Through More Ups than Downs, The Good Foot Celebrates Its Sweet 16

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Dennis Owens doing what he does best. Photos courtesy of Dennis Owens.

On a Friday evening on September 11 of 1998, little did DJ Rodi Delgadillo and Dennis Owens know that they would create a Long Beach legend by way of their inaugural, every-3rd-Friday club night known as The Good Foot. Now, the audiophile pair will be celebrating Good Foot’s 16th anniversary this Friday at Alex’s Bar.

GoodFoot16Having been in a ton of bands throughout the 90s, the musical-driven duo wanted to create something different.

“At the time, Rodi worked at Meow, the vintage clothing store on 4th,” Owens said. “When he mentioned his desire to start a DJ night with me to his boss, Kathleen Schaaf, she suggested Que Sera [as a venue]. A few days later, we met up with Benz, the owner of Que Sera. She loved our idea and gave us a night.”

Owens had only been behind a turntable once before the opening night of Good Foot—admittedly a “trial-by-fire” experience, in the words of Owens—but it went well. So well, in fact, that Benz offered them a monthly go to spin everything from boogaloo and cumbia to funk and soul. Soon enough, Long Beach found their feet and legs familiar with the sounds of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Boogaloo Assassins, Myron & E (who will be performing live at the 16th), The Budos Band, Jungle Fire, and more.

Good Foot amassed a ton of memories for the two, particularly given the club’s first anniversary, which saw a line wrapped around the block for the first time. But the memories don’t stop there.

“My all-time favorite Good Foot moments include any Good Foot Christmas,” Owens said. “We’ve put on Good Foot Christmas on December 25 every year for the past 8 years at Alex’s Bar and it’s always free on that night. Another favorite is our 10-Year Anniversary, where we had nine guest DJs and decorated Que Sera like a high school prom from top to bottom. I also invited buskers and street performers down to entertain the people waiting in line to get in.”

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Though both hold deep memories, there is a deeper sense of nostalgia for Owens, who was left to Foot on his own after Delgadillo opted to peace out to Japan in March of 2005.

“After Rodi left for Japan, I had a few different DJs take his place,” Owens said. “DJ Angelina, who later moved to Ohio to become a doctor. DJ Guillermo, who later moved up to San Francisco and co-founded the legendary club Sweater Funk. And finally DJ Scott Weaver, who, at the time, played in Long Beach’s old-school funk/soul/latin band OO Soul.”

The feat that was running Good Foot on his own had to come to a halt when the club hit its 13th anniversary in September of 2011. Owens had come to the point of exhaustion and decided to close its doors on that night.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 1.52.24 PMDelgadillo [pictured right] came back nearly a year later and opened Soulific Records (1409 E. 4th St., Suite B.)—but still had the itch to do The Good Foot. After discussions, the famed night of funk re-opened on its 15th Anniversary at Alex’s Bar and has, in the words of Owens, been all good thus far.

“We want everyone who comes down to our night to feel at home,” Owens said. “Have a fun night out and lose yourself in the music.”

Happy feet, Long Beach.

The Good Foot happens every 3rd Friday of the month at Alex’s Bar, located at 2913 E Anaheim St. Admission is $10 and is open only to those over the age of 21. For the anniversary, Good Foot will be giving out copies of the new Good Foot mix-CD to the first 200 people through the door. Doors open at 9PM.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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