SouthFlorida.com
Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!

Weekend preview: Heavy metal, iron and lace

Thirty years after their white-hot heyday, South Florida heavy-metal heroes Tuff Luck on Saturday will find themselves in front of another packed house filled with rock fans eager for more of their in-your-face swagger.

While the gathering at Fort Lauderdale’s Cinema Paradiso will be dedicated to a documentary film, not a performance, the vibe may feel just like the old days at the Button South, for both the fans and the band.

“I can close my eyes and see the fans,” says Kenny Monroe, the band’s brash vocalist. “I can put myself back in time, opening for Dokken or Stryper, and I know it sounds a little goofy, but it was the fans. Those were special times in Fort Lauderdale, and I’ll never forget ‘em.”

“Tuff Luck,” which will have its premiere screening on Saturday, Feb. 21, is a film by Los Angeles filmmaker Andrew Klein, who grew up in Cooper City with his late brother, Todd, Tuff Luck’s drummer. The film profiles a band that seemed to have it all — the musicianship, the songs and the look — but never achieved headlining stardom.

“The ‘B story’ of the film is the why,” says Klein, whose resume also includes a documentary about guitarist Randy Rhoads. “A theme that runs through the film is: ‘Let me present these guys to you, and show you who they were and what they did and, you’re not going to believe this, but they didn’t become the biggest band in the world. How could that be?’”

At the time, stardom looked like a given, says Monroe, also known as Kenneth “Kenny 5” Greenbaum, now a film editor at his Lake Worth-based Majic Robot Films (he just completed his first feature, “Hello, My Name Is Frank,” starring Tess Harper). In 1987, Tuff Luck had a self-titled album out, and their picture was splashed across the pages of music magazines next to profiles of Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne.

Monroe says that at gigs from the Button South in Hallandale Beach to Flynn’s in Miami, Tuff Luck was single-handedly creating the local rock scene that would give rise to bands such as Saigon Kick and Marilyn Manson.

“You know where those guys were? They were standing in the audience with their tongue hanging out staring at Dave,” Monroe says with a laugh.

Guitarist Dave Scott, who quit Miramar High School to join Tuff Luck and is now a fixture on the local music scene in Sebastian, says the band had to play a lot of all-ages shows when they were getting started, and that created a bond that endures.

“These kids were still in high school, and hanging out in rock clubs and seeing a concert, it was all new to them, and really had a big effect,” Scott says. “To see a local band, some guys that live in their town, that were able to get onstage and compete with a band like Motley Crue or a band like Van Halen ... They were really rooting for us.”

The other theme of the film is, as Monroe calls it, “a monument to Todd, the f---ing Sherman tank of the band.”

Klein’s brother, who went by Todd Kelly onstage, was 29 and living in Hollywood when he was murdered during a 1994 robbery at a North Miami Beach lingerie photo studio he managed, along with one of the models. Kelly was scheduled to perform with his band Dog for a Day later that day at the Button South.

The process of making the movie, which took from August 2013 to January 2015 to film and edit, required Klein to go back through numerous photos and videos of his brother and by his brother, who brought a video camera to every gig. But Klein says his brother has been a presence in his life since the day he died.

“His picture is my screen saver. His pictures are in my phone. Nobody can tell you how to grieve, how to live with what has happened to you. That’s my way,” says Klein, acknowledging that his brother’s best friend, Scott, is now his best friend.

Klein admits that watching the film made him cry, and that it took time for his family (his sister in Weston and parents in Tamarac) to see the point of revisiting the tragedy. But he expects audiences will have a different reaction.

“His death is very tragic and sad and disturbing. That part is very hard, but the movie overall is very positive and uplifting, and people will feel good when they walk out of there,” Klein says. “Even though you know the ending, they can’t help but root for these guys, because they’re so likable, they’re so charismatic, they’re so talented. And you can’t understand how things didn’t turn out differently.”

Klein says the film has been entered in 23 film festivals so far and a DVD version, which includes bonus material, is available at VelocityFilmsInc.com.

Scott and Monroe also are busy putting together digital versions of old Tuff Luck music, including the eight songs on their 1987 self-titled album (which was released on vinyl and cassette) and some bonus tracks, Scott says.

“Tuff Luck” will get a red-carpet premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Klein and members of Tuff Luck. Info: FLIFF.com, Facebook.com/TuffLuckFilm.

IRON & PBR

The Iron & Clematis Festival, a family-friendly gathering of old-school motorcycles and riders of varying vintage, will return to the 500 block of Clematis Street on Saturday. The second annual event in downtown West Palm Beach, a creation of the Palm Beach County-based Vintage Iron Club (and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, if you needed any more encouragement), is expected to draw more than 300 motorcycles, ranging from restorations and custom builds to bobbers and cafe racers. There will be at least 40 vendors, live bands (including Funny Bunny, Slip and the Spinouts, the Morgan Bernard Band and Soul Purpose), the Urias Family “Globe of Death” stunt show, a vintage pinup contest and a motorcycle raffle, with proceeds going to Canine Companions for Independence. Info: Facebook.com/VintageIronClub.

MUSIC, YOGA, MUSIC

The Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music, Art and Dance takes over Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami through Sunday, with a long list of local and national music acts, including Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, Suenalo, the Baboons, Driftwood, Afrobeta, Elastic Bond, Lanzallamas, Locos Por Juana and the Spam Allstars. Tickets start at $25 (not including vehicle entry fee or camping fee). For day-by-day schedule and other information, visit VirginiaKeyGrassRoots.com.

WORK THAT BAWDY

Women are invited to “pamper your inner bad girl” Saturday and Sunday at the Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park, where the “bold and bawdy” Bodacious Bodices-themed weekend “belongs to the lasses and their assets.” We’ll just stand over here and watch. Info: Ren-Fest.com.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO ...

Why sit at home bitching and moaning about the Oscars when you can bitch and moan in public and maybe win prizes? Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday will host its annual live, big-screen watch party for the Academy Awards, a night of food, drink, raffles and a variety of prizes, from the “best dressed” awards to the winner of the Oscar ballot (they’ll have handouts). Did we mention drinks? Doors open at 6 p.m. and the live telecast begins at 7. Tickets: $25. Info: FLIFF.com.

SIGOURNEY JOURNEY

The 1980 Academy Award for best visual effects went to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller (can we call it classic?) “Alien,” which gets an 11:30 p.m. Saturday screening at Gables Cinema, the latest installment in the Secret Celluloid Society’s After Hours series. Tickets are $5 and include a free popcorn. Info: GablesCinema.com.

ART UNDER YOUR FEET

The 21st annual Lake Worth Street Painting Festival returns Saturday and Sunday, with hundreds of artists transforming the pavement in the Lake and Lucerne area into works of art that can be, frankly, stunning. There’s also food, drinks and music, including a 5 p.m. performance by Grace and the Victory Riders, a band worth your notice and led by the daughter of folk-pop singer Jonathan Edwards (1971’s “Sunshine”). Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Info: StreetPaintingFestivalInc.org.

ART OVER YOUR HEAD

This is your last week to take in the high-wire artwork of renowned Polish sculptor Jerzy Kedziora in the outdoor exhibit “Natural Balance,” at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens (2051 Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach) through March 1. From noon to 2 p.m. Sunday Kedziora will discuss his career and the sculpture he’s strung through the lush foliage at the gardens. Info: ANSG.org.

ART IN FRONT OF YOU

The Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk returns on Saturday with bars, restaurants and storefronts throwing out the welcome mat (and perhaps a glass of wine) from 7 to 10 p.m. While there you can check out the work of Hoxxoh (or Douglas Hoekzema) a Miami-based painter of unique inspiration (see ElHoxoh.com) who is painting the newest installment of the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project at Hollywood Boulevard at 20th Avenue. Info: VisitHollywoodFL.org/artwalk.

HAPPY HOUR OF THE WEEK

Happy hour is, of course, more than the food and drink. Meatball Madness Monday, the daylong (11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.) drink-dine deal at Fork & Balls (1301 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), gets you $1 balls (four per order) and half off wine on tap, which is sweet. But it’s also a bustling scene made all the more entertaining by an adventurous soul-music soundtrack that adds just the right touch of downtown swing. My wife muttered that it was a little too loud for her taste (OK, Mom), but can you play King Curtis’ “Memphis Soul Stew” too loud? No, no you can’t. Info: ForkAndBalls.com.

LACY OVER ALL

Cupcake Burlesque will take over Respectable Street in West Palm Beach Saturday night for Burlesque Roulette, in which your favorite dancers will be tied to a giant wheel and ... Wait, whoa, I must have been dreaming. No, at Burlesque Roulette, you’ll find the wheel tagged with song titles from 30 years of pop music, with each dancer shimmying to whichever song the wheel stops on, no matter how cheesy. South Florida favorites Isadora Bull, Francean Fanny, Aurora Natrix and Erika Moon will be joined by dancers from all over the state. Hosted by Miss Jenna Beth and Patrick P. Smash, the show will go on at 10 p.m. Tickets: $8 advance, $10 at the door. Info: CupcakeBurlesque.com.

'DEACON BLUES' AND ELVIS

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday for one of the more interesting double bills to roll through South Florida in recent memory, the Steely Dan-Elvis Costello tour, which will conclude its summer road trip Aug. 12 at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $49-$129 at LiveNation.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.

BOB DYLAN, TOO

Also on sale this weekend is Bob Dylan’s April 21 performance at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Prices are $63.75-$93.75 beginning 10 a.m. Friday at the Broward Center box office (201 SW Fifth Ave.) and all Ticketmaster outlets. Info: BrowardCenter.org.

TAKE THE STAIRS

Reminder: Advance registration for the Fight for Air Climb, the sixth annual race up the 110 Tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale, is a discounted $25 through Friday at ClimbFtLauderdale.org. A fundraiser for the American Lung Association in Florida, the climb will take place at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28. Registration will cost $35 Saturday through Feb. 28, including onsite sign-up beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the tower (110 SE Sixth St.). The event will be professionally timed, and awards will be given in a variety of categories.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach on Saturday will celebrate the Chinese New Year (it’s the Year of the Sheep) with free admission and activities that celebrate the museum’s collection of Chinese art and the opening of the exhibition “High Tea: Glorious Manifestations East and West.” The daylong events begin at noon with a dragon dance (by the Lee Koon Hung Kung Fu Association in Sunrise) and end with a 7 p.m. Chinese fireworks display launched from a barge on the Intracoastal Waterway. Again, admission is free. Info: Norton.org.

CHILI WEATHER

We’re kind of rooting for this brisk weather to hold out until Saturday, adding extra comfort to the first annual Chili Cook-off hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club and Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale at Esplanade Park (400 SW Second St.). The noon-5 p.m. fundraiser will include craft beer, local bands, food trucks, and retail and nonprofit vendors. Admission is free. It’s $10 to be a taster and cast votes for chefs vying for a $500 prize. Info: Facebook.com/FLWomansClub.

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

 

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
79°