with Larry Casserly

How Reggae DJ Redlocks Got His Name

Christopher Redlocks, a longtime KVMR reggae disc jockey, will be feted this Friday night on his actual 50th birthday with a special show at the Crazy Horse in downtown Nevada City.

The 8 p.m. show will also be broadcast until 10 p.m. live on KVMR, since, duh,  that's the time of Redlocks' weekly "Ital Culture" program on the eclectic radio station.  Hey, that fits. 

No matter how big the festivities, it may be tough to one-up the aftermath of his 20th birthday. 

You see, in his teenage years, Christopher worked at Cherry Records in Auburn, where he was musically mentored by store owner Al Lauer, himself now a former KVMR broadcaster and winner of a station Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Christopher is quick to credit Lauer with cultivating his interest in reggae, and he was already beginning to dabble in radio via a KVMR training class. After Christoper graduated from high school, he moved on to Tower Records. 

And when Christopher turned 20, Lauer showed up with a birthday cake that said, "Happy Birthday, Redlocks" and, ta da, that's when the Redlocks part of his name was born. (Previously, he was using his real name.)

And now he's known as Redlocks to just about everyone, thanks to Lauer's cake. 

How about that for a birthday present?

"I didn't really have many locks at the time," Redlocks modestly recalls. "It's funny when things stick like that."

Well, now he's got plenty of them, and he plans on celebrating Friday night by playing rhythm guitar in the roots rock reggae band Mystafya, that he and some music friends formed back in 1994.

It turns out band member Jamal Walker's birthday is Thursday so "we're celebrating all Aquarians, including the most famous one, Bob Marley," says Redlocks. 

Reggae is "rebel music," he muses, "You play some Bob Marley with a little bit of cannabis, and it turns everybody on."

And he describes his "Ital Culture" show, which dates back maybe 18 years, "as a form of creative expression."

"It gives me, not to mention a social forum, but a way to express my views through the music."

Reggae music styles "go in waves", dance hall-driven music was popular a few years ago. 

"Right now, there's a bunch of new roots artists with conscious vibes."

International recording artist SoulMedic joins Mystafya on stage as well as Sista Kat, Dub Culture's Robin Armstrong , along with DJ Jah Mikey One and others. 

"I'm just going to be trying to soak it all in and have some fun," Redlocks predicts. "Jah Mikey can be the DJ on this one."

So 50, huh?

"That means he's wasted half his life on KVMR," quips KVMR Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly, who's handling the radio station's side of the shenanigans. 

Christopher Redlocks is seen doing "Ital Culture" at KVMR. He'll be honored on his 50th birthday in a show Friday night at the Crazy Horse.

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KNOW & GO

WHO: KVMR & Crazy Horse presents

WHAT: Redlocks' 50th Birthday Aquarian Celebration with Mystafya, SoulMedic, DJ Jah Mikey One,  Sista Kat, Dub Culture's Robin Armstrong & others.

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 27, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Crazy horse Saloon & Grill, 230 Commercial St., Nevada City

TICKETS: Free

BROADCAST: Live 8-10 p.m. on KVMR 89.5 FM

WEBPAGE: kvmr.org & crazyhorsenc.com

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DEMENTIA LIVE ON KVMR

A Community Alzheimer's and Dementia Forum takes place 6 p.m. next Tuesday at the Nevada Theatre in downtown Nevada City. 

KVMR 89.5 FM, in collaboration with Atria of Grass Valley and Sierra Nevada Hospital Foundation,  are presenting the free forum, which will feature a panel of experts taking  questions and discussing the challenges of caring for a family member living with dementia.

This forum will also be broadcast live 6 to 8 p.m. on KVMR, pre-empting that night's Evening News and Democracy Now.