WickedIn the spring of 1991 a small brave crew of Acid House seekers set sail from south east England in search of adventure.San Francisco was the destination.
They made their mark under the Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach with the first in a 6 year run of wild and lawless full moon parties.
In a haze of psychedelic smoke the crew came up with a name. Wicked was born and consummated the following weekend with an all-night loft party above BPM Records in the city’s sex district.
From here they moved below ground to Jesse Street, a sweaty after hours jam that became the crew’s first weekly residency. Kick off was 2am!
Quickly outgrowing the tight confines of the basement, Wicked threw a series of warehouse parties before settling in to the King Street Garage with their own custom designed Turbosound system and camouflage netting.
By 1995 the parties and Wicked’s rep had grown exponentially. They invited the best DJs the world had to offer to play on the Wicked Sound System. Tony Humphries, Francois K, DJ Pierre, Louis Vega, Roger S, Harvey, Stacy Pullen, Robert Owens, K Alexi, Alton M, Three, Mike Clark, Chez Damier, Kenny Hawkes & Joe Claussel all made their SF debuts at Wicked jams on King Street, Townsend or DNA.
Wicked was the pioneering sound system at Burning Man in 1995. The same speakers went on to rule the late night airwaves each year at Reggae on the River with guest appearances on the mic by Reggae legends Mikey Dread and Junior Reid.
By now word of Wicked had spread across the states. After a couple of years touring in a convoy of vans the crew teamed up with friends in Berkeley and all aboard Clay’s customized ’47 Greyhound bus, took the country by storm.
By 2000 the crew had swept through Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Salt Lake, Boulder, Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, St Louis, Chicago, DC, Baltimore, NYC, Miami, Tampa & Gainesville, spreading their gospel.
After a 13 year run as the city’s reigning sound system, Wicked disbanded in 2004. In 2011, they rejoined for the Twenty Years of Disco Glory reunion and since that time have played in SF, LA, San Diego, NYC, Denver for special one-offs for their loyal dance floor devotees.
wickedposter-editAs a side note, each of the crew has had successful recording careers which began on Garth’s Grayhound Recordings. Before ruling the airwaves with his Noise From The Void radio broadcast, Jenö had several acclaimed remixes on the label. Markie recorded as Defenders of the Faith w/Neil harris and as Wicked with Garth who also recorded as Rocket w/Eric James and as Crosstown Traffic w/Rob Doten. Thomas had notable hits as Mirror Boys and has since gone on to international acclaim as half of NYC’s Rub ‘n’ Tug and Map of Africa w/Harvey.
Between them they have remixed Tribe Called Quest, Faithless, Perry Farrell, Freeland, The Glimmers, The Units, Coldplay, Roxy Music, Beastie Boys. Yabby You, !!! & Out Hud and licensed songs to two films – SF rave flick Groove and Gus Van Sant’s Speedway Junky.
Not a bad run for a salty bunch of disco pirates.