To most people outside of the Washington DC area, go-go music is merely known as pots and pans with other people’s lyrics.
To people within the area it’s more than music. It’s a culture, a lifestyle, a way of life.
It’s something so big that it has made it’s way all the way down from D.C. to Tallahassee.
In the fall of 2001, a group of freshman from the DC area formed a go-go band, that goes by the name of the D.C. Tally-band.
At last month’s City versus City Talent Showcase in Lee Hall, many got the chance to see the band live, as they performed and took home first place.
“That was one of our main goals,” said Michael Jackson a fourth year business student.
The original members of the band say they used to hang out outside of paddyfoote listening to go-go music and rapping. Once the idea of starting a band was first suggested, they took it as a joke and never really gave thought to actually pursuing it.
“I think I was the one who really pushed for it,” said Aaron Butler a fourth year health care management student who is one of the bands drummers.
Bussey said that once they realized that they already had or would have access to the instruments necessary, they began to really believe that it was possible.
Once they got all of the equipment they said they still had a big problem.
No dorm, let alone paddyfoote would be a big enough place to practice.
“Luckily, we found the cove cafe to practice at,”said Jacque LaGrange one of the groups rappers and a fifth year economics major .
As months went by the band had been practicing regularly, performing at different house parties, but problems still arose.
They didn’t and still don’t profit monetarily. They were constantly losing members via time conflicts, graduation or personal problems.
“The rest of the band would be practicing and I would be at work,” LaGrange said.
“We weren’t down here to be in a band, we were down here to go to school,” band menber Danzell Bussey.
Another adversity the band faced was the negative response they received from people who weren’t very familiar with go-go music.
In late 2002, the band was performing mostly for selective crowds, but once they felt they were ready they got set to perform at the club formerly known as Genesis to give everyone a chance to hear them.
McLeod said that he can remember a time before he was in the band where they were performing and were charging two dollars to get in and almost no one wanted to pay to come in.
So what kept them motivated?
“It’s not for the money, it’s for the love,”said band member Austin Wilkes.
That same determination is what motivated them to perform at the talent showcase for a crowd that might boo them.
The band collectively agreed that their long-term goals are to keep the band going.
“I want people from everywhere 10 or 15 years from now to hear go-go and say, ‘I know about go-go, there was a go-go band at my school,” Bussey said.
“We’ve come a long way, we went from playing for three people at one time, to winning the city versus city,” LaGrange said.
When asked what they want the legacy of the D.C. Tally-Band to be they have different responses with similar themes.
“I want them to know that we were 1000 miles away from our home soil, nonetheless, we came together and made it happen,” Griffith said.
The band collectively said that the will be back next year to defend their title at the City Versus City Talent Showcase.