Last month, I attended AAHZ’s Decade II at Orlando’s The Beacham.
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.
Here’s my own damned pics.