Burger Boogaloo Brings ’60s, ’70s Sounds to Mosswood

The guys who want to keep the world safe for real rock ā€™nā€™ roll say the Oakland festival is their favorite bash.


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Photo by Lily Chou

For the co-founders of Burger Records, coming to Oakland feels like a homecoming of sorts.

“We love Oakland. It’s one of our favorite cities,” said Sean Bohrman, who co-founded Burger Records with Lee Rickard in 2007. “When our band, Thee Makeout Party, started playing gigs, we had a big following in Oakland. We always had a magical time up there and played better shows there than we did down south. It’s our home away from home.” 

Burger Records includes a label that has put out a thousand LPs, cassettes, and CDs by various bands; a record store that buys and sells music, focusing on classic rock; and a booking company that promotes concerts all over the United States and the rest of the world. The two are based in Fullerton, but they got their start in the concert business in the Bay Area. The yearly Burger Boogaloo at Oakland’s Mosswood Park is their favorite bash.

“When we decided to start putting on festivals, Oakland seemed like the place to begin,” Rickard chimed in. “Marc Ribak, one of our best friends, lives in Oakland and has a natural talent for organization. He’s done a wonderful job of growing the Boogaloo organically, with no corporate sponsorship. Like us, he believes anything is possible in the DIY world, if you put your mind to it. [Oakland is] a great place to put on a party for lovers of good time rock ’n’ roll of all ages, not just punks and stoners.”

Ribak went to high school with Rickard and Bohrman and shares their enthusiasm for seeking out all ages of bands for all ages of fans and quite possibly Bohrman’s reason for being in the business in the first place: “We want to make the world safe for real rock ’n’ roll.”

This year’s weekend concert includes Devo, playing its first show in three years; The Damned, celebrating 41 years of performing; a reunion show for local favorite Hunx and His Punx; plus The Dickies, Mudhoney, and more than a dozen up-and-coming local bands, along with MC John Waters.

“The first Boogaloo was at The Knockout in the Mission, a club that held about 99 people,” Ribak said. “Most indie bands play small bars where you go on at midnight, pack up your gear at 3 a.m., get back to where you’re staying at 4 a.m., and wake up at noon to do it all over again. We thought it would be cool to do a concert during the daytime and bring some more light to the scene. It also gives the younger underground bands an opportunity to play with their favorite groups from the past, the heroes that inspired them to make music.”

The Boogaloo concentrates on bands rooted in the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s, the same kind of music Ribak, Rickard, and Bohrman played in their groups. “Modern rock is embarrassing,” Rickard said. “There’s great stuff on college radio, but mainstream pop is sad.” Borhman agreed. “You’re not hearing the best songs. You’re hearing what the labels paid the most money to get on the radio. You have to dig deep to find great music. That’s what we do with our label and the Boogaloo.”

Burger Boogaloo, Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1, noon-9 p.m., $169 weekend pass, $125 Saturday pass, $99 Sunday pass, all ages, Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., Oakland, 714-447-4280, BurgerBoogaloo.com.

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