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Fantastic Negrito had to cancel a scheduled July 13 show at the Bourbon Theatre, promising to reschedule as soon as possible. That rescheduling has landed a Grammy Award-winning headliner for Lincoln Calling.

That’s because Negrito’s rescheduled show was set for Sept. 21, the second night of the three-day music element of Lincoln Calling. Organizers worked out an arrangement with the Bourbon, and the Fantastic Negrito show is now formally part of Lincoln Calling.

Fantastic Negrito, whose real name is Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, is a 49- or 50-year-old overnight sensation, who was a drug-dealing street hustler in Oakland, California. In the 1980s, he had a major-label record contract, saw his first album under the name Xavier distributed by Interscope in 1996 and, three years later, was in a near-fatal car accident that left him in a coma with a mangled hand.

After taking a long break, Negrito returned to music in 2014, performing in front of BART stations in Oakland and San Francisco to test his songs in front of "people who didn't want to hear them."

From there things started to move for the man who plays “black roots music for everyone." In 2015, he won NPR's inaugural Tiny Desk Contest. That got him gigs with the likes with Sturgill Simpson, Solange and Chris Cornell and, in 2017, he took the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues album, for Fantastic Negrito's debut album “The Last Days of Oakland.”

He released album No. 2, “Please Don’t Be Dead,” in June and was ready to tour behind it immediately. Then the cancellation happened and now he’s another, major draw for the annual multi-venue, multi-artist downtown festival.

Passes for Lincoln Calling are now on sale at The Friday night pass is $25. For now, the three-day festival pass is $40, a real bargain with the addition of Negrito, who would have been a $25 show on his own.

I Remember the Drumstick Gala Friday

On Friday, the north loft of the Apothecary Lofts will host the “I Remember the Drumstick” gala — a party to celebrate and commemorate the fried chicken eatery turned rock club that in the 1980s was one of the top music venues in the country.

The ‘Stick, as it was known, booked a who’s who on the fledgling “college rock” circuit — which included not only straight rock bands, but pop and country acts as well.

Some of those bands became Rock and Roll Hall of Famers — The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who gave the club a shout-out at their Pinnacle Bank Arena concert last year; R.E.M., whose members always recall the Drumstick when I run into them; and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Others, like The Replacements, Black Flag and Wendy O. Williams are legendary — for many reasons. 

Dwight Yoakam talked about playing the Drumstick during his 2016 Rococo Theatre show, and I had a long discussion with X drummer D.J. Bonebrake about their Oct. 1983 show there. (It was a memorable one, as singer/bassist John Doe got into a fight with a jerk in the audience who was spitting on Exene Cervenka, another singer in the band.)

Friday’s event isn’t the first Drumstick reunion. The initial gathering took place in 2010 and more have happened since. But it’s the most elaborate of the events. There will be entertainment, with Lincoln’s live karaoke band Shithook, all Drumstick veterans, plus food (including some of the ‘Stick’s legendary fried chicken), drink, games and the screening of part of an interview with Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers.

That interview is slated to be part of “I Remember The Drumstick — the Documentary,” a film now being shot about the venue. Proceeds from Friday’s gala will go to funding the documentary. Tickets are $30 and $40 and available at and at the door of the lofts at 140 N. Eighth St.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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