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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It could have been Bonnaroo

Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 11:30 PM

Does anyone remember two summers in the mid-1980s when rock concerts were held at the Torrejon farm on Bottle Hollow Road near Flat Creek?

They were regionally advertised (at least on KDF - remember when it was a rock station?) and one year featured a well-known band which I don't recall.

The sheriff's office (Don Edwards was sheriff at that time) kept a close watch and shut them down relatively early on Saturday night the second year. I remember being called to the sheriff's office to make photos of mounds of cases of beer brought in from the show.

Narrow two-lane roads leading into the area, in addition to prevailing attitudes at the time, would probably have made growth into something like Bonnaroo impossible. But who knows...


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Thats interesting. I do not remember the concerts, but I remember when KDF was a rock station. Bonnaroo gives Coffee County an economic boost every year, and I am looking forward to attending this year.

-- Posted by Chad O on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 7:24 AM

Yeah, it sounds like Shelbyville to pass up on a good thing. Didn't Shelbyville pass up the chance to have a mall so it went to Tullahoma?

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 8:20 AM

With a bit of planning,we could develop something similar today.

We could deliberately avoid creating anything too big,too slick or too anonymous in favor of regular,intimate mini-events that are smaller than Bonnaroo,Burning Man,Woodstock, Fan-Fair or the Celebration yet larger than Normandy Music Night,the acoustic concerts at the Fly,the visit from the Nashville Symphony,etc.

Wartrace could hold a bluegrass program that outgrows its square.

Bell Buckle could have a significant Shakespeare festival.

Similar shows could revolve around "ethnic" music,gospel or other genres.

We could be a county wide "Starwood" with care taken to deal with traffic,ecological impact,security and other issues in a way that retains and emphasizes our small,rural setting instead of erasing it.

Setting the stage for larger versions of companionable jam sessions and street fairs (instead of struggling to host scaled down versions of urban-style mega-oncerts) would lessen the burden on the community and,perhaps,enhance the musical experience.

We'd no longer be dependent on one event or set of employers to sustain our entire city.

We'd be open to a variety of influences yet hold fast to our own identity.

These concerts could be filmed and aired/sold on DVD afterwards as continuing ads for the next show.

Much of the revenue could go to charity and a reasonable amount of the expense could come from corporate sponsors.

The trick would be insuring that the whole endeavour kept its "soul" and wasn't poorly orchestrated or corrupted.

We might have to start out featuring more newcomers,revival acts and "niche" artists than current big names but if we make a virtue out of being small and selective and picking quality over "flavor-of-the-month" performers,it would be as much of a badge of honor to sing and play here as it would to have one's film shown in towns like Cannes or Park City.

(Again,we'd look at the experiences of other local promotions to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued them.)

We could be one more draw that would be welcomed by other middle-Tennessee host communities.

If we focus on how to do it right instead of plunging in unprepared or nay-saying,we could have our own string of successes instead of looking at other places and muttering "I could have been a contender..."

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 9:03 AM

I think we may have passed up on Aero,MTSU and Motlow,too.

Having a college here agaain (along with our other pre-interstate amenities) wouldn't be bad but I appreciate the fact that we haven't fallen victim to too much physical growth.

I'd rather we concentrate on becoming deeper rather than longer and broader.

I'd rather people saw us growing in character and not just population.

It's probably easier to revitalize empty commercial areas one business at a time than have to resurrect a whole mall.

(Even Hickory Hollow is having problems.)

Our preference for independent retailers and business on the square may have seemed short-sighted when Kuhn's,Parks-Belk,Ben Franklin,Castner-Knott,et al left town but that was our warning not to become too dependent on outsiders.

It's been the chain stores and "imported" employers who have produced the lion's share of our orphaned storefronts and factories.

It might not hurt us to supplement our town with such perks but we need have some control of their operation and own and direct our own services instead of relying so much on others.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 9:25 AM

I agree with you quantumcat....There is so much we could do...Think about it and talk to others to see if something like that could happen...

-- Posted by rebelrose on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 9:37 AM

I remember those years of KDF and the concerts at the Torrejon farm. I never went, but I do remember hearing about them. I am glad that they never went past two years because I now live in the area of Flat Creek and would not welcome anything like that. I am surprised that Bonaroo is allowed to happen. I say "allowed" because I have heard the things that go on there and it's not something I agree with. I like Shelbyville as a small town and I would like it to stay that way. The only thing I'd like to see more of is good restaurants.........like Demo's or Carraba's.

-- Posted by jkelley on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 9:42 AM

David,

I do remember the concerts at the Torrejon farm. I attended several of them, before I moved away, however I do not remember any band except for Wydnlynx (sic?)performing there. Charlie Torrejon was the drummer for that band at the time and for awhile they had a recording contract. I never heard anything about if they actually cut a record, but I do remember them being a very popular band in this area.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 9:51 AM

I would like to see big names come back to the Calsonic Arena, Like when Trace Adkins came.... that would be GREAT!!

-- Posted by AFlynn on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 10:48 AM

It is possible for people to get together in one place without being stupid.

Perhaps we could have two venues.

One (for the less enlightened) could have barred windows,concertina wire,padded walls,etc. with straight jackets and handcuffs issued to all attendees.

The second would spend its budget on pleasant surroundings,good food,great sound system and talent.

The former would cost more to get into because of high insurance costs,the guards and the trauma team but that extra expense would add to the "coolness" factor.

Those who prefer risk over reason should be able to buy what they like without being burdened by the presence of those who just want to have a good time.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 10:59 AM

I wish we could have something fun here with good music and good food...My husband and son were in Manchester yesterday and they said the Wal-mart parking lot was full of ROO fans...They said they were all very nice and kind...Not everyone goes to those things for the wrong reason...They are going to enjoy the music and the people...I never judge a person by their looks....Just because they dress different and wear their hair different does not mean they do not have a kind heart...I try very hard not to listen to other peoples bad thoughts of things...I always like to find out on my own...9 out of 10 times I always see something good...

-- Posted by rebelrose on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 11:20 AM

Get this woman cloned as soon and as often as possible.

When the many,many decent folk act on the assumption that people can be good and things can be positive,then that hope helps a few of the rest of us become part of the nine worthy ones instead of joining the one bad apple.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 11:55 AM

I totally remember the Torrejon parties and the farm. I was a teenager during this time and lived on Hwy 130 just as you turn onto Bottle Hollow Road. I would sneak out and go to them. Windlynx was the band and they were awesome. I thought the reason it all was stopped was because of the wreck that happened out there and a man was killed.

-- Posted by ontheoutside on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:32 PM

Shelbyville has the resources for a great music festival(or any festival for that matter) with the horse show stadium and arena and the grounds surrounding it. So much of the year they both sit empty.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:51 PM

I remember hearing about those, but never got to go. My best friend lived on Bottle Hollow Rd. at the time.

I do remember the classic oldies concert that was held at the Celebration grounds in the 80's. I think it was the Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders. It was a fun concert, even for me as a teenager, but the turnout was LOW.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 2:22 PM

We had a venue like that up north, it was awesome, every other weekend. We would go up there and see big arena concert bands, play this small local outdoor called Shiley Acres. It was their "fun" time concert, they didn't get paid alot and they could go into the audience and have fun without getting mobbed for autographs.

It was one of the most fun I had as a teenager, was there drugs and alcohol there? Yes, but there were no fights ever. We got along, had fun, it was music, partying, talking, singing, man, I miss those times. Everything now is about marketing, making as much money as possible, and more money. It isn't about principle of art, joy, and pure love. Party on!

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 11:48 AM

The jams at the Torrejon Farm were a reflection of the freedoms and rights we no longer have. Expressions of joy, celebration, and jubilation are now characteristics of barbarism in the small minds of individuals who have forgotten such. It is amusing to see how some people can find any reason to judge totally the events and actions of others from negative instances they hear about and have ample time to embellish upon.

The musical groups who performed at the Torrejon Farm bared their hearts and souls with each note and beat created and played. The ever so appreciative fans, in the hundreds, were blanketed with a love and respect in a way I have not seen since.

It is when we forget how to enjoy life and the company of others that we wrongly try to justify a right to find the negative in everthing and then pass judgement.

I remember the countless smiles and laughter emanating from each and every person I greeted. I remember one or two instances in the four years the jams went on that were unfortunate, but had no association with the musicians and fans who attended. I still retain a vivid memory of the jams, the guests, and the gifted musicians who were lucky enough to have attended.

Mostly, I consider myself even more fortunate, as now more than ever, I have realized how truly historic these events were, especially in our small county of Bedford.

-- Posted by BFIBFIBFI on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 1:08 AM

I will make every effort to spread this information through out Kentucky and I will also publish it to every web site through out the states that I have access. If my efforts result in just one lost sale it will be worth the effort. We both know this will result in hundreds perhaps thousands of lost customers for Tyson. I and my family will never purchase your products again.

-- Posted by Zatoichi on Sat, Aug 2, 2008, at 1:48 PM

"YES" I remember those wonderful get together at the Torrejon's, They were great times with awesome friends,Yancy was also a great musician from that time as many others...they had one in the early 90 was the last i know of.they were stopped because of the wreck but I was sure it was a girl. they did raid one year and took bud trucks out of there.. he later played in and around the area...would love to see them all come back .they all are awesome people with great big hearts and a passion for good music....much love...

-- Posted by angelzkixx on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 9:11 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.