Archive for the ‘Night Life’ category

Photographing Downtown Orlando’s The Beacham

May 23, 2013

Last weekend, The Beacham hired me to photograph patrons.  An Orlando nightclub, The Beacham exists in the downtown area.

First, I searched for the cheapest parking.  Parking usually runs between five to ten dollars.  I found a five dollar spot.

downtown orlando

When you show them the receipt, The Beacham reimburses you for five dollar parking.

As you see by the sign, Fridays are Ladies Night. Women drink free all night.  Saturdays are free drinks before eleven.  Sunday is the Latin night’s all you can drink.

downtown orlando

Back in 2011, The Beacham was named Best Nightclub by the Orlando Sentinel.

best nightclub 2011 The Beacham

Just like with the first few, the following photos are taken by my cellphone.  I’ll post pro-photos at another time.

Fridays and Saturdays are predominately African-American.

downtown orlando

On stage, you see the DJ and two dancers.  Also, high on the walls are huge video screens.

downtown orlando

Richie Rich is the DJ.

downtown orlando

latina booty

For Latin night, I didn’t get the DJ’s name.  Yet, I did photograph the two Latin dancers onstage.

downtown orlando

Latin Club dancer

Because the place enjoyed my photos, The Beacham hired me again for the following weekend.

DJing An Arm-Wrestling Competition

April 16, 2013

Last Sunday night, I DJed at Orlando’s The Peacock Room, a last minute thing.

Photo by Victoria Rosario

Photo by Victoria Rosario

An arm-wrestling competition was going to take place.  I was asked to play 80’s rock music.  Yep, I had the genre, including the likes of Winger and Whitesnake.

virtual dj playing winger and white snake

The host was my buddy Mandaddy.

bald guy on a microphone

The arm-wrestling table.

arme wresting table

The table was moved to another area.  There was both guy arm-wrestling and female arm-wrestling.

female arm wrestling

A leg on the table broke.  So, it was replaced with another one.

Arm wrestling

Oh yea, yours truly was talked into competing.  I won my first round (I believe dude let me win).  Then, got slammed during my second.

I had so much damned fun.  I hope the event happens again. The organizer said it will.   I’ll be there.

Prince Party at Orlando’s Castle Knights

April 7, 2013

Last night, I drove to Castle Knights, a bar located in Orlando.

Castle Kinghts Local Pub


My friend Frankie Messina hosted a Prince party, the main reason for my showing up.  All night, Frankie played not only Prince music, but also music by groups Prince produced in the 80’s including The Time and Vanity 6.

dj and prince's controversy album


On a screen, Prince movies and concert footage played.

Prince on a screen


For over two decades, Castle Knights was once known as Faces, a lesbian bar.   As Castle Knights, the bar welcomes everyone.

There’s talks of me DJing a Friday Happy Hour.  Because Castle Knights  is full liquor, it just might be the right spot for me.

Regardless, it’s a nice joint that I may return to in the future.

The Bodisattva Social Club

September 17, 2012

When it comes to Downtown Orlando, The Bodhisattva Social Club was one of  the last of its kind, a bar catering to the bohemian crowd.

I think it opened in 1999 or the year 2000.  At first, two people owned it.  Then, the late Tom Butler became the primary owner.

The bar contained two floors.  The following photos are of the first floor.

Bodhisattva labeled itself a nudist Buddhist biker bar.  In the following pic, you can see Tom’s bike in the corner.

He put this sign on top of it.

Then, there was one of the best jukebox collections in Central Florida, containing everything from hip-hop, rock to jazz.

The following photos happened upstairs on the second floor.

Jeff Nolan. Sometimes he worked the upstairs bar.

Yet, most people know him as a guitar god.

Jeff worked with Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilot’s lead singer) on Weiland’s 1998 solo album named 12 Bar Blues.   Recently, Jeff hosted a Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia tour.

This is him with the lovely and talented Jen Paxton.

DiViNCi. Beats-maker for hip-hop group Solillaquists of Sound.

Him and lead rapper, Swamburger.  This was years before they were signed to ANTI-/Epitaph records.

John David Baldridge. Many Central Florida musicians and singers covered his music.

That’s me in the Ice Cube shirt. I forgot who the other guy was.  On my far right behind me is Tom Ward and Jim O’Rourke, two local musicians.

Tom Butler never allowed folks to take his picture.  Yet, local artist Dan Erminger managed to get one.

Photo by Dan Erminger.

Bodhisattva closed in 2004.  A short time later, Tom Butler died.

Like I mentioned earlier, Bodisattva was one of  the last of its kind in Downtown Orlando.  Nowadays, the bohemian crowd hangs out in the Virginia Drive and Mills Avenue area.  Some go to the Milk District.  All areas located near Downtown Orlando’s edge.  Yet, not exactly located in Downtown Orlando.

Still, Bodhisattva and Tom Butler will always be missed by many people.

Remembering An Orlando Nightlife Columnist on Her Birthday

September 11, 2012

Last year, Central Florida lost Orlando Sentinel writer Kelly Fitzpatrick.  She died in her sleep.

Her column focused on Central Florida’s nightlife.  Sometimes, she bravely called out bars and night clubs on over-priced drinks and bad service.

She was also a dear friend of mine.

Last Saturday at Lil Indies, friends held a private party honoring Kelly’s birthday.

Heather and Brian Kingsbury: They tied the knot back in June.

Tod Caviness and Christen Marie:  Two or three days later after this photo, they got engaged.  Tod also writes for the Sentinel.

Curtis Earth: He hosted a trivia game centered around Kelly.

That’s Will Walker on the left, owner of Will’s Pub and Lil Indies.  That’s me in the middle.  On the right is Bao Le Huu, writer of Orlando Weekly’s This Little Underground.

I think the dude is DJ Smilin Dan.  The woman is local bartender Jennifer Harton.

Because Lil Indies is right next door to Will’s Pub, I went to Will’s to check out The Legendary JCs.

Eugene Snowden: Lead Singer.

After that, I went back to the party.

In the middle is Casey Dayhoff, Kelly’s husband and Heather Kingsbury’s brother.

The guy is Brian Stibal, a person we’ve known for over ten years.

Me and Jim Criger.  Best friends since 1999.  Always there for you when the shit goes down

Sock Hop Mondaze

August 1, 2012

Last Monday at The Peacock Room, I experienced the ironic.

First, mid-fifties to early-sixties music played.    Also, the majority of the patrons looked to be born in the 1980s. I was born in 1969.  As the music was older than me, the patrons were younger.

That night, I experienced Sock Hop Mondaze, a weekly event happening every Monday night at The Peacock Room.

From what I was told, the night once existed in Orlando’s Downtown area.  Then, for over a year, it moved around until it eventually landed at The Peacock Room.  There it earned the attention of Orlando Weekly’s Bao Le-Huu, who wrote positively about it in his This Little Underground column.

Much  of the  music were recordings by African-Americans, a cool thing because we still live in the era of over-hyping white musicians who perform “black” music. At least this night gave African-American artists  overdue exposure.

As for the DJ, what really goes on is a playlist playing off a laptop. I don’t remember anyone being near the laptop. Yet, folks had a good time and danced to the music anyway.

An ironic experience.  Yet, I liked it.

Phat-N-Jazzy’s Funky 45 Edition

July 29, 2012

Last Friday, after my happy hour gig at The Peacock Room, I stayed around for Phat-N-Jazzy’s Funky 45 Edition.

All night, both DJ Le Spam and DJ BMF played 45s, named because the small records were played at 45 rounds per minute.  Most of the music played that night was old school funk, soul and Latin.

DJ BMF: Phat-N-Jazzy’s main DJ.

Phat-N-Jazzy has been around since the mid-nineties.   I remember when it existed at what is now called Independent Bar.  Then, for years, Phat-N-Jazzy happened every Tuesday night at The Social.  Now, it happens in different spots around Orlando.

DJ Le Spam: Member and producer of Spam Allstars, a Miami electric/Latin funk band.

In the middle is Mayra, DJ BMF’s wife.

Keith Gregson: longtime friend and the printer of my flyers.

Anthony Bonilla:  He mostly runs a hot dog stand.  Yet, I remember him mostly as DJ Bonilla.  When I became a DJ, Anthony became my mentor.

DJ BMF told me the difficulties of transitioning  from one 45 to the other.  Unlike the  twelve inch record, before you know it, the 45 record’s song is almost over.  As I danced and enjoyed the music, I couldn’t tell it.  I had that good of a time.