St. Pete Times staffers perform in Battle of the Media Bands tonight in Tampa
When I first started organizing the area's Battle of the Media Bands years ago, I turned a party organized once as a fond farewell for a local journalist/musician into a fundraiser allowing all us weekend warriors to strut our stuff.
Since then, we've held the BOMB at just about every cool venue in Tampa -- including the long-gone Frankie's Patio, the Cuban Club, The Orpheum and Jackson's Bistro.
We've had WFTS-Ch. 28 anchor Brendan McLaughlin showing off his guitar chops, former WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Bob Hite jamming on the harmonica, WTSP-Ch. 10 anchor Reginald Roundtree singing Carlos Santana and most of the female reporters at WFTS making like Bette Midler's Harlette backup singers.
It's always a great time, allowing local media types to show a different side of their talents. And though I'm not organizing this year's event, it promises to be the same fun time (at left, me, Kerry and Adam playing Skippers' Smokehouse earlier this year).
We're kicking it off at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Jackson's Bistro across from the Marriott Waterside hotel in downtown Tampa.
There are bands from four different media organizations in the competition this year -- each playing a 40-minute set -- including The Bone 102.5 FM featuring Cowhead, a combo Bay News 9/103.5 band featuring former Bay News 9 anchor Jenny Dean, a band from WTSP/10 Connects featuring Holly Sinn from Studio 10 and a St. Petersburg Times/Clear Channel band featuring me (bass and vocals), TBT general manager Kerry O'Reilly (sax, vocals), former Times music critic Tony Green (guitar), radio news guy Dennis Pavlik (drums), guitarist Adam Coovadia and radio traffic guru Daisy Ash (keys and vocals).
Some participants really get into the competition part of it all, but I've always enjoyed the fellowship end -- hanging out with a bunch of media people who also love music and living out our rock 'n' roll dreams (you gotta hear our funkified version of Nine Inch Nails' Closer!)
And we're raising money for the Bay Area Media Network's contribution to Tampa Best Buddies program, so everybody wins.
My band plays last, around 10 p.m. or so, but I encourage all to come early and see their local media idols in a different light.