Date: April 29th, 2017
Opening Band: Gordon Skankfoot
ReadJunk turned 20 this year! Well 20 years for me working on Ska,Punk And Other Junk, READ Magazine, and ReadJunk. Plus, it was Adam Coozer’s birthday so we threw a fun little party/show at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC to celebrate the occasions. Old contributor to the site and READ Magazine, Daniel Field, opened up the party/show and our friends Rude Boy George played 2 sets! There was DJ Duff spinning new wave, awkward dancing, greasy pizzas, surprisingly yummy vegan donuts, and Goldblum heads on sticks!
Adam and I have been planning this since the beginning of the year and happy with the way things turned out. The turnout was good and about what I expected. Some people couldn’t make it last minute but honestly, if we had more people it would have been too cramped. Otto’s backroom is tiny so it was perfect for this kind of party.
The day before, I worked on cutting out Jeff Goldblum heads and putting them on sticks. Went to Home Depot for sticks, Staples for other supplies. Such a process but it made for funny photos, which was the intention. I just wish the actual Goldblum wasn’t in Australia so he could have showed up! Hey, I invited him! I got to the bar when the party was supposed to start and got help propping up the head in the background from the people at Otto’s. I’m sure everybody was cracking up seeing me walk on the streets with a giant Goldblum head. People thought I was going to a Goldblum protest or something. My wife suggested doing a hashtag for the party and was good idea because it helped track down when people were going to tweet and post pics on social.
Pizza I ordered showed up on time (another surprise), and of course got more than I needed. The band was running late because of traffic. Hey, when it’s 85 degrees in April…people are going to go into Manhattan but things weren’t pushed back too badly. Gave us a chance to catch up with people, some I haven’t seen in a decade. It would have been great to have all contributors to the site come to the party but it’s just hard when everyone is all over the place. Not exactly cheap to stay in NYC too. But the people that were there, we all had a blast!
Daniel Field came down from Toronto and Adam and I billed him as “Gordon Skankfoot” since he was going to do acoustic, folky versions of ska songs. Since Dan is a musician as well, I thought it would be fun to have him perform a few songs since he came all this way for the weekend. He started things off with a The Pietasters’ “Higher.” It’s a little weird hearing ska songs that don’t sound ska because it takes about the chorus to figure out what song it is. Then there are songs like “Super Orgy Porno Party” by the Planet Smashers and Reel Big Fish’s “Sellout” that “Gordon” did that you know the song from the very beginning. Dan was funny and making jokes in between songs too which made him perfect to open the party/show. You can buy his album on Bandcamp (https://danielfield.bandcamp.com/album/third-wave-mixtape).
Rude Boy George were up next and Adam made me go up on stage. I’m a bit shy when it comes to that stuff. If I know enough people, I can get goofier which i did later on but I’m usually pretty shy with public speaking. RBG played songs like “Metro” “Fascination” and “Tainted Love” in their first set. They had Steve Shafer (DJ Duff) come up to sing along with them for Gary Numan’s “Cars.” That was great to see since Steve was in the band for awhile. I thought that cover of “Cars” was new but it’s actually old from a few years ago. I guess I’ve seen them so many times I forgot they used to cover that. At one point, Roger told the crowd to move up closer. Being the wiseass that I can be, I went right up on stage. Roger handed me to the mic and I started to sing a verse from Wang Chung “Dancehall Days.” See, I could do that crap with the band since I’m friends with all of them. Any other band, I wouldn’t have the balls to do that.
By the end of the first set, the crowd was really into it and dancing and singing along. “Always Something There to Remind Me” can have that effect on people. The first set was over and we got to hear more from DJ Duff (just not the song I requested — it’s ok Steve, just busting your chops!). I had more pizza & a cupcake and talked with people and then it back to the music! I stayed in the back more this time and was dancing more. I was trying to take pictures of everybody but it was so hard to focus on faces in there since it was really dark.
RBG played songs like “Things Can Only Get Better,” their newest single “Atomic,” and a great closer, “Kids In America.” I couldn’t resist going up and singing along for the chorus. I also couldn’t have asked for a better band to play our party/show to celebrate 20 years of ReadJunk and me doing a website. Not sure I can wait 5 years to have another show/party – it was just too much fun! If I had to do it again next year, maybe I’ll have 2 or 3 bands and a bigger place. Or maybe just 2 but have it longer so there’s more time to catch up with people. It was a great time hanging out with family, friends, the band and other people I haven’t seen in years!
If you weren’t there, here’s a bunch of photos and video from the night!
Rude Boy George: