Orange County Regional History Center to focus on Figurehead and Orlando's alternative music heyday

click to enlarge Guided by Voices at Sapphire Supper Club, 2001 - Photo by Jim Leatherman
Photo by Jim Leatherman
Guided by Voices at Sapphire Supper Club, 2001

The Orange County Regional History Center is doing a deep dive into the heady days of 1980s and '90s nightlife in Orlando later this summer, dubbed Figurehead: Music & Mayhem in Orlando’s Underground.

Opening in September, the exhibition explores the glory days of late-20th-century alternative music culture in Orlando, with a particular focus on infamous and important event promoters Figurehead.

Figurehead, headed up by one Jim Faherty, had a long run working to make Orlando weird and a prime destination for like-minded touring outliers across genre. With Figurehead as the starting point, the exhibition telescopes out into an attempt to tell the story of the bands and community at large doing their various creative things at the time.

The exhibition promises tons of original artifacts and ephemera spanning the ’80s to the early 2000s, including items showcasing Black Flag, Jonathan Richman, Rob Thomas and Seven Mary Three. There will also be extensive oral histories from folks who were there to see the chaos unfold, and we're willing to bet there will be more than one photo courtesy of our own Jim Leatherman.

There is also a robust original programming component running from September through December with plenty of panel discussions and a mind-boggling Lunch and Learn titled "It’s Gonna Be Central Florida: The Boy Band Craze."

Figurehead: Music & Mayhem in Orlando’s Underground opens on Sept. 10.

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