The Back Door Man Story–somewhat

Prelude: I was recently asked to write about Back Door Man, a rock fanzine that I started in 1975, by some folks who publish a Spanish rock magazine called Ruta 66. So I wrote something, perhaps more than I should have, but less than I could have. I wasn’t given a lot of time, so what is here is mostly what I remembered. I asked DD to read and add–she helped with some names. I should have asked Tom Gardner to add, too, but I knew he would remember too much and this would end up being too long. It was edited and published in Ruta 66’s 35th anniversary issue recently. Here is what I sent them–unedited and in English. There are many people who helped us along the way and I apologize to anyone whose name I forgot. Perhaps some day a longer piece will be written and I’ll have the time to remember more of you and even ask for your thoughts on the matter. ‘Til then…

In 1974, nothing was happening. The rock bands my friends and I liked had all broken up—The MC5, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, The Seeds. There were a few current rock bands that we liked—Aersomsith, The New York Dolls, Blue Öyster Cult, Mott the Hoople—but they weren’t getting played on the radio and none of them were based in the Southern California area, where we were. Most of the rock magazines didn’t seem to cater to us ‘hard-core’ rock’n’rollers anymore, not even Creem Magazine.

We lived in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. Beach towns, sure, but we were no surfers. We lived in the working class cities of Carson and Torrance. We attended keg ‘n’ Quaalude parties (at some of them I was the DJ) and we dug a couple local groups—The Imperial Dogs and Atomic Kid. We worked crummy jobs. We had nothing going for us but music: rock’n’roll—loud, hard and fast. Top Forty radio was obsessed with the insipid pop of the Johns: Elton John, Olivia Newton-John and John Denver; we hated the mellow, country-tinged pop records coming out of Los Angeles; the so-called ‘cool’ FM stations played the ugly noodlings of progressive rock—BORING!

BDM staff hangs with BÖC and Lenny Kaye

On November 11 and 12, 1974, Patti Smith and her trio played at the Whisky A’ Go-Go in Hollywood. We knew who she was because she had written for Creem, co-wrote a song or two for Blue Öyster Cult, and we had her “Piss Factory” single, which we adored. I missed the first night, but my friends went. The next day they called me and insisted I go for the second night. I went.

Tuesday night is a dead night for most clubs, but it seemed especially dreary when the act on stage was so exciting and the fans in the audience were so few. Patti’s little group—Lenny Kaye on guitar and Richard ‘DMV’ Sohl on piano—rocked with soul, intelligence and inspiration rather than with a heavy, heavy beat. Mostly it was musical accompaniment to Patti’s poetry—much like the “Piss Factory”/”Hey Joe” single. Also, she sang “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” a Smokey Robinson song that was recorded by The Marvelletes. It was great.

After the show, my friends and I went back stage to meet them. It was easy because there was no security on such a slow night. We were excited about this new music coming out of New York City that they talked about.

For about a month I stewed. Why doesn’t anybody know about these bands we like? How come nobody knows about Patti Smith and The Stooges and Aerosmith and The New York Dolls? In December I decided to start my own magazine. My friends were smart—they knew a lot about music and records and they knew how to write. I told them I wanted to start a magazine. I didn’t know how to do it, so I made it up as we went. I called it Back Door Man after the Howlin’ Wolf song that was covered by The Doors—I thought it would show that we have roots that go further back than last weeks hit record. Also, The Shadows of Knight had an album called Back Door Men and we thought a reference to that was hip, too.

BDM staff: Gregg Turner, Phast Phreddie, Don Waller, Bob Meyers, DD Faye, Thom the Punk Gardner.

My friends consisted of Don Waller, DD Faye and Thom “The Punk” Gardner (we considered ourselves the Hard Core Four, as we always made the scene), also Bob Myers and Don Underwood. Underwood’s wife Liz was our first photographer—she had been president of The Seeds’ fan club. I gave them assignments, like record and concert reviews. Since we had no access to rock stars in order to get interviews, we included several ‘think’ pieces—editorials that insisted rock’n’roll return to its primal roots; basically demanding that something like the punk rock movement should happen (and it did soon after). Also, we did what I don’t think anyone else was doing at the time: we wrote about local, unsigned rock bands as a regular feature; from the South Bay first, then the whole Los Angeles area.

I didn’t know how to make a magazine. So I went to a local off-set printer and got some advice. They told me how to lay out the magazine so it can be printed properly. It turned out to be a little more expensive than I thought, but I had some money in a savings account and we used that for the first few issues. We made 300 copies of the first issue and sold them at local record stores. We were even able to get the magazine sold at the Rhino Records Store in Westwood and the Tower Records Store in Hollywood.

Tower Records was key. It was located in the heart of the L.A. music industry which resulted in several very influential people seeing BDM and wanting to help. Those people included Greg Shaw, who wrote for Phonograph Record Magazine and his own fanzine, Who Put the Bomp!; Ben Edmonds, a transplant from Detroit who wrote about us in Record World, a music industry trade magazine; and Kim Fowley—who thought we were cool enough to have his band The Runaways make their debut in my living room!

Another key contact due to the Tower Records availability was the manager of The New Order—a super group (to us!) consisting of Ron Asheton (Stooges) and Dennis Thompson (MC5). We liked the group so much we put them on our second cover and hung out with them at their Hollywood apartment.

By the third issue, we kind of knew what we were doing. Soon we added Gregg Turner to the staff. He was a record collector friend of mine who I met in a record store when I heard him ask for 13th Floor Elevators records. Later, he started Back Door Man RecordsThe Imperial Dogs, The Pop and The Zippers—and was in The Angry Samoans.

Because BDM started before the punk movement began, we were often thought of as a mainstream magazine—well, we did have Aerosmith, Kiss and The Blue Öyster Cult on the cover—but really we considered ourselves a ‘hard core rock’n’roll’ magazine, of which we felt punk rock was as much of a part as the heavy metal bands we liked. Also, by having Kiss on the cover, perhaps we could expose people to bands like The Ramones and The Clash.

DD Faye and I used the pay electric typewriters at El Camino Community College nearby to type the magazine up. I think they charged 25 cents per hour. The headlines were made with press-type. They were produced slowly, by hand. Once the magazines were printed, we saved money by stapling them together ourselves.

About a year or so after BDM was founded, some women contacted us who worked at a printer. They were Patti Smith fans and wanted to help. Carol Williams, Beth Talbert and Lorraine Suzuki were able to typeset the magazine, perform the layouts and print it all up for free. Suddenly, BDM looked professional!!

Such photographers as David Arnoff, Donna Santisi and Jenny Lens—all later became known for pictures of punk musicians—got their start at BDM.

In the spring of 1977, at the urging of BDM reader Miriam Linna (now, Norton Records, Kicks, Kicks Books, etc) I took a trip to New York City to check out the scene. While there, I met Lester Bangs who agreed to write a piece for us.

Back in L.A., things were happening with such great groups as The Weirdos, The Zeros, The Last and X playing in the local clubs, and BDM covered that, too. However, we continued to support a few mainstream artists when they made records we liked—BDM was always a rock ‘n’ roll magazine, not a punk rock magazine, although we leaned that way.

There was no set schedule when BDM was published, so it was hard to be current, but we tried. We just issued a magazine whenever we could. We were not very good business people. Although we were able to obtain ads from some record stores and a few record companies, none of us wanted to spend the time to hustle the advertising that supports most magazines. We all just wanted to write and go to concerts. When, after 15 issues, the women who printed the magazine for us were discovered by their boss, we had to pay to have it printed and we couldn’t afford it. If we wanted to continue, the only option would be to go back to typing it up ourselves. Nobody wanted to do that, so we stopped printing.

Every once in a while, I run into someone who tells me that Back Door Man was an influence on him or her. I am happy that we have a legacy of sorts. Sometimes I see them sell on eBay for a lot of money. Before he died in 2016, Don Waller wanted to reissue the magazines, maybe in a bound volume. Tom still wants it to happen, so perhaps it will. It is also very satisfying to know that there are hard core rock’n’rollers living in Spain who are interested in something that we did 45 years ago.
—-Phast Phreddie, Back Door Man publisher

Rip! Rig! Boogaloo!

Boog-Nick

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Nogood Nick swing at Rip! Rig! Panic!

The final DJ gig of the year for Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus took place on December 29, 2019. It was the day after his 66th birthday and just a few hours after he pitched a nine-inning softball game at the Parade Grounds in Prospect Park. Thanks to global warming and a little warm weather clothing, softball is now being played all year round in Brooklyn.

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Matt Clarke and Kirstyn Soles enjoyed the music and the vegan lemon sugar cookies that Miss Nancy baked just for the occasion.

The event was Rip! Rig! Panic!, the groovy gala hosted by our friend Nogood Nick and featuring exciting exotica, Mod jazz, organ grooves, impelling mambo and titillating lounge sounds. It was held at Abe’s Pagoda Bar in north Bushwick–just a few steps from the Dekalb Avenue stop on the L Train.

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Nogood Nick prepares another boss sound for Rip! Rig! Panic!

Rip! Rig! Panic! is one of our favorite scenes–Nogood Nick and his guest DJs always play groovy music. The Boogaloo Bag writers often attended Rip! events when they were held at Otto’s Shrunken Head, even when Phast Phreddie was not scheduled to spin a few records. Lately, Nogood Nick has been hosting events at Abe’s and recently revived the Rip! Rig! Panic! brand for them. The Boogaloo Bag writers whole heartedly approve of this move; Rip! Rig! Panic! is a wonderful name, as it evokes the fabulous album of nearly the same title by Roland Kirk.

Gene-Nick

This particular Rip! Rig! Panic! was of particular interest, as it took place a few days before our Nick went south for the winter. As we type, he is in Miami for a couple of months and this was his going away party, of sorts. Indeed, many of his friends dropped by to wish him well in his travels. The Boogaloo Bag writers hope he has a lovely, warm winter; he’s able to score some cool Cuban records; and he comes back with a tan!

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Rip! Rig! Panic!

 

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus has several boxes of groovy records, what he refers to as his Happy Hour records–exciting exotica, Mod jazz, organ grooves, impelling mambo and titillating lounge sounds; in other words, Rip! Rig! Panic! material. He dipped into said boxs in order to take care of business at Abe’s. Here’s a list of everything he played:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have clips to the youtubes for the readers can experience them in the privacy of their own minds.

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Subway Soul Club on Venus!

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Being involved with the Subway Soul Club has never been boring. Things happen and things happen. An event was scheduled for June 1 at Ceremony in Williamsburg–site of the New Year’s Eve Subway Soul Club Black & White Ball that was such a success. SSC had some great DJs lined up: Mr. Fine Wine (WFMU, Botanica) and a Brit named Mark Randall. Resident DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus had a box full of boss sounds ready to go. Fearless leader Lady Dawn had the promotion in motion.

SSC-June

However, on the afternoon of the event (!) the SSC organization was notified by Ceremony management that the evening had been accidentally double-booked and SSC would have to be cancelled! Apparently, Ceremony management had turned over the booking of the club to an independent booking agency and forgot to notify the agency that June 1 had already been taken–many months in advance. Unfortunately, this error was not noticed until the last minute and SSC was bumped.

 

Lady Dawn, Subway Soul Club’s den mother and artistic director, reckoned that this was a mistake that would never happen again. Another date was booked at Ceremony:  October 26. since it was a week before Halloween, Lady Dawn decided on a spooky theme, asked folks to come in costume, and drew up an appropriate poster for it–with a mod witch flying through the sky on a Vespa scooter! Unfortunately, neither Mr. Fine Wine or Mr. Randall were available to make the scene. Lynne K (Get That Feeling) and Josh Styles (Smashed!Blocked!) were asked to be guest DJs and they were able to comply. The Subway Soul Club organization was very happy with this arrangement, as both DJs have been working with SSC since its days at Rififi, nearly 20 years ago.

SSC-October

However, once again Ceremony management was not able to come through. Apparently, the club was having difficulty with its landlord and all events through the end of the year had to be cancelled. The good thing is that there was about a month notice, so the SSC organization was not freaking out last minute like last time.

Another good thing, our friend Bobby Rich–who owns the Bootleg Bar, scene of the Whamo Watusi (hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus)–had just opened a beautiful new club called Venus In Furs. The Phast Man got on the horn and asked Mr. Rich for a date at the new club as soon as possible in order to squeak in another SSC event before the end of the year. He gave them November 23.

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The Subway Soul Club scene at Venus In Furs.

Lynne K and Josh Styles both agreed to come and guest DJ. Venus In Furs is a bigger and better club than Ceremony. It is the perfect setting for Subway Soul Club, with it’s huge dance floor and wildly designed walls, great sound system and bar tenders who know how to poor a drink. Everybody was happy.

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Josh Styles plays another top Northern Soul favorite at Subway Soul Club.

However, even this event didn’t take place as planned–due to an act that nobody could have foreseen; guest DJ Lynne K had to deal with a family emergency and would not be available. Lady Dawn and Phast Phreddie turned to one of our favorite soul DJs Nogood Nick (Rip! Rig! Panic!) to come swing in her place. So that’s what happened.

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Nogood Nick plays boss soul records at Subway Soul Club.

Plus, Miss Nancy Gardner made some vegan brownies, chocolate/pumpkin blossoms, and chocolate cookies with pumpkin mello cremes. Those things disappeared fast!

Yummy-Treats

As much as the Subway Soul Club organization tried, only one event took place in all of 2019. But it was a fun one. Although it was a cold and rainy evening, the dance floor was full most of the time and the DJs played fantastic records all night. The new venue was terrific and the Subway Soul Club organization hopes it can make Venus In Furs its home for a long, long time.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus observes the happening Subway Soul Club from atop Venus In Furs’ magnificent balcony.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, in order to pay homage to our friend Lynne K, opened the night with a record he learned from her. Here is a list of all the records he played at Subway Soul Club on November 23:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them have links to the youtubes for the readers’ enjoyment and edification.

Dawn-Boog

At the end of the night, Lady Dawn and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus discuss how fabulous it was to have the Subway Soul Club event at such a beautiful location.

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SSC-November

Lancaster Soul Music Invasion!

 

The Boogaloo Bag writers are happy to announce that the Keystone State Soul Weekender is going strong. The fourth annual event took place over the weekend of November 1, 2 and 3 at the beautiful and spacious Lancaster Elks Lodge Hall. Hosts Julio Fernandez and David Raistrick rounded up some of the usual suspects, along with some DJs new to the event. Newcomers included Cher Gingras from Canada; Chey Frazier from Bethlehem, PA; Vincent Ebb from Philadelphia; Agustin Caparros from Spain; Paula Carrillo of East L.A., now living in Minneapolis; and Rich Sibello from New Jersey. Present for the second time were Scott Boyko and Larry Grogan, both from New Jersey; and Mikey Post of Ridgewood, Queens. Along for their third opportunity to spin records at this great event were Connie T Empress of Astoria, Queens; Denise Draper of England; Eric Svirida of Long Island; and George Rodriguez of Minneapolis. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is humbled to have been asked to DJ for the fourth year in a row, along with such fine record turners as Kev Draper from England; Andrew Turner from Reading, PA; and Andy Powell, also from England. MC for the event for the third year in a row was Brother Weems from Ephrata, PA–and he did a fine job.

Agustin Caparros

Andrew Turner

Andy Powell

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus

Cher Gingras

Chey Frazier

David Raistrick

Denise Draper

Connie T Empress

Eric Svirida

George Rodriguez

Julio Fernandez

Kev Draper

Larry Grogan

Paula Carillo

Rich Sibello

Scott Boyko

Vencent Ebb

Mikey Post

Also returning from last year was Don Hodgen, the singer for the local blue-eyed soul band The Ambassadors, whose record “Too Much of a Good Thing” on the Pee Vee label is a Boogaloo Bag favorite. He sang it on Saturday night and that was a gas!

Don Hodgen sings “Too Much of a Good Thing” at the Keystone State Soul Weekender.

This Keystone Weekender had to be the best one yet; it had the best attendance of the four and somehow the DJs seemed to play better records–though the latter reason could just be that the Boogaloo Bag writers were so excited about being at the event that the records just seemed better! At any rate, the Boogaloo Bag writers were very happy to be in attendance and able to write about the event for the faithful Boogaloo Bag readers.

Not only were the records and dancing of an excellent nature, but the Saturday afternoon record dealers had better records to sell than usual. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus ran out of his allotted record-buying funds by three in the afternoon!

One of the best changes made to the Weekender was the decision to move it all downstairs to the Elks Lodge’s lounge where breakfast can be ordered; and it is inexpensive and delicious. Records are played by the DJs and it gives everyone a last chance to socialize with attendees and DJs as they chowed down on eggs, pancakes and or bacon. Plus, there were more record dealers for those who buy such things. There is no need for attendees to go searching for morning food when it is all right there at the Weekender.

Brunch was had at the Elks Lodge Lounge.

Folks, the Boogaloo Bag writers would like to state right here that, if you dig reet music, the Keystone State Soul Weekender is a dog gone fabulous time. Even though Pennsylvania can be challenging for progressive thinking people–often called “Pennsyltucky” by residents who have experienced some of its lesser-educated population–Lancaster is a warm and friendly city with many forward-thinking residents, art galleries, vintage stores, restaurants (including one of the best Himalayan joints in the country) and other amenities that make life worth living. Affordable hotels are within walking distance of the venue and just about everything you could want is close. Having been there for four Weekenders, we can honestly say that this is a great event. It happens on the first weekend of November; make you plans now to be at Number Five in 2020.

The New York City Dance Squad looked sharp in their matching jackets.

When Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked by Julio Fernandez to return with a box of records to play for the dancers, he gave The Boog three forty-minute slots and told him to feel free to play some weird stuff. So he did. Friday night’s set was bookended by twine records and included two swim records, two ghost records (it was the day after Halloween) and two duck records. Saturday’s set consisted of his mega-mix of “Move On Up,” some Northern soul favorites and ended with a topical record. He spun all soul and organ groove instrumentals for those at the Sunday brunch. Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Fourth Annual Keystone State Soul Weekender:

Friday Night

Saturday Night

Sunday Brunch

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

 

More photos–click on them and, in most web browsers, they will electronically turn into a photo gallery via a secret exclusive Boogaloo Bag method…

Great Googly Moogly!

Boog-Daddy-2

Our friend Daddy Long Legs–yeah the singer/harmonica player for the fabulous blues wailing act called Daddy Long Legs–is also a keen record collector and DJ. He has a semi-regular night (when he is not on tour) at the Palace, a pub up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The joint asked him to DJ for the evening of Friday October 25. He subsequently asked Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to to be his guest DJ on that night. Since the evening had a close proximity to one of our favorite holidays, Halloween, a preponderance of spooky-themed records was called for. Because Mr. Daddy is a blues wailer, extra blues records were packed in the play box.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and DJ Daddy Long Legs swing!

The Boogaloo Bag has discussed the activities of (Brian) Daddy Long Legs before, and we point the faithful reader to a previous Boogaloo Bag entry.  https://boogaloobag.com/2017/04/27/wham-o-watusi-wails-the-blues/

Daddy-records

DJ Daddy Long Legs has a handful of records to play.

The night noted above was set up to be another fabulous DJ night that everyone was excited about. However, it did not take place without some controversy. It seemed that the Palace was double-booked. Luckily, the owner of the place also owns another joint not too far away and DJ Daddy Long Legs and the Boogaloo Omnibus were shifted to it: The A-Bar on Manhattan Avenue.

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The Crawling Hand and the Creeping Brain made an appearance on the A-Bar bar top at midnight!

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DJ Daddy Long Legs goofs with the Crawling Hand.

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Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings with the space ship from Mars.

Treats

Miss Nancy’s chocolate eyeball cookies and signature vegan brownies were in the house.

The evening turned out to be a pre-Halloween extravaganza. Miss Nancy baked eyeball cookies and brought along some of her pets: a crawling hand and a creeping brain; plus a new one, a flying saucer. DJ Daddy Long Legs played some most excellent records. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus debuted his new Mystic Eye fez from Fezorama. Our pal DJ Jumpy was on hand to join in on the madness.

Jumpy

DJ Jumpy dropped by to lend a “hand” to the festivities. 

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at DJ Daddy Long Legs’ Boss Records Night:

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have clips to the youtubes in order to quench the readers curiosity.

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45s played at the 45th WHAM-O WATUSI!

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The great Gaylord Fields and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the 45th WHAM-O WATUSI!

Gaylord Fields is a DJ on radio station WFMU, which comes at the New York City area via its studio in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has been on the radio there for nearly 20 years. His show can be hectic, eclectic and seductive. He has been a guest DJ at Subway Soul Club, the Wang Dang Doodle, Twist All Night, The Dynagroove and various other reet music nights in town. Also, he is an avid collector of 45 RPM records. Thus he was the perfect choice to be the guest DJ for the 45th WHAM-O WATUSI, which was held on October 12 at the Bootleg Bar in beautiful downtown Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Gaylord

Gaylord Fields gets ready to spin another boss record at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

When WHAM-O’s host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus first moved to New York City, more than twenty five years ago, Mr. Fields was one of the first people he met. They often found themselves at the same music shows and had many friends in common. It was with this history behind them that the two record selectors gassed each other all night long, playing boss record after boss record.

Bootleg-Ghoul

The Bootleg Bar Ghoul is in the house all October!

Boss records is what the WHAM-O WATUSI is all about. Nearly every record aired at the WHAM is of the seven-inch size; 99% of them spin at 45 RPM (there is an odd 33 1/3 from time to time, usually made in Brazil or a jukebox EP). For the 45th WHAM-O, all were spun at 45 revolutions per minute.

Gaylord-troop

Gaylord Fields holds court with his friends as he rests between sets at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Adding to the festivities were the delicious no-cook, oatmeal-peanutbutter-chocolate cookies and spicy vegan brownies made by Miss Nancy Gardner–who, alas, was absent from the scene. But several of our friends were on hand to eat them, and at the end of the night, Mr. Vacation took a big container of the leftovers home!

Treats

Miss Nancy made some yummy treats for 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 the titles above have links to the youtubes in order for the reader to become more acquainted with the WHAM-O WATUSI scene.

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Don’t forget the Motor City!

Anna Copa Cabanna danced in the window in order to bring back memories of the Motor City Bar.

Ritmo Fever is a DJ night that takes place every Wednesday at Los Feliz, a modern Mexican taco and tequila joint in the Lower East Side. Ritmo Fever features a rotating cast of DJ hosts, including Drew Redmond, Mr. Vacation, El Salvage and DJ Rata. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was asked to be guest DJ for Mr. Redmond’s event on September 18.

Drew Redmond selects another rockin’ record from his stash of boss sauce at Ritmo Fever!

Since Los Feliz is located on Ludlow Street, Mr. Redmond wanted to bring back the vibes and freel of the Motor City Bar–a bar that existed down the street that was a bastion of boss rock’n’roll music for a long time until it closed about six years ago. Motor City Bar was a place where folks could go and drink and dig loud rock’n’roll records played by such DJs as Josh Styles, The Thing With Two Heads, Alberto de Wowsville, Billy Miller, Señor Dos Platos, Drew Redmond, Lynne K, Jonathan Toubin, Jukebox Jodi (who was also a bartender), Mr. Vacation and many others. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus also worked the scene several times. One of the most popular attractions at Motor City Bar–aside from the decorations made up of vintage auto parts and stolen Detroit street signs–was the fabulous Go-Go dancer Anna Copa Cabanna dancing in the window. So Mr. Redmond conscripted Miss Copa Cabanna into dancing in the Los Feliz window.

DJ Rata’s Batman 45 adaptor kept an eye on the proceedings at Ritmo Fever.

The night was great. Mr. Redmond played a bunch of the tuff, rock’n’roll and rhythm & blues records he is known for. Phast Phreddie did much of the same. They both spiced up the audio portion of the evening with hot mambo records in deference to the location, as Miss Anna did her thing in the window.

Although she was unable to attend, Miss Nancy Gardner made more of her fabulous vegan brownies and spicy fudge for all attendees.

Miss Nancy’s yummy things!!

Here is a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at Ritmo Fever:

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

Boogaloo on Venus!

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Our pal Bobby Rich, who owns the Bootleg Bar–where the WHAM-O WATUSI takes place–has a new club located on the northern-most edge of Bed-Stuy. It is one of the most beautiful new nightclubs there is. One walks under the neat neon sign into an elegantly appointed room with a full bar on the left. Beyond the bar is a big room, suitable for a couple hundred dancing souls, with barstools along the walls. Straight through and you’ll see a double staircase going up to an open mezzanine/balcony situation where the DJ booth sets. hanging from the ceiling is one of the biggest disco balls you’ll ever see. Across from the bar is a stairway that leads down to a basement with another full bar, several pinball machines and pool tables. The Boogaloo Bag writers, who have complained about poorly named venues for the last thirty years or so, approve of the name: Venus In Furs. We forgot to ask Mr. Rich if it was named for the 1870 novel by the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, one of the several film adaptations of said novel, the fictional band of the same name in the movie Velvet Goldmine, or the song on the first Velvet Underground album. Or maybe all of them! At any rate, the Boogaloo Bag writers are happy to have another club with an outer space reference in its name.

discoBall

A giant disco ball hovers over the Venus In Furs dance floor!

There was a soft opening for the club on Friday the 13th of September. The Boogaloo Bag writers were in attendance, as were several of Mr. Rich’s friends, various and sundry folks from the neighborhood and the rock’n’roll community. We found ourselves ooh-ing and awe-ing along with everyone else at this most excellent new nightclub. Ya gotta love the new nightclub smell and dig the bathrooms before they are decorated with stupid stickers and unclever graffiti. The moment we walked in to the club we thought that this would be the best place in the world for some future Subway Soul Club event…

Rata-Venus

Venus In Furs awaits dancers!!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was invited to spin records there on the following Monday–September 16. A whole new scene was in order, so The Boogaloo Omnibus decided to work a new groove: AFRO-Q-POP. A sly play on Afro-cubop, Afro-Q-Pop consists of soul, funk, mod jazz, reggae (the Afro part) and boss rock’n’roll records (ie, pop), mixed in with mambo sounds. For this venture there could be only one DJ who could work like that: DJ Rata! He was duly enlisted to be guest DJ.

Rata

DJ Rata swings at AFRO-Q-POP!

The Boog and El Rata swung the night with the bossest of rhythmic tunes. Several folks complimented the DJs on their fine selections. Monday night is not the swingin’est night of the week, but the folks who were in attendance had a boppin’ good time, that’s for sure. Our pal DJ Xerox was also on hand to check out the new club.

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DJ Rata is visited by DJ Xerox at AFRO-Q-POP!

Although she was unable to be on hand–Monday is a school night, after all–Miss Nancy was able to cook up a batch of her vegan brownies and flourless chocolate cake cut into bite-sized cubes. Very tasty!

Yummy

Yummy treats and boss records were featured at AFRO-Q-Pop!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the world’s first ever AFRO-Q-POP (since the Venus is located on Broadway in Brooklyn, a few “Broadway” records were called for and duly played):

None of these records are for sale. There are clips from the youtubes for some of them for your digification.

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Emotional Boogaloo!

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Our pal DJ Mike Crash hosts a swingin’ soul music scene called Mixed Emotions Soul Club. It takes place on the first Friday of the month at a joint somewhere in Sunnyside, Queens called Sanger Hall. It’s not really a hall–more like a pub–but it is a good enough place for folks to clear out some tables and chairs and let the people dance to boss soul records. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was invited to be guest DJ on September 6.

Mike-Boog

Mike Crash and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the Mixed Emotions Soul Club!

We’ve worked with Mr. Crash before. He used to host a night called Shake Frantic at the Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg, and, if memory serves (and it usually doesn’t) the two worked together at one of DJ Xerox’s Out of Sight soul nights at the Beauty Bar. Mr. Crash has some pretty darn good records and he sure as heck knows how to play them.

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Mr. Vacation, Grace of Spades, Mike Crash and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at Mixed Emotions Soul Club!

At Sanger Hall we were happy to see so many friendly faces–especially folks who live nearby. Who knew we had so many friends in that area? It was great to see them all. Miss Nancy Gardner was in attendance with her signature vegan brownies, plus her new creation: flowerless chocolate cake cut into bite-size pieces. Yummy!

When it was all over, Mr. Crash packed up his records and took off. The next day he flew to Italy for a vacation with his gal Grace of Spades!

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

None of these records are for sale. Some of them may have links to the youtubes for the reader’s listening enjoyment.

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Major Boogaloo at WHAM-O!

Ursa Major and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at WHAM-O WATUSI!

On July 26, the WHAM-O WATUSI was called to order at the Bootleg Bar in beautiful downtown Bushwick. This was a rare Friday evening WHAM-O and so it necessitated that a rare and exceptional guest DJ should be involved: Ursa Major (who host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was able to sign on after some tough negotiating).

Ursa Major is a member of the Legio SPQR DJ collective–a group of sound selectors who specialize in skinhead reggae. As such, he has travelled the world spinning his boss records for his many admirers. However, Ursa Major is also a well-rounded DJ who spins in all of the styles favored by WHAM-O WATUSI enthusiasts.

Ursa Major swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!

In pre-Boogaloo Bag days, Ursa Major was an occasional guest at Subway Soul Club–he has amazing soul records–back when it was at Rififi in the East Village. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus likes to recall a night: It was the first night that the WANG DANG DOODLE took place at the Ottoman Lounge in Williamsburg (thus the first night that the Phast Man wore a fez!) and Ursa Major was asked to be its guest DJ for a one-off ska music event. Phast Phreddie’s ska collection at the time was not so fine–a handful of 45s, some reissues and compilations. Ursa Major showed up with a box of about 200 boss ska records–most of them British pressings in immaculate shape–and a crew of about 20 of his skinhead friends. Thanks to him, the night was a roaring success.

Ursa Major is visited by Mr. Vacation at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Thus it is always a pleasure working with Ursa Major–which doesn’t happen often enough. The last time may be the time he guested with the Phast Man at the Commodore in 2015.

Ursa Major is also the drummer for a cool Oi! punk band called The Templars. The band has been active since about 1991. It’s made dozens of recordings and tours the world.

At the WHAM-O WATUSI, Ursa Major played an assortment of jams, mostly R&B, soul and freak beat records–records that he doesn’t get to spin often. The Boogaloo Bag writers dig it when Ursa Major is at the controls because he has such fabulous records and he knows how to play them. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus played his usual trash, some new acquisitions, four monkey and four “thing” records in a row and perhaps a few more Jamaican records than usual in order for Ursa Major to feel at home. Also, knowing that the guest DJ is a drummer, The Boog played a series of “drum” records and the one by The Azaleas really caught his ear!

Ursa Major digs the scene at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Although she was unable to make the scene, Miss Nancy Gardner was able to provide some most delicious chocolate oatmeal peanut butter cookies, as well as vegan peanut butter balls.

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 may have links to the youtubes for the reader to dig.