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The Last Damn Parade: Jeff's Parade of Stars 3, December 30, 1999

One by one 50 musical acts -- that's right, more than 4 dozen -- alighted Tobacco Road's upstairs stage from 9:30 p.m. until past 3:30 a.m. for this starry-eyed, six-hour extravaganza. The show's loving creator was Jeff Rollason, musical son of former Miami City Manager Frank Rollason. Once known as the Space Cowboy, Rollason shines on with a simpler moniker: Jeff. His three parades in 1999 will go down in Miami's local rock history, perhaps, as a trio of shooting asteroids near the end of the first millennium. With a cosmic magnetism few possess, Jeff attracted almost everyone in town who fancies himself or herself a rocker. Not only did he convince them to show up, but to limit themselves to just one song (with a few exceptions). Onetime Holy Terror frontman Rob Elba, perhaps conscientiously, preferred to fill most of his precious moments yappin' between the clappin', reinforcing the notion that although rock and roll will never die, it is tough for even the most persistent souls to make a living at it. Happy to see so many old friends in the room, Elba nevertheless lamented, "How many of us have really made serious money doing this? I mean serious money?" No one listening above the din offered any names. "Either we all really suck," Elba continued, "or life is not fair." One comrade in guitars yelled, "Those two possibilities are not mutually exclusive!" In sum 'twas a memorable night in a roomful of wistful, whimsical musicians, without whom the live rock scene in Miami would fade to dark like a white dwarf burning out over the dark side of the moon.

 
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