the Washington Beach Bums

the Washington Beach Bums


The Washington Beach Bums like to "Party!" They use party as a verb. Their music is born of said parties, late night jams and inside jokes. It now fuels those late night benders and day after hangovers, replaying like phrases uttered in a drunken slur. Crushing anthems about the lo-fi high-life, thriving through industry, and living in excess.


(appeared in the September 2012 edition of 614 Magazine)
They Will Always Party Hard
Meet the Washington Beach Bums, the best real band from central Ohio’s best fake neighborhood
By Kevin J. Elliott

Ask anyone to map out the arbitrary boundaries of the imaginary Washington Beach neighborhood, and you’re likely to get a different answer every time.

Ask who the signature party band is among the North Campus enclave of students, artists, and musicians, and the Washington Beach Bums will undoubtedly be the definitive response.

Pretty Frank Dynamite, the guitarist and vocalist who helped conceive the Washington Beach Bums in a libidinous after-hours jam, will confirm that, for better or worse, his community needed a symbol – a slightly self-deprecating tribute to the time-honored tradition of partyin.’

“There are a lot of bands trying to pretend like they’re rock and roll, but we were already doing that – partying like rock stars every night, but we weren’t a band,” Dynamite said. “We had to start the band to justify our behavior.”

The Bums may sport a satirical streak, but they insist the band is no joke. Sure, it’s “fun and funny,” and sunglasses and uniforms are de rigueur, but the group is deadly serious when it comes to conveying an atmosphere where everyone is invited and encouraged to join in on the festivities. One choice lyric shouts, “pizza, beer, weed, all, I, need,” which is in essence everything one needs to know about the Beach Bums.

“Party is a verb,” says keyboardist Joey Pizza. “It means actively projecting satisfaction during a specific moment. It’s not about sex or drugs or getting drunk, it’s about being happy with the situation that’s occurring right now.”

It may not sound philosophically profound, but again, that’s not the point. The Bums pound through brash, barreling, energetic odes to quotidian life along the busted concrete coastline of Washington Beach. Vocals are chanted in a gang-like thrall. Horns blast in ebullient joy. Fists are raised through both verse and chorus. These are tails of dead-end jobs, loose rent payments, fast women and faster break-ups, with tongue-and-cheek titles like “Land of 1,000 Ex-Girlfriends” and “Living the Dream Ain’t Easy” offered up for easy interpretation. In terms of providing a voice to the struggling musician and celebrating the underbelly of dive-bar culture, this is as meta as a local band can get.

On stage, the Bums are a spectacle, at least in exuberance and size. Along with Dynamite and Pizza, the Bums boast Gary Party on guitar, Da’ Riddim King on drums, Dolly Partyin’ on trumpet, and Johnny Spacebucks, who in addition to playing tambourine, serves as the Bums’ Flavor Flav-style foil to Dynamite’s vivid intensity. Think of the unabashed party-punk of Rocket from the Crypt or a junk-drawer E Street Band with only ambitions of a buzz, a gnarly kiss from a cute girl, and a full stomach. Can man survive on those provisions alone? In the Beach Bums’ universe, they can and do on a nightly basis. And while Mayor Coleman may never cut a ribbon to christen Café Bourbon Street as one of Columbus’ heritage landmarks, the endearing spirit of Washington Beach’s do-it-yourself debauchery will exist as long as the Bums have their way.

“We created this whole mystique for ourselves, and now you can take it wherever you want. Washington Beach is a state of mind, not a place,” concludes Dynamite. “We all come from this place, whether we still live there or not.”


2012 - "Party!" 12" LP on Spacebuxxx Records