The Real Nastymix Records

The Real Nastymix Records This is the home of the original, and real genesis of NASTYMIX RECORDS. Founded in Seattle in 1984

NASTYMIX RECORDS is honored to share some of our history next month!VISIT SEATTLE’S 2024 BLACK HISTORY MONTH MUSEUM…“CAL...

NASTYMIX RECORDS is honored to share some of our history next month!


Columbia City Theater


Timeless holiday greeting card from 1988

Show some love for Xola / Kid Sensation

Show some love for Xola / Kid Sensation

Listen to Feelin' Myself by Kid Sensation on multiple platforms: Kid Sensation, Xola Music IG: , Tw...

Post Nastymix days.  If you have  one, you know

Post Nastymix days. If you have one, you know

Many years after Nastymix.  Do you have one?

Many years after Nastymix.
Do you have one?

(Sample excerpt from the memoir)April 25, 1989, and there I was in the Spanish Ballroom at theOlympic Hotel, long consid...

(Sample excerpt from the memoir)

April 25, 1989, and there I was in the Spanish Ballroom at the
Olympic Hotel, long considered the most elegant hotel in town. Most of
Seattle’s who’s who in the music industry were present. The attendees
were decked out in their finest fashions adhering to the Black-Tie
dress code of the evening.

record sales awards on easels, the gold on the records shining in the
bright lights of the ballroom. More than 25 of these would be awarded to the Mix, the ECP, staff and our important guests that helped get us to this moment. It was a big deal to earn official confirmation from the RIAA. It was an even bigger deal for a small independent record label to do it right here from Seattle.

The stage filled the entire north side of the ballroom, and we had
installed a huge 20’x 20’ SWASS banner. It was still hidden, waiting
for Mix-A-Lot to take the stage, and at that point it would be
unveiled for the first time. The ballroom stayed silent, and the
tables were empty. The air was full of anticipation. Outside the
ballroom the area was buzzing with palpable electricity
and excitement. The smells of cologne, perfume, hair spray, deodorant and even a whiff of w**d floated around the hotel.

You could almost smell who was in the house. There weren’t any stanky smells, thank goodness, just the intoxicating
aroma of excitement and achievement.

Please follow as we slowly get closer to this publishing

Unearthed from deep storage boxes.

Unearthed from deep storage boxes.

Unearthed from deep in storage.

Unearthed from deep in storage.


As Hip Hop celebrates its 50th year it’s not surprising to think it would. Nastymix Records was Seattles first home bred independent record label that unfortunately didn’t survive the industry. The music did and does so through this day.

It couldn’t have happened with the incredible support, dedication and love from the community, the artists and especially all the team members that came through our doors everyday to do the work.


Spring 1983.
George hired me to produce a show for the Seattle Central Community College Student Association. The venue was the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. 2700 young party people showed up. At $7.00 a ticket the school made more money than other other fundraiser ever! I tapped Nes to DJ and he proceeded to blow out our monitor speaker. Who knew Waht would happen a few short years later….
(the memoir is now in round two editing).

In 1989, Seattle celebrated Gold.  The National narrative was, “what’s a Nastymix, or what’s a Sir Mix-a-Lot”?You needed...

In 1989, Seattle celebrated Gold.

The National narrative was, “what’s a Nastymix, or what’s a Sir Mix-a-Lot”?

You needed one of these to get in.

Writing is a journey that sometimes takes the extra long route.  NASTYMIX SHUT DOWN 30 years ago.  In order to talk abou...

Writing is a journey that sometimes takes the extra long route. NASTYMIX SHUT DOWN 30 years ago. In order to talk about what happened, I go back to explore how it happened. Turns out there are two stories to tell.

Progress 18 months later. Big thanks to Ben Camp for all the meetings, the calls, the rewrites, the edits, and mostly th...

Progress 18 months later. Big thanks to Ben Camp for all the meetings, the calls, the rewrites, the edits, and mostly the time and patience to get through this process. Next step, professional editing of the writing structure and reshaping. Telling the stories in print and on a big or small screen is the destination.

Before NASTYMIX is back!  The story continues… C89 FM, the student dance radio station at Nathan Hale HS had just succes...

Before NASTYMIX is back! The story continues…

C89 FM, the student dance radio station at Nathan Hale HS had just successfully put on a big dance at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. They had more than 3,000 kids show up for that “ALL CITY DANCE” and became the talk of the Seattle.

A new friend George Cano, had recommended me to help the Seattle Central Community College Student Association put on a fundraising dance.
I eagerly accepted the opportunity to produce my version of an All-City Dance, featuring a funkier music lineup different from the Club/Dance music oriented C89 dance. I went to work, teaming up with my graphic designer friend, Ray Terada, we came up with a theme “RUNNIN WITH THE NIGHT”.

Nes was just getting started at KFOX radio finally breaking through with his Sunday night show Fresh Tracks featured new rap music, a first for the Seattle market. KFOX was the new operations that took over my former KYAC. I tapped Nes to be the feature DJ despite my own desire to DJ.

The Exhibition Hall is big, huge in fact. It was at least 30,000 sq ft of exhibit hall space, typically used for trade shows.
I knew I would be too distracted with managing the event to even DJ a short set. It was my first big time event so I needed to be fully in micro manager, producer mode. The setup took all day.
It turned out to be a good thing the ticketing and door management was being handled by the school.

We would set up the DJ “booth” high up above the show floor, on the top of the staircase landing, about 30 feet up, on the west entry way. Finally, my childhood vision of playing music from upstairs (like back at Harry’s house party in 8th grade) was going big time.
At 8pm the hall filled quickly. By the end of the night a little more than 2,500 mostly mid/late teenagers paid $7.00, brought their excitement, and danced like their lives depended on it until 12 midnight. Musically there was plenty of rap and r&b cuts. “Runnin’ with the Night” was a smashing success. Seattle Central Community College was completely thrilled with the financial success, raising much needed funds for their student activities. After all my expenses, I came away with a little less than $1,000.00 in my pocket.

Shortly after the Runnin’ with the Night,
I went out to seek smaller venues to keep the momentum going. Knowing that I wouldn’t have the financial backing of Seattle Central College, I sought out smaller venues where maybe I could promote a monthly dance around town. I visited Seattle area community centers, gyms, and halls, like the Mountaineers Club, and then Rotary Boys & Girls Club on Spruce St. Immediately after walking in and I read a flyer on the wall. “Seattle’s Best DJ, Sir Mix-A-Lot” spinning, Friday night! Admission $1.00, free for club members. Really? I later called Nes and told them someone else is claiming to be the rest DJ in Seattle. I knew I had to come back to check out this Sir Mix-a-Lot.

After many years since the days of our historic time, telling the story one paragraph at a time is a working process, on...

After many years since the days of our historic time, telling the story one paragraph at a time is a working process, one word at a time.

32 years ago Nastymix Records making music history with Sir Mix-a-lot, and other local hip-hop artists from the unlikeli...

32 years ago Nastymix Records making music history with Sir Mix-a-lot, and other local hip-hop artists from the unlikeliest corner of the world, Seattle, Washington.
Meanwhile every year, still throwing down the big New Year’s Eve celebrations as well.

Coming in 2022, finally more new news about the iconic Nastymix records label. Watch this space. Happy new year everyone! #2022

Before Nastymix continues…..MEETING NESBefore anyone heard the name Nes Rodriguez, or Nasty Nes, and his ensconced statu...

Before Nastymix continues…..

Before anyone heard the name Nes Rodriguez, or Nasty Nes, and his ensconced status as the godfather of PNW Hip Hop, Nes and I developed a most amazing friend/family like relationship. Now well past our Nastymix days, Nes lives in LA still doing amazing work of promoting new Hip Hop artists, while keeping the culture very much a factor in our everyday lives.

Nes and I first met at home where I grew up on Beacon Hill. “Nasty” Nes got his nickname from being a trainer at the same gym my older sister, Eddi worked out at. She would tell me that Nes would work you so hard, his clients gave him the nickname “nasty”, and it stuck forever. My big sister, was in beauty school, learning to cut hair. She would cut everyone’s hair, (friends and extended family) in the basement. It was a beehive of activity down there. With the laundry often going, my first DJ studio wanna be setup, and Eddi cutting hair, somehow it fit, all crammed in the low hanging seven foot ceiling and concrete floored basement.

One day while trying to teach myself how to DJ, a big dark shadow converged down the creaky staircase to the basement. It was Nes coming down for a haircut. I wasn’t too quick to take off my headphones to greet him, with only a nod of acknowledgement, if barely that. After his cut, Nes eventually found himself listening and watching me fake my way to showing off like I knew what I was doing. I was basically segueing from song to song, like I did on the radio station. It sounded good I think, good enough to get Nes really interested to pay attention.

As I honed my newly learned skills at home, I still held down my overnight show at KYAC every Monday-Friday. Seeing Nes again a month later at home, I instinctively started talking about the station with him, and eventually invited him to come for a visit and sit through my shift.

It was a busy Friday night, the weekend was kicking off, request lines ringing nonstop, me cueing one new cut after another. I asked Nes to answer the request lines for me. I figured he’d be good at it. HE LOVED IT! Admittingly, it was fun to speak to people who were listening to you. It’s true however, more calls go unanswered, than answered during a show. There’s too much going on the first few hours of the show, so answering any phone calls was a distraction.

For Nes, he couldn’t get enough. The moment of a lifetime happened just I had started the turntable on Lakeside’s “It’s all the way Live”. Just a few seconds into the song, I hear a screeching, piercing audio sound. Nes had knocked the tonearm across the record, all the way across the disc! The two request lines phones were positioned directly behind the turntables, and the only way to answer them, was to REACH over the turntables. Within a beat of a few seconds, I calmly reached over and picked up the cartridge now spinning around the center of the record and placed it back on the first groove of the vinyl, effectively starting the record over from the first note!

Nes’ face flushed full of embarrassment, had had enough. He hung out for only a few more minutes after all the commotion. If it was today, that would make for some funny radio, talking about what happened. This night, I stayed silent, not wanting to bring attention to something I didn’t do. Maybe because I really wasn’t supposed to have guests in the booth, and didn’t want management to find out I had people in the control room.

However, Nes was hooked. As much as I wanted to invite him back to hang out, I couldn’t. Instead, I invited him to join me at a Holiday party that I was DJ’ing in downtown Seattle’s Hilton. After showing Nes what I was doing, the mixer, the sound system, how to make things sound good, I had to make a bathroom break. I cued up the next song to follow the current cut spinning. I had told Nes, to be prepared to “start” the next song at the end of the current song if I’m unable to make it back in time. As I made my way back to the room, I can hear the music running into it’s last few seconds of the song. I didn’t have a chance to get back on stage in time to start the next track. Instead, I took my time, wondering if Nes would be able to successfully do what I had directed him to do. Only a few seconds pass, and I hear a pretty good segue, from the end of song 1, out to the new song 2. Good job Nes! When I returned to the stage, Nes was a nervous wreck. I calmed him by letting him know he did exactly what needed to be done. Nes may believe I didn’t make it back in time deliberately. Maybe so, but safe to say, he’s now hooked on a second phase of becoming a DJ, almost as if he was following my footsteps! Me inspiring someone to walk in my footsteps!

(Writer’s note- pictures from this time are scarce even rare, as owning a camera then was not a priority. If I have any regrets, it’s that.)

Next chapter. The exhibition hall days & meeting Mix

(Posted July 28, 2021)

Before NASTYMIX continues.....way beforeFrom KYAC, to the Spectrum, to mobile DJ’ing, to KOMO news radioBack at UW, I le...

Before NASTYMIX continues.....way before

From KYAC, to the Spectrum, to mobile DJ’ing, to KOMO news radio

Back at UW, I learned about an opening at ABC affiliate, KOMO Radio. It’s now 1980, and I landed at KOMO radio news, getting hired by radio news director Lee Somerstein. I didn’t know then, but I was working with local news, radio and TV icons of Mike Hamilton, Dale Good, Gina Tuttle, Lan Archer, Larry Nelson, Bob Rondeau, Byron Johnson, Tim Hunter, Teddy Garlatz, Ray Ramsey, Bruce King, and then meeting new faces like Steve Pool, Lori Matsukawa and Connie Thompson, (I even got to DJ her wedding!)

I worked the morning shift which meant being at the station by 5am M-F.
My first day on the job was one I’ll never forget. My assignment for the day was to simply observe and “watch the pros at work” , get a feel for everything, and so on. The news room was small, much smaller than I’d ever envisioned. Five workstations/typewriters, four electric, and one manual, were crammed into a single room about 25 x 25’, with three smaller closet sized editing booths that wrapped the two east, and west side of the room. The bigger closet was a noisy 20 x 4’ room with noisy wire service would automatically print out breaking news, and headlines. It was all here, the AP wire, UPI Wire, and a wall of emergency services, scanners. Seattle Police, Seattle Fire & aid, Washington State Patrol, King County, Pierce County Sheriff, all going at the same time. It was quite the noise booth with everything blaring at the same time. This, is where my desk was!

An hour into my first day, I sandwiched myself into the crowded newsroom, with the reporters, and anchors, literally on top of one another waiting for the next typewriter to clear for them. The phones were ringing non stop. Someone directed me, “go ahead and answer the phones”. The first call I picked up, the voice on the other end asked me, “hey this is KIRO, are you on it?” I replied, “on what?”. The voice shouted back “Reagan’s been shot! Get on it!” I hung up the phone, and asked Mike Hamilton who was the closest to me, “why would KIRO call to tell us that Reagan’s been shot?”

I think I heard two “what?” simultaneously. Everyone in the newsroom jumped up, and the tiny newsroom erupted into a busy beehive for the next 6-7 hours. Mike Hamilton ran into the wire room, and ripped all the headlines coming in about President Reagan getting shot. Now I was given my first assignment. Take any breaking headlines, news, that was being prepared and handed to me straight to the main control booth where Larry Nelson was doing his regular morning drive show. The next three hours it was me feeding Larry written updates, and Mike Hamilton, and Byron Johnson, running in, and out of the news studio breaking new updates, and anything else, we were learning about the shooting. I witnessed PROS at work. It was breathtaking pace of a day. One that really didn’t seem real to me at the time, even though I played a small part behind the scenes like I’ve never before imagined.

Summer 1981, I had an opportunity to intern with the evening TV sports department. It was the best internship you could imagine. I was tasked to go the home Mariner games at the Kingdome and mark the highlights on the videotape. Primal by today’s standard, my job was simply to make sure the write down the number on meter counter of the video tape machine. Whenever a big play, (home run, rbi, etc) happened, I charted it. My notepad would reflect a log with 2234, Home Run by ______, 3455, rbi double by ______, and so it went.

As soon as the game was over, the fun really began. I would rush to get down from the press box, and jump into my nearby KOMO TV car. Games usually ended just before 10pm, which meant I had to get back to the KOMO studios with the tape in hand in a mere few minutes. I would run into the station, and sometimes toss the videotape to a waiting tape editor, who then would look over all the “highlights” that I wrote on the log. If my meter count was off by even a few clicks, it could slow process down terribly. While the editor was chopping together the highlight reel, the sports announcer for the 11p, news would be standing behind the editors, taking notes, and creating a script for the upcoming sportscasts which ran approximately at 11:15pm.

The night was a success when the newscast closed, and the sportscaster (usually Rick Meader, sometime Steve Pool), would come into the editing room to thank us for a good job. If anything ever went wrong, we usually didn’t see the sportscaster. I clocked out by around 11:45pm. 5am the next morning, I was back at the radio newsroom. It was a very short summer.

KOMO provided me a much needed access to a copy machine for me to sneak in and out of the mailroom making my flyers for my upcoming DJ gigs and services. That lead to me getting caught by the mailroom manager, Ed, who calmy suggested to let HIM, make the copies for me. He didn’t want me to get in trouble, and he was more than happy to help me out. What a break!

My junior year in college found me back at UW after earning my AA in Broadcast communications at Bellevue Community College. Despite getting a raise after my first year at KOMO, I learned pretty quickly radio news wasn’t my thing. Music, DJ’ing, radio for sure, but news wasn’t going be it. I started my exit plan from KOMO to focus on my mobile DJ moves. I continued to send out radio demo tapes mostly to stations in California, wanting to find another black radio station. I got a few job interview opportunities for small stations in northern California. I turned them down as I realized I was a homer, and wasn’t ready to leave home.

To be, meeting Nes


Adding a summer residency to all the writing to still be done. This venue is DOPE!

Before NASTYMIX, continuesStill many days before there was a Nastymix,....I started to DJ the parties that Mint Creation...

Before NASTYMIX, continues
Still many days before there was a Nastymix,....

I started to DJ the parties that Mint Creations would put on. I called them “Buddha head” parties. Since it was mostly Asians, and being PC wasn’t a thing yet. The highlight of my time with MC, was a big dance down in SF, at the Downtown Grand Hyatt. Lance, Gary, Tony V, and Yancy, and drove our gear down in a van. Mark and I separately flew down. My sister lived in Oakland, so i had a place to stay. The night before our gig, I experienced my first ever drag pageant held nearby in downtown SF. We went to check out their sound & lights set up, and I was more interested in checking out the DJ. I wished I was that DJ. The energy in that room was electric. I left that show with two thoughts. Our production needs to step up big, in order to be anywhere as complete as what I just saw. DJ wise, I had a lot to learn about programming music, mixing and being a complete entertainer.

Afterwards, we ended up hanging out a small local bar that had a small dance floor. The DJ there was also a local radio DJ (sorry, don’t remember the station or name). My future brother in law, Marty knew the DJ and introduced us. Naturally, I asked if I could see the DJ booth. He agreed, and led me up a straight metal ladder, and we climbed the rungs straight into the tiniest aircraft cockpit, sized booth. There was barely enough room for two turntables and a mixer, much less one person. Even so, it was the coolest setup I had seen so far. Two songs forever take me back to this bar, Sister Sledge, “He’s the Greatest Dancer”, and Rod Stewart, “Do You Think I’m Sexy”.

The next day we arrived midday to set up for our big Buddha Head party at the downtown Hyatt. The gave us a big stage, huge dance floor smack in the middle of the full Grand Ballroom. I was pretty excited to show my stuff to the Bay Area crowd. Showtime a few short hours later, things started quietly. By 10pm, only a handful of people had wandered in and out of the ballroom. I figure, even here in SF, people ran on Asian Time (late). 11pm approached and that eery feeling that nobody was coming crept in. Only a few small clusters of finely dressed people mingled in the now cavernous ballrroom. By mdnight, it was clear, the show was going to bomb. In fact, we didn’t even make it to the end of the night, shutting things down just a little after midnight. That hurt. Basically nobody showed up! The ballroom was virtually empty the whole night, we didn’t have enough pull in the Bay Area peeps, like back home.

Back home at The Butcher Atrium, dj’ing the Japanese Community Seafair Queen ball, and MC, was hired to do the music, and I DJ’d, with Lance.
Little did I know, our music was being piped into the house system. When the dance floor was opened to party time, I got on mic and cheered the folks to “get on the floor, and shake your tight little booties” It was heard throughout the building, including the restrooms, where the older parents and officials of the organization heard me. I guess, they took offense to that. The following days, I learned about it and was mostly banned from ever playing for this group again. At the time, I just felt it was the community over reacting to a young entertainer, trying to make a mark in the field.
During the next couple years it turned out to be one of the greatest opportunities for me to learn how to DJ, and playing before an audiences that was predominantly Asians between the ages of 21 to 35 years old. It solidified my love for music, particularly R&B, and disco. One of the biggest challenges was being able to have enough money to go out and buy a new record every week. With records costing 3 to 5 dollars each unless you were buying 7 inch 45 RPM single, made selecting the right songs ever so important

This GQ, Disco Nights song is forever my landmark cut.

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Before Nastymix continues (pictured-my first mixer, and same mixer in the Spectrum DJ booth)With the new turntables I fe...

Before Nastymix continues (pictured-my first mixer, and same mixer in the Spectrum DJ booth)

With the new turntables I felt a sense of fascination and anticipation of what to do next. GET SOME RECORDS! Set up my first “studio” in the basement at home at 23rd and McClellan, would be my next task. I need a mixer, something that learned about in radio class in BCC. At the same time I heard about a new nightclub opening in ‘federal way, called the spectrum. I figured I’d go down and ask about applying of a DJ job there. Of course, I had ZERO experience spinning music professionally at any level, but I believed I’d be able to learn it easily.

I walked into the Spectrum, located in the Federal Way suburb, about 20 miles souths of Seattle. With five or six of my new records, under my arms, I walk in proclaiming that I’m the DJ they want to hire. Chris Giannoulis, and Rocky Schmidt were in the house. Their response? Show us, now with an audition. My heart rate must have jumped up to186 bpms, I take my place behind two turntables, with a real mixer. Never ever seen DJ mixer before, I had to draw from my radio experience from KBCS, and KYAC to run the board. Luckily, I was sharp enough to figure it out, enough to get sound out. Not knowing how to “mix” like a DJ, I did my best radio style segues, to switching from song - to- song.

I must have done something right, I got offered a spot on the roster of dj’s . Of course I didn’t really know what that meant, but it was good enough to drive away feeling like I did it !

The spectrum became an icon in its own right. It WAS, the teen hangouts. Myself? Dj’ing HERE was slow to materialize in the main nights. I was officially a fill-in, and instead, got put in to do a kids’ dance party several Saturday afternoons a month. 2-5pm. Pre-tens dancing to whatever I played. Parents dropped their kids off as if it was a daycare. That’s exactly what it was.

The Specturm opened after the huge success of Saturday Night Fever. The club had the same lighted dance floor as the movie. The same multi disco lighted floor where John Travolta danced and slid his way to stardom. The club was usually packed on Saturday nights with predominantly white kids, partying to a predominantly r&b, and some Bee Gees music.

Here, I learned how to beat mix. I don’t remember his name, but one of the other dj’s who mostly spun at a SPOKANE club, taught me how to match up GQ, DISCO NIGHTS, and what beat mix/matching was all about. What? How cool is that?

I got lucky to get the Saturday night call, and when I did, I was excited the whole week. On only my second night, I got my first taste of dj v management. Just as I was gonna break out my newly learned mix of GQ, a bright beam of light illuminated on my turntables. It was GEORGE Giannoulis, (the youngest brother of the owners), wagging his index finger side-to-side...”no mixing...” ...”play one song from the the end...then start the next song...”
I froze, not able to speak, or able to know how to handle this embarrassment. I thought maybe I should walk out right there, or what. I didn’t, mostly because I needed the $75.00 dj pay! I stayed on, pushed through, and hated the rest of my night, segueing one-song-to-another. George and I woiuld have another encounter a few weeks later.

With the drinking age in Canada being only 19, it was time for a road trip to Vancouver. At a club on a Friday night, the joint was poppin’. I spent most of the time next to the glass enclosed DJ booth watching the two dj’s do their thing. GOOD TIMES, by Chic was bumpin’, the dance floor packed, and suddenly I hear the SUGAR HILL GANG, with Rapper’s Delight laid over the Good Times cut! Why didn’t I think of that? Right on top of Rapper’s Delight, the DJ slammed a changeup. The KNACK, MY SHARONA. The club went bonkers!

Back home and I get another Saturday night slot at the Specturm. I couldn’t wait! I practiced the Chic, Good Times/Sugar Hill Rappers Delight mix. I broke it out and the dance floor stayed packed. Time to break out the hottest new cut on radio right now. I slammed MY SHARONA, over the top of Sugar Hill Gang. Just like in Canada a couple weeks earlier, the joint went bonkers! Less than 60 seconds into the song, George came rushing INTO, the booth, (no flashlight), and loudly over the music, “, no, no, no! NO ROCK N ROLL, only Black music! Stop this....RIGHT NOW!....” This time, I tried defend myself. I shouted back “...look at the floor! It’s packed!...” I would lose the argument, and again, bit my tongue, while I hurried on a Kool & the Gang cut. I ran out of the booth to look for Chris. I had just enough time to let him know what just happened. I got to let off some steam, and went back into the booth, knowing I WAS RIGHT.

I stayed with the Spectrum only off and on, (more off), for the half year, and never really regained the trust of Chris, as I’m certain George made it clear, he didn’t like my dj’ing. i left a little while later. Not long after leaving, I geta call from Mark Nagasawa, or I called him? He and his brother Lance, was a startup dj outfit, called MINT CREATIONS. They were either getting hired, or put on the Asian parties in town. At the time, there weren’t much for Asian party promoters, so they kinda ran things up here. Please follow us on IG

Before Nastymix Records continues.Yet, while my formative radio days were taking hold, I managed to pursue learning abou...

Before Nastymix Records continues.

Yet, while my formative radio days were taking hold, I managed to pursue learning about being a club DJ. Not only was a KYAC in my life, organizations like Mint Creations, The Spectrum, and even the famous Julianna’s would become another critical part of my early professional life.

I hooked up with Mark and Lance Nagasawa, brothers, who themselves were making a name within the community as the go to guys for music for any occasions. Seeing how that’s part of what I’m doing or did in college and professional radio, I figured I was as qualified as anyone to take control of the tunes at parties too. I folded myself into their operations to do dj duties with younger brother Lance at events they were hired to do, and thenthe parties, they themselves put on and promoted. We both thought what cred I had with KYAC could only help bring attention to these gigs.

Summer of 1980, I got my first pair of turntables, shipped directly from Baltimore! Nobody sold them in Seattle. My big brother, Norm, put it on his credit card, over the phone. Total cost for both was $406.00, including tax and shipping! One new one today is nearly $500.00
Thats when I learned of the then world famous JULIANA’S. With discos in London, Sydney, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumper, they were prepping to was launch its 20th, and biggest nightclub, Cinderella Rockefella, in Chicago’s north side. I wrote them after seeing a story in Billboard about their growing empire around the world. I “applied” for a DJ job. Much to my surprise, I got a letter back in the mail a few weeks later.

Julianna’s offered me a job as a lighting tech. While I wanted to be a DJ, their offer as a lighting tech got me to stop and think things over. I would work five days a week, and be paid $1800/mo. That was a LOT of money in 1980. I would have to make my own way there, and find a place to live etc. It was tempting. Even by doing just lights, I’d be around some top DJ’s, and certainly learn more than what I could in Seattle. I talked to Robert L (before the stations $$ problems), about this oppportunity. He simply said, what do I want more? Radio, or clubs? Am I ready to leave home? Would your parents approve? I had just turned 19. It ultimately came down to me not ready to leave home. Not a bit ready. I saved that letter for the longest time. To this date, I’m still searching my boxes for it, hoping I kept it in a secret place, that one day I’ll remember where it is.

Several months after our last days at KYAC, a Billboard article featured a review of the opening of the new Julianna’s in North Chicago. The Grand opening featured all the disco stars, Gloria Gaynor, Village People, GQ, Sister Sledge, and Donna Summer, who was lowered from above, into the crowd by helicopter! It was all I can think about. I could have been part of that. I re-read this article over, and over, for a good couple of years, and always think, what if?

Later in the summer of 1980, after the fall of KYAC, I stumbled into a new teen club soon to open in Federal Way, WA. It was called the SPECTRUM


Renton, WA





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