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Musical history lessons are the best kind of history lessons

11:42 PM, Nov. 1, 2012

Top Ten

Suzie P. Cardinale, Investment Consultant/Educator

1. “Boston,” Boston.
2. “Buffalo Springfield,” Buffalo Springfield.
3. “Coming to Terms,” Carolina Liar.
4. “The Chicago Transit Authority,” Chicago.
5. “Wild Ones,” Flo Rida.
6. “Kansas,” Kansas.
7. “In the Blood,” Londonbeat.
8. “Let it Loose,” Miami Sound Machine.
9. “New York Dolls,” New York Dolls.
10. “Walking and Dreaming,” Orleans.
Share your all-time Top 10 favorite albums with the world! Email your list to


I’m a sucker for history. The wildest times in my education involved teachers such as Dennis McBride, Walter Gulley and Dr. Yolanda Reed; educators who would turn every history lesson into an adventure.

Whenever a lesson involves, music, history and the city I grew up in, I’m sold.

“There’s a lot of music history in Pensacola,” City Councilman Larry B. Johnson said.

Serving on the City Council since 2008, Johnson’s passion for Pensacola goes hand-in-hand with his love for music.

“I listen to everything,” Johnson said. “Music always has a special place for me. You can hear a song that you remember from your childhood — or any time — and it brings back a lot of memories. It’s a part of my life. I’m just a big music enthusiast.”

From his first concert, watching the Allman Brothers Band in the early ’70s, to the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young, Johnson has watched legends perform over the years. Some of those legendary moments have taken place in Pensacola.

After many years, I finally had the chance to ask Johnson the question; “What is the best concert you’ve ever seen in Pensacola?” Next week, Johnson shares his answer.

Bush who?

Have you ever watched a show where the opening bands blew away the headlining act? It doesn’t happen often, but for Fort Walton Beach musician Joe Urban, the rare occurrence created the best concert he has ever seen in Pensacola.

“Hum and the Toadies, man!” said Urban of the 1995 concert where the two alternative bands were opening acts.

“I always loved the Bayfront (Center),” Urban said of the downtown venue that was demolished in 2005. “I don’t think I went to a show there that wasn’t fun. ”

Even though every show at the Bayfront was a blast for Urban, the ’95 show turned up the intensity.

“The Toadies just had this incredible amount of energy,” Urban said. “At that point, all they had was that one single, ‘Possum Kingdom.’ It wasn’t out for very long, but that was the only thing anybody had heard of them, and these guys got onstage and just blew it up. The crowd just exploded. And then Hum — which still to this day is one of my favorite bands — also completely blew me away.”

As for the band that headlined Urban’s favorite Pensacola concert, “It’s just unfortunate that all that was followed up by Bush,” Urban said of the London band led by Gavin Rossdale. “Maybe not the most embarrassing band ever, but let’s face it, it was your basic Nirvana ripoff. Nobody cared and by the end of it everyone was outside smoking.”

Final show

Sunday, local band Hu G. Whales will play its final show, as guitarist Geoffrey Brill is moving. The show will include the German group Jealousy Mountain Duo and Phantom Howl. Tickets are $6 for ages 21 and older; $8 for ages 16-20. The show starts at 8 p.m. For details, visit

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