It all started with “The Blackpool”. Ray Perez and I, started off by throwing backyard parties (don’t all future promoters start this way?) then moving on to larger venues like the Whiskey Au Go-Go, Leonardo’s in Huntington Park and Hollywood Moguls. From 1992-1994 we also starting booking the Hong Kong Cafe (run by Shortbus Productions’ Jason Faulk).
The rent was cheap, it was an all ages venue that had a full bar. It had 2 floors, the bottom was a restaurant and the top, a decked out banquet room with a small stage and checkered dance floor. I did all the sound and Ray took care of the bookings and security. We brought the Steady Beat to Chinatown (more on that later though).
I would record some of the bands that were fairly unknown outside the L.A Ska scene at the time.
A few of these recordings were the beginning of the Blackpool Skampilation series. 3 cassettes and (2) 7″ records on 3 volumes, all live. It was never set up as turning into a label, but one thing lead to another and I started putting together Skauthentic. About this time in early 1995, Ray and I split up, he got busy with family life and I officially had launched Steady Beat Recordings.
I found wider distribution with the help of Darryl Rubio, “the stiff dog”. He ran Stiff Dog Records and had just finished putting together SKACA, a ska-punk comp. He worked at Tower and had all the connections. So I also became a distributor of sorts for other bands moving their product and funneled ll that through the distribution channels.
Jason Faulk pops into the picture again and turns me on to Las Palmas Theater. We book a night – one of the biggest shows in a while with as you’ll see some of the biggest names to come out of LA scene all on one bill! Jump with Joey, Hepcat, Let’s Go Bowling, Yeska and The Dynamics were on the bill. What do you know – it was an instant sell out! Some of this bread would be used for studio time for the Skauthentic release. In the next few months after that I started moving Mobtown and Ocean 11 discs. What a time!
Things were cooking and I started chartering buses to take the party to San Diego or San Francisco or Sacramento, you get the picture. The “Steady Beat Express” had left the station. A sound guy at Las Palmas turned me on to the Whisky a Go-Go soon and it was soon booked for a show as well. That 1st show was also an instant sell out with Yeska, See Spot, Mobtown, The Allentons and more on the bill.
MORE TO COME…..
End of part 1.