It was nearly twenty years ago, and I was just a snivelly little street punk (okay, okay, so I still am). Because of circumstance, I had an especially close relationship with and reliance on radio. I always had A and did right up to the point when the corporates-computers-consults came in and ruined the whole damn thing A but that summer was special because I discovered a sonic treasure called WEDR-FM. All day, all night, any chance I could A you'd find me eared up with the sounds of the other side of town A birthday shout outs and chitlins specials, step ons and echo effects. The music was hit and miss, but the voices A the DJs, though it hardly seems fair to call them that, they were so much more A were the glue that held me there, the fuel that kept me going. Jerry Rushin -- Sooper Jerry Jayyy -- was king. Jimmy G was god.
Jimmy Griffin, Jr., was the man, the voice of a thousand men, the most entertaining thing going and all he did was talk. He had arrived in Miami from Little Rock, Arkansas, in the late Sixties, working at the time as a singer with Otis Redding. In 1967 he switched to radio, first at WMBM-AM, moving to WEDR in 1971. Then he dominated. In the fall of 1989 I had occasion to write about WEDR, and during the research I learned that Jimmy G wasn't doing so well, that a degenerative disease was slowly eating away his eyesight. Nonetheless, Jimmy G wasn't finished yet. He moved to WLRN-FM, working as an engineer and announcer for the station's renowned Radio Reading Service. On May 19 Mr. Griffin A you always use the courtesy title when they're gone A died of respiratory failure. Services are this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Mount Calvary Baptist Church (1140 NW 62nd St.). The viewing is Friday from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Community Funeral Services (485 NE 54th St.). Though final arrangements had been made, money is still needed for expenses. Contributions can be directed to the funeral home (758-8820). Go in peace, good man. You were a godsend to one young punk who learned there's more to this world than what's in your own back yard.
The Arthur Barron Experience is trying to prove there are jazz people in this town. The sax master and his cohorts will light up Stephen Talkhouse tomorrow (Thursday). Be there or be aware that the dearth of jazz in Miami is your fault. The players, they're playing. Meanwhile, Barron is also stepping to it with Rose's Bar at the Lasso Lounge, where bluesman Fleet Starbuck delivers the live goods every weekend. Hey, Fleet A gettin' a little tired of working on those "roofs" in Soggy Bay, aren't we?
Wins: Cl-cl-classic rocker Bob Seger has finished up his new album for Capitol (due out this summer) at New River Studios, where Dion is busy producing his Christmas album. You might call Seger and Dion relics or dinosaurs. I call them heroes.
Places: Stephanie Lyn D'Amore will display her artwork under the banner "Nirvana A A Metamorphosis" at the Clean Machine on South Beach through June 20. JohnMartin's, the Irish eatery and pub in Coral Gables, is featuring live music, including sing-alongs on Mondays, Irish ballads on Tuesdays, cl-cl-classic rock on Saturdays, and pub songs on Sundays. No mention of a Volunteers appearance, however. Sanctuary now fills that volatile space at 323 23rd St. in Miami Beach, with the club fronting a big Front 242 party this Friday. Along with the giveaways, there'll also be promotion for a new Epic group, Jaydee, plus sonics by DJs Michael Perez, Marlon, and Stryke A lots of industrial, they say. Van Dome has been featuring the "Flow" on Thursdays with live big-band sounds. Too cool.
Shows: Musicians Exchange continues its live local music thang tomorrow (Thursday) with Second Son and Natural Causes. You can also catch Second Son the following two nights at Rosey Baby in Fort Lauderdale. The godly pairing of Halo and the Holy Terrors is on tap at Cactus Cantina on Friday. Peter Graves and his Atlantean Driftwood Band provide the sounds for a free party at Mizner Park in Boca Raton (587-8283) at 4:00 p.m. Sunday. Voidville and Black Janet play the Plus Five on Saturday. There'll be a jam under the "music tree" at 5920 Johnson St. in Hollywood at noon Saturday. Bring your horn, fiddle, guitar, banjo, drums, bass, voice, whatever.
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Don't forget that Monday is a holiday, for some of you anyway. There's the big WSHE blowout at Penrod's (Paul Rodgers, Kip Winger, the Tragically Hip, Young Turk, Forget the Name, Farrcry, and others) and the Reggae Report blowout at Maurice's on the Beach (4111 S. Ocean Dr. in Hallandale) with Billy and Andy Vernon.
Butthorn of the week: Wayne Huizenga. He must be stopped. He will soon control every aspect of every day of your life. Unless he is stopped.
The media circus: Channel 4 News has to get control of itself. Two weeks before hurricane season, and already Bryan "Jesus" Norcross has us running for the shelters and buying up stockpiles of Beanee-Weenees. The other stations are also giddy with the excitement engendered by the possibility that their weather people might actually have something interesting to say at some point.
Pet corner: Does Rat Bastard qualify for "Pet Corner"? Who cares. I had to run the accompanying photo of the Worst Band in America (Scraping Teeth) and their not-too-pretty friends at Spin. Just had to.