Gichy Dan’s Beachwood No. 9
We haven’t posted about a throw back group in a while and Gichy Dan’s Beachwood No. 9 has a really interesting back story. I couldn’t write it better myself…
“Back in 1976 August Darnell first rose to notoriety as bass player, vocalist and lyricist for « Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band », one of disco’s most unusual ensembles. The brainchild of August’s brother Stony Browder Jr., and featuring the vocals of Cory Daye, the vibes work of « Sugar Coated » Andy Hernandez and the jungle drums of Mickey Sevilla, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band was one of the most singular groups ever to cross-over pop. Sounding like a ’40s big band with a more modern beat, the band went gold with their first album, including the mighty hit, « Cherchez La Femme ». By 1979, Darnell swiftly became ZE Records’ in-house producer-ringmaster, helming brilliant productions at the all-night sessions at Blank Tapes which threw together disparate friends, freaks and musicians in different combinations. « Gichy Dan’s Beachwood #9 » was one of the first side-projects of Darnell.
August, about to leave his older brother Stony Browder’s Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band through frustration at his restrictive bassist-songwriter role. The story goes that Darnell had written a number of tunes that Savannah Band wound up not using, so he called his pal Ronnie Rogers to put together a band featuring the talents of Frank « Pago Pago » aka « Gichy Dan » Passalaqua and vocalist Lourdes Cotto along with a huge roster of musicians whose names would adorn many Darnell-produced album covers in years to come. Silken-voiced Staten Island crooner Gichy Dan, aka Frank Passalacqua, took his name from Beachwood # 9, an old rock ‘n roll number from the 1950s. « We would concoct this romance thing, then make up some profound story, » as Coati Mundi says. Gichy Dan was baby-faced, sweetly dispositioned and everyone adored him. Adriana says, « Gichy Dan would have been a new Johnny Mathis, if he hadn’t prematurely died of AIDS. » For August, « Gichy Dan was the precursor to Kid Creole and the Coconuts; had I known it, he would have been Kid Creole.” (read more)
Gichy Dan’s Beachwood No. 9 – On A Day Like Today (Todd Terje ‘Friendly Children’ Edit)