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ALLIGATOR-HOMECOMING/GATORGROWL

alligator

When the Gators Growl Loudest. 
HOMECOMING 1981
I’d like to fertilize her buds
“Genesis Ch.1 V.32”
((( mood in the swamp ))

stan badz (Florida Field Lasers)
dave hogerty (Rich Jeni)
buster o’connor (Rodney Dangerfield)

face in the crowd

Making good, comic use of the Alligator’s 1981 Homecoming cover, a group of Gator faithful gathered for that year’s Homecoming parade. On the University Avenue sidewalk in front of the Old College Inn restaurant was where they chose to watch, directly across from the oak-shaded Murphree Area tennis courts and Florida Field.
The Old College Inn was most popular, and the parade slowed to show appreciation, and to throw beads and candy. The climax came at the end. The Homecoming Queen was waving her gloved hand at the celebratory crowd, as her chariot (convertible Thunderbird) came into view. Then, with a smile, she turned toward the Old College Inn group, and in a planned, choreographed way, they simultaneously opened the Alligators they had been holding, making it appear to the Gator Queen, her royal court, and all those nearby that the crowd at the Old College Inn was filled with Rodney Dangerfields. Funny. And a memorable start to 1981’s Homecoming Weekend.

 

Growl History
1977 Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back)
Saturday Night Fever 
Pink Floyd Animals
WKRP (1978)

1978Helen Reddy (I Am Woman)
Animal House
FM (Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty)
Eagles The Long Run

1979Bob Hope (Not A Man Of Hip-Hop) Hip-Not
1980George Burns (God As His Witness)

“Imagine” John Lennon Double Fantasy
1981Rodney Dangerfield (Gaining Gator Respect)

Tom Petty
Homecoming @ The O’Connell Center
1982Robin Williams (“I’d like to fertilize her buds.”)
1983 — B•O•B H•O•P•E (“Eat Lead”)

w/ Irene Cara (movie star and a boom box)
Flashdance

1984 — Bill Cosby (Make Cosby Wholesome Again)
w/ Herbie Hancock (riding the Rockit)
Beat Street
1985 Bob Hope (Not A Man Of Hip-Hop)
1986 — George Burns (God As His Witness)
1987 — Rodney Dangerfield (Gaining Gator Respect)

1988 — Rich Jeni w/Paula Poundstone
1989 — Steven Wright w/Jerry Seinfeld

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GROWL HISTORY

dave hogerty

Steven Wright headlined the Growl in 1988. Jerry Seinfeld opened, and proved to be much more popular with the 60,000 Gator fans (student and alum) who filled Florida Field. Wright’s slow, deadpan, and thoughtful delivery that plays so well in a nightclub, wasn’t as effective in a stadium. Seinfeld’s more mindless, open-armed, observational style commanded attention, and in the end, won the day.

Rich Jeni took well to playing in front of a filled Florida Field. Booking comedians to headline the Growl. Stand Ups who usually played small, nightclub crowds in the biggest cities, suddenly in a small, North Florida town, playing to a stadium of 100,000. Some, like Rich, rose to the occasion. Others, like Paula Poundstone and Steven Wright were better suited in a more intimate setting. He who satisfied both, was Jerry Seinfeld, before he was a TV star. He had opened for Steven Wright (1988), and those who had seen the show remembered most, Seinfeld. Why? I asked. “Because he did a show for us.” Fact was, he opened with a Gator football joke, did 30 minutes of familiar material, and ended with a joke about the Florida heat. Open and close with football and Florida, and you’re a hit. Steven Wright required a little too much thought for your typical University of Florida, Gator Growl reveler, if you know what I mean.

Gator Growl History

dave hogerty

Scott Free, another on a long list of the finest musicians who call Gainesville home. Scott was a long-time friend of Bo Diddley, who lived just down the  road in Archer. Scott is a member of the Funkadelic/P-Funk family, friend of George Clinton who lives in Tallahassee, and he was the musical director in Bernie Worrell’s band, the Woo Warriors.

Scott, like Tom Petty and Mudcrutch did in the early 1970s, is comfortably at home on the small stage at Lillian’s Music Store, the (since the 1930s) popular club downtown, next to the Hippodrome Theater, that in the 30s, was Gainesville’s distinguished Post Office, one of the city’s most important statements. As is Lillian’s, still with it’s ceiling of copper tiles, and a row of vintage barber chairs along the mirrored wall, opposite of the stage.

Many Homecoming Weekends included an after-Growl show at Lillian’s Music Store, the legendary downtown Gainesville bar. One more chance to re-live the past before Sunday morning biscuits and gravy at Skeeters before saying goodbye and getting on I-75 North, South, whatever, for the ride home.

 

 

 

After an always explosive fireworks display, Growls in the early 1980s closed with a mostly green laser light show, accompanied by the Alan Parsons Project’s appropriately moody “Genesis Ch.1 V.32,” an appropriately ambient, moody, and calm musical piece, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Animals.

GROWL HISTORY
Jerry Seinfeld and Steven Wright in 1989.
Robin Fisher Improv and Fire Bombs in the Rockledge High School gym.

 

 

The Sound of Gainesville

MUSIC (79-82)

ON CAMPUS
Florida Field
O’Connell Center 
Lake Alice
Bandshell
Plaza of The Americas
Reitz Union Lawn 
The Rathskeller (RAT)

UNIVERSITY AVENUE
Florida Theater (Great Southern Music Hall)
Rickenbacker’s  
Main Street

DOWNTOWN
Lillian’s Music Store 
Hippodrome Theater

OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN
Dub’s Liquor (GoGo) Dancing Lounge

HALLOWEEN BALL 1981
Wendy O. Williams (Plasmatics)

HOMECOMING 1981
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

MAYPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL
Dizzy Gillespie and Maynard Ferguson

SUWANNEE RIVER BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
1974 (Acey Harper)

JAM AT KEVIN’s
Bat Cave Watercolors and family (wife and two toddlers)

Kevin’s friend church (standup) piano, stomp dacing on the worn, hardwood floor. Barbara Hansen, room over garage, Uelsmann print with tire track.

The Police @ Disney World (Tomorrowland)
Dire Straits @ Jacksonville Coliseum 
Bruce Springsteen @ Lakeland Civic Center
Eagles @ Florida Field (Eagles Live 1980)
w/Jimmy Buffett
Linda Ronstadt @ Florida Field
Frank Zappa @ Florida Gym 
Pat Benatar @ Florida Gym
Tom Petty @ O’Connell Center
The Cars @ O’Connell Center
Elvis Costello @ O’Connell Center
Al Di Meola @ O’Connell Center
w/ Tim Weisberg
Marshall Tucker Band @ O’Connell Center
w/ B.B. King
Andy Kaufman @ O’Connell Center
wrestling with woman (letters)
David Letterman
Hiram Bullock
w/ Will Lee
w/ David Sanborn (Lincoln Center)
w/ Jaco Pastorius (Knitting Factory)
1982 — NO NUKES IN NYC
(Time Magazine) Steve Khan, Seventh Ave. South, King Crimson and Jean-Luc Ponty, Loose Joints at th
(Time Magazine) Steve Khan, Seventh Ave. South, King Crimson and Jean-Luc Ponty, Loose Joints at the pier, Animation, Roseland Ballroom, David Sanborn, Lincoln Center, street/subway musicians, Ritchie Blackmore, Rainbow, Madison Square Garden, Yankees, Reggie Jackson, #44, Right Field Stand Up, Puerto Rican Boom Box, $2 Bleechers, Long Walk Home, The Bronx and Harlem, Long Looks, North of 108th Steet, Ken Regan, Camera 5, Bob Dylan and the Stones, Montreal, all-things-crepe, underground, Over-40 All-Stars, Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose, back-to-back private jets, Prime-Rib and Brussel sprouts with Howard Cosell. …
Frank Zappa @ Florida Gym 
Pat Benatar @ Florida Gym
Talking Heads @ Bandshell
The Plasmatics @ Bandshell (Halloween Ball 1980)
Allman Brothers @ Bandshell
Peter Tosh @ Bandshell
Weather Report @ Bandshell
Sea Level @ Lake Alice
Dixie Dregs @ Lake Alice 
Steve Forbert @ Lake Alice
Little River Band @ Reitz Union Lawn
U2 @ The Rathskeller
Romantics @ Mainstreet Lounge 
Spyro Gyra @ The Great Southern Music Hall
Roy Buchanan @ The Great Souther Music Hall
Return to Forever (Space Age Travelers) @ The Great Southern Music Hall
Muddy Waters “Deep Down In Florida” @ The Great Southern Music Hall
Bo Diddley (Gainesville’s first hometown boy)
Mudcrutch @ Lillian’s / Dub’s
NORTH FLORIDA (SOUTHERN) ROCK
Allman Brothers Band
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Outlaws

Molly Hatchet
Sea Level
Dixie Dregs
Cowboy
Fat Chance
Grinderswitch
Les Dudek
Blackfoot
Atlanta Rhythm Section
Marshall Tucker
Charlie Daniels
Wet Willie
Elvin Bishop
ATHENS, GA
Swimming Pool Q’s, Pylon, B-52s, R.E.M.
Dickey Betts and Great Southern

HALLOWEEN BALL 1981
Wendy O. Williams (Plasmatics)

HOMECOMING 1981
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

vol. 1 no. 1
IN THE BEGINNING (Vol.1 No.1)
florida history (1912-1983)
WELCOME TO GAINESVILLE
Much more than just another sleepy, little, North Florida town.
New Student Edition 1981
OPINION (Letters To The Editor)
CONVENIENCE (Is In The Eye of The Beholder)
100 THINGS TO DO (IN GAINESVILLE)
FOOTBALL ALMIGHTY
GATOR GROWL (HOMECOMING)
Gainesville Green (“I’d like to fertilize her buds”)
TOM PETTY (Coming Home)
MUSIC (The Sound of Higher Education)
HALLOWEEN BALL
PREACHERS (On The Green)
In The Beginning/Independence Day (Alt.)
Naked Launch (Pretty As A Florida Picture)
Diamond Teeth Mary (Singing With The Devil’s)
MOVIES (Pop Culture of The Day)
THE MYSTERIOUS MURPHREE STONES
Mucozo and Ortiz