If third time’s a charm, then this year’s incarnation of the Burger Boogaloo should be no exception to that rule as the festival expands with its biggest event yet. Set in its new digs, the outdoor Oakland oasis that is Mosswood Park, the lineup spans some five decades of spectacular music (if they’d landed Ronnie Spector as rumored, Total Trash Productions—the show’s bookers, would have had the 60s covered too).
“Isn’t five good enough for you?” Total Trash’s Marc Ribak asks me on the air of my KUSF-in-Exile internet radio show. He’s a repeat guest, but he’s late after getting caught in a traffic snarl. He almost doesn’t make it. We went into overtime and usurped the folowing DJ time slot for almost half an hour. He seems a little frazzled and distracted, but Ribak makes a strong point regarding the quality of who’s on this year’s bill.
Protopunk fans will recall the 70s with Jonathan Richman’s scheduled Saturday appearance, while Redd Kross—sure to deliver a dose of 80s, suburban L.A.-style alternative rock–headlines that same night. Local surf-punk legends The Trashwomen and Memphis’ Goner Records stalwarts, Oblivians propel us into the Clinton years–a time when promiscuity ran amok, and we liked it.
Bands from the new millennium won’t be hard to find either. Traditional Fools represent the decade with no name (in what language does aught mean zero? I prefer to refer to it as the era bookended by 9/11 and the death of Michael Jackson). Ty Segall’s jammier, bluesy, present-day outfit, Fuzz will give the crowd a workout alongside local faves Mikal Cronin, and the fresh from touring Shannon and the Clams.
The radio show ends in the blink of an eye, and Ribak offers me a consolation ride for his tardiness in his “kidnapper” Volvo station wagon. This time around, he’s way more comfortable off the mic and behind the wheel. He can talk freely.
He’s business minded with a work ethic intact and ready to see the planning process come to fruition. It took almost three years, give or take, working with the city’s Office of Parks & Recreation to get permitted for the event to be outdoors. He weaves through traffic going into the logistics of the cost of it all. “You can put security and a fence on a credit card,” he says, “but you can’t pay Red Kross on credit card.”
It’s getting to be crunch time, and the effort to sell remaining tickets and to spread the word has gone full throttle. “I’m not stupid,” he says, though it's something I’m already well aware of. He goes into rattling off the tips to running a successful business. Ribak considers them to be the basics.
Make sure your office isn’t your bedroom is the first lesson. It's not clear if he’s speaking in metaphor. Lesson two is to make sure you get a filing cabinet and that someone untrustworthy can’t break into it.
The third and final rule is one he admits to not adhering to, and it has to do with balance. It basically states that you need to be able to turn off your work at a certain time. Kind of like the adage that you work as hard as you play, and vice versa.
I listen to the advice, appreciative that he’s willing to share. Maybe I can apply this to my own life somehow. Nonetheless, with Total Trash Booking a show of this caliber over the holiday weekend, it’s clear that there are already plenty of winners.
Burger Boogaloo Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 7th in Oakland’s Mosswood Park 12:30-9 pm. All Ages. Day Passes $25 or Two-day passes $40.