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So money they don’t even know it

Erik Vienneau

Seven years ago Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was just getting swinging. They had released a self-produced album in 1994, which they were selling out the back of their old, beat-up tour van. They were busy building a solid fan base doing a weekly gig at Hollywood’s Derby nightclub. That gig would one day lead to their break into mainstream recognition.The Derby, which BBVD revisited last week, held about 300 fans each Wednesday. Just a few years later the band has boomed, and now finds itself headlining for the Glenn Miller Orchestra in front of 15,000 fans at the famed Hollywood Bowl.The swing act known for its appearance in the movie Swingers and for the hit “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight (Baby),” plays at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30 at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.One fateful night seven years ago, at their weekly Derby gig, the “bunch of regular guys,” as drummer Karl Hunter calls the BBVD members, found themselves eating dinner with actress Heather Graham before their set.Graham played the sexy Felicity Shagwell in the second Austin Powers movie and the porn star roller girl in Boogie Nights. But she was there to play a role in a Swingers scene with BBVD.That was a dinner, Hunter says, he’ll never forget.”She is really fine and really nice,” Hunter says, “We just sat back and ate spaghetti with her and tried to pretend it was no big deal. But, if Boogie Nights had been out at the time I don’t think any of us could’ve contained ourselves.”What was more important for the band was what happened after dinner. The director of the soon-to-be cult hit Swingers wasthere to shoot the scene that shows Mike finally landing the hottie played by Graham.”It seemed like no big deal,” Hunter says of the BBVD’s scene in the film. “(The director) was filming it with a camera in one hand and a light in the other. I think they paid us a hundred bucks.”The movie went on to be an underground hit as well as a Hollywoodsmash. The band also landed the track they play in the film on the Swingers’ soundtrack.”It’s funny,” Hunter says, “we didn’t know it was going to be such a big movie.”On premier night the BBVD crew showed up in their aging tour van. “We ran out of our crappie van,” Hunter says, “ran down the red carpet (they were late) and thought it was a great movie. Seeing ourselves on the big screen was also pretty cool,” he adds.After the film and the soundtrack hit the masses, BBVD released another album and the swing craze was in full swing.Hunter knew the time was right for the act to go big-time, like Brian Setzer was doing at the time, but the band members also knew that the hyped-up fad couldn’t last forever.Hunter says they did as many shows and played in front of as many people as they could over the last few years. And as the heat of the swing craze has cooled, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s hard work has paid off. The act continues to pack ’em in and keep ’em jumpin’.Big Bad Voodoo Daddy swings into action at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30 at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek. Call 845-TIXS.


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