The Beat Profiles - Greg Pendleton *
HOME: Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach. I’m here four days a week and Pensacola four days a week. That makes…eight days a week!
AGE: I just turned 57. I went to a Blue Wahoos game in Pensacola. Great park right by the bay. It was absolutely wonderful.
PROFESSION: I do Web stuff and recording. I have a studio in Pensacola. I play at Pandora’s on Okaloosa Island Wednesdays through Saturday (610 p.m. Wednesday, 6:30 10:30 other nights).
HOBBIES: Bicycling. I ride all the time. Matter of fact, all the regulars that come into Pandora’s—most of them 10 years older than me—we started riding and call ourselves the “Round Belly Bikers.” They’re the best friends in the world. We do eight to 12 miles and have so much fun riding.
LAST BOOK READ: Keith Richards’ memoir, Life. I’m not finished with it, but it’s pretty damn good so far. It starts out slow but gets a lot better.
LAST ACCOMPLISHMENT: I’m working on a new album with a friend from Atlanta, Steve Watkins (Pendelton’s first since the fine 2005 collection of original Christian music, In His Name). We send tracks back and forth over the Internet. The new album will be “Greg” music—I’m all over the place. I like everything except rap and opera. I write what I write and like what I like. I really like ballads and funk.
QUOTE: “Destin/Fort Walton Beach has the best musicians around!”
Shannon Wallace, Jabbo Stokes, Pat Boone, Mike Turner… I hate to leave anyone out. The late Jim Fuller and, of course, the band you just wrote about (Souled Out). Allen Chapman was a major influence on me. Blair Colson is awesome. And Ron Adams is a good friend who does what he does for the good of mankind.
PROFILE: I started playing drums at age 12 and kept at it. I stayed in Pensacola for a while, then worked at a nightclub in South Florida, played on a cruise ship and went to Alaska. In the ‘70s, I started singing behind another band in Pensacola. In the ‘80s, I played here at the Ramada Inn, then Allen Chapman and I toured Florida on bicycles. I worked in the oil fields in Oklahoma and decided that’s not where I wanted to be.
I joined a band that entered the Wrangler Country Showdown. We were up against Sweethearts of the Rodeo and came in fourth. We had a five piece band and kicked ass on the Grand Ole Opry Stage. Everyone told us, “You got it!” But we came in $*#(ing fourth. So I quit again.
I came back to Florida and worked around, took a break from music. Then I joined up with Steve Watkins and Sandy Spivey in a band called Meaty Jones and the Spin Doctors—this was before the other Spin Doctors, we should have sued them—and we ruled Pensacola for a while.
Finally, it evolved to me doing what I do now, playing solo with MIDI accompaniment. I miss being in front of a band, though. I’m ready to be in front of a band again.
FAVORITE FREE ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICATION: The Beachcomber!
* Inspired by the late, great CREEM magazine.