Industrial Street Pop Festival aka “Geezerpalooza, a Denton Original”

Published on: Sun, Oct 16, 2016

A typical Denton scene:  a few guys get together to swap stories and languish away a summer evening.  As often occurs in Denton circles, the conversation turned to music.

Randy Robinson decides this is the right time and place to propose an idea he’s been pondering for quite a while.

“I love the Denton music scene.  But sometimes, I really just want hear tunes I know.  You know, our music.”  His buddies nod in agreement.  “So, what if we had our own music festival?”

“Great idea!”

“Let’s do it!”

“What’ll we call it?”

“Geezerpalooza,” Randy announced.  Amid the laughter and guffaws over the name, a new Denton event was born then and there

This scene unfolded four summers ago, after which a lot of back and forth ensued about the geezer reference, understandably because these guys aren’t what I imagine when I think geezer.  While they don’t see geezers in the mirror either, the guys thought the name was funny, comically referencing a generation whose soundtrack is mostly played on FM oldies stations these days, and rarely featured in Denton’s predominantly indie music venues.

The Geezerpalooza name didn’t stick after the first year.  The guys were astounded at the back-lash from offended geezers

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Photo Courtesy of Ed Steele Photography

whose sense of humor had gone missing.  Even still, the oldies rock fest was a hit, living on as the Industrial Street Pop Festival (ISPF).

Let me butt into the story here and take you back almost 50 years to Labor Day Weekend 1969 in Lewisville, just two weeks after the famous Woodstock festival.  A crowd numbering more than 100,000, including many real-deal hippies from across the country, converged on the then-sleepy little town for a Woodstock repeat in the area of Lewisville now known as Waters Ridge, just off I-35 E.  The A-train actually runs right through the original site, and an historical marker placed there five years ago tells the story of the three-day-long Texas Woodstock.  It was called the Texas International Pop Festival and featured many of the Woodstock flock on stage:  Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Santana, Canned Heat, plus a lot of the day’s giants that skipped New York like Led Zeppelin and B.B. King.

What do these two stories have to do with each other?  The “geezer team” remembers those days.  Some were even there in ‘69, though I won’t name names.  But with the 50th anniversary coming up in 2019 of what at that time was the largest music festival ever held in Texas, why not give a nod to that event?  Maybe even lay some groundwork for something really big to commemorate the looming big 5-0?

The Industrial Street Pop Festival aka “Geezerpalooza, a Denton Original” happens from 1 to 8 p.m. this coming Saturday, October 22.  The geezer team is headed up by Geezer-in-Charge (GIC) Randy Robinson along with Tim House, Dan Mojica, Scott Campbell, Rob Houdek, Monte Jensen, Kate Lynass, Julie Glover and yours truly, me.

As the new name implies, the event will unfold in the heart of Denton’s music scene, the Industrial Street entertainment district, surrounded by Denton’s hot spots for food and beverages plus vendors touting wares from ’69 memorabilia to cigars. Back porch conversation areas are designated for ’69 alums to rehash the old days.  And, the festival hours keep bedtime in mind, although Dan’s Silver Leaf will jump back to the future at 9:30 p.m. when Denton-grown rock star Sarah Jaffe will take the stage.

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Photo Courtesy of Ed Steele Photography

Dan’s owner Dan Mojica is the ISPF music planner, and he’s got bands lined up that will pay tribute all afternoon to the era’s greats like Creedance Clearwater Revival, Neil Young, Sam and Dave, Sly and the Family Stone and generation-defining The Beatles.

While the tunes are those of the past, ISPF is free and for everybody.  Tickets for the Sarah Jaffe concert are available online.

Check out details on the Industrial Street Pop Festival’s Facebook page. To sponsor, volunteer, or get involved, contact the GIC Randy Robinson at 817-996-5076.  Learn more about the 1969 event in Lewisville.

Denton’s got sound.  Everybody knows it.  We are a music city, and music lovers in our city come in all shapes, sizes, styles…and ages.  ISPF merely adds another layer, a missing layer, to our wealth.  Some may sneer at the cover band concept, saying there is no originality there.  But au contraire!  This was the original music of “back then” and it deserves to be brought out and dusted off.  It’s how we rolled!  Someday, future generations will do the same with the new original tunes of today.

Come on out for ISPF.  It’s a blast!  See you there.

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