When he's not coaching youth sports teams or acting in movies, Al Lamons can usually be found behind a turntable.
At clubs, bars and parties throughout Metro Vancouver, the longtime Surreyite is known as DJ Alibaba, a name he adopted while living and working in Winnipeg in the mid-1980s. He's been a DJ since then, and he recently turned 50.
No question, the youthful Lamons is slightly older than he looks and acts.
"I get told that every so often," he said with a laugh.
Regardless, he's "taking a break" from the nightclub scene to focus more on his latest gig, spinning music videos at several local bars and lounges, including Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey (Thursday nights, as of Sept. 20).
Over the summer, Lamons was behind the turntables for the weekly "Take-off Fridays" daytime events at Vancouver International Airport. He also does weddings, corporate events and boat cruises.
Back in 2002, he was involved in the launch of The Beat radio station, which blasted out of the gate playing hip-hop and other "urban" music.
"Those were the best days ever," Lamons said. "I remember Matthew McBride, the program director there, making a joke that I was the first black celebrity he'd seen driving a black Chevy Celebrity. I used that car and loaded up my records from my house in Surrey and took them down to The Beat and loaded the music into the system. Those were my records."
Lamons was born in Texas and raised in California before settling in the Great White North. He has lived in Surrey since 1992 - "and I will never leave," he said.
On the Vancouver club scene, he became known for staging popular long-weekend parties in the clubs under the F.U.B.A.R. name.
"The name is a spin on what people think it means," the church-going Lamons said. "It stands for Friends United Beyond All Race. With us, it's all about coming together for a positive cause."
To that end, F.U.B.A.R. continues to host yearly benefit events for Make-A-Wish Foundation, including "Summer Splash" at Splashdown water park in Tsawwassen and a golf tournament at Guildford Golf & Country Club.
The sports-loving Lamons loves coaching high school basketball (at Frank Hurt Secondary, most recently) and, when his schedule allows, doing movie work (that's him roller-skating in the opening scenes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2).
On the DJ trip these days, Lamons is stoked to spin, mix and manipulate music videos for bar patrons.
"It's a new thing," he said. "I've always kind of prided myself on being ahead of the game, and that's pretty much how I've lasted doing this - just making sure I keep my finger on the pulse."
Arts & Life Editor