With his flat cap and long, fu manchu moustache, Anthony “Binger” Bellao is an easily recognizable visage during the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO or at other industry events. With two decades in the industry as a club DJ—currently with the Penthouse Club in New Orleans, a nominee for ED’s Overall Club of the Year—it’s no surprise that “Binger” has once again found himself as a nominee for ED’s DJ of the Year Award. The Pub had a chance to find out how he approaches his role as DJ in one of the country’s most successful clubs, while also revealing his favorite music choices in his customized Spotify playlist, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi of StripJointsMusic.com.
THE ED PUB: When and where did you start working as an adult club DJ? What brought you into the industry initially, and what made you decide to stay once you got there?
BINGER: I started in this business technically around 1997. I filled in on Sundays for my friend Glenn Sutherland who worked for the Pure Gold Chain. Southern Pines Notth Carolina. Glenn’s mom passed away and he had to goto the funeral so I was put on a Saturday night, Rockingham Race weekend, with Alex Taylor featuring. I got through it pretty good and made enough money that I never went back to my full time sous chef gig.
THE ED PUB: When did you start at Penthouse NOLA? To what do you attribute the club’s success to (the club is nominated for this year’s Overall Gentlemen’s Club of the Year Award)? What role do you feel you’ve played in Penthouse NOLA’s success?
BINGER: I started Penthouse October 2008. Its consistency on how it treats people would be what I contribute its success too. Entertainers, staff, customers, everyone is treated the right way. Watching the patience of my managers is amazing sometime.
THE ED PUB: How hard is it, as a DJ, to play music to such a diverse crowd including locals and tourists (as well as the entertainers) and keep everyone happy? What’s your strategy when it comes to this juggling act?
BINGER: I think its easy to find the balance between keeping everyone involved happy. Mostly it’s how you talk to them, or respond to requests. Also if it’s early or really late I try to bend format a little to make the girls a little happier. I change up my playlist as much as I can. You would be amazed how happy that makes the staff ad well. No one enjoys hearing the same songs over and over daily.
THE ED PUB: When you’re not in the club, what music do you prefer to listen to?
BINGER: When not at work I listen to whatever it is I can’t listen to at work, mostly metal. But also comedy albums and some talk radio.
THE ED PUB: If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
BINGER: I’d like to see Andrew Wood fronting Mother Love Bone. I was fortunate enough to see most of the Seattle bands before they started dying off, this one would have been really cool.
Where do you hail from: Brockton, MA
Current Club: Penthouse, NOLA
Years employed at the club: 10
Years in the industry: 21
Favorite recording artist: Tool
Industry hero: (The late) Jerry Reid. He did a lot for the industry, plus gave back to the community.
Favorite feature entertainer: Ashley Lauren
Favorite DJ or industry pro: DJ Platypus at Tootsie’s
Favorite part of your work night: Prime time. Goes by fast and by this time in my career, it’s effortless.
Pet working peeve: Don’t try and talk to me when I’m talking on the mic.
Advice for fellow DJs in this industry: Don’t forget where your bread is buttered. The entertainers are the life’s blood of this industry and how we make our living. Treat them like it.