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Concert Memories – My Second Concert

My Second Concert – by Rich Ulloa

It was the fall of 1970 and was just starting my first year at Miami Senior High. I was 15 years old when I bought the new album by the Miami based band, FANTASY. WEDR, the hip underground FM station at the time started playing it a lot and after hearing some tracks, I had to get it. The album had a national top 40 hit, the instrumental “Stoned Cowboy” but it was Jamene Miller’s amazing voice that blew me away on several songs (she was only 16 at the time!)

When I found out that they were playing a free show at the UM field (where Mark Light Stadium is now built), I was ecstatic! When I found out that Black Sabbath & Canned Heat were headlining, I was really psyched! I had played the grooves off the first Sabbath album and “Paranoid” had JUST come out. Canned Heat was one of the breakout bands that played Woodstock so I couldn’t wait to see them, too. It was one of those rare shows, where I was totally into all the bands that were playing. I grew up listening to all the top 40 hits on my local AM stations, WQAM (560) and WFUN (790) but with the advent of FM radio, my musical horizons were expanding exponentially.

So, I got to the open field and it was general admission. There were no chairs, just standing room for everyone. Fantasy played a great set (I knew every song!) with 16 year Jamene Miller’s powerful vocals mesmerizing this young kid. As long as I live, I will believe that she was as great a singer that I have ever seen and she should have been a huge star. The industry will suck you in and spit you out and sadly, that’s exactly what happened to her. On another note, this was the first time I experienced the aroma of marijuana and noticed several people passing joints during the show (at the time, it was very eye opening!)

Then, Black Sabbath took the stage. I was SO excited to see them, as that first album was unlike anything I had ever heard before. They played one song (I’m pretty sure it was “Paranoid”) and then the power blew out during the second song. Ozzy was pissed, said a few words and exited the stage so they could fix the problem. They came back in a few minutes and started playing again and the power went off within seconds. Ozzy was furious, mumbled a few words and he stormed off the stage. That was it! I was TOTALLY bummed out. It would be another year before I got to see them again at Pirates World in Dania.

Thankfully, Canned Heat played a GREAT show, with “Big Bear” Bob Hite leading the way. This was a few months after guitarist Allan Wilson had died from a drug overdose but it was still a great show, especially for a 15 year old kid. They had just released a great new album, “Future Blues,” and I can still remember them opening with “Sugar Bee.” Bob Hite (R.I.P) was a behemoth of a man and after a few songs, took his shirt off as it was a hot night….And what a GREAT front man he was….energetic, charismatic and just a joy to watch. Canned Heat blew me away that night and I will never forget it! This was only the second concert I attended (Grand Funk Railroad at Dinner Key, was my first) and without question, one of the most memorable!

About 20 years later, I got a call at Y&T from someone looking for a copy of the original Fantasy album. It was Jamene Miller! I told her what a big fan I was and that I had dubbed an original copy of her album onto cassette for my car. I don’t think she believed me but it was true! I have the entire album on MP3s in my phone today. I think she was amazing and was saddened to learn of her passing in 2008. When I look back, I often wondered if I had crossed paths professionally with Jamene, that I might have had an opportunity to work with her on a project. THAT would have been a dream project for me.

Bio: Rich Ulloa turned a youthful fascination with the Beatles into a career in music — first as founder of Yesterday & Today Records in Miami and then as an indie label owner and artist manager. The Beatles provided his arts awakening. “Like millions of young baby boomers, I was glued to our family TV set to watch The Beatles first appear on The Ed Sullivan Show back in February of 1964,” Ulloa, 67, said. Over time, Ulloa built up a collection of Beatles memorabilia, including bootleg records, 45s and books, and made connections with collectors and dealers at national Beatles conventions.

In early 1978, he started his first mail-order business, Top Of The Pops, specializing in music collectibles. Three years later, he opened his first record store on Bird Road in Miami and named it for a Beatles album, Yesterday & Today Records. The store, with its savvy staff, alternative and local music section, was a fixture for 17 years under Ulloa’s operation. Ulloa, a staunch supporters of local and national up and coming bands, hosting many live In-Store events.

In late 1990, Ulloa became interested in The Mavericks, a local country band that inspired him to create a record label, aptly named Y&T Music. In early 1991, Ulloa put out their debut CD that led to a recording deal for The Mavericks with MCA Records. Then Ulloa went on to put out CDs by other local artists and became an artist manager for singer-songwriter, Mary Karlzen, who signed with Atlantic Records in 1994 after two indie releases on Y&T.

In 2019, wanting to expand the label’s success, Ulloa formed a partnership with two other music enthusiasts, Don Sarley and Jim Wurster. Together they have released several critically acclaimed albums including a Fred Neil tribute, “Everybody’ Talkin’ and the anti-war album, “Put Down That Weapon,” which featured artists covering classic protest songs from the 60’s and 70s.

Over the years, Y&T has issued over 40 releases, including albums, EPs, singles and vinyl. Plans are in the work for several new major projects and the future is indeed bright for Y&T!

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