Attending AAHZ’s Decade II at Orlando’s The Beacham

Last month, I attended AAHZ’s Decade II at Orlando’s The Beacham.

AAHZ Presents Decade II

Back in the 80’s, an underground dance music night formed at The Beacham.  This night was called AAHZ. I only attended the night once back in 1989.  Yet, one of the DJs (Kimball Collins) I used to see playing at the now-closed Park Avenue.

Prior to the Decade II event, folks kept asking was I attending.  Because I only attended AAHZ once, I hadn’t planned on going. After being asked one more damned time, I made some moves.  First, I asked a friend to ask one of the owners.  She dealt with The Beacham before.  Second, I e-mailed Kimball and asked did they need a photographer. A dumb question because what huge event wouldn’t have photographers?  Kimball messaged back and said they had four photographers already. Still, he gave me permission to photograph.  Third, because I already photograph for The Beacham,  I asked another Beacham person for permission.

Dave Cannalte and Chris Fortier played first. Surprisingly, I recognized a few of the house songs they played.  Still, I didn’t know the names.

Yet, when DJ Icey hit the decks, I did recognize the name of the song that keeps repeating, “The funk phenomena! The funk phenomena! The funk phenomena!”

It was Armand Van Heldon’s “The Funk Phenomena”.  (At least, I think Icey was on stage by then.)

For years, I searched the name for a DJ Icey tune.  Radio stations used to play it all the time.  I searched for it on iTunes and bought Icey’s “The One” instead.

Fifteen years passed and I still didn’t know the name.  Then, that night at The Beacham, DJ Icey played the song.  I took out my cell phone attempting to identify the song with my Shazam app. Then, I looked at my phone.

“Who the fuck is Nalin and Kane?” I asked myself.  Because radio always kept saying it was a DJ Icey song, I assumed Shazam identified the song wrong.

I asked someone the name of the song.

“Beachball,” they said.

I looked at my cell phone.  Yep, that definitely was the name of the song.  Still, Shazam kept saying Nalin and Kane.

I later found out DJ Icey REMIXED the song. That’s why I couldn’t find it. Because he’s an Orlando native, I assume that’s why Orlando radio stations kept saying the song was DJ Icey’s, as if he was the main composer of “Beachball”.

Next, Rabbit in the Moon’s David Christophere arrived. I remember hearing the name.  Yet, I only owned one Rabbit in the Moon song.. It was from a compilation CD named Sunshine State of Mind. On that CD is Rabbit in the Moon’s “Floori d.a.”, a song I still listen to.

Last up was Kimball Collins. No disrespect to other DJs who performed AAHZ in the past.  Still, when I hear the name AAHZ, Kimball behind the decks is the first image flashing across my mind.

I even recognized some of the songs Kimball played during Decade II, even 808 State’s “Pacific State”. The song Kimball ended the night with? Rozalla’s “Everybody’s Free.”

Here’s what I found odd. Again, I mention only attending AAHZ once. Yet, I recognized many of the songs, which surprised me.  Some songs I heard in “mainstream” clubs.  Some at now-closed bars. Some on mixed CDs. Some on “mainstream” radio  Still, that was okay.

I kept quiet about the other reason I attempted avoiding AAHZ Decade II. I didn’t want to see fortysomethings like me behaving as if they were twentysomething.  A mixture of thirty and fortysomethings did attend the event.  Yet, I didn’t see folks acting like kids. My bad, I got my generation confused with baby boomers.

When another AAHZ event happens, I’ll be there.

For some cool pics, check out Brian Miller’s AAHZ photography. Also, I recommend checking out a blog by Save Pleasure Island.

Here’s my own damned pics.


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