Saturday, July 26, 2014

INVASION: Summer Camp 2014

_____________________
 
INVASION:
Summer Camp
2014

Q: What's
summer with-
out camp?
 
A: SUCKY!
_____________________

Prepping to embark on another untamed
summer youth invasion with lighting
director, D.J. Cusmano - July 2014.
Simply put, I  possess a passion for ministry and a heart for young people. And for the last three summers I've been blessed to be able to combine those passions by serving as an "adult" leader on various church youth camp excursions. This year, I once again joined the crew from East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, Florida as we converged on Gainesville's Camp Kulaqua for another weeklong "invasion."
 
As I've written previously, we take youth camp  very seriously at ECCC. In fact, it's a full-blown production. Hence, we don't merely  throw a few sleeping bags, a couple of cans of bug spray and a load of grub into a minivan and go. We  PACK  a rented 40-foot U-Haul truck from front to back with arena-caliber sound and lighting equipment, computer and camera gear, couches, game tables, bicycles  — even  our own monster-sized fridge. In short, we literally move in for the week at Kulaqua. It's just how we roll.

Audio director Neil Migala also took this
year's camp experience very seriously.
ECCC Youth Pastor, Bryan Moore, was right on the money last spring when he first announced that this year's summer outing would be called, INVASION. In 2012, we took a busload of about 50 teens on a camp adventure to Daytona. In 2013,  a  bigger group of young people (approx. 75) traveled to Kulaqua. In 2014, we returned to Gainesville with even more — two busloads of peeps (100 teens and two dozen adults). An "invasion," indeed!
 
Our camp productions require nearly 24 hours to set up. As a result, like last year, I found myself headed to Kulaqua a day early — accompanying ECCC's go-to guru, Scott Noy in the cab of the fully-loaded U-Haul as we traveled in  the advance crew's caravan along Florida's Turnpike on Sunday afternoon. Our ETA — 7PM. And immediately upon our arrival, we began literally transforming the small, rather drab-looking on-sight chapel built during the '50s into a modern-day concert hall — a state-of-the-art venue that would be home to life-changing Praise and Worship services throughout the week.

NOBODY packs a U-Haul like Scott Noy!
(Anybody wanna buy a bike?)
But by the time our campers would arrive at Kulaqua on Monday afternoon, I'd be gone. Yes, sadly, I wouldn't be able to participate in this year's entire five-day experience. I'd spend Sunday and Monday helping to set up the production, but then I had to head home — writing deadlines don't wait. However, I would get to return to camp and hang out with my kids  on Wednesday and Thursday — just in time to host the BLOB competition.
 
INVASION offered a week's worth of swimming, rock climbing, miniature golf, obstacle courses and more — as well as plenty of late-night dodgeball action in the Kulaqua gymnasium. 
 
The INVASION sight and sound spectacle
 included a truckload of rolling equipment
cases and seemingly endless miles of cables.
Despite the undeniable appeal of non-stop fun and games, be sure that THE primary focus of this outing was, always, Jesus and ECCC's unique brand of hardcore Praise and Worship. Youth worship leader, singer  and songwriter, Keith Alderman brought his "A" Game — once again joining forces with an impeccable group of young musicians and a cast of inspirational nightly guest speakers. And all was well, all week — that is until I showed back up.
 
I don't know what it is, but teenagers with cans of shaving cream and Silly String just always seem to gravitate to me. And embracing fully the distinction of being recognized as ECCC's oldest "kid," I'm often guilty of enabling my mischievous compadres.
 
I spotted this baby while browsing for assault rifles with Scott Noy
 in Gainesville on our long journey home from Kulaqua on Monday.
(A guy can dream, right?)
Kulaqua's infamous obstacle course
teaches kids the value of teamwork.
In 2014, our group had graduated from  Kulaqua's ancient-looking cinderblock cabins to  its luxurious, brand spanking new, hotel-style accommodations. And Bryan Moore had apprised all adult leaders (and me) of the zero tolerance policy regarding any camp-related shenanigans that  might compromise the buildings' "new car smell" or tarnish ECCC's distinguished reputation.
 
But when I came across a group of "restless" young people gathered in the lobby  of one of the luxury buildings on Thursday morning, armed with aerosol cans ready to open fire, I became immediately torn between my roles as "responsible" adult leader and "elder" teen camper. I needed to protect both my kids, and Bryan from experiencing the repercussions of any said "shenanigans." Hence, upon seeking the guidance of three other adult leaders, I opted to go rogue and allow these kids to get it all out of their systems — to scream their brains out and empty their cans during a supervised daylight "invasion" of ONE rival room. The raid lasted all of eight seconds, yet I spent the next 15 minutes on my hands and knees, personally cleaning up the debris. News of the good-natured attack spread immediately like wildfire throughout Kulaqua. But while the effort established an alliance between certain campers and myself, others were less than enthusiastic. "You better sleep with one eye open tonight," one teenage gal warned me during lunch in the cafeteria that afternoon. YIKES! Little did she know that I'd be gone — headed home long before her crew would have an opportunity to retaliate. Man, I love camp!
 
"Hot fun in the summertime!"
Kulaqua's "Leap of Faith"
The BLOB!
 
And not only do I love camp, I love these kids — every one of them. I particularly love their honest and pure passion for Jesus. And if they take just a piece of their Kulaqua experience and share it with others in their post-camp lives, the world certainly will  experience a mighty "invasion" of biblical proportion. #psychedforcamp2015

-Christopher Long
(July 2014)
_______________________________________________________________________
 
Check out all of my of faith-based
blog reviews, features and stories in
_______________________________________________________________________

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.
 
Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

'80s IN THE PARK 2014: Day III (Sunday / Sept. 28th)

'80s
IN THE PARK
- Day III -
Sunday / September 28, 2014
Wickham Park / Melbourne, FL

Welcome to the
final edition of my
'80s IN THE PARK
series — a concert
event of such epic
proportion that it's
taken a three-part
mega series just to
scratch the neon-
colored surface.
__________________

Get "Back to the Future" at '80s IN THE PARK.
Simply put, '80s IN THE PARK is a three-day celebration of everything '80s. Transporting fans of all ages back through time in a swirl  of sight and sound —  iconic movie / TV themes, legendary bands and more, the event will offer something for everyone.  Timeless music of the decade will fill the air while the ever-faithful play such vintage arcade games as Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders — or maybe even help Mario in his fight for survival in  the classic Nintendo game contest. Impeccable tribute bands, along with "'80s Ambassador" DJ K.W. will keep the  party revving on all cylinders  throughout  the  weekend. Dance with '80s look-alikes, shop for T-shirts, hats, handmade jewelry and memorabilia at one of over 40 vendors. Then, when the sun goes down, sit under the stars and enjoy a variety of foods from some of Brevard County's finest restaurants while taking in non-stop, high-energy concert performances from an array of "golden era" MTV artists, live on the '80s IN THE PARK main stage.
_______________________________________________________________________

'80s IN THE PARK 2014:
Costumes, contests, concerts and more!
FROM THE BOSS...

This year's event will run from noon to 10PM each day. In addition to 20+ live bands, we will have TV and movie cars — the Delorean time machine from Back to the Future, the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard and KITT from Knight Rider, along with Marty McFly and Doc Brown look-alikes for pictures.
 
In the Pavilion we will have comics, collectibles and a flashback arcade with retro NES and Atari decks. It's also home to our '80s DJ, '80s Karaoke contests and '80s costume contests all weekend long. Wayfarers  and Ray-Bans will be available in the next tent, along with video and photo booths to make sure you have a record of your time travel experience.
 
In 2014, we've made the concert area bigger and added more color and décor from the '80s. We really want the ticket holders to feel like they have gone back in time — as much as they can while holding a smartphone! Also, this year's event will have over eight - 8' Rubik's Cube box offices and ticketing booths along with other large '80s pop culture displays.

-Richard Hendry ('80s IN THE PARK co-founder)
_______________________________________________________________

LIVE ONSTAGE

Three action-packed days — more than two dozen incredible live acts — performing each day from start to finish on the newly expanded '80s IN THE PARK main stage. And although it was no easy feat, those Hendry fellas just might have topped last year's all-star concert line-up. Here's what's on-tap for fans on Sunday...

Former Bad Company frontman Brian Howe
BRIAN HOWE
In the mid '80s, singer / songwriter Brian Howe joined forces with drummer Simon Kirke and guitarist Mick Ralphs to complete the re-vamped Bad Company line-up. Together, they wrote, recorded and toured for the next decade — headlining every major venue around the globe. Along the way, the band scored such radio and video hits as "Holy Water," "If You Needed Somebody," "No Smoke Without A Fire," and "How About That." The '80s IN THE PARK audience can expect to hear Howe performing all of Bad Company's hit songs, including such classics as "Can't Get Enough," "Bad Company," "Ready For Love," and many others. (BRIAN HOWE ON FACEBOOK)

Former Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy
STEPHEN PEARCY
The look — iconic. The voice — unmistakable. The songs — timeless. As the frontman for Ratt, Stephen Pearcy defined "arena rock" with such platinum-selling radio and MTV staples as "Round and Round," "Wanted Man," "You're in Love," "Lay it Down," "Way Cool Jr." and "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job." In 2014, he's "back for more," and headed straight for Melbourne's Wickham Park! (STEPHEN PEARCY ON FACEBOOK)


JOHN WAITE
With a career that spans nearly 40 years, John Waite is a bona fide superstar. He first was picked up on rock's radar as the frontman for The Babys — scoring an impressive string of hit records during the mid to late '70s, including "Isn't it Time," "Every Time I Think of You," "Midnight Rendezvous," "Turn and Walk Away" and "Back on My Feet Again." As a solo artist during the early '80s, he achieved further chart success with "Change" and the #1 hit "Missing You." With the late '80s / early '90s supergroup, Bad English, Waite enjoyed a platinum-selling album and two Top Five singles ("When I See You Smile" #1 and "Price of Love" #5). This year, he returns to Melbourne as one of the marquee '80s IN THE PARK headliners. (JOHN WAITE WEBSITE)


THE PAT TRAVERS BAND
"Heat in the Street," "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)," "Snortin' Whiskey" — when it comes to iconic rock tracks, Pat Travers' list of classic hits is impeccable. From the late '70s through the early '80s he also achieved chart-busting success with such albums as  Live! Go for What You KnowCrash and Burn and Radioactive. His unique brand of high-octane, guitar-driven, rockin' blues has made Pat Travers a legend — and be sure, '80s IN THE PARK peeps will be in for a treat when Travers and company take the stage on Sunday. (THE PAT TRAVERS BAND ON FACEBOOK)

Burning Starr
JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR
Burning Starr is an American Power Metal band formed in 1985 by ex-Virgin Steele guitarist, Jack Starr. After releasing four classics in the '80s, the band returned in 2008 with a new line-up featuring Jack Starr (guitar), Ned Meloni (bass, ex-Joe Lynn Turner Band), Kenny Rhino Earl (drums, ex-Manowar) and vocalist Todd Michael Hall. Burning Starr released its comeback record titled Defiance in 2009.
 
"The '80s was a great time for music and there 
was a tremendous amount of energy and honesty.
And we in Burning Starr were happy to be part 
of that generation and we're gratified that this
music has earned a place in the hearts of
music lovers in the past as well as now."
-Jack Starr
 
The band's latest studio album, Land Of The Dead, was released by Limb Music and has received positive reviews in such international magazines as Metal Hammer and Rock Hard. Burning Starr is currently working on a new studio album entitled Stand Your Ground — scheduled for release in late 2014 / early 2015. (BURNING STARR WEBSITE)


CHEAP THRILL
This all-star combo is sure to delight '80s rockers with a mix of hits from the members' various powerhouse "day gig" bands, including Cinderella and Collective Soul.


John Corabi
JOHN CORABI
Veteran singer / songwriter John Corabi possesses a platinum pedigree. From his early days as a founding member of The Scream to his tenure with Mötley Crüe and Ratt to such all-star projects as Union, ESP and Brides of Destruction, he's enjoyed a more colorful career than probably any artist at this year's festival. Entitled, Unplugged, Corabi's latest record is a solo acoustic collection of his "A-List" material. (JOHN CORABI WEBSITE)

Kenny McGee
KENNY McGEE
The Florida-based singer / songwriter and Juliette co-founder kicks off Sunday's main stage festivities at '80s IN THE PARK. (KENNY McGEE WEBSITE)
_______________________________________________________________________

Kyle and Richard Hendry
MEET THE
FESTIVAL FOUNDERS...

Richard Hendry is the owner of Brevard Farmers Markets in Brevard County, Florida. He's also the operation manager of Nature's Market Health Foods, Brevard's largest Health Food Supermarket. Richard is a published author, former local talk radio host, magazine publisher and natural health consultant. He lives in Melbourne, Florida with his wife Lucy (of Lucy's in the Kitchen) and their four children, two dogs,  two cats and an imaginary dragon named Bob.
 
Kyle Hendry, founder and co-owner of '80s IN THE PARK, is operation manager of Brevard Farmers Markets, marketing director of Nature's Market Health Foods and co-founder and promoter of The Dragon Festival, Brevard's first renaissance fair. Kyle started his first business (KidsKard) with his brother when he was 12 years old and has worked in restaurant management, advertising sales and promotions. Kyle lives in Melbourne, Florida with his wife Lindsey and their chocolate lab Bruno (which, as it turns out, is not made out of chocolate at all). 
_______________________________________________________________

"It was great we saw
Slaughter AND Molly Hatchet!"
-"Fun" Bobby (Palm Bay, FL / 2013)

And there you have it, music fans — my behind-the-scenes look at '80s IN THE PARK 2014. I hope you've enjoyed perusing this three-part series as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.
 
SEE YA AT THE SHOW!

OFFICIAL '80s IN THE PARK WEBSITE

-Christopher Long
(July 2014)
_______________________________________________________________________
 
CHECK OUT MY ENTIRE
'80s IN THE PARK SERIES:
Day III
_______________________________________________________________________

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.
 
Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

Friday, July 18, 2014

'80s IN THE PARK 2014: Day II (Saturday / Sept. 27th)

The biggest U.S. '80s festival returns to Melbourne, FL
'80s
IN THE PARK
- Day II -
Saturday / September 27, 2014
Wickham Park / Melbourne, FL

In 2013, fans from
around the world
converged onto
Melbourne, FL's
Wickham Park for
the inauguration
of an exciting new
festival. In 2014,
it returns!
_______________________________________________________________________
 
'80s IN THE PARK 2014:
25 Bands - 3 Days - 1 Enormous Celebration
Simply put, '80s IN THE PARK is a three-day celebration of everything '80s. Transporting fans of all ages back through time in a swirl  of sight and sound —  iconic movie / TV themes, legendary bands and more, the event will offer something for everyone.  Timeless music of the decade will fill the air while the ever-faithful play such vintage arcade games as Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders — or maybe even help Mario in his fight for survival in  the classic Nintendo game contest. Impeccable tribute bands, along with "'80s Ambassador" DJ K.W. will keep the  party revving on all cylinders  throughout  the  weekend. Dance with '80s look-alikes, shop for T-shirts, hats, handmade jewelry and memorabilia at one of over 40 vendors. Then, when the sun goes down, sit under the stars and enjoy a variety of foods from some of Brevard County's finest restaurants while taking in non-stop, high-energy concert performances from an array of "golden era" MTV artists, live on the '80s IN THE PARK main stage.
________________________________________________________________
 
We have three important goals:
 
1) Provide the best possible
'80s experience for the ticket holder.
 
2) Create an environment where local businesses can
benefit as sponsors, vendors or from the additional
traffic and exposure the event brings to Brevard.
 
3) HAVE FUN!
It's far too much work to get this
together not to have fun once it starts.
 
-Richard Hendry ('80s IN THE PARK co-founder)
________________________________________________________________

LIVE ONSTAGE
 
Three action-packed days — more than two dozen incredible live acts — performing each day from start to finish on the newly expanded '80s IN THE PARK main stage. And although it was no easy feat, those Hendry fellas just might have topped last year's all-star concert line-up. Here's what's on-tap for fans on Saturday...
 

ZEBRA
Boasting an all-original line-up (Randy Jackson - vocals / guitar, Felix Hanemann - bass / keyboards and  Guy Gelso - drums), the Louisiana-based trio, Zebra is set to headline the '80s IN THE PARK main stage on Saturday night. Featuring the oft played FM singles, "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind the Door?" the band's self-titled 1983 debut album reached the Billboard Top 30 and achieved gold status. The band's 1984 follow-up, No Telling Lies, also was well received and delivered such concert staples as "Wait Until the Summer Comes," "Bears" and "Lullaby." Zebra completed its Atlantic Records deal with the release of its third studio album, 3.V in 1986.
 
"We are really looking forward to returning
to Florida. It's been a long time!!"
-Randy Jackson (Zebra)
 
Although Zebra rose to international prominence during the arena rock era of the '80s, the band has consistently been compared stylistically throughout its career to such classic rock acts of the '60s and '70s as Led Zeppelin, Rush, Yes and The Moody Blues. As a public service, I encourage fans to refresh beverages and to pee early — as Zebra's will certainly be a must-see set — perhaps THE highlight of the entire 2014 '80s IN THE PARK festival. (ZEBRA WEBSITE)
 
L.A. Guns returns to '80s IN THE PARK.
L.A. GUNS
Returning to '80s IN THE PARK for the second consecutive year, this hard-hitting Hollywood-based combo will slay the masses in Melbourne on Saturday night. The band's self-titled 1988 debut featured the Headbanger's Ball faves, "Sex Action" and "Electric Gypsy," and ultimately achieved gold status. In 1989, L.A. Guns released its sophomore record, Cocked and Loaded. Featuring the single  "Never Enough" and the monster-sized hit "The Ballad of Jayne," the album quickly went platinum. The 1991 Hollywood Vampires record also went gold. The current L.A. Guns line-up consists of "golden era" vocalist Phil Lewis  and drummer Steve Riley,  along with more recent recruits, guitarist Michael Grant and bassist Scott Griffin. (L.A. GUNS WEBSITE)

Warren Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons
MISSING PERSONS
Oozing sizzling swagger, combined with a fashion-forward look and hooky, infectious songs such as "Words" "Destination Unknown" "Mental Hopscotch" "Right Now" and "Walking in L.A." Missing Persons exemplified everything that was wonderful and "totally awesome" about the '80s.  In 2014, founding guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Frank Zappa) and vocalist Dale Bozzio are carrying the torch, keeping the band's music and legacy alive — touring throughout the year with an updated line-up. (MISSING PERSONS WEBSITE)

Michael Aston of Gene Loves Jezebel
GENE LOVES JEZEBEL
Few bands of the era "brought it" quite like Gene Loves Jezebel — electrifying the alternative rock scene with a glammed-up look and compelling songs that likely made Robert Smith more than a little envious. Led by frontman brothers Jay and Michael Aston, the band delivered such classic albums as Promise, Discover and The House of Dolls and enjoyed a string of hits, including "Heartache," "Desire," "Gorgeous" and "The Motion of Love." In 2014, each brother heads his own version of Gene Loves Jezebel, and for the second consecutive year, Michael's configuration will perform live at '80s IN THE PARK. (GENE LOVES JEZEBEL WEBSITE)
 
BUT WAIT — THERE'S MORE!
Also on Saturday...


BOW WOW WOW


BANG TANGO


KILLER DWARFS

LILLIAN AXE
LILLIAN AXE
_______________________________________________________________________
 
"It was such a super-fun time!
These are the bands that I grew up loving."
-Patricia Lee (Palm Bay, FL / 2013)

There ya go — the second installment of my fabulous three-part series. I hope that you've enjoyed the ride so far. Stand by, there's still MUCH more coming your way!

OFFICIAL '80s IN THE PARK WEBSITE

-Christopher Long
(July 2014)
_______________________________________________________________________
 
CHECK OUT MY ENTIRE
'80s IN THE PARK SERIES:
_______________________________________________________________________

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.
 
Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.
 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

'80s IN THE PARK 2014: Day I (Friday / Sept. 26th)


Rock powerhouse TUFF invades 
the '80s IN THE PARK
main stage on Friday night!
'80s
IN THE PARK
- Day I -
Friday / September 26, 2014
Wickham Park / Melbourne, FL

An unabashed
and unbridled
celebration, it's 
become THE
preeminent
annual U.S.
'80s festival.
______________________

'80s IN THE PARK returns to
Melbourne's Wickham Park.
Nobody knew quite what to expect when Florida-based promoters Richard and Kyle Hendry revealed their latest trailblazing concert vision in 2013. However,  the "little" two-day  event was a runaway success —  attracting an estimated crowd of 15,000 enthusiastic fans. And in 2014, '80s IN THE PARK returns — bigger and better than ever. (September 26-28)

This three-part series will offer a day-by-day, behind-the-scenes, exclusive  peek at what's quickly becoming a pop culture phenomenon. We'll also hear from  the chart-busting performers, the passionate fans and the promoters who are making this (now) annual festival the biggest '80s  event in the country.
______________________

Simply put, '80s IN THE PARK is a three-day celebration of everything '80s. Transporting fans of all ages back through time in a swirl of sight and sound —  iconic movie / TV themes, legendary bands and more, the event will offer something for everyone. Timeless music of the decade will fill the air while the ever-faithful play such vintage arcade games as Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders — or maybe even help Mario in his fight for survival in the classic Nintendo game contest. Impeccable tribute bands, along with "'80s Ambassador" DJ K.W. will keep the party revving on all cylinders  throughout the weekend. Dance with '80s look-alikes, shop for T-shirts, hats, handmade jewelry and memorabilia at one of over 40 vendors. Then, when the sun goes down, sit under the stars and enjoy a variety of foods from some of Brevard County's finest restaurants while taking in non-stop, high-energy concert performances from an array of "golden era" MTV artists, live on the '80s IN THE PARK main stage.
________________________________________________________________

"We're so happy and honored to be able to bring the '80s
back again this year. We have doubled the amount of
 music, added an extra day and sourced music for
 more genres than last year — making us the biggest
 '80s festival in the U.S. for the second year in a row."
-Richard Hendry ('80s IN THE PARK co-founder)
________________________________________________________________
 
MARQUEE HEADLINERS:
 
Three action-packed days — more than two dozen incredible live acts — performing each day from start to finish on the newly expanded '80s IN THE PARK main stage. And although it was no easy feat, those Hendry fellas just might have topped last year's all-star concert line-up. Here's what's on-tap for Friday...


JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE
"Once Bitten Twice Shy," "House of Broken Love," "Rock Me," "Save Your Love," "Call it Rock and Roll," "The Angel Song" — Great White's string of hit records during the '80s was impressive, endearing, and has proven timeless. In 2014, co-founding frontman Jack Russell carries on the band's grand rock and roll tradition along with MTV era bassist Tony (Montana) Cardenas on guitar — delighting their legions of dedicated fans with the  iconic songs that helped to cement their platinum-selling reputation. (JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE WEBSITE)


FASTER PUSSYCAT
Featuring the popular video singles, "Don't Change That Song" and "Bathroom Wall," the self-titled 1987 debut record from Faster Pussycat was simply the most glorious glob-o-glam since the New York Dolls got "trashed" back in '73. But when compared to the first-time platinum-selling success of such Hollywood contemporaries as  Poison and Guns N' Roses, the  initial chart performance of Faster Pussycat's debut was somewhat underwhelming. However, fueled by the Top 40 power ballad, "House of Pain," the band struck gold with its 1989 sophomore effort, Wake Me When It's Over. The follow-up, 1992's Whipped, offered yet another stellar, signature-sounding set. Led by founding frontman, Taime Downe, the 2014 Faster Pussycat line-up is currently in the midst of a marathon U.S. tour. (FASTER PUSSYCAT WEBSITE)


ENUFF Z'NUFF
Best described (by me) as Cheap Trick-meets-Elvis Costello at a midnight showing of "Magical Mystery Tour," Enuff Z'nuff had much more going on musically than its original glammed-up image  suggested. And when the Chicago-based quartet exploded onto the scene with its self-titled major label debut in 1989, the boys got noticed quickly by fans and critics alike. Eye-catching videos for the infectious singles, "New Thing" and "Fly High Michelle," seemingly owned the MTV airwaves through the summer of 1990. Forging headfirst into the next decade, the band's 1991 sophomore effort, Strength, was arguably the "strongest" rock record of the '90s. Subsequent Enuff Z'nuff releases, including 2000's 10 have continued to enhance the band's reputation for creating quality, get-to-the-hook, pop / rock songs. (ENUFF Z'NUFF WEBSITE)


TUFF
With frontman Stevie Rachelle leading the charge, the Arizona-based band TUFF took the L.A. club scene by storm in the late '80s. Signed by Atlantic Records in 1990, TUFF soon released its debut album, What Comes Around Goes Around, in the spring of 1991. The video for the band's hit power ballad, "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye," quickly reached #3 on Dial MTV, runner-up only to Guns N' Roses and Metallica.
 
In 2001, TUFF released the compilation CD The History of TUFF, which included the track, "American Hair Band," a hilarious and hard-hitting parody of Kid Rock's tune "American Bad Ass." The song referenced several bands of the era while mocking grunge and alternative rock. TUFF released What Comes Around Goes Around Again in 2012, which featured four re-recorded songs from What Comes Around Goes Around plus new tracks. The band continues to be a popular concert attraction around the world. (TUFF WEBSITE)

 
DEAD SERIOS
This award-winning act has been annoying decent folks with its unique brand of irreverent hard rock since first launching from Florida's Space Coast in 1985. With an impeccable reputation for being a "must see" live act, Dead Serios has performed from coast-to-coast with the likes of Cinderella, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Ace Frehley, Slaughter and Hootie and the Blowfish. The band has released numerous records on various  independent labels, appeared on several movie soundtracks and has been featured in such magazines as Billboard, Metal Hammer and Thrasher. As pioneers of the rap / metal genre, the band's signature 1989 hit "Butterbean Queen" became the blueprint that such acts as Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park would follow in future years.
 
"We're amped and ready for '80s IN THE PARK.
Our band has never sounded better!"
-Joe Del Corvo (Bassist / Dead Serios)

To commemorate the band's upcoming 30th anniversary, GhoulTone Records will release a 10-track Dead Serios tribute record in early 2015. Entitled They're Not Joking, They're Dead Serios, the record will feature various major label and indie-level artists. (Dead Serios on Facebook)
 
_______________________________________________________________________
 
TRIBUTE BANDS:


SHOOT TO THRILL
Recreating the "authentic sound"
and "absurd energy" of AC/DC,
Shoot To Thrill plays the iconic
hits that fans have known and
loved since the beginning — from
the Bon era to the Brian years.




CULT REVOLUTION
Billed simply as a "Cult Tribute Band,"
Cult Revolution hails from Orlando, Florida.



 
 
POW'R TRIPP
This Florida-based combo prides itself on
delivering "ass kickin' rock and roll" —
focusing on such bands as KISS, Van Halen,


 
LUVDOGZ
These hard-hitting, in-your-face, sleazy
rockers promise fans loud, throbbing
bottom end with tasty rhythms and
burning, screaming leads — PLUS big
hair, tight pants, smoke and lights.
Think Sunset Strip '80s style!
 
 
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"I got to see some awesome bands that I didn't get a
chance to see back in the day. It was a great time!"
-Ty Oglesby (Melbourne, FL / 2013)

There ya go, kids — the first installment of my totally awesome three-part series. I hope that you've enjoyed the ride so far. Stand by, there's  MUCH more coming your way in the days to come! (OFFICIAL '80s IN THE PARK WEBSITE)

-Christopher Long
(July 2014)
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CHECK OUT MY ENTIRE
'80s IN THE PARK SERIES:
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The latest from author Christopher Long
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