Monday, April 23, 2018
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Bertie Higgins in concert June 23 at Wellington in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — One woman called from New Jersey. Another from North Carolina. Both wanted to buy tickets for the show, but organizers were perplexed.

"Just where are you advertising this?" Chris Budrick, chairwoman of the social entertainment committee for the Wellington at Seven Hills, said she was asked by other members of her committee.

But "Boneheads" don't need advertising to know where their favorite entertainer is performing. And, for some, distance is not a factor either. These aren't your typical Boneheads. Similar to Jimmy Buffett's Parrotheads, Bertie's Boneheads are die-hard fans of Bertie Higgins, of Key Largo fame.

Local Boneheads are in for a treat when Bertie Higgins and his Band of Pirates make a stop in Spring Hill for an evening of trop-rock music June 23 at the Wellington Clubhouse. Though the singer-songwriter is best known for the early 1980s sensation Key Largo, Higgins is also known for hits such as Just Another Day in Paradise and Casablanca.

The Spring Hill show kicks off a handful of upcoming Higgins concerts. He plays June 24 at Woody's in St. Pete Beach; Aug. 18 in Roswell, Ga.; and Nov. 17 in Fort Walton Beach.

"We are so glad he decided to do the show," Budrick said. "This is definitely one of our bigger events here."

Budrick said the Wellington pursued Higgins after they learned that the singer was friends with Jon Lee, owner of the Sioux City Grill at the Wellington.

"Yes, Jon is a good friend," Higgins said from his home in Burbank, Calif. "So we thought we'd do it. And I always like to go over to my favorite bar, Woody's, and do a little set there."

Also, Higgins said, he needs to make a visit to see his 96-year-old mother, who lives in Pinellas County.

Higgins hails from Tarpon Springs, but has been living in Burbank for almost 10 years, where he now produces movies with two of his sons.

Higgins's small production company, Cayo Largo Productions, has produced four films, the most recent of which is The Colombian Connection, which stars Hollywood bad boy Tom Sizemore. Higgins also co-stars as a Greek boat captain.

Higgins also has three films in the works. He is working on A Black Forest Christmas, which is about prisoners of war who escape from southwest Germany on Christmas Eve in 1944. The movie is expected to be finished in about a year.

"It is a retelling of the nativity story from a different angle," Higgins said.

While Higgins is busy producing films, he continues to work with his first passion: music. A tour is being planned for his newest CD — his 11th album —Year of the Dragon, which is being distributed by Universal Music.

The songs are "a little bit of everything," he said, inspired by his trips to China.

Although he hasn't been a Florida resident for some time, Higgins said he is contemplating moving back.

"I may consider it," he said. "I'm back and forth a lot. . . . One of the things I really miss is the rain."

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