One of LA's biggest events of 2009 comes to fruition this Sunday. OLD SCHOOL JAMS is one of THE most talked about shows on the Westcoast. Produced by Erin Monahan @ Nederlander Events this show is going to be like no other. I got the opportunity to sit down with Erin and find out just what it takes to produce a show of this scale....
1) So Erin, the buzz is this event. Tell us how you came up with the concept for OSJ?
I have a friend named Rodger Clayton who was a founding member of this group called Uncle Jamm's Army. They threw all the biggest hip hop parties on the West Coast back in the day, and I work with him as my co-promoter on a lot of the hip hop and R&B shows I do at the Grove of Anaheim. We wanted to do a show together at the Greek and create a line-up that would reflect the beginnings of hip hop and freestyle music in the early 80s. I remember when I was a little kid I was really obsessed with movies like Breakin, Krush Groove and Wild Style and always wanted to be in the world of DJs, MCs, breakdancing and graffiti. I've just always loved the culture and history of hip hop and I think it's going to be a really fun, hilarious night.
2) How hard was it to get all those acts booked?
Most acts have one agent they deal with but hip hop is a strange exception, for some reason a lot of acts don't go through just one agent, they have managers and go through several agents. So I actually did this show through a middle buyer that booked all the acts through all the different managers.
3) Do you think any of them will be performing new material? or All throwback?
They each might sneak in one new track but they will mostly perform their throwback hits!
4) You're showcasing something rarely seen in LA, what made you do an event like this as oppsed to just booking some hot current DJs and live acts and calling it a day?
My co-worker and I book about 100 shows a year at the Grove of Anaheim, everything from Merle Haggard to Too Short. This is my first show at the Greek and I'm not the main talent buyer so it had to be something different I could bring to the table on my own. I would love to book some electronica acts at the Greek but the capacity is 5800 and it's seated, so it's limited what works within that genre. I'd love to be able to help get some acts like Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx or Kraftwerk at the Greek eventually. I'd also love to do a 90's hip hop line-up with an act like Tribe Called Quest or a West Coast hip hop show.
5) How long did it take to plan an event like this and what goes into the development of an event of this size?
I booked it in February and put it onsale in May. Planning an event like this involves everything from confirming the show, sending out contracts, creating the flyer, organizing radio promotions, street promotions, creating an online campaign, advancing the show, creating a TV spot, etc. I did most of the flyering myself over the past five months with the help of friends. Thankfully I have an amazing marketing department, box office and production team at my company to help me. It's been a lot harder and more stressful than I thought it would be but it's been an amazing learning experience.
6) For those who don't know, tell us about Nederlander events, what other events have you guys done?
Nederlander has been around a long time, we have a Broadway division that does most of the Broadway events in New York as well as at the Pantages in LA, and then we are the exclusive operator of the Greek Theatre in LA, The Grove of Anaheim, The Santa Barbara Bowl and the San Jose Civic. We've also done events at UCLA, in San Diego, Tuscon, etc. The Greek is our main venue though and we have some good shows coming up – Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Pet Shop Boys to name a few.
7) Who are you most looking forward to seeing this Sunday?
I'm actually most excited for Ready for the World, they have so many songs I love. I'm also excited to just see the crowd go off when Melle Mel & The Furious Five perform "The Message" and "White Lines" as well as Kurtis Blow do "The Breaks" and "If I Ruled the World." Those infamous opening beats are just gonna make everyone go crazy. Last but not least Peanut Butter Wolf is going to do a VJ set and I'm pretty stoked about that - I think he is gonna bust out the jams and people are gonna freak out.
8) Where can people buy tickets?
Tickets as low as $35!
9) Whats your favorite Old School Jam?
My favorite Old School Jam is actually “Love Bizarre” by Prince & Sheila E. I asked Peanut Butter Wolf if he would grant me one request and play that, we'll see! :)
10) Any last words or shouts?
Thanks for everyone who helped me out all summer! I hope to see everyone's smiling face at the show, it's gonna be a hella good time!
EGYPTIAN LOVER (plaza stage): 5:30PM – 6:30PM
GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL: 6:30PM – 6:55PM
SOUL SONIC FORCE: 7:00PM – 7:25PM
KURTIS BLOW: 7:30PM – 7:55PM
PEANUT BUTTER WOLF: 8:00PM – 8:30PM
KLYMAXX: 8:35PM – 9:10PM
Intermission: 9:10PM – 9:20PM
READY FOR THE WORLD: 9:20PM – 10:00PM
LISA LISA: 10:00PM – 10:30PM
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