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Friday, Aug 29, 2014
Steve Otto Columns

Otto: Hello to Bollywood

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Are you feeling the excitement? Got the buzz? Ready to party?

Apparently the biggest thing to hit the Big Guava since Clint Eastwood talked to a chair — Bollywood — is here.

All right, I’m going to be honest, I really wasn’t all that pumped up when word came that Tampa was going to host the Bollywood Oscars. But then I wasn’t all that excited about the Hollywood Oscars last month, either. I suppose it would have been different if we had seen any of the movies nominated. And Johnny Carson wasn’t hosting it on TV, so we watched something else.

Unfortunately the same holds true for the Bollywood movies. I just can’t see standing there watching the limos roll up and not having a clue who anybody is.

I did see that you still could get tickets for the big show at Raymond James Stadium with the cheap seats at $179.50 and the really good ones almost a bargain at $3,294.75.

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I do want to mention that on Sunday, May 25, if you want a Tampa sound, you can come to the annual “Scratch My Back” concert at Skipper’s Smokehouse emceed by me and featuring the Lint Rollers, Woody and the Woodtones and the Quivering Rhythm Hounds to benefit the Friends of the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter. The cost is $10.

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Meanwhile, I’ve been getting news releases from the city and now my Bollywood excitement level is back on the rise. Here are a few excerpts from the most recent release:

“As the 15th International Indian Film Academy gains momentum ... organizers have released the official ‘TAMPA MUSIC TRACK.’ ” The funky song, “DO DA TAMPA,” is intended to capture the excitement.

“The song has taken the best of Tampa and Indian influences and is rendered with DJ RAVIDRUMS ... who is bringing his in-your-face energy. ... He has teamed with Tampa’s Gumbo Ortiz, who is known around the world for his exciting conga performance. As the official track of the celebrations, it will be played in the opening act.”

All I have to say is Tampa needs its own song. If Gumbo Ortiz and Ravidrums have a funky tune called “Do Da Tampa” that mixes Indian with whatever Tampa influences are, then welcome to Bollywood.

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The Ybor Chamber is trying to sell Guavaween licensing rights to somebody else.

I never quite figured how the chamber managed to take over what Ybor artists and businessowners conceived as a way to bring people into the quarter.

It was people like Mike Shea, David Audet, Paul Wilborn and Bud Lee who persuaded me to dress up in a bathrobe and wear a wreath of guavas down Seventh Avenue along with a burro and Mama Guava.

Ultimately politics and greed messed up a good thing.

Guavaween doesn’t need fencing or high prices. It needs to be given back to the people — assuming any of them want it — and be about having some fun.

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