The Candy Shire project was the result of a yearlong collaboration with Laura Taylor, longtime Tampa radio personality and charismatic front woman for such bands as the Baskervilles, Venus in Furs, Thee Cryptkicker Five and Astroslut. For this series Laura portrayed Candy Shire, a fictitious composite character based on various 1960’s pop music icons, most notably Dusty Springfield. For the better part of 12 months we staged scenes from “Candy’s” career: early ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ appearances, recording sessions and rehearsal meltdowns with svengali producers.
The scenes were photographed in stark black and white and presented, documentary style in an exhibition at Kama Gallery in November 2005. The exhibition featured a live performance by the Candy Shire Orchestra, Taylor backed by Tampa’s legendary Handshake Squad. The performance culminated in a riveting rendition of the classic Shangri-la’s tune ‘I’ll Never Learn’, whose lyrics poignantly describe our futile yearning to recapture the past.