Everybody In! Randy Bettis Spins Gay Days’ Pool Party
Anyone who has grooved to the upbeat beats of superstar DJ Randy Bettis (and if you haven’t, WTF?) will be thrilled to hear that the master of fun music with - gasp! - lyrics, melody and a backbeat will be spinning in his favorite metier, a pool party.
Not just any pool party: On Friday, June 4, Randy will be laying it down for the signature event of the full schedule of Gay Days parties. Randy will be spinning at the new Gay Days host hotel, the Double Tree on International Drive, where, he promises, there will be waaaaay more room to shmooze, to flirt, to catch rays, and, oh yes, to dance.
EDGE caught up with Randy at his BetBoyz Recording Studio in Manhattan on a recent May afternoon, where he talked about his long association with Gay Days, the CD series, and a promotional national tour to promote same.
EDGE: So tell us all about the party.
Randy Bettis: The Pool Party is the official launch for the Gay Days CD from Centaur Records and the tour. It’s my seventh CD in the series. Centaur contacted me to do the first Gay Days CD, and I’ve done all of them ever since. Centaur concentrates on the CD itself, while Gay Days has a whole week of events and their Expo.
The new host hotel has a much larger pool. It’s upped the game for Gay Days.
EDGE: Of course, there are a lot of people coming down, for all of the weekend festivities. Are people up for it this year, now that the dust has settled on the night parties?
RB: People felt so disappointed and felt defeated last year [when Johnny Chisholm didn’t have his planned late-night events]. This year, since Mark Baker has taken over the big parties, I’ve never heard so much excitement about Disney and the whole Gay Days experience.
EDGE: Because, of course, Gay Days was present at the creation.
RB: Gay Days started the whole thing 25 years ago. It can be confusing for people, but Gay Days is the weeklong series of events and the Expo, and Chisholm and now Baker are completely separate. But the guys who come down like to do everything!
EDGE: Tell me about this tour.
RB: Five years ago when I finished my third CD, I personally loved it so much, I said, "We really should do more to promote it, to help promote the Centaur release and Gay Days itself." Last year it was successful, but now it has become the "official" tour. Gay Internet Radio, which partners with Gay Days, was instrumental in helping to set it up.
EDGE: I love pool parties. They’re so relaxed.
RB: They’re very inclusive. They include all demographics. The late-night parties get a younger crowd. At a pool parties, you see everybody.
I love playing for a "mixed crowd." But the challenge is how to bridge the groups. You do have to play some of the pop artists, but I’ve found older artists refreshed by new mixes. For example, for this Gay Days, I found a great new remix of Fleetwood Mac’s "Rihanna." I played a newish remix of Erasure’s "A Little Respect," and the younger crowd was all singing along. Disco is retro, which makes it cool. There’s a lot of reworking of disco tracks.
EDGE: What’s the next big gig for Randy Bettis?
RB: A week after Gay Days, I’m doing the main event for Pittsburgh Pride. It’s a big street festival, with 6,000 people and Deborah Cox performing. It’s my first time working with her. I come on at 10 and it goes until 3 a.m. I’m also headlining Sandblast in Asbury Park (N.J.) in July.
Catch the complete schedule of parties, the Expo, the Festival, and everything else associated with Gay Days on the website.
Catch up with Randy on his website.