In the mid to late 90’s, I was at Roosevelt High School. Depending on who you rolled with, it was a time of rainbow suspenders, school girl skirts, knee high stockings, mary janes, glow sticks, and raves. Tupac has just died and Angelinos were outraged by Prop 187. I would sneak out at night and head over to Strawberry Sundays at Baby Does. All ages! During class, we would pass out D.P flyers, where there were always a couple of college guys spinning the likes of Desire’s “Crazy Over You”, anything by Lisa-Lisa and of course, Arty the 1-Man Party’s “A Mover La Colita” – that one always got people on the dance floor!
At the weekend parties, anyone who was anyone would show up at someone’s house and the biggest backyard party would take place. Madness of cars up and down small streets in Boyle Heights, East LA, El Sereno and Highland Park would take up all the parking. Walking in heels was an art! No Quebradita boots allowed! Aquanet and terracotta lipliner were still in style. Girls never paid at the gate and guys got a discount if they knew a password. The more people you rolled with, the less expensive it was. “Oh, you know the DJ? Come on in!”
DJ battles on who spun a better mix of dance vs. a better mix of the new sounds of rap and hip hop, including Montel Jordan’s “This is how we do it” always got a rise out of the South Central Latinos visiting East LA.
Pictures of the coolest party crews from all over the East Side would appear in garage made pulp magazines of Party Life featuring the coolest DJ’s with the best in lights, sounds and style.
Gerry Meraz, Supa Dupa Power Tools producer, has found a way to include this experience into the world of Academia and the largest documentation of the lifestyle and culture of the East L.A DJ scene from the past 30 years is currently taking place. Want to be a part of it?
“It’s time we tell our story, through our eyes!” Gerry recently said on air on “Knowledge is Power”. “Featuring the Lightz and Soundz of…30-year survey of DJ Culture from East LA” is calling on all DJ’s, photographers, dancers, and party goers that want to participate in this inclusive documentation to contribute any materials you may have that showcase East LA DJ culture. Be it old school turntables, vinyl records, mix tapes, lights, equipment, pictures, flyers and anything else you can think of!
In his blog, Gerry writes, “I have learned that we need to include as many voices as possible. We are not Chicago who has Frankie Knuckles, nor are we New York with a Larry Levan. Detroit’s history looks at the Bellevue Three. Here in L.A. we need to look at the hundreds of thousands. There are many factors that lead to the LA experience being different to the East coast. We have better weather so we have outdoor parties 10 out of 12 months, in East Los a lot of us had large backyards to host massive parties, we are a car culture so we all could have mobile systems that we could easily transport and we could get to more parties in one night.”
So, if you have ever been to a party in East LA where a DJ was spinning, and you were paging (yes paging!) your friends to come through, you are part of this history!
This interactive exhibition will be showcased at Gallery 727 http://www.g727.org/ in Downtown Los Angeles now until August 9th.
Materials are still needed so contact them today!
Adrian Rivas –
Opening night is 7pm-11pm, Saturday June 14, 2008,
727 S. Spring St. LA 90014
“If you’re an O.G mac or a wanna be playa, you know the hood has been good to me!”
Hope to see you there!