Jambay ‘Destination: W.O.W. Hall’ Documentary Now Streaming In Honor Of Band’s 30th Anniversary
In 1989, Chris Haugen, Matt Butler, Mike Sugar and Shelley Doty formed Jambay in Eugene, Oregon. The band toured heavily, was the pit orchestra for the musical Twister by superfan Ken Kesey and cultivated a devoted following known as Team Friendly. Director G.B. Hajim filmed a documentary about Jambay in 1995 titled Destination: W.O.W. Hall that recently surfaced on YouTube thanks to long-time Jambay archivist Todd Kushnir. The 25-minute film is the subject of this week’s Sunday Cinema.
Jambay typically averaged 160 shows a year between their formation in 1989 and 1996 breakup. Kesey took a liking to the band and at one point scored them a gig opening for the Grateful Dead at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium that was canceled due to Jerry Garcia’s health issues. The quartet focused on original material with a repertoire of over 150 songs. Hajim’s film tells the story of the band members on the road as they made their way to the legendary W.O.W. Hall in Eugene, Oregon for a New Year’s Gig on December 31, 1995.
Sadly, the band parted ways shortly after the massively successful show at W.O.W. Hall and before the film came out. “Matt [Butler] asked me if I knew where we could stream the documentary,” said Kushnir, “and I had to embarrassingly tell him that I had no idea. So I contacted G.B., who said if I could rip the DVD and post it I should go for it. I got up in the attic and went through some boxes to find the original DVD I burned back in the early 2000’s,” Kushnir recalled, “and finding some old footage of Jambay at Winston’s in San Diego was a huge bonus, so that was cool.”
Matt Butler went on to conduct Everyone Orchestra, while Shelley fronts The Shelley Doty X-Tet, Chris has played in various projects and Mike is a producer and multi-instrumentalist. Watch Destination: W.O.W. Hall below: