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Cornelius F Von Straffin III
A documentary featuring the legendary Churchill’s Pub in Miami, FL and the music scene and culture it has fostered for nearly 35 years.
Rat Bastard, Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids, Cock E.S.P., The Mavericks, Unicorn Hard-On, Iron & Wine, Harry Pussy, Iggy Pop, Haves & Thirds, Wyclef, To Live And Shave In L.A., Dick Dale, God Willing, R.E.M., Newton, U2, Torche, The Jacuzzi Boys, Humbert, Load, The Holy Terrors, Quit, Young Turk, Sum 41, Nuclear Valdez, Al’s Not Well, Suicidal Tendencies, The UK Subs, Del The Funky Homosapien, Holly Hunt, Anal Cunt, and a bit of fish n chips!
Every one of these artists and tens of thousands more have had their day at the legendary Churchill’s Pub. Many even playing their very first show on its humble stage, and some moving on to world-wide acclaim. This unlikely watering hole and live music venue in the middle of Miami, Florida’s Little Haiti community, has been a part of American music history like no other for nearly thirty-five years.
Just as CBGB’s defined a large part of the music scene in New York, so Churchill’s has done for South Florida. It’s a venue unlike any other, and which has survived against all odds, where freedom of expression reigns and anyone with a guitar is welcome to the stage. Churchill’s is much more than the bar that’s seen more live bands than any other bar in the world. It’s become a home to many, a community and a family, and a haven that has fostered and shaped the live music scene in a vacation town known mostly for bright lights, sunny beaches and electronic dance music. The number of acts that have performed at Churchill’s is estimated at well over 20,000 and counting, but it’s days are dwindling.
“The definition of a music scene is based on a music venue. So once a venue disappears, that scene is gone… if Churchill’s disappears the music scene that is living here at Churchill’s now, is going to disappear.”
~Rat Bastard, Miami’s Godfather of Noise, and international music legend.
Churchill’s has been sold. Sadly for many, the time has come for owner Dave Daniel’s to retire, and once the bar changes hands Churchill’s Pub as the world knows it will be gone forever. Dave’s amazing ability to not allow favoritism and opinion to control the stage is a rarity amongst ownership and management in any part of the world and that shall go along with him. No matter what happens when that day comes, whether the bar stays open or not, or continues as a live music venue, the Churchill’s Pub that we know and love, that has made such an impact on so many lives and musical careers and ambitions, will be forever changed. This is our opportunity to tell this inspiring story, to document it, and to make sure that its history is forever preserved and we keep the legacy alive.
We just could not let this moment pass us by. We saw an amazing story that was about to disappear and fade away like so many others untold. Only to be reminisced upon and thought of fondly in years to come, everyone wistfully agreeing, yeah, that place was one of the greats. And so we jumped at the opportunity, and together with the help of our amazing friends and local crew, started production on a little documentary we call LITTLE HAITI ROCK CITY: A `SORT OF’ FILM ABOUT CHURCHILL’S PUB.
We need YOUR help. The response we’ve had from everyone has been AMAZING, and everyone we’ve contacted or who has heard about our project has come with an outpouring of support, stories to tell, photographs, video footage, old posters, and most importantly of all, overwhelming emotion and gratitude that we are telling this story.
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Far Off Sounds, Episode 2 There’s a gang of guys and gals in Tampa who, frustrated at the lack of venues for their experimental sounds, took to the streets in the early 2000’s to perform under bridges, in alleyways, in construction sites, and scores of other semi-public spaces. We went down to Tampa to meet these mavericks and to see how an outdoor, illegal noise show differed from a dark and stuffy one in a crowded basement or bar.