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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Rotten Robbie's ready for Bears' Week

Posted in: Music
By Alan Granville - 3rd February 2010

Bears' treat: Rotten Robbie
One of California's top DJs happens to be a bear - and he's excited to be heading to Auckland later this month for New Zealand's biggest-ever bear party.

Rob Doughty, aka Rotten Robbie, has a career spanning two decades. For the first time ever he is venturing down under with a headline gig at the Tri-Nations Party on Saturday 27 February, as part of the Bear New Zealand week of events. Also on the bill at 4:20 Bar are Australia's Matt Effect and Urge bar favourite DJ Mauri.

We caught up with Robbie and asked him a few questions ahead of his New Zealand trip. You've been DJing for over 20 years, how did you get started?

Rotten Robbie: I was the kid in school with the biggest... record collection and I started DJing dances and friends parties. Then people started hiring me for events, weddings, anniversaries and bar mitzvahs. I started DJing in the bear world about 20 years ago at International Bear Rendezvous in San Francisco, then Lazy Bear Weekend for the last 14 years. Sunday Furry Sunday at Lazy Bear Weekendis my favourite day of the year. DJing for thousands of my friends and peers is the greatest feeling.

What changes have you noticed in dance crowds over the years?

When I started playing for the bears, there was a myth that they didn't like dance music, because The Lone Star Saloon in SF, had a no disco policy. I knew differently and spun the house tunes and they danced. Over time, more and more bears have become DJs and the bear scene has exploded. Now the bears are known as the fun crowd, always up for a dance and a good time.


You've shared the bill with loads of big names, who have been standouts for you?

Opening and closing for RuPaul and the Village People was super fun because they drew big crowds, gay and straight and everyone was super excited and ready to have fun.

How do you describe your music?

Dance music with feeling.

What's your current favourite tune?

In The Ghettos by Scott Wozniak. It is a soulful house track that samples the classic, Disco Nights by GQ. It's funky and soulful and new and old. I am a huge fan of anything
Scott Wozniak touches. Also a huge fan of Sunshine Jones remixes.

Is there any song that you hate playing when asked?

I actually like taking requests, because I'm there to make the crowd happy. It often gives me a good insight into what the people want to hear. It might be something I hadn't thought of and some requests turn out to be the biggest hit of the night.

The ones I don't really like much are the wail-y diva numbers that are just so over-the-top gay. Like that I Just Wanna F*cking Dance track.

Tri-Nations will be the first time you have played in the Southern Hemisphere – what are you expecting?

All of the bears from New Zealand that I've met have been very handsome and friendly, so I am expecting furry, friendly, horny, sweaty, sexy men, bumping and grinding and having a ball.

What do you know about New Zealand?

Everyone I've spoken to about New Zealand tells me that it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. I know that ten days is not going to be enough to see it all and I'll have to plan a return trip, if you'll have me.

Will you be seeing some of the country?

Yes! I'm going to Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Greymouth, Christchurch, Rotorua, and then Auckland. Can't wait!

Finally, what should people expect from the Tri-Nations Party?

The best party New Zealand bears have ever seen!

The Tri-Nations Party will take place on February 27 at 4:20 Bar, 373 K' Road in Auckland. More details about the party and NZ's first Bear Week are on the official Bear New Zealand website.

On the video below: Rotten Robbie DJs at 2005's Lazy Bear Weekend in San Francisco.


Alan Granville - 3rd February 2010

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