Go-Go Returns to U Street:
Junkyard Band with Flex Mathews at U Street Music Hall
7 PM | $15 | 18+
Go-go is the unmistakable sound of Washington, D.C. The homegrown genre, known for its relentless rhythm, used to be a mainstay in the city, particularly throughout the bustling U Street corridor. While go-go’s presence in the nation’s capital has waned in recent years, we’re committed to making it feel like home again on U Street with our Go-Go Returns to U Street series.
For the second show of our series, we’re thrilled to welcome the legendary DC go-go group Junkyard Band to our stage, along with DC’s very own Flex Mathews. Don’t miss this show!
The Junkyard Band began in 1980 as a group of kids playing in a lot with plastic buckets, soda cans and other found objects, emulating the sounds of some of their favorite go-go bands who performed in their Southeast, DC neighborhood Barry Farms also known as “the projects”. The band began to play talent shows and street performances throughout DC, taking audiences by storm with tight musical performances and polished presentations – playing from the grounds of the Smithsonian and Washington Monument, to the streets of Georgetown.
The band became a novelty act across the District, Maryland and Virginia areas (DMV). Their popularity led to a TV commercial with one of the area’s most popular retailers – Cavaliers Men’s Clothing Store. Shortly thereafter in 1983, the band landed an appearance in the movie “D.C. Cab” because it had quickly become a tourist attraction and Washington, DC institution.
Although the band members were kids ranging in age from 9-14 years of age, they began to present an unintended challenge to the adult groups they emulated. In 1984, the band regularly began competing for performance slots in the DMV’s popular go-go music genre. The band’s overwhelming popularity bumped many of its competitors aside.
In 1985, Junkyard caught the attention of Def Jam Records and was signed that same year to a multi-year recording deal. The band worked closely with producer Rick Rubin, recording and releasing the national hit “Sardines” and an underground favorite “The WORD”. After release of the songs, Junkyard began a national tour which included dates with a variety of groups such as Slayer, Fishbone and the Beastie Boys. Following that, in 1986 Junkyard appeared in the Def Jam produced movie “Tougher Than Leather” alongside Run-DMC.
Because of the unique beginnings of the band, it has performed on all types of stages, in all types of situations from street corners, to weddings, to the Apollo Theater, to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The band has opened for and performed with/backed-up numerous artists such as Tupac, Ice Cube, Salt-N-Pepa, Doug E. Fresh, Lauryn Hill, Chuck Brown and so many others.