It was 20 years ago when a local club owner took a chance on two inexperienced DJs by giving them a night to share their musical vision.
Those at Que Sera on that presumably funky Friday evening in ’98 were treated to Long Beach locals Rodi Delgadillo and Dennis Owens spinning their funk and soul favorites, the music they personally loved to dance to. It was the beginning of a legendary partnership in the name of getting down: The Good Foot.
“I had never DJed before,” Owens said. “I jumped into it headfirst and things eventually worked out.”
Since then, the monthly club night—offering funk, soul, cumbia, Latin sounds and more—has grown to bring in generations of guests ready to dance and, despite a few ups and downs over the years, it’s still going strong.
“We now have the kids of former patrons coming out to the club,” said Owens. “I’ve had younger people tell me that they grew up seeing Good Foot flyers posted on their parents’ refrigerator!”
It’s the longest-running musical endeavor Owens has ever been involved with. He co-founded The Good Foot after he’d garnered experience with a couple of bands and considered himself a musician, he said.
And although in the beginning he’d had no idea he would be in this for the long haul—The Good Foot’s “final spin” took place on its 13th anniversary, before starting up again at Alex’s Bar on its 15th anniversary—he’s been able to grow and thrive with it.
“I’m more patient. I try to pick my battles wisely and not sweat the small stuff,” Owens said. “Failures are now just hard lessons learned and victories taste much sweeter.
As far as my growth as a DJ? I’m better at it than I used to be.”
While Delgadillo left The Good Foot team in March, Owens remains behind the turntables and running the show with the help of a crew of resident DJs and artists.
The 20th anniversary party this Friday will feature recently added resident DJ Lili Bird, alongside Owens, as well as live performances from Brazilian funk band Os Zagueiros (featuring Long Beach Funk Fest founder, Delta Nove guitarist Bobby Easton) and funk, soul, afrobeat outfit Mestizo Beat.
Owens thanks Que Sera owner, Benz, for giving The Good Foot that first chance, saying “we wouldn’t be what we are without her” and also Alex Hernandez of Alex’s Bar for supporting all of his musical projects.
The Good Foot 20th Anniversary Party takes place on Friday starting at 9 p.m. at Alex’s Bar, located at 2913 E. Anaheim St. Check out the Facebook event page here for more info.