Cuts For a Cause: Elroy Boogie Tribute at Mixxwell Audio Lab, 9/3/13

photos by Marco Torres
"I'm gonna make you dance. I'm gonna make you move. I'm gonna make you sing. I'm gonna make you boogie!"
-- Roy "Elroy Boogie" Samano

When a loved one dies, the grieving process can take shape in a variety of ways. Whether its looking through old photos, visiting the special places we shared with the departed, reading their last text messages on our phone, or placing flowers at the grave site: we all find a way. Many times, however, assistance from family and friends is required.

When Roy Samano was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, the city's tight-knit community of DJs and entertainment personalities stood in shock. Roy, who was known throughout Houston and beyond by his DJ name "Elroy Boogie," was one of the kindest, most loving, and most talented DJs to ever touch a turntable. When he passed away last month, our hearts sank. Hundreds attended his eulogy and funeral service.

The Kracker Nuttz (L-R) Klean Cutt, Akshun Kid, Klinch, Dayta, Cipher, Gonz, Protoge, Baby Jae, Smash Bros
REWIND: The Rocks Off 100: Elroy Boogie, Top-Notch Turntablist

Tuesday night at Mixxwell Audio Lab (1550 Westheimer), those same friends and family came together in tribute to Elroy. When a police officer or soldier passes away, there is a 21-gun salute. When a beloved sports figure goes on to the big ballfield in the sky, we are shown highlights of his or her career. So it's only fitting that a DJ be remembered with a mixer and a turntable, or in this case, eight mixers and turntables.

Of the elements of turntablism, which include beat-juggling and mixing, scratching and cutting are the most personal. The DJ used his or her own imagination to create sounds that accompany the backing beat being played. No two cutting sessions sound exactly the same. At Mixxwell, the DJs are limited to the following set of guidelines:

The roundtable scratching session is similar to a jam session that traditional instrumentalists hold in order to practice and have fun with their peers. Being exposed to different talents places an incentive to be at your best when you finally reach your turn.

The audience often cheers and congratulates a particularly exciting scratch session, as heads bob and the next DJ warms up to step in front of the turntable.

Roy's parents, brother, and other family members were in attendance Tuesday, each wearing the now famous Elroy Boogie caricature T-shirts and buttons. The night was held as a benefit to the Samano family, with a donation requested at the door and hot dogs, chips and drinks being offered as well. The minimum goal was to raise at least $1,000 to offset medical bills accumulated during Roy's illness. That amount will be matched with another $1,000 courtesy of the local Red Bull office.

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