This video is straight POWER. Check out a young Moe Shorter (Junkyard Band, Go-Go Coalition, and everything good and right with the world), a young Mark Te’ago Ward (TMOTTGoGo, Fatal Attraction Band), and the 20-year-old narrator who wanted to share his go-go love experience with the world. Kato Hammond, who had started Take Me Out to the GoGo Magazine in 1996, was sought for his support and assistance on this project in 1997 for the MTV show “True Life Unfiltered.”
When this segment aired in 1998, the young narrator was continuing his college studies. His sister, who filmed the spoken parts of the piece, had just landed an entry-level position at Maryland/DC’s WPGC 95.5 FM and asked Kato for a chance to write for his magazine. Kato did more than give the aspiring media personality a chance; he (and Mark Te’ago Ward) further developed the young woman’s capability to understand and examine DC area music. This pedagogy of go-go was so influential for this kid they called “Agent 99” that Kato and Mark were written in as fictional characters for her first book God Laughs, Too: Incidents in the Life of a Black Chick. Her brother, the young chronicler in the video, went on to graduate from law school and channel his passion for community into a career as an attorney. Agent 99, now “99,” is about to collect a Ph.D. in psychology.
This is just one story of dozens in which Kato Hammond has selflessly given his gifts of data collection, data archiving, data analysis, journalism, knowledge of the DC area, music study and theory, technological expertise, love of family, support of art, and more to students, journalists, academics, anthropologists, authors, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, etc. so that they might enhance their own lives, careers, and bank accounts.
This August 13th, wish a Happy Birthday to the Godfather of Go-Go Media, Kato Hammond. “The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark.”
(Special thanks to Preston Blue [Bag of Beats Records, TMOTTGoGo] for keeping this on VHS in his archives! Dude, you crank!)