as many details as I'd like to so his recollections are certainly just as valid for sure - maybe more valid. So, if Bruce isn't interested in posting here, well, by all means don't hesitate to pass on some info you've heard from him.

Well, I still mean to post a followup to the "down to earth" theme as it applies to Mudcrutch but since I've mentioned Skynyrd, I've got to say a few things about them too. I booked them after hearing them at an album release party for a great band called Cowboy, who also played for us and which had just been signed to Capricorn Records, whose main act was the Allman Bros. Do a search for Cowboy and for their main guys Tommy Talton (who I got to hear this past March) and Scott Boyer. Great writers. Well, Skynyrd opened for their album release party which was held on the front lawn of a house off 13th St. Now I have also heard that Petty lived at this house at some point but I can't personally confirm that. Interestingly, the house is gone now and a condo project is there and its called "Wildflower". Coincidence or ??? I don't know.

Well, the Skynyrd guys were pretty down to earth too. On at least one occasion they showed up early for a gig and sat around our living room playing acoustics before setting up. At the time they were even more blues oriented than what came to be called Southern Rock, which certainly was too. Bruce asked me what we should put on the poster for their first gig at the University Auditorium and the phrase I suggested was "Heavy, Driving, Blues Rock!" Anyway, since I told you about the Desurah (sp??) Festival, here's a story that's related . . . A couple weeks before the Gainesville Music Festival (our show) Ronnie Van Zant called me on the phone. We had already talked to them about playing at our festival. He said that the Desurah promoters wanted them to play at their festival too and were offering them much more money than we had. Ronnie said the stipulation was that Skynyrd had to cancel their gig with us if they wanted to play Desurah . I told him that we really couldn't afford to pay them any more and that we would understand if they cancelled and wouldn't hold it against them. That they should do what was best for their band. No hard feelings, etc. His response was, "No, man, I just wanted to let you know what these scumbags are up to and they're probably trying to get some of the other bands to cancel your gig too." He went on to say how much they appreciated the gigs that the Rose had promoted with them in Gainesville and that nobody was going to tell them where they could or couldn't play. No matter how much money was being offered. So that showed real integrity on their part.

Now I know Skynyrd is somewhat of a joke to some people - especially the cliche of fans who yell "Freeee Bird! at concerts everywhere. Well, as gatorhugger will confirm, they don't think they're a joke in Jacksonville, but elsewhere they're fair game it seems. I can't say I've followed them much since the fateful plane crash, but to me that cliche chant is indicative of their influence, which can't be denied whether or not you're a fan of theirs. Now last year they played at Gator Growl, which is a huge "pep rally" which is held at Florida Field on the Friday night before the Homecoming Football Game. I didn't go and there's apparently not much of the original band left, but I actually heard the music from inside my house and I walked outside and stood in my yard and, as corny as it sounds, I got goose bumps when I heard them play Freebird and I thought about that phone call from Ronnie.

. . . Charlie

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I think Ronnie was the band. Once he died, and they came back in different ways, playing up the freebird thing Way too much, they became their own worse enemy and in a lot of peoples minds a parody.

That is a shame, they were so much more than Freebird. The vast majority of their songs are bluesy country rock( haha whatever that it is), but it wasn't freebird. It was "am I losing"

Ronnie wrote tremendous songs, he was very talented and driven Like Tom. But for me that band stopped in 1977. Imagine if TP was gone in 77 how little we would really know him. It is a shame that Skynyrd is known for that one damn song. I wish they would never have wrote it.

That is fun day trip for anyone in Jax, reliving the skynrd haunts. Ronnies old house on mull St is still there( scary neighborhood, don't go after dark) but is fenced in pretty high. The still, the west tavern( which has been vacant and is run down), just a bunch of the old sites are still around. Including Morris Auto parts where Ronnie used to work for my Dad. My father would make him pin his hair up under a baseball cap.

Charlie, at the Gainesville Festival which band Mudcrutch or TP was tbe headliner and which one "won" Haha? Either band's performance stand out that day?

I'll pm you Bruce's contact info, you have some catching up to do I am sure. I doubt he knows a thing about this thread, I just found him, told him you sold me a poster and started asking questions.

Like you, he is direct, and has a good memory and is surprised anyone would care about any of this.

He does credit you for discovering skynyrd and Petty. You sure had a hand in it at a minimum. :)

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I meant to ask Charlie who was the best perceived band that day in 1971, Mudcrutch or was it Skynyrd? That must have been really something to see. 2 hall of fame bands on a farm in the woods in 1971. Like a mini woodstock :)

Did the weather cooperate?

Was Skynyrd looked at as a bigger name locally at the time?

I see that LS did not play the huge halloween concert in 72, the next year, so were they unavailable?

Did Mudcrutch play for you again after Oct 72, and was that your last contact with the band?

When did the Rose Community end?

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This probably doesn't answer all the various questions that were posted earlier, but I'll try to cover a few bases for anyone who's still interested. I've worked on this response off and on whenever I've had some time. As usual, please excuse me if I ramble a bit . . . . =8^)

But first, a correction or two. In a previous post I talked about the Gainesville Music Festival in 1971 and I said the tickets were $5. Well, I was doing a little housecleaning the other day and came across some more memorabilia including a ticket from the event which I had saved and the ticket price was actually $2.50. Nuts huh? 20 bands for two days with free camping and parking for $2.50. Free water too, no $3 bottles of water like today's festivals. No wonder we lost money. To put that in perspective, $2.50 in 2008 dollars is about $13.50.

OK, another correction/clarification. I also came across an old copy of the UF student newspaper, the Alligator, in which there was an article about the, then upcoming, 6th Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball and a brief history of the first five events. The reporter interviewed Jeffrey Goldstein (the Rose member who had become the head of Student Government Productions) and myself. This refreshed my fading memory a bit. The 1972 Ball was shut down after an impromptu costume contest flooded the stage with revelers while Mudcrutch was setting up on stage. There were problems getting the fans to leave the stage and Mudcrutch refused to play until it was cleared. This delayed the start of their set and they only played about 30-40 minutes when University officials pulled the plug soon after the scheduled ending time of 1 am. And, yes, there was apparently some damage done by the crowd, which had gotten a bit rowdy, which caused problems for the Rose and contributed to our eventual ouster from campus.

Regarding the Gainesville Music Festival (GMF) and the relative popularity of Mudcrutch and Lynyrd Skynyrd . . . Those two went on the become famous, so the assumption many people would make is that they were the most popular or clearly considered to be the best bands. Not true. They were both great bands but there were other bands that, at the time, were just as good or better. At the GMF I really don't remember if those two bands even played on the same night and I can't comment on which one got the best crowd reaction. I do remember that they both put in solid sets that were well received by the crowd. The headliner for the festival was Goose Creek Symphony, a band that had a couple of albums out and had played in front of 500,000+ at the Atlanta Pop Festival. They got an incredible reaction from the crowd and became a big draw in Gainesville for years to come. I don't remember who the headliner was the other night of the festival. For most people, Goose Creek was the highlight of the weekend.

Another GMF performance which sticks in my mind was by an area bluegrass band, The Dixie Ramblers. One aspect of booking that I've always enjoyed is having bands that play drastically different styles of music play on the same bill. They performed in the afternoon and followed a pretty heavy rock band. These guys had played for many years (they were all middle-aged, at the least) but they were scared shitless. They told me they had never played in front of more than 50 or 75 people and they were on stage staring at a crowd of 5000 young hippies (definitely NOT their normal audience) who had just wildly applauded a rock band. They figured the crowd would hate them and boo them off the stage. I had to talk them into going on but they finally agreed, saying that they would only play a few songs and get off stage quickly. Well, the crowd went absolutely wild. They had 5000 hippies on their feet and dancing. The band was in a state of shock. The fans demanded encores. After the set they told me it had been their best show ever and the reaction they got was every bit as strong as Mudcrutch or Skynyrd got, maybe even better. They played for us sometime later as an opening act at the Auditorium too.

Out of town bands, like Skynyrd, usually received more interest from the fans since they hadn't heard them regularly, or at all. Overexposure can be a problem for a local band regardless of how good they are. At the show in the Auditorium where Skynyrd and Mucrutch played, Skynyrd was the headliner. I came across another ticket for a show we did with Cowboy (another band with albums out who I mentioned previously) in the Auditorium and Mudcrutch opened for them. $1.50 for that show. A couple of other out of town bands that drew big crowds were Stonehenge (from Atlanta) and Power (from Orlando). Power (a classic 'power trio' with a twist) was especially popular. They played at the first Halloween Ball and for us in the Auditorium on several occasions. Danny Roberts, who later joined Mudcrutch, played bass in Power. When I first saw the infamous Mudcrutch pic, which he says he was later airbrushed out of, I said to myself, "Who is THAT guy? Oh, yeah, that's the guy from Power who joined Mudcrutch later on". I didn't even know his name because the guys in Power all used nicknames - Donnie Dumptruck, Rat and Pig (Danny was Pig as I recall) and their roadie was Smut. I didn't actually remember his name until I read his posts here. I only heard the version of Mudcrutch with Danny a few times (I got married in March 1973 and was out of town for about 6 months while my wife was doing internships) but I remember how their sound had become more rock oriented. Previous to that Mudcrutch was really a 'country-rock' band - much like the Mudcrutch album. Perhaps that has something to do with Tommy Leadon's background, which was influenced by his brother, Bernie, who was in the Flying Burrito Bros and later, the Eagles. And, of course, the Byrds had influenced EVERYONE.

Some semi-related trivia I've recently learned: Bernie had originally been mostly a bluegrass picker until he joined The Maundy Quintet (at whose show I first met both Toms). The Maundies had previously been known as the Continentals, another legendary Gville band that I never got to hear. Bernie apparently started playing electric guitar after meeting Don Felder (who later also joined the Eagles) and then Bernie joined the Continentals, replacing Stephen Stills, and they changed their name to the Maundy Quintet. Petty apparently took lessons from Felder too.

So the country influence was quite strong. One of the most memorable Mudcrutch shows for me was an Auditorium gig they did with a local banjo player (I've forgotten his name). The guy didn't just play on a couple of songs, they played a whole set together. HOT! So, when Danny says he was a catalyst in Mudcrutch, I can at least confirm that the sound of the band did change after he joined.

Anyway, back to Power. They had a huge following in Gainesville. We never had an opening act when they played the Auditorium because they did two sets. The first set was done as a "traditional" power trio - Donnie Dumptruck on guitar, Pig on bass and Rat on drums. For the second set, Dumptruck would sit in a folding chair and play guitar, augmented by harmonica on a holder around his neck and also play bass using the bass pedals from an organ. I think Pig (Danny Roberts) would then play guitar (or was it electric piano??). They were an awesome band.

Of course the band you thought was best depended heavily on which type of music you preferred. If you were less into country-rock and favored music that was influenced more by early rock 'n roll (think '50s Elvis) and say The Rolling Stones, the local band that rocked you was RGF (Real Good Fuck). If most people had been asked to predict which one of the local bands would end up being famous, they probably would have said it would be RGF.

Fairly recently I learned about a website which has a rather long (four sections) essay about "Great Gainesville Bands" which was written by a formerly local musician, Gary Gordon.

It's at: http://garygordonproductions.com/great_gainesville_bands.html

Gary's slightly younger than me and, of course, these are his memories and much of it centers around bands he was in and on the scene of the late '70s onward, after Petty left town. After I read it I was seriously questioning my own memory - the sonofabitch mentioned all kinds of details I had forgotten. Luckily, I ran into one of his former bandmates who assured me that Gary had spoken to lots of other musicians when he was gathering information for his site, so now I don't feel quite so bad about my sometimes questionable memory. Gary is an actual writer though and he wrote a bit about RGF so here's an excerpt from his site with a couple of notes from me in (( )):

"But there is really only one band in that period of the late 60s and very early 70s that stands out and should hold the title of the best band of that era: RGF, which stood for Really Good Fuck or Really Good Friends, depending on where they were playing. They were everything mentioned above and more. While people might say "oh yeah, Riff's playin' at the Union", people drove miles to see RGF. Featuring Jeff Jourard ((lead guitar)), Thomas Patty ((rhythm guitar)), Carl Patty (and later, Ron Blair) ((bass)), Mike Hitchcock ((drums)), Doug D'Amico and Randy (whose last name I don't remember) ((Randy Williford, aka Randy Kidd and Doug were the singers)), this band combined the best of the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones, with their own signature sound and frenzy. They had great dual guitar work, two great lead singers who were also showmen, great arrangements of covers (their Jailhouse Rock never failed to bring down the house), great originals, and great jams. . . . . RGF were the perfect intersection of a band of creative artists and entertainers satisfying the exact desires, wishes and fantasies of the crowd. They were rock n roll incarnate."

One of Gary Gordon's memories of RGF refers to a show the Rose put on: " the time they headlined at the UF Auditorium and, along with playing great, the two lead singers rubbed raw hamburger meat over themselves and threw it in the audience (okay, you probably had to be there); and their arrangement of Martha & The Vandellas' Dancin' In The Street: it's an arrangement I still play to this day, over 30 years later."

We caught hell for the "hamburger incident", mostly because of the aftermath, which involved meatballs being thrown all around the Auditorium. Classic! I believe it was only Randy who smeared it on his bare chest - not Doug. I'm not really familiar with the Stooges, but I've read that Iggy Pop once smeared peanut butter (?) on himself in a similar manner. Does anyone know when that was? I've wondered if RGF was doing an Iggy imitation or if this was pre-Iggy.

RGF certainly had a knack for coming up with great arrangements of older songs - Gary mentioned "Jailhouse Rock" and "Dancin' In The Street ". The other one I remember was a brilliant arrangement of the traditional folk song "John Henry".

I'm normally not into all this nostalgia shit but I hope some of you found this interesting. I know it's not all Mudcrutch/Petty related, but hopefully it will give you some idea of the music scene they were a part of.

. . . . Charlie

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You aren't losing your memory Charlie, but it was 35 years ago. I think you are doing really well. I could not remember 5 years ago.

There will be very minor discrepancies, like bruce remembering the halloween party staring 3 hours earlier than 9pm for a preparty.

Those are minor things, you got the major events down.

(Will call you this week, maybe we can have lunch at Hogans? )

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