Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: Famous musicians who may be friends and neighbors...
The state of Florida, and South Florida in general, has always proved a popular nesting place for musicians, even if it doesn't come close to cities like Nashville, L.A., and Austin, in terms of famous musical havens.
Nevertheless, a look at the list of artists and performers who have called our little corner of the Earth home suggests the stars have made a sizable investment in local real estate. The roll call of past and present local homeowners -- Cher, Ricky Martin, Lenny Kravitz, Luther Campbell, the Iglesiases and the Estefans, and, yes, KC and the Sunshine Band -- offers a diverse array of big names in the biz. Granted, not every artist appeals to every taste, but I suspect there's not a single South Florida realtor that gives a flip about hits or hipness when they tally those big commissions.
One can go even further back, to the heyday of the late '60s and early '70s, if you really want to study local star power. Eric Clapton, the Marley clan, David Crosby, the Eagles and Joni Mitchell all spent time in South Florida, whether recording at the legendary Criteria Studios or living the bohemian life in Coconut Grove. Just to our north of us, Stephen Stills, Jim Morrison, Don Felder, and Tom Petty sowed the seeds of their sounds before bringing it to the non-Floridians of the world.