All the way with Lenny Kaye!


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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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