Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? If you see Flash Gordon Parks around a set of turntables -- which you can often do on "The Island" around 3700 Main or other spots like Leon's, Boondocks or The Flat -- it's better than even money you're in for a funky good time. Parks pours an encyclopedic knowledge of soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop and more into sets that will make you think as much as they make you sweat. That's no easy feat, but he makes it sound that way.
Photos courtesy of Flash Gordon Parks
Parks is also an acclaimed photographer who started at his Third Ward alma mater, Jack Yates High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Photography at Sam Houston State University, and in 2005 published a book, The Beautiful Side of Ugly, with poet/emcee EQuality. Combining EQuality's verse with Parks' images, the book aims to, according to its co-creator, "document the beauty of urban areas in Houston, Texas."
Parks says he sees his role as a DJ as "not only to entertain, but expose the audience to music that may not be accessible in familiar arenas." He wants his sets to be a mixture of music-history lesson, memory-jogger and new-artist spotlight, "all the while compelling you to lose your inhibitions and dance."