St. Patty's revelers, step aside for Kerouac

Celebrate the beat legend at St. Kerouac's Night on Sat., March 17

These folks know Jack.

Well, they knew Jack, Jack Kerouac, whose birthday would have been today, March 12.

While the rest of Tampa Bay drinks green beer and shambles and dances down the streets like "dingledodies," some of the state's most well-known folk/rootsy musicians and beat poets will join fans of late beat generation writer Jack Kerouac — and his drinking buddies of yore — to celebrate St. Kerouac’s Night on Saturday, March 17,

The tribute event takes place at the Flamingo Bar near downtown St. Pete, where the the author had his last drink before passing away at nearby St. Anthony’s Hospital.

The Flamingo, owned since 1969 by Vietnam veteran Dale Nichols, has a wall of photos and memorabilia dedicated to Kerouac and celebrates the author each October and March (he was born March 12, 1922).

The bar at 1210 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N., near downtown St. Petersburg, was Kerouac’s favorite pool-playing hangout during the last five years of his life (1964-69), which were spent in St. Petersburg.

Tampa Bay's own living legend, singer-songwriter Ronny Elliott — whose tune “Jack’s St. Pete Blues” is a staple of his repertoire — will perform, in addition to honey-voiced Americana chanteuse Rebekah Pulley & The Reluctant Prophets, Sarasota acts The Spark Notes, Pinellas singer-songwriting team Dawg Peter Pat, Gulfport singer-songwriter Dylan Cowles, Dade City's Tom “Skid Row” Scudiero and other "special guests" take the stage.

For the first time, in the spirit of the late-great beatnik, the Flamingo will feature the beat poetry of Wayne Williams, Wayne Totin, Pamela Epps, Brad Morewood and Kristyan Panzica accompanied by jazz improvisors Kelly Green on guitar, Terry Plumeri on bass and Mac Martin on percussion. "Burn, Burn, Burn" T-shirts will be for sale.

The show begins at 8 p.m. and continues until midnight, outside on the front deck where performers will be flanked by a large photo of the author on a back-lit Plexiglas window.

There's no cover at the door, and the Flamingo will also serve a pre-show homemade Irish stew meal and what owner Nichols calls the “best deal in town,” aka the Kerouac drink — a shot of whiskey and beer for $2.25

Owner Nichols, says people come to see the Flamingo from all over the country.

Kerouac died at 47 of internal bleeding from cirrhosis of the liver.

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