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Operation Hennessey survived the ska wars to progress to punk

10:34 AM, Jan. 24, 2013

Top 10

Bobby Stustein, retired high school band leader, teacher and composer

1. “Exodus” soundtrack, Ernest Gold.
2. “Road to Perdition” soundtrack, Thomas Newman.
3. “Super Fly” soundtrack, Curtis Mayfield.
4. “Shaft” film soundtrack, Isaac Hayes.
5. “Riverdance,” Bill Whalen.
6. “Soul on Top,” James Brown.
7. “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” film soundtrack, Herbie Hancock.
8. “Local Hero” soundtrack, Mark Knopfler.
9. “Hot Buttered Soul,” Isaac Hayes.
10. “Fiddler on the Roof,” Jerry Bock.
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If you want to know how to survive a ska riot, Joshua Taylor is your man. The guitarist/vocalist for local punk band Operation Hennessey escaped danger years ago during a show in West Palm Beach.

“It was like something out of a movie,” Taylor said, “We were playing in a ska band, and we had a bunch of horns, and all of a sudden, the stage door behind us burst open and these skinheads float over the stage and a huge fight erupted.”

The bandmembers were untouched and kept playing as the fight continued.

“It was like watching the Blues Brothers,” he said. “It was just ridiculous.”

As a member of local ska bands Out of Nothing and Diversity is an Old Wooden Ship, Taylor was comfortable with madness all around, but he decided it was time for a change.

“We just got sick of having to deal with all the horn players and a million people in the band,” he said. “We just decided to not do something with horns this time.”

Taylor joined best friend, roommate and drummer Ryan Freeman to form Operation Hennessey in the spirit of the music that inspired them. The group headlines the Punkstravaganza show Saturday at The Handlebar, 319 N. Tarragona St.

The Handsome Scoundrels, Guns to Fire, DFI, Guts for Glory and Altered State also will perform. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for ages 21 and older; $7 for those younger than 21. For details, visit www.pensacolahandlebar.com.

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