Locally and globally, our music scene has lost far too many performers and fans. That, they say, is life. No loss has had a more profound impact on the Tampa Bay area than the recent departure to another plane of our beloved Thomas ‘Purplebear’ Underhill.
If you attended shows in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or Clearwater or festivals at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park or Maddox Ranch, then you knew Purplebear. If asked, you’d say that one of the things you remember most about him was his magnificent smile and the hundreds and hundreds of photographs he shared of all the shows he went to, friends he posed with, and bands who were happy to have their pictures taken with him.
Some of us like to think we get out to hear live music often, but nobody was in the clubs more than Purplebear, whether it was rock, funk, reggae, techno, or you name it — he was there. Despite his obvious physical ailments, he loved life more than anyone I’ve known.
There are two wonderful opportunities to gather with friends to remember our dear departed brother. The first comes this Wednesday, when Moongoddess Entertainment is hosting: Thomas (Purplebear) Underhill Memorial Show. Julia Stewart shared this:
Join us Wednesday, August 9th, at Crowbar, for a memorial to honor our dear friend Thomas PurpleBear Underhill. It’s no secret that Thomas was one of the biggest supprters of our beloved local music scene. He was at every show armed with a smile, a hug and some wisdom. Join us for a memorial concert featuring some of his favorite acts as we celebrate his beautiful life.
There will be a $5 suggested doantion at the door. Per Thomas’s family’s request all funds will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity that is dear to their hearts. If you can donate, great. If you can’t, please still come. Thomas would have wanted it that way. Rest in peace, Purple Bear. Enjoy the great gig in the sky. ♥
Doors 7 pm / $5 suggested donation / All ages / children-friendly
Featuring sets by:
Dennis Stadelman’s Sonic Stew
Ungstad & Sgammato Duo
Kyle Shell aka All Capital Kyle
The Happy Campers Duo
Sean Maloney aka Legacy
DJ Andrew M Blass
Live Art by Bean Spence
The second opportunity takes place Friday, October 13th, at the Ringside in St. Petersburg: Celebration of Life for Thomas (PurpleBear) Underhill. Janice Lautner says:
Come out and celebrate the life of PurpleBear. His family will be in town at this event from New York. Please come and share your memories and stories with them.
Uncle John’s Band (One of PurpleBear’s favorite bands) – 10 PM
We will have raffle baskets, T-shirts, and PurpleBear bracelets, music, art, and vendors!
Come and show the family some love.
Ringside Cafe – 16 2nd Street North St Pete, FL. 33701
Friday, October 13th 8 PM – 3 AM
Purplebear’s spirit will always be with us as a shining, guiding example. Much love, Purplebear!
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