Flophaus Society Orchestra
"What's that I hear? It is
twelve o'clock in the daytime
church bells ringing?
"There ain't no church bells ringing. Somebody must be dead."
"Somebody must be dead drunk."
"No, I think I hear the trombone blowin. It must
be that Flophaus again.
The Flophaus Society Orchestra was
yet another one of Mike Ds
many side-projects. The group consisted of Mike D on drums,
the ubiquitous David Sparks on washboard, Paul Henshaw on
bass, Jay Wako on piano, Jeff Baker on trombone, a clarinet
player in a Sear sucker suit named John Bartles, Eric Hubel
on mandolin, and Bosco supplying
vocals, hot cornet, & musical direction. When contacted
by Beastiemania.com, Bosco said, "What? Huh?
Oh yeah, I remember now. Those gigs were real events. Nobody
knew quite what to make of it. Jean Michelle Basqiat wanted
to throw me out so that he could be the singer. We did old
traditional jazz, or we tried to. Our main influences were
Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver and of course Fletcher Henderson."
We can only imagine what it must have been like to witness
the Flophaus Society Orchestra perform. Bosco recalled the
following about the dynamics of the group. In addition
to wearing the washboard David Sparks, who appeared in the
Fight For Your Right (to Party) music video as one of the
nerds, would also pass the hat around the audience which
was comprised of horrified and bemused diners. This was
all going on at the same time as the band was bursting into
an improv chant of pass the flask, which also happened to
be making the rounds. Mike D used to call Jeff Baker 'homeboy
trombone which on occasion nearly resulted in an altercation.
Later, Jeff went on to play with Green Day. It was great
fun. We had a weekly gig at the Odean restaurant (in New
York) and once ruined Gene Simmons' (of KISS) dinner or
so I'm told. This was all much to Jay Wakos delight.
The Flophaus Society Orchestra performed
their weekly engagements in the autumn of 1987. It all happened
following the success of Licensed
to Ill. For Mike D it was a side project that dove
tailed nicely with the endless touring that the Beastie
Boys had done in support of their album. It came at this
point where the Beastie Boys were all looking for different
creative outlets. After the Licensed to Ill tour
ended, Adam Horovitz left
New York to make the movie Lost Angels in Hollywood.
For Adam Yauch it was playing
with his new group Brooklyn. Similarly, Mike D was able
to find creative release by playing in Big Fat Love and
the Flophaus Society Orchestra.