Investors, bands pull the plug on St. Pete promoter

A concert promoter with a very shady past is seeing it catch up to him.

More broken promises from a St. Pete concert promoter, with more shows now canceled in the Bay area.

The promoter, facing financial fallout, vowed to 10News last month that local shows would go on after the abrupt cancelation of the "Make America Rock" tour.

But now, more called-off concerts are disappointing fans, and more groups are pulling the plug, saying they aren’t being paid. And investors tell 10News the cancelations and bad decisions are costing them nearly half a million dollars.

Quiet Riot, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot and Pat Travers should have been taking the stage at District 3 Saturday.

It's the latest concert promoted by Phoenix Productions that's been canceled. 

Foghat at the Cuban Club has been called off, too.

“All the groups that were on the show, we all feel terrible. We really tried to get that show to work,” says Steven Green, Molly Hatchet’s manager.

Green blames promoter Jack Bodziak. Green says the band has only been paid half their fee, forcing them to cancel the show.

“It's nothing different than a Ponzi scheme.," Green said.. "This guy Jack was using other people’s money, his so-called backers.  They (the bands) got $10,000. They didn't want to play for $10,000, they wanted the full amount -  $20,000,” says Green.

Phoenix Productions first hit a sour note with bands like Saving Abel, canceling the Make America Rock tour in Ybor City last month minutes before the doors should've opened.

Bodziak told 10News that a fight with the band caused the financial fallout. When asked if he paid the bands in full Bodziak replied, “Yes.”

“That's blatantly not true. When it came to show date, to pay up on the second half of his payment us to perform, we didn't get our money,” said Saving Abel manager Ryan Conley. “We want to do everything we can as a band and part of the rock community to expose some of these bad promoters, and warn some of the other bands and fans as well,” Conley says.

“He's shady.  He's a shyster,” said investor Richey Surrency of Bodziak.

Surrency and fellow investor Mike Conley told 10News that Bodziak pulled a fast one on them. They say in six months Bodziak cost them nearly a half million dollars in canceled concerts and bad decisions, and owes them some $30,000 in ticket sales.

“We can't do business like this. I can't have fans that are unhappy,” said Surrency.

Bodziak didn't respond to tell 10News his side of the story this time. 

The investors have now cut ties and aren't funding any future shows.  “It's a shame; a lot of wasted time effort and money,” said Conley.

As the former operator of Janus Landing in downtown St. Pete, Bodziak served more than a year in prison for grand theft and failing to pay sales tax.

10News checked with the Florida Department of Corrections and found Bodziak is on probation for 20 years, has to pay back $125,000 to the Department of Revenue, and live without violating the law (the full document is below).

The investors say they'll work to recoup their money.

John Bodziak DC# R67428 by webdept10 on Scribd

(© 2016 WTSP)


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