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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jamie Strong and Chris Haycock on the Origins of The Do-Over and the Fun in Mystery Guests

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM

click to enlarge Biz Markie at last year's San Francisco Do-Over
  • Biz Markie at last year's San Francisco Do-Over

Every Sunday during the months where the sun shines the brightest, the question “Whatcha wanna do?” echoes in the minds of those craving booze, babes, and feel-good music. The answer comes in the form of The Do-Over, a Sunday daytime party featuring “mystery” guests revealed only when they step up to the DJ decks. Based out of Los Angeles, The Do-Over was started in 2005 by Jamie Strong, Chris Haycock, and Aloe Blacc. The party went global in 2011, and has featured guests such as Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak and J-Rocc along the way. We chat with Jamie Strong and Chris Haycock about the origins of The Do-Over, party faux-pas, and what’s in store for Sunday. The Do-Over returns this Sunday, September 21, to Mighty.

Give us a brief history of how The Do-Over began.

Jamie Strong (JS): Chris and I used to frequent this random bar in Hollywood called Crane's that nobody really knew about. It had all the makings of the type of laid back dive bar vibe that both of us frequented growing up in and at that point in time, the only daytime parties that existed were typically pool parties with really bad music so we approached the owner to see if he would let us throw a Sunday daytime party in the summer. The vibe at Crane's was pretty much the anti-pool party where it had this backyard BBQ house party-feel to it with an emphasis on quality music. The overall concept of Do-Over and being on a Sunday was to do your weekend all over. The first ever Do-Over was actually a birthday party for me.

Christopher Haycock (CH): Additionally, Jamie and I lived in apartments at the time and didn't have space to have a proper BBQ for our friends at our own places. Crane's became our "house" so to say. I think that really developed the vibe and made things very comfortable for everyone. To this day I feel many people have fond memories of the "house parties" at Cranes on Sundays. Everyone knew each other and it became that gathering spot. It wasn't much different than going to one of your best friend's houses.

What was the idea behind having secret guests?

JS: We wanted it to be more about the music as a whole versus a particular guest / DJ. We are friends with a lot of great DJs that skill and selection wise were equally as talented as a guest with a much bigger profile/following and this put everyone on the same playing field. It was also an opportunity for us to be able to have guests that would be in town for a proper gig, do a surprise appearance at Do-Over and get to play a completely different set that was more in line with their personal tastes instead of having to cater toward a crowd.

CH: I also think it creates an equal balance between the crowd and the DJ. When you take away expectations, people are more open to seeing where things might go. The "mystery" element is a catalyst for excitement. I cannot imagine doing The Do-Over all of these years with a set lineup each week that is released in advance. Where is the fun in that?

DJ Jazzy Jeff calls it the best party on the planet. When did The Do-Over start going international?

JS: 2011 was our first year of international dates which were Tokyo, Manila, London, Berlin, Milan, Oslo, Helsinki and Auckland.

What's some place you guys would like to host and haven't yet?

JS: You'll have to wait and see for our ten-year anniversary in 2015!
CH: I'll follow Jamie's lead on this one and not tease anything.

What's a song that has always gone off, no matter where the location?

JS: Good question. Hmm...maybe Pepe Bradock “Deep Burnt” or Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s 'T.R.O.Y.'

CH: UGK “International Players Anthem,” plus any Stevie, MJ or Prince obviously.

If you guys weren't doing The Do-Over and music, what profession would you guys take on?

JS: Probably still be sitting at Crane's eating chicken wings, drinking cheap beer and playing the lotto.

CH: (Laughs). An architect or marine biologist

What are the top three things a party needs in order to have good vibes?

JS: 1. Good music. 2. Good hosts/promoters. No matter how big or small the event or venue is, it's important that the people throwing the event realize it's for the people at the end of the day so treat everyone how you would want to be treated. Less attitude, more gratitude. 3. Good environment. The environment of a venue is extremely important for the overall vibe and flow of an event.

CH:1. Great music. 2. Diverse crowd of open-minded folks. 3. Lots of booze.

What's the worst party faux pas you guys have seen?

JS: Requests.

CH: Entitlement.

Last year's Do-Over in SF was wild. What should we expect this time around?

JS: Year in and year out, San Francisco is always one of our craziest dates so I would expect the unexpected this Sunday. We have some very special mystery guests and surprises in-store.

CH: Expect to take a taxi. Do the Do responsibly.

The Do-Over takes place this Sunday, September 21, Noon to 7pm, at Mighty (119 Utah), tickets available here.
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Christina Li


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