For many years now I’ve seen listings for a band called Motor Booty Affair, known as “The Ultimate Disco Tribute Band,” and when I learned that they would be playing in the Central Maine area, (at Madison’s Somerset Abbey, to be exact) it seemed a good time to finally make contact with these four mysterious musicians known only as SuperFly (guitar and vocals), SpanishFly (guitar and vocals), Vinnie “Boom Boom” Funktonio (bass and vocals) and Cyclone Link Skywalker Jr. (drums and vocals). When reached at his Earthly abode in Westbrook, the drummer was very happy to fill me in on all that I’ve missed these many years. I began by asking him how things were going for the four of them.

Skywalker Jr.: Good, things are good. We’re in prep mode. We’re heading out to Seattle for a show this weekend.

Q: Good grief!

Skywalker Jr.: Yeah, we get to do some fun stuff, so it’s a lot of work to it. Logistically, there’s a whole lot to it, you know? It all goes off great, but it’s a lot of work getting there.

Q: How long have you been doing this and where do the four of you come from, if I may ask?

Skywalker Jr.: We hail from the planet Funktar. We’ve been sent down here on a mission and our mission is to funkatize all the unfunky Earth peoples. Our original mission was only going to be a few years, but there’s a lot of unfunkiness in this world.

Q: (Laughter) Oh, that’s the truth, man!

Skywalker Jr.: (Laughter) So, basically we’ve been doing this for 22 years, on this planet.

Q: Twenty-two years! I’ve been hearing about you for a long time and I feel bad that it’s taken all this time before finally contacting you to get this story. I’m slipping here, Cyclone, I’m slipping bad!

Skywalker Jr.: Well, that’s alright, it’s always funny when we run into people from here that haven’t seen us or heard of us and we’re like, “Where do you live, under a rock?!” (Laughter)

Q: You know, this is probably the most obvious observation I’ve ever made, but it sounds like you four guys are having too much fun.

Skywalker Jr.: Well, it’s hard not to have fun when we do this. People will ask us, “You guys have been doing this for so long, so is it hard to keep this thing going?” And honestly, we do 100 shows a year and every time I play it’s like I’m hopping onstage with my best friends. Those are my brothers, and we love each other. We’re all about entertaining people. We realize that if people are paying $10, $20, $30 a ticket you better entertain them or they’re not coming back. So, that’s our approach to how we run the show. But yeah man, we get up there and have so much fun. We feel like the show appeals to everybody from the toddlers to the grandmamas. It’s a genre that has so much appeal that it’s never going away.

Q: And Motor Booty Affair is going to make sure it doesn’t!

Skywalker Jr.: (Laughter) As long as we want to keep this thing going, I think we can keep rolling with it.

Q: And, its funny, but one of my questions was going to be: How far afield do you get with your mission? And you open with the fact that heading to Seattle, Washington, this weekend. Do you get that far out much?

Skywalker Jr: Oh, yeah! In fact, in addition to Motor Booty Affair, we do a show called “Classical Night Fever.” It’s Motor Booty Affair with a full orchestra behind us.

Q: Oh my gosh!!

Skywalker Jr.: Yeah! So, we wrote full orchestration, with the help of an arranger here that lives in Maine and who happens to be my middle school music teacher, and his name is Terry White. He wrote all the charts. We arranged with him and he wrote everything. So, we have an agency based in Boston that all they do are orchestra shows booking us to perform with symphonies all over the country. This weekend we’ll be in Washington, next we go to Columbus, Ohio, with the Columbus Symphony, then with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra in New Jersey, and then in August we’ll be with the Michigan Symphony performing right on Lake Michigan. It’s pretty cool.

Q: It’s jaw-dropping, that’s what it is!

Skywalker Jr.: (Chuckle) We say the same thing. I mean, a couple of guys from Maine and we’ve been to New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas, everywhere. We hop out onstage into these beautiful 2,000- to 5,000-seat theaters inside — outdoors it could be bigger than that — and we look at each other and go: “How did we get here?!”

Q: Have you done any of the orchestral shows here in Maine?

Skywalker Jr.: Well, that’s what got us started. About six years ago the Portland Symphony asked us to be a guest performer and we did a show that was called “Play That Funky Music, PSO,” we did about 10 numbers with them. They provided the charts for a few of the songs, but we wanted to do more with them, so we did the other charts. After that performance we said, “Why don’t we just write the whole show and market it to other orchestras?”, which is what we’ve done. But, what we’re doing at Somerset Abbey is the standard, four-piece Booty show that we do the rest of the time. Which is the beauty of this thing, we could be in a 10,000-seat arena one day and somebody’s living room the next — it runs the gamut.

Q: Is there anything, Cyclone, that you’d like to have passed on to the folks reading this article?

Skywalker Jr.: Just that it’s going to be a show that transforms everybody back to that era of funk and disco and “get down.” It’s a show, it’s not going to see a band. This whole thing is choreographed and costume-changes, and for us it’s about making sure that the people that show up and want to get down have a good time. That’s what this show is all about and I think that’s why it’s been successful here on this planet for 22 years.

Lucky Clark has spent 49 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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