Safari Dreams

by Terror at Tampa Bay

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These songs, collectively known as "Safari Dreams", were recorded in Joey's parent's basement two years ago, in the spring of 1988. We lived in a small Floridian suburb named Pelican Heights (GO PELICANS! -class of '90) and there really wasn't much to do during the weekends except hang out on Captain's Coast (the local beach) or cruise around town.

But something strange happened in late 1987. There was rumor of a toxic gas leak a few miles away in a town called Tampa Bay. This panic caused schools to be shut down and a state of emergency declared on all of Tampa Bay's surrounding neighborhoods, making it temporarily illegal for us venture outside the Pelican Heights city limits. All of the sudden, our town was isolated; there was no beach, and there was nothing to do - we were stuck. So, we figured we'd get creative and write a few jams to pass the time. But apparently, we weren't the only ones.

That's when it started. Within two weeks of school closing down, you'd start hearing about all these new bands forming in Pelican Heights. You'd overhear kids buzzing about the new "summery sound" of the local music. All of us began congregating and making music in our garages, basements, attics, and bedrooms, inspired by some mysterious surf-rock spirit that seemed to be possessing the youth of Pelican Heights. I couldn't drive my Civic down a neighborhood street without hearing sun-drenched tunes pouring out the houses' windows. Underground shows began happening; small, at first. But soon after, basements were packed every time a band would play. We all gathered within our safe town as one, breathing in the spirit of youth and freedom, and somehow converting it into music. To everyone else, the songs we couldn’t get enough of probably just sounded like low-quality, fuzzy noises. To us, they were the golden anthems of summer. It was the best time any of us had ever had.

Finally, after eight weeks, the rumored bio-hazardous incident in Tampa Bay was contained, lifting the state of emergency from Pelican Heights. Garage doors flew open, everyone took to their skateboards, and we spent the summer of 1988 showing the rest of central Florida what it means to be alive.

These were the songs that my friends and I wrote. We were one band of many. The way we saw it, we never would have played nor would this glorious riot ever occured, if it wasn't for the terror at Tampa Bay. So we are eternally grateful.

Chris Coulton
summer of 1990


released August 10, 1988



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