Many thanks to everyone who came out to the NY Beat 25th Anniversary Reunion this past Saturday night April 10th at Dusk Lounge in New York City. Frankly, when hatching the idea for this event with Sid Reitzfeld (A-Kings) and Steve Shafer (Moon Records/Dusk Guide To Ska) we had no idea what to expect or who might show up.
So at 8 PM Sid opened the doors and we watched and waited. Within a very short time there was a small crowd the grew bigger and bigger until at the height of the night there were close to 125 people mingling, talking, and grooving to the great ska and reggae sounds supplied by Steve. As the night quickly slipped by I found myself having one long, continuous conversation with a who's who of the NYC Ska scene from the 80's. It was an amazing night and helped to kick off what promises to be an exciting month of ska shows and events here in the Big Apple.
Members of most of the core bands who appeared on the NY Beat compilation were all in attendance including: A-Kings (the 3 members of the band had not been in the same room together in over 20 years), Beat Brigade (who recently reformed and will be playing the New York Ska Festival on April 23rd at BB King's), The Boilers (Olivier Rhee and John Patterson came out), The Press (lead singer Andre made an appearance), Second Step (who had 2 members -- Remi Leku and Ross Morgan -- who travelled from Florida and Boston respectively for the reunion), The Scene (Melanie Rock), Too True (King Django made his recorded debut on the track 'Free South Africa' before later joining The Boilers) and many friends and fans who came back to reminisce.
Below is a short photo montage from the reunion.
Sid Reitzfeld and Andy Atlas from The A-Kings (minus drummer Anthony Johnson)
Steve Shafer, Sid Reitzfeld and yours truly
Steve Shafer behind the wheels of steel
Remi Leku (The Second Step) and Melanie Rock (The Scene)
King Django from Too True and Olivier Rhee from The Boilers
Dave Barry (Second Step/Beat Brigade/The Toasters) and Carmelo DiBartolo of Beat Brigade
Remi Leku of The Second Step with Roger Apollon of Bigger Thomas
King Django from Too True with Ross Morgan of The Second Step
Jack Hoppenstand and Frank Usamanont of Beat Brigade
Many more pictures are up at the NY Beat Facebook page. Though the N.Y. Beat! compilation remains out-of-print, I am hopeful that with some luck and cooperation from the bands and songwriters we might finally be able to get a proper re-issue out. And if that day does arrive in the near future, then we will have a record release party to celebrate again!