The Ballad of Hurricane Frances - Story
On September 3rd, 2004, as Hurricane Frances approached the east coast of Florida, the forecast was grim:
TL Westgate (T#1) readied for the storm. With the help of his cousin Todd (T#2), they boarded up TL's house. In this picture, note the tree on the far left. It won't be there much longer...
Knowing Friday would be the last night the town would be open, they partied with several friends and ended the night in a stupor - the sign of things to come.
The next morning came blearily and the two headed out to secure the last of the beer in town, anticipating a long and harrowing experience thanks to the ominous category 5 hurricane slowly approaching.
Stocked and ready to go, they awaited their friend Tim (T#3). Tim is an executive chef at a local country club, which meant they had plenty of ice from the ice machine to last throughout the storm and keep their precious beer nice and cold.
Saturday night the storm started rolling in. It wasn't until 4am that the power finally failed. The next morning there was nothing to do but start drinking. The winds progressively got worse throughout the morning. Around noon, as all three men were standing in the house, the cracking of branches could be heard. A tall pine tree from the neighbor's yard came down with a mighty house-shaking thud! They gasped at the sight of a tree now covering the front entrance clear across the roof to the open-air atrium on the far side of the peak of the house.
Many expletives were uttered. Many more beers were cracked open. They stood in awe of the near fatal crash of the tree onto the house. And what should come from this? The beginnings of a song!
The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking and thinking. Tim's guitar was put to good use coming up with the music. TL sat and rhymed as best he could. Todd is the audio engineer who mixed everything together in a vain attempt at correcting TL's horrible singing voice.
Throughout the rest of their powerless experience, many beers were imbibed, a few Big Wheels were ridden, some food was grilled, and very little sleep was had.
Finally, on Monday, stores started opening up again. They all showered at Tim's country club and went out to a celebratory survival lunch. By the time they got back to TL's house, the power was back on and the recording begun.
Such is the tale of The Ballad of Hurricane Frances....
TL's yard pre-Frances
TL's yard post-Frances
Back to the main Ballad of Hurricane France web page.
Right-click above and choose "Save Target As" to save the MP3 to your computer
Finally! Three and a half years after the event, the music video is available for viewing.