When L.A. beach-rockers OPM played Jannus Landing in St. Pete with their tourmates, the gawd-awful band (hed) p.e., they might've read this St. Petersburg Times story from July 4 by Sharon Kennedy Wynne ("Graffiti art puts writing on the wall"
) and thought, "Hey, St. Pete is mad cool! They celebrate alternative art! C'mon fellow white reggae broskis, let's tag some shit!"
Aw, sorry to say for the soul-patched sandal wearers, that story is a bit more rose-colored than St. Pete's actual graffiti stance. Take a look at this back-patting section from StPete.Org
With an aggressive graffiti ordinance in place, St. Petersburg is able to avoid unsightly graffiti within its beautiful city limits. Clean-up occurs within 48 hours at no cost to the citizen. Calls have come from around the country to inquire about the ordinance and the program. More than 20,000 cases have been removed â?? most within 24 hours since the program started in 1994.
Anyway, OPM's lead singer, John E. Necro (real name: John Charles Edney, pictured above, middle) took part in some spray-painting art around midnight, June 20 after their St. Pete show and was arrested for it.
The St. Pete Sheriff's Department just confirmed for us that he was charged with one count of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. He was released on $1000 bail.
Edney responds, "I find it kind of ironic that Saint Petersburg, FL, home to the Salvador Dali museum, could be so insanely uptight about spray painting. In some areas Graffiti is regarded as a form of art worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions, but obviously the state of Florida feels differently."
Well, yeah. It's Florida, homie. Come back soon!