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Goner Message Board / ???? / Did anybody know Mike O'Neill?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 3:15 pm
By GRETCHEN PARKER The Tampa Tribune

Published: Jul 19, 2006

TAMPA - Mike O'Neill, well known in the Tampa Bay-area music world as an uncompromising, passionate performer and gifted songwriter, has died. He was 41.

He jumped from the Sunshine Skyway bridge late Monday, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said.

Until his resignation in April, O'Neill worked for The Tampa Tribune for 18 years, first as a clerk and then as an editor who compiled dozens of events listings each week in the paper's Friday Extra section.

The Tribune was his full-time job, but music was his life's passion, said those who knew him, reviewed his music and performed with him. He founded three Tampa rock bands since the early 1990s, all of which centered on his creative energy and songwriting. He shared the stage with national acts, most recently during the July 4th weekend at a show organized by Steven Van Zandt at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.

"I couldn't imagine a greater loss for the local, original music scene in Tampa," said Robert Mortellaro, a former music critic for The Weekly Planet who more than once named O'Neill "Best of the Bay" for his work. O'Neill's "raw, great talent as a songwriter" made him a star here, Mortellaro said.

If his bands played covers, they were songs in his own stockpile of records, Mortellaro said. O'Neill was a devoted collector of 1960s British invasion rock and of 1960s American garage bands. The fans who came to see O'Neill's bands - The Unrequited Loves, Nailbiters (late 1990s) and Monday Mornings (early 1990s) - came to see original music "played from their heart and soul," Mortellaro said.

O'Neill performed without regard for the reaction from the audience, Mortellaro said. "In Mike's case, it was almost always positive, but he attracted the kind of audience that came to see uncompromised commitment to art," he said.

Mortellaro described him as "walking a tightrope" onstage and remembered performances when he broke into high falsettos that seemed to teeter on the edge of falling apart. Sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn't. That was what people came to see - genuine, gut-generated art.

It was his songwriting that Bay area music fans will remember, said Curtis Ross, pop music critic for the Tribune. "There were no wasted words, no wasted notes. Everything was there for a purpose," said Ross, who in 1998 called Nailbiters' album "Every Wasted Second Gone" the year's best local release. "He never fell back on the old rock and roll cliches."

O'Neill poured his own cash into the projects, releasing the CDs under a label he called Facefirst Records, Ross said.

Despite his struggle with depression, O'Neill found the energy and time to devote to friends who needed it. Jeff Wood, a well-known local drummer who briefly played with O'Neill in the early 1990s, remembers that his friend pulled him out of a funk and sparked his rehabilitation after he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor three years ago.

Wood, a lefty, lost movement in his left side and was struggling. O'Neill visited Wood, drove him to his warehouse practice space - and jammed with him. "For him to do that and get me to see forward again, that's something I can't forget."

O'Neill grew up in Auburndale, the youngest of six children, said his oldest sister, Margaret Quilty, of Orlando. He became the "model son" and was the only one of the children to visit his parents weekly. Monday and Thursday nights, he was there, playing canasta with his mother. "He was very quiet and reserved. That was his normal behavior," Quilty said. "Except when he was onstage."

BORN: May 7, 1965, in St. Clair, Mich.

DIED: July 17, 2006, in Tampa

SURVIVORS: Four siblings: Margaret Quilty and Colleen O'Neill, both of Orlando; Maureen Ruff, of St. Clair, Mich.; and James O'Neill, of Ocoee

Posted: Jul 19, 2006 5:33 pm
This is so damn tragic. He was the one who sold our friend Kyle an extra Blackout ticket at face value after Hollis posted on Goner simply b/c he thought "we were cool and were moving to St. Pete." God damn.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:06 pm
I didn't really "know" the guy....
But I wanted to share a few memories (boo hoo)...
I met Mike a few times at shows here in the Tampa area. His band opened for the Detroit Cobras and the Reigning Sound a few months back....The Reigning Sound had a off day on their tour, so Mike set them up a show a local dive bar, The HUB, in Tampa.
The Reigning Sound put on one of the best show I have ever seen...
EVER! 50 people in the bar... 40 of them local yokal drunks, the Unrequited Loves gang, Kevin E. from Orlando and Kimmie and I.
The Unrequited Loves...well... maybe it was all the alcohol Mike consumed both nights... I guess it would be wrong to talk shit about a dead guys band.... but... painfully generic.
Mike's VERY drunken antics made up for the rather forgettable performances his band delivered. Both nights I couldn't wait for their set to be over.
...I remember Mike making a complete asshole out himself both nights... especially the night of the Hub show. He kept walking up to stage to blurt out complete nonsense into the microphone.
I remember saying to my girlfriend..."if this fucker hadn't set up the show, he would be getting his ass kicked"... very over the top.
Not in a funny way either... I'm sure his band was quite embarassed by his "retard front man" bullshit. The fat drummer dude and long haired bass player (not sure it's a guy or a girl) were actually restraining him at the end of the night...
You know the story...your friend gets so wasted and annoys EVERYONE at the party, so you have to hold him back before someone beats the shit out of him...uh huh, exactly....
I remeber NOT attending local shows his band was playing at.
I did see Mike a few times after that. He did "look" depressed. Not sure if it had anything to do with the guilt he must have carried around daily, wondering what his pathetic drunk ass did the night before.
I was kind of suprised to see that he remembered my girlfriend and I when we saw him in Chicago for the Blackout. He did leave the bar to go to his car and get us a cd his band had just released. When he was retrieving the disc from his car, I remember saying to Kimmie, " He looks kinda sober.....hmmmm...I still don't wanna hang around him... I hope he gets lost on the way to his car!"

Of course we never opened it...
Maybe I can sell it on eGay!
That was the last time I saw Mike O'Neill...
sad, I know, but I had to vent...

Bazooka, you knew him?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:10 pm
No, just had mutual friends.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:20 pm
fierydrunk...you are moving to St. Pete?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:23 pm
He was originally from this area (St. Clair is about 10 miles south of where I live). We exchanged a few emails about "the hometown" and it's happenings (parks, the A&W, the lake, the bars and ironically enough he always wanted to talk about the bridge to Canada and the second span the built-Kinda creepy now that I think about it now).

Depression is a bitch. I've had some serious bouts with it myself but never enough to actually go through with such things...I didn't really know the guy outside of email exchanges though he did tell me that we attended some of the same parties in High School.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:26 pm
Poor guy. Rest in Peace.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 6:41 pm
Yep--we is moving to St. Pete...though Charleston SC was fucking beautiful and charming as hell. Maybe I just am so sick and over Portland that anywhere remotely near or in the South looks good to me, but I immediately was about 1000x more relaxed being back "home" with all the y'alls, great eats, lack of hipsters, politeness/manners, sun and lawdknows...I can't wait. Even though it is beautiful here, it just really hit home how much I don't "belong" here.

And, just to throw this out there, I am sure a lot of the guy's "bad drunken behavior" was just part of what was obviously some very very very serious mental illness. From what you describe, he seemed like a pretty tortured guy. That bridge is SO HIGH. I cannot believe it.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 7:28 pm
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 7:31 pm
Very sad news. That Reigning Sound show at the Hub was friggin' amazing. I remember Mike being very drunk but seemed happy to have made something cool happen in the bay area.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 7:37 pm
what a fun commute.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 7:37 pm
I cannot believe that pool--while my "Well, I nevah!" side is in full effect, it is truly fascinating and not really surprising given that bridge.

They just built one that looks exactly like that from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant, SC. We crossed it many a day.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:18 pm
wow! that jumperpool site is fuckin' hilarious... never knew about... I hear about people jumpin off the skyway all the time, glad to see a site dedicated to it!
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:23 pm
I cannot believe that many people are drawn to jumping off that bridge! People do it all the time here but as there are like 6 bridges, they get all spread out and it doesn't seem worth making a page out it I guess.

The creepiest one I heard about in PDX was the two goth kids (a couple) who hung themselves off the rafters over the street on a bridge...which one was this???? Broadway or Hawthorne?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:29 pm
That seems really cold-hearted. Mike was a sweet guy, I liked his band a lot. He could tip them back, no doubt, but he was the happiest of drunks from what I witnessed. I guess he rubbed you the wrong way, Cracker, but keep that shit to yourself, man. I\\\'m sitting here stunned.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:32 pm
so very sad..... He and his girlfriend were guests in my home. I liked his wit, his good humor, his taste in music. I knew him to be a really good guy. I wish he could have made the trip back up here.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:34 pm
in PDX was the two goth kids (a couple) who hung themselves off the rafters over the street on a bridge

I knew that guy a little bit. Not a goth guy by any means, way into punk, really nice guy actually. I wasn't like "tight" with him or anything like that, his name was Mike.
Him and his girlfriend got strung out and hit rock bottom, couldn't take life anymore. Steel Bridge-a bunch of people on the max saw them like that from what I hear, while it was going over the bridge.
Real sad way to go for somebody that totally didn't deserve it.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:49 pm
Yeah, I always heard it was goth kids, but you know how stories get twisted around. A lot of people saw them as it was difficult to get to them. Christ. I suppose, depression can get to you anywhere you are, even in Vitamin D overdosed Florida.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:51 pm
anyone think it's funny the name of Mike cd label was "face first"?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 8:56 pm

I think it's extra sad that the last song I heard him play was "You're Gonna Miss Me."
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:02 pm
DAMN maybe I'm just old-fasioned. but there's nothing funny about it. please stop. You know, we were just gonna take the day off, and Mike talked us into, no begged us, to play that show at the Hub. for people like you. We get it, you didn't like the guy, but there's no need to put him down.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:16 pm
depression can get to you anywhere you are

Very true.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:20 pm | Edited by: fierydrunk
No you aren't old-fashioned...it is awful, esp. if you knew the guy. I have always been perplexed by the people that get all frothy when there is a suicide and insist it is this "utterly selfish act". Yeah, I suppose if you are leaving a wife and three hungry kids or something, but the converse of that is are you a better, less selfish person/husband/friend if you are so depressed all the time you can barely get out of bed?
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:27 pm
You guys didn't play the show for me or people like me.
I'm pretty sure most people hated the Un-Loves and couldn't wait for them to get off the stage. There were maybe 2 or 3 people there to see the Un-Loves, pretty sure everyone else was there to see the Sound...
Don't make it seem like you guys were doing us any sort of favor.
I'm the night would have been even better without the Un-Loves...
I was the one who got the calls from Carol (temporary bass girl for RS)and had to call Mike and the bar to make sure the show would even happen...
What a mess that was. It would have been easy for me to say "fuck it" to the lack of organization, but I really wanted to see RS again...
...When Carol told me it was Mike she was trying to contact, I almost stopped trying to help the cause... (she couldn't remember his name and described him as, "that idiot singer guy from the shitty opening band the other night...")
Like I said...I didn't exactly "know" the guy or anything, but he seemed like a real moron... Then again, isn't anyone who jumps off a bridge?
This is a message board. The purpose of a message board is to share ideas, whatever they might be...
Hate me if you want, it's not like you buy my records anyway....
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:29 pm
you have me mistaken for someone else
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:37 pm
and that's not what Carol said, I was sitting behind her in the car trying to remember which one was Keith and which one Mike. Then and now, we never thought Mike was an idiot or his band shitty. I was trying to talk them into coming up to NC for a show.
I'm all for free expression, i just think you're taking cheap shots. keep it to yourself or say something nice, where I come from we show respect for the dead.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:51 pm
moving on to positive thoughts, the set the Un-Loves played opening for the cobras was pretty cool, we wouldn't have hung out with them if there wasn't something that sparked. Remains -ish, psych-pop, lotta hooks, clever songs. Plus their own theme song, now that's entertainment. The Hub show they sounded a lot rougher, but so did we, honestly. Five minutes of breathing in that place and you're over the legal limit. I got to know Mike pretty well over that weekend, I can get pretty drunk myself, so it wasn't no big deal that he was staggerin and sputtering on a Sunday evening. In fact, I found it endearing. Oh well, I'm gonna go home now since I aint gettin any work done.
I'm gonna miss Mike O'Neill, I wish it hadn't happened this way.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 9:54 pm
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 10:04 pm
Yeah, I guess I was being a little harsh Lance. Maybe I fabricated the story a little for entertainment value...
I'm bored...I got fired from my karaoke job and have too much time on my hands....
I'm sure Mike was a nice guy...
I still don't like the Un-Loves music, but I suppose that doesn't give me the right to be an asshole!
Sorry if I offended anyone...
I promise this will be my last post for this subject..
(I would have never thought this thread would get this many views)
R.I.P. Mike
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 10:09 pm
I think that was the band joe danger and i saw at this weird bar in Ybor City 7 years or so ago when we decided to go out--it has/had like a patio with wrought iron where the band played, so you could be in and outdoors at the same time. Very Florida.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 10:21 pm | Edited by: Golightly
Like I said...I didn't exactly "know" the guy or anything, but he seemed like a real moron... Then again, isn't anyone who jumps off a bridge?

Fuck you crack nigger....you obviously don't know jack shit about real depression. It fucks your brain up so bad and it hurts so god damned much that you will do ANYTHING to make it stop....and that includes things that people in their right minds would never THINK of doing.

I know who the moron is....and it ain't Mike......if this is the kind of shit you post when you're "bored", take up a hobby
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 11:32 pm
jack stands - always the smartest guy in the room.
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 11:47 pm
Posted: Jul 19, 2006 11:57 pm
this is really sad, and i think it's sadder than someone actually had enough nerve to be shitty about him after his death. you don't have to like his band or anything or even have liked him, but at least keep your damn comments to yourself. i didn't know the guy, but there is such a thing as respect for the dead. especially when there are people on this board here that did know him and did like him. i've been at points in my life where depression had overtaken me and it's not a fun thing and you don't ever wanna have to go through that.

people always say suicide is a "selfish" thing to do, but when you think you plague peoples' lives and you think that the world is better off without you, it really doesn't seem that way to a depressed person. your brain plays some nasty tricks on ya.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 12:00 am
I think that was the band joe danger and i saw at this weird bar in Ybor City 7 years or so ago when we decided to go out--it has/had like a patio with wrought iron where the band played, so you could be in and outdoors at the same time. Very Florida.

New World Brewery. I saw Quintron there in 2002. Great all around.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 12:00 am
my new hobby is giving advice to others on message boards....
whatever, I'm a moron...
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 1:37 am
this is really sad, and i think it's sadder than someone actually had enough nerve to be shitty about him after his death.

What's even more sad (and pathetic) is that the apology was made only after the realization that somebody admired was offended.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 2:52 am
What's even more sad (and pathetic) is that the apology was made only after the realization that somebody admired was offended.

indeed, right you are, but relieved that something made the shithead heel, even if it was for the wrong reasons. Thanks guys.

poor mike. bless his heart. he was really a sweet guy. I will remember him fondly.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 2:56 am
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 3:07 am
I think who ever wrote that is a poor excuse for a human... You need to do all of us here on earth a favor and you need to Jump off that bridge yourself... We don't want to hear you're stupid rambling... We don't care what you think... People like you should die in replacement of people that take they're own lives or people that are serving in IRAQ.. Your a sorry excuse for skin and bone on this earth.. You shouldn't deserve to breath air...
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 3:25 am
Yep this guy's a slob and he's about the dumbest person I have ever come accross... You can go to Crack Nigger's member profile and see pic's of this Jack ass.. His name is SCUBA STEVE.. HAhaha.. Well steve anyway...
http://photobucket.com/albums/c70/certifiedprrecords/Vacation%20Decemb er%202005/ Check him out... he's bald, chubby guy... Yeah.. you should think about the bridge dude!
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 3:42 am

Don't you or one of your retard buddies have 50 new screen names to make up tonight?
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 3:57 am
I'm not with the with the jack ass that wrote the BS on here.. I'm totally against him... Just to clarify.. I wrote that about the guy that wrote the bad stuff... i knew Mike personally.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:07 am
unkown, are you from the tampa area?
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:39 am

I simply stated a few facts...

...and then apologized for possibly offending anyone...

What's the problem?

I guess people have nothing better to do than shit on someone for their views and opinions.

Would it make you feel better if I (or anyone else for that matter) jumped off a bridge? It seems like you get a little shook up over a little bridge jumping....

Would you feel sorry for me if I told you I was depressed?

I offered my memories of the dude. Period. Does my opinion really matter to you anyway?

Before my post 10 people had seen this thread... now 500+ have seen it. If nothing else I helped people get to know the guy...

Suicide is stupid....with the exception of those who are terminally ill, anyone that committs suicide is stupid. PERIOD!
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:49 am
i think you're just spitting on his grave, essentially, and that's really unnecessary. i wouldn't say you were offering up memories more than you were shit talking.

your opinion doesn't really matter, but you don't walk into a funeral or a mourning and start telling people how much you think their friend sucked. people are going to get offended.

and spelling the word "commits" as "committs" is stupid. many people who i knew who committed suicide were highly intelligent individuals who were depressed. mental state is not indicative of stupidity. perhaps you would rather say that "committing suicide is stupid" rather than "anyone who commits suicide is stupid," as usually, that's not true.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 5:14 am | Edited by: grrtch
I guess people have nothing better to do than shit on someone for their views and opinions.

little man, it's a two way street... you say shit, shit's gonna come right back at ya.

and what about your extravagant promise to quit posting here after Lance exposed you for the asshole you are? You some internet bully who likes to thump people when the righteous guy who thumped you isn't around?

and who the fuck cares how your trash talk amped up the look count? Maybe more folks would have posted a fond memory of Mike if your craptalk hadn't run 'em off. How's that for squelching free speech? You think your shit talk is more important than maintaiing an environment where everyone feels okay to voice an opinion? yeah, run along... yoiur opinion's been noted and you're just repeating yourself now....

As for why I even think I have a dog in this fight.... well, I'm in this for Mike, cuz he ain't around to defend himself anymore, rest his soul.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 12:41 pm
Crack nigger......try to pay attention.....if you're gonna come on here and post shit (which is your right) at least try to understand what is being said to you.
People who are severely depressed are mentally ILL which is a long way from STUPID or a MORON....the last two categories you seem to fit in quite well.
When your brain's chemicals are all out of whack, you'll do something like jump off a bridge because it seems perfectly normal to stop the pain.
I've seen some idiots on forums before but you are rising to the top.
It'd be best to shut up now before you dig yourself any deeper but hey....be my guest....
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 2:55 pm
Yep this guy's a slob and he's about the dumbest person I have ever come accross... You can go to Crack Nigger's member profile and see pic's of this Jack ass.. His name is SCUBA STEVE.. HAhaha.. Well steve anyway...
http://photobucket.com/albums/c70/certifiedprrecords/Vacation%20Decemb er%202005/ Check him out... he's bald, chubby guy... Yeah.. you should think about the bridge dude!

Maybe I'm an ass too, but looking at this guy and picturing him actually saying that shit is making me gut laugh. I seriously love watching people make themselves look completely retarded with startling clarity. A simple pleasure, possibly, but I am also admitting up front to being a dumbass. Qualms? None.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 3:00 pm
I should also point out I didn't know of Mike or his band, but understand many aspects of the circumstances and out of respect, I promise this will be the last post for this subject.
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:03 pm
I knew Mike ONeill and he was the sweetest person in the world...yeah he was depressed, but he would give anything to make your like better if he could. There is a rumor of a concert on the 7-28-06 to help the family.....anyone have any details?
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:07 pm
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 4:17 pm
Posted: Jul 20, 2006 10:09 pm
Friday at New World-
Body: REPOST from Gary of Rancid Polecats

July 29, 2006 - Friday New World Brewery... come out and hang out... the proceeds go to Mike O'Neil's family...

Featuring several bands...

Unrequited Loves
39 Steps
Rancid Polecats
Flat Stanley
and a couple other bands.... to be announced...

I'm not going to go into a negative about this because I do have to say that I got to be friends with an interesting personality that always entertained me.... even when it was a mutual tormenting society...

I still just savored calling out requests for Mike's Singer/Songwriter night.. and all the times that he had helped me. Mike was the first person to teach me how to properly make a press kit.

Thanks for the gigs..

come out, spend time with friends.. we're going to put on a show for you..
Posted: Jul 21, 2006 3:22 am
I wish i had known Mike better when I lived in St. Petersburg. It wasn't until after I moved away that we began to corresond a bit by e-mail and I was impressed with his intelligence, sweet nature, wit, talent and drive as an artist. Mike turned me on to a demo CD of the Un-Loves and I have listened to it many times. With each listen I became more aware of just what a clever lyricist and all around strong writer he was. Mike never sold-out or pandered to his audiences from what I could tell. Never gave in to cliches or played it safe. He was an individualist and someone who cared perhaps too deeply. We all have our demons. Depression is crippling and not unusual in someone with such a gift for capsulizing pieces of real humanity in song, as Mike could do so well. As for the drinking. We all have our poisons to cover larger emotional wounds. Like many of his friends, I guess we're all thinking "what if I had reached out a little more." Mike was ready to go in his mind and he went. He is done suffering. The grieving is for those who will miss this gifted and irreplaceable human being whom I am very honored to have known and called my friend. The good die young sometimes. The silver linig might be realizing just how brief this life is and how much those dear to us really mean. I'll miss you Mike. Rest in peace brother. You gave us a lot.
Posted: Jul 21, 2006 5:00 am
His name is SCUBA STEVE.. HAhaha.. Well steve anyway...
http://photobucket.com/albums/c70/certifiedprrecords/Vacation%20Decemb er%202005/

fat girls that arent even cute. fat girls with pretty faces are good though. too bad he dont have more of thoose types Good thing has had some foxy ladies in the photos too to break up the monotony
Posted: Jul 21, 2006 3:12 pm
you know what kind of music you like or play should not be an issue in a case like this....when you die do you want people say bad things because of the car you drive or like? it is kind of the same.
Posted: Jul 21, 2006 4:43 pm
k ross, that was really beautiful.
Posted: Jul 23, 2006 1:17 am
My old band played with the Unrequited Loves in St. Pete a few times. I thought they were a good band, although they may not be too Goner-friendly (60's garage mixed with a definate Guided By Voices/angsty indie rock vibe), but they were pretty damn tight. Every time I played with them Mike was really into it and seemed genuine. I was actually pretty freaked out to learn this, as he def. gave off the vibe (especially live) of being a pretty upset/depressed guy. And not in any sort of false vibe...

Sunshine Skyway is a pretty popular suicide jump.

Article doesn't mention it but I could have sworn he also played in a female fronted 60's garage rock band called The Cryptkickers or something...really good band w/ hot 30-ish frontwoman doing Shadows of Knight and Yardbirds covers...could be totally wrong but I swear that The Unrequited Loves formed out of the ashes of this band after the singer moved away. Anybody know?
Posted: Jul 23, 2006 1:57 am
btw- I think it's funny that so many St. Pete punk bands consist of older guys who work for local newspapers. It's also funny how they magically get voted "Best Band Of The Area" when it comes time for the Year in Review shit. All when almost nobody in the area knows who they are...and 40 people, max, had seen any of them play live over the last year. Gee...!

Anyways, Unrequited Loves were still ok in my book. Def. better than most local shit. Guy played a Mosrite, if I remember, too. The only time I ever really talked to him, I asked him about his tube amp.
Posted: Jul 23, 2006 2:43 am
...and the "irony" (?) is that these bands full of "old" people ARE the best bands in Florida!!!! Every single band I have ever seen in Florida or from Florida (I did live there in the mid 90's) that had any sort of talent or real cleverness or was interesting in any way, consisted of peoples over the age of 30. Granted I am thinking of like 4 bands total, but for Florida that is pretty damn good.
Posted: Jul 23, 2006 3:33 am
"that idiot singer guy from the shitty opening band the other night...")

Crack Nigger, you are a dumb piece of shit to make stuff up like this. Funny that all these people actually know who you are, and will probably never be taking your calls again. Had to point that out, since you're such the huge reigning sound fan.
Posted: Jul 25, 2006 8:11 pm
I remember talking to Mike at the Hub one night, and telling him about this old R&B song I loved. No one else I knew had ever heard of it but Mike knew it and loved it too. The next day he knocked on my door and gave me a mix tape he had made for me, starting with that song and followed by others he thought I'd like. That was the Mike O'neill that I know and miss, the one who was destroyed by the recent deaths of his own loved ones and by his own alcoholism, and the one who crushed us all when he did that horrible and violent thing to himself on July 7. I will miss his wit, his sarcasm, his company and his music. He hurt us all,. As someone wrote on his tribute site, I will curse his name whenever I am not blessing it.
Posted: Aug 2, 2006 3:16 pm
I knew Mike O'Neill.
I played bass in the Unrequited Loves.

Mike was a genuine person. He would never feign a friendship. If anyone was hurting or in need... he would be there to alleviate it with hands to work or a heart to listen or his humor and wit to make you laugh.
He loved animals. He had a dog named 'Rudy' that recently died. Rudy was 16, 17, 18 or more years old. A testament to Mike's loyalty.

Mike was always happy to talk about music. He was an encyclopedia of rocks history. He was very talented and could write circles around a lot of other musicians. Everything that K Ross wrote is true, (thank you).

Mike didn't really care if the people in his band were the best either. Mike would rather have a good soul play his music with him, rather than some coke-head music geek.

Mikes love for music was admirable. His record collection alone shadows mine, mixed with yours. He loved to share it by making compilations that would take months to take out of your player.

I really loved talking, recording, listening and playing Mikes music. I will miss the Unrequited Loves, I will always miss our Mike O'Neill.

Mike was compassionate, he would never talk about anyone, unless it was nice. Especially if they have recently parted ways into the here-after. Which brings me to C.N.s comments....

It's an easy formula... I=H / Inferiority Equals Hate

I can see why you feel that way... Mike being a talented guy, the town loved him, he had a great girlfriend, band, friends and family. It's obvious that you have had none of these things. The fact that your screen name is degrading with every comment filled with venom, you can't help but want what Mike had. I feel good in knowing that you'll never have these things. You'll always compare yourself to others, and always come up short. You'll strive for things, but you'll always fail. I have comfort in knowing that your life is plagued with your misery and failures. Life has already kicked you in the balls and your face will always look that way. Your heart will never open up and show compassion. You could careless about real pain, that real people feel. Again, your screen name speaks volumes of the person you are. You could careless about people less fortunate than you. I'm not justifying myself to you (but just incase anyone reading this wants to), I grow my hair to give to 'locks of love'. A program to make wigs for kids with cancer and other terminal illnesses. I'm not a rich man, but it's a way I can help. What have you done to help anything or anyone for the better? From what I can see... Nothing. There's a way to say things my man and you need some lessons. (see example below).

The truth is known and Mike knew this as well...

I didn't get into Monday Mornings or Nailbiters. I tried and tried. The albums were okay, live was a little better. I still wasn't moved by it. Then... Mike handed me a tape of him on wmnf playing his twelve string. Then, it all clicked. I understood the songs. And you know they're good songs when you can hear them with just vocals and an acoustic. It took months to stop listening to that radio performance. Every since, I knew he was a genius and I had to play music with him. (so C.N. if you haven't heard it, I'll make you a copy and you can give it a try). But, Mike knew good song writing and this particular recording lays it all out there.

I hope I've helped in letting you know who Mike was. I wish everyone good health and fortune. Please be safe and don't be afraid to show the ones you love, that you care.
Posted: Aug 2, 2006 3:30 pm
blah, that was an amazing tribute to your friend. I hope we meet people like yourself when we move down there; reading your words about your friend and about yourself makes me feel a little comfort in my anxiety, actually. That is all I can say.
Posted: Aug 2, 2006 4:18 pm
Man, thats one fuck of a bridge. Sad. Sad. Sad. Is that bridge the inspiration behind Replacement's "Skyway"?
Posted: Aug 3, 2006 6:19 am
Mike was a great guy and the news really crushed Carol and I when we found out. He will be missed.
Posted: Aug 23, 2006 9:57 pm
Um, "skyways" are walkways above the street, very popular in Minnesota (where the Replacements are from) where people can walk between buildings in cities and not have to experience cold temperatures.

Not HUGE bridges. Jeez.
Posted: Aug 23, 2006 10:02 pm
I don't think you looked at the site here's some pics of the bridge.


its a doozy.
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 3:40 am
Um, "skyways" are walkways above the street, very popular in Minnesota (where the Replacements are from) where people can walk between buildings in cities and not have to experience cold temperatures.

Picture a cross between a strip mall and the second floor of every office building. That's a pretty good approximation of the Skyway. Not too exciting, but it beats freezing your ass off during the winter...
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 6:06 am
The original Sunshine Skyway was hit by a huge freighter once, collapsing the bridge and killing a bunch of people. The new Skyway that people jump off of is 50 feet higher, but the old one is still up. It ends where the ship hit it, becoming a rest area for people to fish off of.

They say that if you go there at night you can hear the screams of the people who died when it was hit by the ship.

Posted: Aug 24, 2006 6:09 am
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 6:46 am
I remember when that shit happened. you can see that bridge from my mom's apartment.

everyone on that greyhound perished...check it out:

On that fateful morning of May 9th,1980 at 07:38 , during a violent rain squall producing high winds and almost zero visibility the empty phosphate freighter SUMMIT VENTURE piloted by Captain John Lerro slammed into the #2 South pier ( over 700 feet from the center of the channel ) of the southbound (1970) span , it knocked 1261 feet of center span, cantilever , approach and roadway into Tampa Bay. Thirty-five people , most of them on board a Greyhound bus bound for Miami plunged 150 feet to their deaths in what is now one of the worst bridge disasters in history. Rescue crews and divers were immediately dispatched to the scene, but of the victims who made the fall there was only one survivor , whose truck had luckily landed on the deck of the SUMMIT VENTURE
After the fatal accident, traffic was rerouted onto the two-lane northbound span, until the planning and completion of the new SUNSHINE BRIDGE which opened in April of 1987.
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 7:00 am
The guy in the car pictured in the first link I posted above stopped just 14 inches from pummeling over the edge...pretty scary.
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 2:49 pm
After the fatal accident, traffic was rerouted onto the two-lane northbound span, until the planning and completion of the new SUNSHINE BRIDGE which opened in April of 1987.

I remember for years when I was a kid the flat part of the broken bridge was open and then it re-directed you to the other bridge at the at the span.
Posted: Aug 24, 2006 3:53 pm
This kind of horror (leaving the old destroyed manmade mess up even though it signified something really awful) reminds me of what they did for years in Oakland with the Cypress Structure after the earthquake in 89.

They left it there forever and then when they finally took the ruins away (this was the double decker exit/on ramp that collapsed onto itself), they left the exit sign up for YEARS.

You couldn't pass by without freaking out a bit.
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