Local sounds • Tribute band to the '80s answers questions, in character.
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Sporting skinny ties, Brylcreemed hair and horn-rimmed glasses, The Spazmatics resurrect the spirit and music of the 1980s every Saturday night at Liquid Joe's.
The quartet Chester on guitar, Marty the Party on drums, Habib Aboob on bass and Louis Lipshitz singing offer a set list than includes dusting off Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance," Kim Wilde's "Kids in America," Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and Madonna's "Material Girl," gender being immaterial.
The band has become so popular at the Salt Lake City club that it's a fixture on Saturday nights. Only one of the musicians lives in Salt Lake City; the other three band members fly from Los Angeles every Saturday afternoon.
The nationally touring Spazmatics answered email questions posed to them in character, to answer how they became the ultimate 1980s tribute band that makes us all wish Members Only jackets, Trapper Keepers and Judy Blume books were still vital parts of our lives.
How did the band get started?
We met at an arcade at the mall for a Ms. Pac-Man tournament and realized collectively that our favorite band was A Flock of Seagulls. We decided to start our own band. We immediately started rehearsing in Louis' mom's basement.
Do glasses necessarily mean that everyone who wears them is a nerd?
Our glasses don't make us nerdy, they make us sexy. It's Chester's fanny pack that makes him nerdy.
Who is your stylist?
Louis' mom works at the Curl-Up-N'-Dye hair salon. She does our hair and helps us pick out our clothes. She's also a wiz with the sewing machine.
Who are your groupies, and what are they like?
The bartenders at Liquid Joe's love us because we pack the club with beautiful women. We don't really notice girls. We are too busy onstage making the magic happen.
How do Salt Lake City and Liquid Joe's audiences compare to other audiences you have played to in other parts of the country?
Salt Lake City has the best fans EVER!
What songs are most requested at your shows?
Girls love Madonna and Prince. Guys love Billy Idol and Beastie Boys. All the songs we play are hits and people can really dance to them. Of course, they don't dance as well as us because we are excellent dancers. Habib's mom is a retired belly dancer, and she helps us choreograph our routines.
Who is your inspiration?
Robots. Because they are awesome.
Saturday nights are alright for the '80s
Who • The Spazmatics
When • Every Saturday night at 10:30
Where • Liquid Joe's, 1249 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $7 at door