Remember When: Veteran’s Memorial Park Amphitheater [PHOTOS+VIDEO]
Shreveport has a long and colorful musical history, from Leadbelly to The Louisiana Hayride to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and all points in between. Within that musical history is a wide variety of venues from smokey blues bars to opulent halls like the Strand Theatre and the Municipal Auditorium.
While some venues still stand, there are many more that have slipped away into the past. One of those has had some very impressive concerts grace its stage with thousands in attendance...without one actual seat...unless you brought your lawn chairs.
I'm speaking of The Veteran's Park Amphitheater off of Clyde Fant. It was a huge multi level, all-cedar stage that jutted out over a piece of bayou. Audience members would line the other side of the bayou to watch local bands, stage performances, and even national acts like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joan Jett.
Unfortunately, by the late 80's crime in the area had started to take over Veteran's Park, which then caused upkeep to the amphitheater structure to become lax, making the entire thing unsafe. The flood of 1991 finished off any remaining structure, carrying it off of the bayou, and into Shreveport's memory banks.
Thankfully, a lot of people had cameras back then, and through the magic of Facebook's #TBT, those memories have been preserved.
"My sister and I performed in The wizard of oz there!!!
"The Veterans Park Amphitheater was a great place to play. Those pics that I have at the Amphitheater during the Rockfest show were of my band Metal Toyz. What a fantastic day of music. There was such a great crowd that was definitely ready to rock and enjoy all the talent there that day. I visit friends down there when I can and I hear that the venue is not only closed, but has been reduced to rubble. That's so sad."
"I saw Joan Jett and the Blackhearts there in ... 1984 or 1985. She had two bands open for her, both local."
"SRV and Joan Jett. I was in a band called TKO and my drummers mother was Ken Shepherds girlfriend and we rehearsed in his loft at his house in Green acres. His production company was putting on the La Music Fest and SRV and Jett were performing at the amphitheater. It was an awesome show!"
Here is a video, taken sometime in the 80's, with local band The Bomb Beats (AKA The Bad Boys) with Dan Garner (Airheart) leading on guitar and vocals. It must have been a warm day on the bayou.