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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Setting The Record Straight On Razzmatazz

I moved out of Des Moines in the summer of 2003, and I don't keep up on the local news of Des Moines. I learned today of a terrible murder that happened at the bar Razzmatazz in 2008. A poster left a comment about it HERE.


My band did have a jam session at Razzmatazz in the fall of 1999. It lasted barely a month before we were told to leave. The reason that both the bar owner and the city gave me at the time was because we were violating a city ordinance on dancing. At the time we were angry because it was like something out of the movie Footloose, but today it is actually pretty funny.

What is sad is that someone would read that post, see the picture and then make ridiculous comments about me, my band, and my friends. We played there one month in 1999 and he blames us for something that happened in 2008 Just doesn't make sense. However, it was the flippant response about "pickin on minorities" that bothers me. No where in my post did I say anything about it. So where did it come from???

I do know that some people back in 1999 were uncofortable with some of the bands that played at Razzmatazz on the weekends. Del Saxman Jones had a great variety band that was mostly African American and another band led by his guitar player of the time played there on most weekends. This was mostly an African American crowd coming out to a white suburb to hear music. In 1999 they were not a violent crowd, but there were people who didn't like what was going on there on the weekends.

Now wether Urbandale passed the dancing ban that year or years before I don't know, or care. All I know is that all of us quit playing live music there in the fall of 1999. I also know that Del and myself never had any problems at the club before the ban.

I don't really know what happened to Razzmattaz after we left, or after I moved away. To be honest I really didn't care. If Urbandale didn't want dancing that is fine with me. As far as I was concerned I want to play where we were wanted.

I am sorry that Razzmatazz became a problem for the people of Urbandale. Whatever happened there had nothing to do with the blues, my band, or any of my friends. We left there ten years ago and never looked back.

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