Veteran South Florida rocker Jim Camacho has a simple reason for performing a benefit for Arnold Abbott’s Love Thy Neighbor organization on Saturday in downtown Fort Lauderdale, a stone’s throw from where Abbott was first arrested for feeding the homeless.
“He’s a World War II veteran. My dad was a World War II veteran. I can’t imagine that level of disrespect. I’m so happy to be helping him out,” Camacho says. “I’d like to meet him and see where he served.”
Oliver Camacho, who jumped onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, later died of a heart attack at age 58, when his son was 10.
On Saturday night, Jim Camacho will reunite the Beatles tribute band the Beethose in a note-for-note performance of his favorite Beatles release, “The White Album.” The band, which includes Chris Alvy, Jordan Welch, Chris Price and Fernando Perdomo, now of Los Angeles, will play the double album in its entirety in two sets, with a third set devoted to requests. The format is a little loose at this point, but a donation will help your request get played.
One of the things the Beatles learned in making the iconic “White Album” is that democracy is messy.
The 30 songs on the album were created as George Harrison and Ringo Starr moved to have their voices heard, and its diversity is its strength. The album that produced tender ballads such as “Dear Prudence,” “Blackbird” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” also includes rockers “Helter Skelter,” “Back in the USSR” and “Revolution No. 9.”
But the recording of “The White Album” also brought to light the competing narratives that would lead to the band’s breakup two years later.
“It’s my favorite Beatles record because you get to see so many strong … separate identities,” says Camacho, who broke out in the 1990s with the Goods, started playing bass with the Beethose in the 2000s and lately has turned his creativity to musical theater. His personal favorite on “The White Album” is “Julia.”
“[The Beatles] took what they did seriously, but they didn’t take themselves too seriously,” Camacho says. “Their spirit, their energy, that we all love, that’s what we try to reach toward.”
It took a little serendipity for Camacho and the Beethose to find a way to support Love Thy Neighbor: It started when Camacho was stuck at a New York airport in late November, striking up a conversation with a fellow traveler, Love Thy Neighbor supporter Irene Smith. Camacho says Smith and her sister, photographer Teajay Smith, put it all together.
“That was a case of being stuck in an airport and finding a friend,” he says.
Camacho, who released the critically appreciated album “Everywhere” in 2013, just finished a production of his “Nutcracker” remake, “The Mouse King,” with puppeteer Noel MacNeal. His goals for the coming year include a couple of highlights: a new album and another labor of love, a 10th anniversary production of his musical “Fools Paradise,” a love triangle set in a circus troupe in Nazi-occupied Paris.
“To tie back into World War II, it was kind of inspired by my father,” Camacho says. “Robb [Wexler] was in it, he played the Nazi, Himler. Ken Clement, a great actor from down here, played Jean-Paul."
Camacho hopes to be able to reunite a lot of the principals for a show in March or April.
“We’re trying get the band back together,” he says, laughing. “We’re trying to pull it together for one last hurrah.”
As for the new recording, Camacho says he’s not sure if he’ll release it as an album or roll out the songs and accompanying video individually.
“It’s all up in the air how the world’s going to be in the next five years with music,” says Camacho, who seems to revel in the unknown. “It’s a pretty awesome time to be around. You just have to be brave and keep showing up. Back in the day, when the Goods were happening, you didn’t have to put yourself out there as much. These days, you just turn on your computer and flip on your web cam and say, ‘Hello, world.’ What a great opportunity.”
If you go: The Beethose perform for Love Thy Neighbor at 8 p.m. Saturday at Stache (109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets: $20, tax deductible. Info: 954-449-1044, StacheFTL.com, LoveThyNeighbor.org, JimCamacho.com.
WALK, DON'T RUN
Right off the bat, this may be one of the best strolling weekends of the year in downtown Fort Lauderdale, especially on Sunday, when the masses gathered for the 27th annual two-day winter edition of the Las Olas Art Fair and the sun (and shade) seekers swinging to the sounds of the monthly JM Lexus Jazz Brunch are just up river from each other. The ebb and flow between these two scenes creates a special energy downtown. Or maybe it’s the champagne. The Las Olas Art Fair is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: ArtFestival.com. The jazz brunch (yes, there’s a new sponsor) is 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month on the New River between Riverfront and the Broward Center. This month the music is by the Bobby Rodriguez Orchestra, Pieces of Work and the Tommy Nehls Trio. Info: 954-828-5363.
RUN, DON’T WALK
One of the best places to channel your new-found 2015 ambition is the second annual Save the Panther 5K at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Palm Beach Zoo (1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach). Registration ($25, $20 ages 17 and younger) is available at PalmBeachZoo.org, with limited on-site registration on race day. The first 500 entrants get a T-shirt with a photo of Micco, one of Palm Beach Zoo’s resident panthers. The race, sponsored by Sagicor Life Insurance Co., is certified “green” by Athletes For A Fit Planet.
There are several reasons to consider the Norton Museum’s Jan. 15 installment of Art After Dark, a celebration of the exhibition “Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast.” There are the panel appearances by important Vogue influencers such as Charles Churchward, the longtime design director who worked with photographers Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. There is the “Artini” happy hour, the screening of the fun frock doc “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's” and the ticket and memorabilia giveaway to the upcoming Johnny Depp film “Mortdecai.” But all that cool, smart, hipness needs a soundtrack, and you won’t find a better match than the stylish retro-soul duo the Lovers Key (7:45 p.m.), whose “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” topped our list of best albums of 2014. The evening could not get any more fashionable. Info: Norton.org.
BACON, COFFEE, BEER
The Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park will have its hotly anticipated bottle release for Maple Bacon Coffee Porter on Jan. 10, with a street party worthy of the popular beer. MBCP, which made several best-of lists at the Great American Beer Festival, will be available noon-3 p.m. in 22-ounce bottles for $15 each, limit four per customer (with bottle pickup at 4-7 p.m.). The street party runs until 10 p.m. and includes a contingent of food trucks, other special-release beers and blues from the Albert Castiglia Band (also on our best-albums list). Info: MapleBacon.FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
SCOOBY DOOBY DO
I never know which truck to bet on at Monster Jam, and ordinarily a truck painted like Scooby Doo would not be on my list. But here’s what you learn about its driver, Nicole Johnson, on her Twitter feed (@MsNicoleJohnson) ... She’s a two-time Women's National Rockcrawling Champion and the first woman to ever cross the finish line at King of the Hammers off-road race in California. She bakes her own bread. With all due respect, she looks like a South Florida swimsuit model, but, as a Morman, doesn’t use it. She drives a truck that’s 12 feet tall, but last month finally got herself her dream ride, a Mini Cooper, posting: “Call me a traitor, but I'm tellin' ya ... there is something sooooo satisfying about a manual trans and a turbo!” So I’ve got Scooby Doo and Grave Digger in my Monster Jam quinella when the racing returns to Sun Life Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $10-$40. Info: MonsterJam.com.
BALL AND CHAIN GANG
One of our New Year’s resolutions is to spend time at Ball and Chain (1513 SW Eighth St., Miami) in 2015. The historic Little Havana nightspot has made a new name for itself with its respectful treatment of Cuban-style cocktails since opening in the fall, but it also has a fine ear for local music. On Friday, you can catch Palo!, and Saturday it’s La Pachanga! (with music from Rum and Coffee, and specialty cocktails). DJ Haitian Hillbilly has a Thursday night residency, and on Jan. 16 the Spam Allstars will do a show sponsored by the Emmy-winning documentarians of “Miami Boheme.” Info: BallAndChainMiami.com.
As the parent of an 8-year-old girl who tries to look out for opportunities for dads to get some quality bonding time, I mention this, but with mixed emotions. The songs are already permanently drilled into my brain. But, we persevere. The relentlessly popular Disney film “Frozen” will get a sing-along version at Broward College’s Bailey Hall (3501 SW Davie Road, Davie) on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. Kids are encouraged to dress like their favorite character for the event, which opens at noon and includes a craft area, face painting and food trucks serving hot chocolate, mini pastries and ice treats. Yes, there will be sugar. Tickets: $10, 4 and younger $5. Info: 954-201-6884, BaileyHall.org.
JACOB & THE KIDS
The consistently rewarding pop music of the Plantation-spawned Jacob Jeffries Band will kick off the sixth annual Music on the Plaza series at Midtown (4801 PGA Blvd.) in Palm Beach Gardens on Jan. 8. It’s an all-ages crowd, says Midtown’s Belle Forino. "We have seen an increase in young families attending over the years. They bring their young children to listen and dance to the music before bedtime,” she says. Which means there will be face painting and goodie bags (for kids 5 and younger) and, for you, discounts on beer and wine from Christopher’s Kitchen. Info: MidtownPGA.com.
THE GREAT INDOORS
All the hand-wringing over Cuba reminded us that the Boca Raton Library’s exhibit “Clyde Butcher: Cuba -- the Natural Beauty” is only up through Jan. 10. The pictures were taken in 2004, when Butcher was invited by the United Nations to photograph Cuba’s landscapes for the Conference for Sustainable Habitat of the Mountains. His three-week journey took him from the eastern province of Granma to the far-west region of Pinar del Rio, which includes the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Boca Raton Library is at 400 NW Second Ave. Info: BocaLibrary.org.
The Frost Science Museum begins the year with Laser Fest Weekend on Friday and Saturday, with a menu including Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” and the Miami premiere of the Queen laser show, which includes “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and, of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Think “Frozen,” for adults. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is at 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami. Admission is $8, $4 ages 3-12, and includes laser glasses. Info: 305-646-4234. MiamiSci.org.