Two Years of Swingin’ at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Kid Congo and Phast Phreddie swing at the Second Anniversary of WHAM-O WATUSI!

The very first WHAM-O WATUSI took place on July 10, 2015–originally billed as a “one night only” event hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus with guest DJ Rata on hand to spice up the festivities. It was such a success that the owner of the Bootleg Bar, Mr. Bobby Rich, insisted that the WHAM-O return to the club. It did, of course, eventually settling in on the first Saturday of the month–well, usually.

The WHAM-O was advertised as “a whole new scene, concocted in the Wang Dang Doodle laboratory by crazy people. It is the playing of old 45 RPM records containing all sorts of reet sounds: in other words—folks bangin’ on shit and screamin’!!!” Things have not changed since then. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and his fabulous guest DJs have done a very consistent job in spinning only the bossest, wildest, reetest of sounds–in other words, folks bangin’ on shit and screamin’! This has been going on for two years! So a celebration was in order and it took place on Saturday August 5.

Guest DJ for the Two Year Anniversary of WHAM-O WATUSI was the legendary Kid Congo Powers. As you know, The Kid was a guitarist for The Gun Club and The Cramps. Hanging out with Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Lux Interior, you can be assured he was exposed to some fabulous old noise. That is the exact sensibility that the WHAM-O WATUSI strives for and Kid Congo brought it in buckets! He played some super boss records, including some whacked-out rockabilly gassers, rippin’ R&B stompers and plenty of boppers full of East L.A. grease.

Note here that The Kid has been quietly developing his own night, called Sex Beat, at a groovy club called Cafe Nine in his present home town of New Haven, CT.  The event consists of The Kid playing “searing 60’s soul and Garage rockets, psychic surf, 70’s Glam Bam Bam, 70’s Punk peanut shells, and any other wild thing [he] can find.” Sounds like our kind of action. The next one takes place on Sunday August 13. Don’t miss it!

Oh! The Boogaloo Bag writers would be totally lame if we did not mention The Kid’s current day job: leader of a great rock’n’roll group called The Pink Monkey Birds. The band makes an absolutely wicked racket and should be checked out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, back at the Bootleg Bar, the party was further enhanced by the wonderful and delicious Mexican brownies made by Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner. Miss Jeannie has baked several sweet items for the WHAM-O faithful over the years, so perhaps she should actually be considered as a co-host of the event.

Mexican brownies. MMMM…yummy!!

The WHAM-O Second Anniversary drew a bunch of old pals to the Bootleg Bar, too, including our dear old friend Kevin Long, an original member of the great L.A. Eighties Mod band The Untouchables (dig his story of this fine band here!). The Boogaloo Bag writers were also very pleased that several of Phast Phreddie’s fellow reet music DJs also dropped by to swing, including Mr. Vacation, Drew Redmond and Reyes Rodriguez. Mr. Redmond and his significant other Zuzia Mrozinska proceeded to do the alligator on the floor; Mr. Vacation hopped around in ecstasy; while Mr. Rodriguez was simply happy to meet Kid Congo.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, Kevin Long (Untouchables) and Kid Congo Powers.

Kid Congo Powers, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Drew Redmond.

Kid Congo Powers and Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner.

Kid Congo Powers, Mr. Vacation and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus.

Kid Congo Powers!

For the occasion, Phast Phreddie dragged out a bunch of his favorite 45s–especially some hot garage rock blasters that, when he played a set of them, Mr. Redmond declared, “Phreddie, you are killing it tonight!” All for the sake of the WHAM!

The Boogaloo Bag writers would like to take a moment here to thank Bootleg Bar owner Mr. Bobby Rich for allowing all this “bangin’ on shit and screamin’” go on for so long. It’s been a stupendous two years. Here’s hoping for another two or so, at least!!

Below is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Second Anniversary of the WHAM-O WATUSI:

None of these records are for sale. Click on the links to the youtubes and dig yourself!!

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