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Thursday, May 8, 2014

ALL ABOUT BEAVE: Kevin Scott Hall Interviews Dj Buddy Beaverhausen!

For the occasion of my upcoming birthday (that I celebrate this weekend), I was interviewed by Kevin Scott Hall so I can talk about me, me, me! Kevin is a cabaret critic, Bistro Awards committee member, reviewer and interviewer for Edge NY, the author of a novel (Off the Charts) and a recently published memoir, A Quarter Inch from My Heart. I will be interviewing him about the memoir very soon, prior to his book launch.


Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: All right, Mr. Hall, I'm ready for my close-up.

Kevin Scott Hall: All right! You seem to have equal love for music, film and books. What are your earliest memories of things you heard, saw or read that have influenced your artistic vision?

DBB: Well, I was a media fanatic from the time I was born. Even crawling around on all fours (which I still do at times, by the way), I recall drooling and watching the tv set, bathed in the cathode ray, watching black-and-white things like Your Hit Parade and Perry Como, not really comprehending but fascinated by the songs and personalities. The earliest film to really grip me on tv was something called King Dinosaur. It was about astronauts (male and female) who went to a prehistoric planet. The dinosaurs were played by your typical iguanas and other lizards. My literary interests developed about the same time. I insisted to be taught to read so I could read the Sunday funnies to myself. My Mom and grandparents painstakingly catered to my whim. Voila, I entered kindergarten already knowing the alphabet and how to even read some! As a result, I ultimately skipped second grade.

My grandparents, my mother and her whole side of the family loved pop music and constantly played 75 rpms and 45s in the house. My uncle Pat was just a teenager then and would come home with his high school friends (including girls in poodle skirts and boys in varsity jackets). They'd pop open the Pepsi and put the radio on, playing rock'n'roll. I was the star at their after-school event, scooped up and put on the table, seated. The girls would lift me up and dance around the kitchen with me. This was when I was two and three years old. The spinning around made me giddy and I associated music and dancing with fun. 

KSH: People might be surprised to learn that you haven't owned a television for several years.

DBB: Yeah, the tv that I purchased in '84 died in '99. And it felt like a relief, really. I rarely watched but did love having IFC and TCM! And HBO, frankly. Of course, today, you can stream and instantly view so much on-line. And thank God for friends that have tvs for special occasions like the Oscars. I might buy a big-screen tv someday soon, with DVD, VCR & Blu-Ray hooked up.

KSH: Why do you think gay culture is so obsessed with the diva, the powerful female figure?

DBB: I expect a shrink might say it has something to do with our mothers in the long run. And, with Mother's Day around the corner, I think we should also have a Diva's Day to celebrate annually.

KSH: It's probably hard for you to pick a favorite diva, right?

DBB: Right. [Laughs.] I have to say that of the dance-music divas I've interviewed -- and that would include Martha Wash, Inaya Day, France Joli, Janice Robinson; rock & roll divas like La La Brooks of The Crystals to Martha Redbone -- I couldn't say any single one of them was my favorite because each is unique and brought something fresh to the interview I conducted with her.

KSH: What do you uniquely bring to your role as a correspondent for Queens Our City Radio?

DBB: Actually, my role there is officially Dance Music Promoter. Many of my blog articles are syndicated there and now, as well, at Dance World Radio and Sobel Nation Radio. I think my possible uniqueness would just be in my flippant style and subject choices. I know everyone loves my weekly Diva Dish.

KSH: In your blogging, has anything surprised you about what has been a hit with readers?

DBB: It's all been surprising! Sometimes I write something I think is really terrific, really clever, you know? I spend a lot of time on it. And it just does ok. But sometimes, I just toss something off on a lark and it goes viral. Case in point: my "Advising Kelly Clarkson" article. You just never know what's going to be a hit and that's just as well. It keeps you on your toes. There's no formula for a successful blog piece as far as I can tell. I just try to be true to myself, have a little edge, be a little snarky, add some humor, make it fun, maybe a little outrageous. It must be working. Last month, once more, I had over 13,000 blog hits. And the international viewership of Leave It to Beaverhausen is the biggest surprise of all. I'm read just about everywhere. In fact, I'm huge in the Ukraine!

KSH: From the interviews you have done, did you get any startling revelations from anyone that stand out?

DBB: Oh, for sure! Karin Nagi's life story was amazing. It blew me away. Marilyn Michaels was candid and a real hoot! Like Bob Esty, she doesn't hold back. And I'm always surprised by the very different paths people have taken to become successful. I'm always so engaged by hearing about people's lives; I really consider interviewing a real privilege and a joy. Debby Holiday, Carol Hahn, Amber Dirks... They've all been fascinating. And so sweet! I can honestly say I never met a diva I didn't like! So far.

KSH:  How would you describe the state of dance music today, and what the future holds for it?

DBB: There is distinctly a burgeoning embrace of '70s disco, '80s New Wave, Hi-NRG and '90s classic House styles. I think this is a backlash against the trend of recent predictable, even monotonous, dance mixes of radio pop hits, especially in the USA. Big labels put a lot of money into promoting their products on the dancefloor. It used to be club music crossed over to the radio. But there's new interest in club music especially made for clubs again, and most of this comes with love of the music from indie labels. So, I'm hopeful about the future and the type of dance music my blog promotes and supports.

KSH: Who would be your dream interview?

DBB: Oh, Lord, there are so many people I admire in the world of entertainment whom I'd love to have the opportunity to talk to and dish the dirt. I think it's fair to say I could die happy if I interviewed Bette Midler. I think she's been on her guard sometimes during mainstream interviews, especially on tv, but I'd like to think I could get her "In the Mood" to let loose a little with the right questions and, of course, a little Beaverhausen attitude. She knows her core fan base after all. As do I.