WHAM-O Goes Whaaaaaah!

Dab Van Ommen and Jonny Trash swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Saturday the Fourth was the date of the March WHAM-O WATUSI; it was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because our pals Jonathan Toubin and Todd-O-Phonic Todd had scheduled, for Friday the Third, a fabulous program of boss rock and soul acts at the Warsaw: Nick Waterhouse & his band backing Ural Thomas, Baby Washington, Young Jessie, Maxine Brown, Archie Bell and David Johansen; King Khan; Joe Bataan and his Orchestra; all topped off with a very special performance by the legendary Irma Thomas. A most excellent event, and the Boogaloo Bag writers were in attendance and dug the show immensely. This show drew people from all over the world and The WHAM-O WATUSI benefited when several out of town DJs came knocking, looking for jobs for the following night.  WHAM-O host and resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus hired on three of them, plus local selector DJ Rata. It was going to be a very swingin’ affair!!

DJ Rata, Lilly Martini & Dab Van Ommen swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Then, perhaps a few weeks before the big weekend arrived, it was announced that Mr. Toubin had scheduled another slightly less heavy but still quite fabulous show at Baby’s All Right (with Nick Waterhouse, King Khan, Ural Thomas and Eli Paperboy Reed in the performance space and more than a dozen fabulous DJs spinning in the front room) for Saturday the Fourth. Mr. Toubin even invited a couple of WHAM-O DJs to work at his event!


But all was not lost. The WHAM-O WATUSI took place as scheduled at the friendly confines of The Bootleg Bar, where WHAM-O attendees were in abundance in spite of the hipper gig across town. Guest DJs included Jonny Trash (Spankys; Peterborough, Ontario), Dab Van Ommen (Utrecht, Netherlands), DJ Alr!ght (Secret Soul Club, Cleveland) plus our pal DJ Rata. Everybody took turns spinning their rockin’ 45s with host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. Excellent records were played, new friends were made (including Chelsea Hartman, Jay Nugent and Lilly Martini, who provided the Bag with some photos) and old friends turned up to jump around. DJ Alr!ight and Jonny Trash performed their respective sets early in the night, hung out for a spell, then took off for Baby’s All Right. Mr. Van Ommen and Rata stayed to make noise well into the wee hours.

DJ Alr!ght swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

The Boogaloo Bag writers first became aware of DJ Alr!ght at the Keystone State Soul Weekender last year. Although his DJ sets were not witnessed, music was discussed intensely and it was determined that DJ Alr!ght has all the right records and attitude.

Jonny Trash swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!!

Jonny Trash came to us via SMA-F (social media apparatus: facedog). He owns a joint called Spanky’s in Peterborough, Ontario that apparently features reet music every night and has hosted Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap events there. So you know he’s got the goods.

Chelsea Harman, Dab Van Ommen and Jay Nugent swing at WHAM-O WATUSI!!!

Dab Van Ommen came to our attention via DJ Rata. The two of them have DJed together, both in New York, as well as in Mr. Van Ommen’s home town of Utrecht, where he hosts many fine parties—some dealing with reggae music.

DJ Rata swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Of course, DJ Rata is DJ Rata, a frequent guest DJ at the WHAM-O and one can read about him in many past Boogaloo Bag posts, such as this one and this one.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Dab Van Ommen and DJ Rata conspire to swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Chelsea Hartman)

Not only did each DJ play incredible records, some of them came bearing gifts. DJ Alr!ght presented the Phastman with his recent mix CD. DJ Rata gave the Boog a cool Swing-A-Ling record. Our new Dutch friend gave everyone a copy of the EP Go Sound by The Riddlers, a fantastic surf combo Mr. Van Ommen played guitar with during the Nineties. He also gave the Boog a cool 45 by the Nederbeat group Ro-D-Ys.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Javier Roa)

For his part, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus gave each DJ a copy of The Pizza Record and played all of these 45s:

None of these records are for sale. Some of the songs listed above have links to the youtubes–click on them and recreate the WHAM-O WATUSI scene in the privacy of your own environment!

DJ Rata, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Dab Van Ommen are the last DJs standing at the WHAM-O WATUSI! (photo by Lilly Martini)

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