Do the Monkey with WHAM-O!

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Apollo XII and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

On July 7, The WHAM-O WATUSI returned to its international theme with guest DJ Julio Fernandez, AKA DJ Apollo XII, who is from Spain. The WHAM-O WATUSI, of course, is held on the first Saturday of the month at the Bootleg Bar in beautiful downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn.

For the last eight years or so, Mr. Apollo XII has been living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is a musician who plays drums for the cool rocksteady band The West Kensingtons, based in Philadelphia. He is also an avid record collector who takes advantage of the many record collecting opportunities presented to those who live in the south-east area of the state. About three or four years ago he and DJ Salinger started the Red Rose Soul Club. It did so well that Mr. Apollo, along with the noted British Northern Soul DJ and record dealer David Raistrick, who also has a pad in Lancaster, put together the Keystone State Soul Weekender–a fabulous affair held in November that features DJs from around the country and flown in from England. Suffice it to say, Mr. Apollo is hip to the scene and has records that are clean!

We were happy to see our pals Eric Svirida and Miss Claire who blew in all the way from deep Long Island. Mr. Svirida hosts the Flip Side Soul Club in Philadelphia; and we’ve seen him in action at the Keystone State Soul Weekender.

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Miss Claire, Apollo XII and DJ Eric Svirida swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Apollo XII and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus are in a pensive mood at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

For the WHAM-O WATUSI, Apollo XII brought a lot of soul records–which was to be expected–but also some boss R&B, some “Jamaican things” and a few garage rock records. Dig some of them here:

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For his part, host DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played his usual trash–that is to say rockin’ instrumentals, garage rock, soul, R&B, a couple Mod movers and a few that were recorded in Spain. Recently, our new pal DJ Parka Pat from Montreal shared a blog post of his Top Twenty Monkey Records on The Boog’s facedog page. The Boog replied with a list of more than ninety monkey records that he has played over the last five years or so. When getting ready for this particular WHAM-O, it reminded The Boog that he has yet to play some of his favorites; thus a set of eight more monkey records were played. However, none of them were as good at the one Mr. Apollo XII played!!!

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Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner once again rose to the occasion by making excellent chocolate crinkles, banana bread and vegan brownies. The BOOGALOO BAG writers are thinking about turning the WHAM-Os into a bake sale in order to generate extra cash to buy records!!!

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Apollo XII is eyeing the fabulous treats baked by Miss Nancy at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the Youtubes, click on them for outstanding audio action!

Here’s another look at the sweet snacks Miss Nancy baked:

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Sunday Soul Screeeeeeeeeem!!!!

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Our pal Jonathan Toubin, truly a premier DJ of reet music if ever there was one, hosts the groovy Sunday Soul Scream on the rooftop of Our Wicked Lady through the summer months. He is a very busy man. On Sunday July 1, he was scheduled to be in Los Angeles for a series of events and could not make the Scream. To host the night, he roped in Haley Griffin and Bailey Leiter to make sure the evening ran smoothly. One of Brooklyn’s bossest bands The Othermen agreed to appear. Our new  friend The Wig Doctor was signed on to spin records before the band played. Post band DJs picked for this occasion were Avi Spivak of Rebel Rouser and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. The night was warm and humid–indeed, everyone was sweatying–and Our Wicked Lady responded with an assortment of frozen cocktails. The moon was out and a lot of our friends showed up to swing with us.

The secret of the evening is the room on the ground floor which is air conditioned. The music from the rooftop is piped in, so no one missed a single needle-drop. Phast Phreddie‘s favorite thing: they have an excellent ginger beer on tap!

On the Googles, Our Wicked Lady is noted as a “hip music venue, arts complex & roof bar.” And so it is. Although the bar itself is of average size, the rooftop area is fairly sizable, allowing for a stage on one end and a bar, with DJ setup, on the other. It is situated in a very industrial area of East Williamsburg where few people live. Thus it can have loud music playing well into the night with nobody complaining. At about five minutes from the Morgan Avenue L Train stop, it is in a very convenient location.

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Bailey & Haley swing at the Sunday Soul Scream

As Mr. Toubin so aptly put it, Haley and Bailey are “two snazzy babes.” After being on the scene and witnessing things going down for several years, they started their own event Je T’Aime Oh No, which takes place every Monday at Berlin. These gals know how to party, that’s for sure.

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Bailey & Haley introduce The Othermen at the Sunday Soul Scream.

The Othermen is a grunge rock band in the pure sense of the word (having absolutely nothing to do with the so-called grunge rock movement of the early Nineties). At dictionary.com, “grunge” is defined as “dirt, filth, rubbish.” That’s exactly what this group sounds like, in the most fabulous way imaginable. With every instrument played at levels that achieve stunning audio distortion, this group makes a righteous, rockin’ noise unlike any other–with the optimal word being “noise” and the noise is boss! Highly recommended.

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The Othermen in action!

The Boogaloo Bag writers first met The Wig Doctor when they DJed together at one of DJ Rata’s Shake It Up Sundays last summer. He played some heavy, heavy mambos and cumbia records that we all dug. He is often seen working on Thursdays at Friends and Lovers in Prospect Heights and spins at Our Wicked Lady fairly regularly. He also pals around with Drew Redmond and they often DJ together, such as their Gettin’ Ugly night at the Beauty Bar. On this night, The Wig Doctor mixed it up with an eclectic set of rock, soul, funk, mambo and several other exotic styles. It was a gas.

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The Wig Doctor swings at the Sunday Soul Scream.

Besides being an incredible artist, Avi Spivak is a cat with a bunch of boss trash. He swings at the Rebel Rouser, a cool record and groovy stuff store. LPs, 45s, books, horror magazines, underground comix, and weird cult movies are all there for the buying. Located on Broadway, near the edge of Bushwick, it may seem small, but everything the place sells is gear. Rebel Rouser has hosted Rebel Rouser Club House nights at Ceremony with Josh Styles, William Martin, usually a rockin’ band and always Avi Spivak. A solid good time.

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Avi Spivak swings at the Sunday Soul Scream.

The rooftop space was place was full of folks to dig The Othermen, and most of them stayed to dance to the solid sounds laid down by the two late-night DJs. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus did not fool around by playing any lukewarm jive. Every record he played had super Go-Go Beat excitation. He must have gotten hungry around three quarters through the night as he played five food records in a row. Six if you count the Phil Flowers record (“…having to scrounge your next meal”)!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the Sunday Soul Scream.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Sunday Soul Scream:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for you to dig.

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Spreadin’ Peanutbutter – WHAM-O Stylee!

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Peanutbutter Brown and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI.

WHAM-O WATUSI #35 took place on Saturday, June 2, as per usual, at the Bootleg Bar in picturesque downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn, hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus with guest DJ Peanutbutter Brown.  However, the night did not begin there and then. Our friend and great DJ of reet music PepperminTwist was in town. Several years ago, she and ace DJ Josh Styles teamed up to host Smashed!Blocked!, a super boss garage rock/freak beat event that was held monthly at the Beauty Bar in Manhattan. After Smashed!Blocked! terminated operations, she married an Italian and moved to Italy. She was in town for a weekend and our pal Drew Redmond was able to get her to DJ, along with ace DJ Sheila B and Jodie Artichoke–another fine DJ who also married a European and moved away. Together they presented The Fearsome Foursome–four fabulous DJs spinning hot 45s at the Lua Bar on the edge of East Williamsburg. So this was a reunion of sorts. 

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Jodie Artichoke, Peppermintwist, Sheila B swing at the Lua Bar.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Drew Redmond swing at the Lua Bar.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner showed up at the Lua Bar around 8:30 or so and hung out for about 45 minutes. Drew was pulling out some wicked jams as PepperminTwist and Jodie Artichoke sampled the venue’s Asian cuisine and Miss Sheila prepared her set. Speaking of cuisine, Miss Nancy baked peanut butter cookies for the WHAM-O–in honor of Peanutbutter Brown, of course–and was happy to share them with our friends at the Lua Bar before she and The Boog made their way to the Bootleg Bar.

When The Boog and Miss Nancy arrived at the Boot, Peanutbutter Brown was there laying in wait for the peanut butter cookies!

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Peanutbutter Brown demands peanut butter cookies!

Peanutbutter Brown used to live in Harlem. He started an excellent soul night there called The Uptown Getdown that played out in a couple of different clubs. Then, a few years ago, he moved to San Francisco, where he founded the Golden State Soul Club. After a couple of unfortunate events took place, he moved back to New York and now resides in Bushwick, just a few blocks from the Bootleg Bar. We will expect to see him at many future WHAMs as an attendee as well as a guest DJ.

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Peanutbutter Brown works the turntables at the Bootleg Bar.

Peanutbutter Brown is mostly a soul records man, but at the WHAM-O he spun several R&B, Latin Boogaloo and rock records, too. It is a gas having him back on the scene. Plenty of our friends showed up during the night and by the end of it, all the peanut butter cookies, and most of the vegan brownies that Miss Nancy also made, were gone.

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Miss Nancy made some yummy snacks for the WHAM-O WATUSI!

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Peanutbutter Brown and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus politely discuss who gets to play the 100 Proof Aged in Soul record!

Meanwhile, back at the Lua Bar, The Fearsome Foursome night was scheduled to end at two in the morning, but it went so well that it remained happening for about an hour or so longer. Drew and the gals were planning to make the late scene at The WHAM, but by the time they got there, “last call” was being announced.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for your amusement and edification.

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Another look at the delicious peanut butter cookies!!!

Subway Soul Club Ceremony!

 

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Ty Jesso, Yana Lil-Jerk and Lady Dawn swing at Subway Soul Club. Photo by Lauren Krohn.

Subway Soul Club came to order on Saturday, May 12, at a new venue under the able-bodied hostesship of Lady Dawn and with resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. The event was held at Ceremony, a fairly new club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is beautifully appointed, has a wonderful wooden floor, the management and the employees were easy to work with, and it is conveniently located near the crossroads of the G and L trains. Our pal Steve Myers hipped us to the joint about a year ago, but more recently, our friend Claudia Lily from The Baby Shakes went the extra mile to make introductions. Once Lady Dawn and Phast Phreddie saw the joint, they fell in love with it. It’s got a great DJ booth and it is often utilized by our friends Josh Styles, Avi Spivak and William Martin when they hold their Rebel Rouser Club House parties. Ceremony has plenty of room for dancing and it was all taken up by dancers on this night.

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This evening’s guest DJs: Ty Jesso and Yana Lil-Jerk

For this Subway Soul Club event, guest DJs were Ty Jesso and Yana Lil-Jerk.

Ty Jesso is one of the East Coast’s best DJs of reet music. He hails from Providence, Rhode Island and his Soul Power that takes place there is often voted the best dance party in town by the local newspapers. He also helms Soulelujah in Cambridge, Massachusetts that is also very popular in the Boston area. Ty was one of the original guest DJs for Subway Soul Club dating back to its days at Rififi in the East Village. The cat has great records and he sure knows how to play them–and he played plenty.

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Ty Jesso cues up another hot number at Subway Soul Club.

Yana Lil-Jerk has DJed all over town. Currently, she hosts the Bangarang (reggae, rocksteady, ska) and the Living for Kicks (garage rock, soul, R&B and other stuff) parties, usually at the Robert Bar. These gigs are always a gas. She has great soul records and she brought a box of them to Ceremony on May 12 where she kept the dance floor hopping all night. This was her first time working Subway Soul Club and she did a great job. You know she’ll get asked back.

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Yana Lil-Jerk wants you to dance to the boss record she is playing at Subway Soul Club.

Ceremony was pretty full; not too full that folks couldn’t dance, though. The place was jumping with excitement, with folks showing up right at the nine o’clock opening and staying until nearly the three AM closing. We were happy to see a lot of long-time Subway Soul Club attendees as well as many new faces. Also on hand were several of the DJs who regularly guest at Subway Soul Club. There were plenty of English people, including a British fellow, now living in Toronto, who drove down with his wife.

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Jumpy at the door!!!

As mentioned, Lady Dawn was in the house, flitting around in her groovy Mod threads, meeting and greeting folks. Special guest door-person was DJ Jumpy, who was occasionally given time off to dance. Miss Nancy Gardner made spicy cinnamon brownies for the event, but alas, could not make the scene.

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Dancers swing at Subway Soul Club! Photo by Lauren Krohn.

At the end of the night, as folks were leaving, it was pretty unanimous that Ceremony may be the best place for Subway Soul Club since the Rififi days. Future dates are being negotiated, so the possibility of another Subway Soul Club event taking place before the end of the year is very strong.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus displays his Lou Courtney record at Subway Soul Club. Photo by Lauren Krohn.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Subway Soul Club:

None of these records are for sale. Click on them for hot, youtubes action!

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Poster designed by Lady Dawn Carrington.

All the way with Lenny Kaye!

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On May 5, The WHAM-O WATUSI blew into the Bootleg Bar in picturesque downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn with a very special guest DJ: Lenny Kaye.

WHAM-O host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has known Mr. Kaye for more years than anyone cares to count. Mr. Kaye has been a hero, an inspiration and, most importantly, a friend. As guitarist in the Patti Smith Group, an author of books, a producer of records, and a singer of his own songs, he is often very busy. He enjoys DJing, and has recently started to take it a little more seriously than usual, but he rarely has the chance to do so. Mr. Kaye has a standing offer to DJ with the Phast Man whenever he wants, but the last time he was able to do so was December 2016–almost a year and a half ago.

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Often, when these two DJ together they follow a theme. At first it was the Doo Wop Hop, which usually took place on or around Valentine’s Day. Then they did a night or two of all instrumentals. Once there was a reggae night and there may have been a girl group night–if not, there should have been. This time, at the WHAM-O, there were no restrictions. Boy, did Mr. Kaye take to that!

Mr. Kaye’s sets were heavy on the garage rock, with some sixties pop, rockabilly and doo wop sprinkled in. After a few beers and perhaps a couple of margaritas (well, it was Cinco de Mayo), he played a Madonna record and followed it up with “Mona” by The Iguanas!!! That was wild, to say the least.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus had his own little salute to Cinco de Mayo: He played three records in a row by East Los Angeles Chicano artists. These three rare recordings have been recently re-released in the form of a 10-disc set of seven-inch singles in a box by our friends at Vampi Soul in Spain (for which The Boog wrote the liner notes). Only 500 of these collections were manufactured, so if one is interested in obtaining this fabulous collection (entitled Takin’ Care of Business: Soul R&B and garage from the Rampart, Faro, Gordo and Linda labels 1963 – 1971) one should act soon. Locally, the good people at Earwax Records in Williamsburg may still have it available. Tell them you heard about it in the Boogaloo Bag.

It was great to see so many of our friends come out and hang with us, too. Ace DJs Drew Redmond and Josh Styles, as well as Bootleg Bar owner Bobby Rich all came by to get their photo snapped with Mr. Kaye.

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Bootleg owner Bobby Rich, birthday girl Lauren Krohn and Mr. Lenny Kaye swing at the Wham-O Watusi.

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Lenny Kaye and Drew Redmond point out another great record at the Wham-O Watusi.

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Lenny Kaye and Josh Styles goof at the Wham-O Watusi.

Another thing made this WHAM-O WATUSI more special than usual: our friend and ace photographer Lauren Krohn celebrated her birthday. All night her friends dropped by to wish her well. Boogaloo Bag photographer and baker Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner baked some very delicious vegan cupcakes with creamy chocolate frosting for the occasion, along with her signature cinnamon-infused brownies. It was a chocolate overload kind of night.

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Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner and Lauren Krohn pose with yummy treats at the Wham-O Watusi.

Toward the end of the night, Mr. Kaye ran out of records and sat to chat with the birthday girl for a spell. Luckily, our friend DJ Rata showed up with the Wig Doctor. They had come from some other party where they were DJing mambo records. As the Wig Doctor sat in the corner and made out with a lovely young lady, DJ Rata joined the Phast Man in the DJ booth to add a Latin tinge that spiced up this most perfect evening.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus gets a little help from DJ Rata at the Wham-O Watusi.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUS:

None of these records are for sale. Many of them have links to the Youtubes for your home listening pleasure.

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Happy Hour at the Jupe!

On April 21, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to swing the Happy Hour session (6 to 10 PM) at the Jupiter Disco. The Boog did so by playing an eclectic selection of funk, soul, reggae, Mod jazz, Latin soul and groovy pop records–but mostly funk–for the four hours allotted to him. He kept a solid groove happening and several folks in attendance approached the DJ booth in order to announce their pleasure with the selected tunes. The evening went very well, especially when our pal Nogood Nick showed up with some of this friends.

Nogood Nick swings with Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Jupiter Disco.

The evening was made ever so tasty with the addition of the caramel thumb-print cookies baked by Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner.

Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner’s famous caramel thumb print cookies!

At exactly 10PM, The Boog turned the controls of the Jupiter Disco’s audio system over to DJ Mikey Perez, who followed The Boog’s program with a hot zouk number, then proceeded to spin platters deep into the night.

The Boog and Miss Nancy gathered their things–records, uneaten cookies–and obtained some quick nourishment in the form of tacos at nearby Los Hermanos Tortilleria, then headed into Manhattan, where our friend DJ Rata was holding forth with his Mambo Jambo night at Otto’s Shrunken Head. Guest DJ with him was DJ Alr!ght, who was visiting from Cleveland.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus checks out one of DJ Alr!ght’s hot platters.

The Boogaloo Bag writers first met DJ Alr!ght at the Keystone State Soul Weekender a couple of years ago. He’s a cool guy with hot records and he played some boss sounds that night, as did Rata. Miss Nancy made sure to distribute cookies to the folks at Otto’s before heading home. DJ Alr!ght was due later that night to spin records at Ceremony with Drew Redmond and cookies were sent with him in order for Mr. Redmond to get his share.

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Happy Hour at the Jupe:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to youtubes clips so you can dig them in the privacy of your own head!

DJ Rata gave this groovy Batman 45 adapter to Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus!! Thank you Señor Rata!

WHAM-O WATUSI MAYHEM!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Moptop Mike swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI.

On April 7, WHAM-O WATUSI took place on its regularly scheduled date–first Saturday of the month–at its regularly scheduled location–the Bootleg Bar in Downtown Bushwick–with its regularly scheduled host DJ–Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. One thing was special and that was the guest DJ, Moptop Mike.

If ever there was an authority on garage rock records, Moptop Mike is it. In fact he wrote the book on the subject; a great book, too. Teenbeat Mayhem! is not only a story of the music, but a pretty darn complete discography, as well. At about 400 pages, it is jam-packed with all sorts of information that one would require in order to build his or her own collection of rockin’ garage rock records. It is a book that is referenced several times a week by the Boogaloo Bag writers. Dig a review of it that appeared on the blog of the ARChive of Contemporary Music. You can get your own copy through the Ugly Things website (now at a blow-out price, too!).

(Actually, he wrote two books on the subject, the second being Beyond Teenbeat Mayhem!, an updated, limited edition (now sold out!) supplement that corrects some errors in the first and adds much more information. This guy is committed to getting things right.)

Moptop Mike and his pal Fast Eddy swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

This marked Moptop Mike’s first DJ appearance in the New York City area for around ten years. He used to be a guest DJ fairly regularly at the Subway Soul Club when it was at Rififi, and at Smashed!Blocked!, the legendary Mod Freakout hosted by Josh Styles and Peppermint Twist at the Beauty Bar. Obviously, if he spins at those two hallowed events, he has good soul records and good garage rock records. During one of his sets, Moptop noted how happy he was to spin both soul and garage rock records on the same night. Often he is asked to spin one or the other. At the WHAM-O WATUSI, all things reet are hep, thus there is more freedom to really swing for all the guest DJs.

Here are some of the records Moptop Mike played:

Host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is well aware of Moptop’s keen sense of boss records, so he did not even try to compete with him. Instead, he played his usual fare of far out stuff. However, he did throw in a few modern records that had a Teenbeat vibe. Among them was a single by Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds called Bruce Juice that Moptop Mike was still talking about a few days later.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Moptop Mike goof at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Something else was special, too: Miss Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner, the official photographer for the Boogaloo Bag and official baker for Wang Dang Doodle events, cooked up some of her famous maple fudge, some vegan brownies and, at Moptop Mike’s request, some cherry squares. Man, there were plenty of treats to go around and the place was boppin’ on a sugar rush all night. The Boogaloo Bag writers were happy to see so many of their friends drop by and partake of the edibles and dig the music.

Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner is seen here with her yummy treats!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI held on April 7 at the Bootleg Bar:

None of these records are for sale. Some of the above listed tracks have links to youtubes clips so you may dig for yourself.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus gets visited by his pal Mr. Vacation at the WHAM-O WATUSI!