One of the most underappreciated aspects of the gentlemen’s club experience is the variety of music played by the talented DJ’s who set the mood for the dancer on stage, the atmosphere of the room as well as the club itself. Music industry veteran Bob Chiappardi, through his service StripJoints Music, has been helping both unknown and established music artists to bring their club-appropriate music into gentlemen’s clubs around the country.
C.J. Asher – Hi Bob, thank you for taking the time to discuss StripJoints Music with me. Tell me a little about yourself.
Bob Chiappardi – I am a New York boy, through and through. I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Long Island, went to school at Fordham University in the Bronx, moved to Manhattan for 25 years and now I live in Long Island City, which is one subway stop outside Manhattan. I have been in the music industry for almost 35 years; 31 years of that has been running my own company, Concrete Marketing. StripJoints is a division of that company.
C.J. Asher – Tell me a little about StripJoints Music.
Bob Chiappardi – StripJoints Music is an online service where record labels can include priority songs that they feel would work well in the strip club environment. We then work to promote those songs to the strip club DJs so they become aware of them, can download them from out site for free, and add them to their playlist. We promote to 2,500 gentlemen’s clubs across the country and have 600 DJs registered with us that we promote to directly.
C.J. Asher – What is your title and duties with StripJoints Music?
Bob Chiappardi – I am the owner and CEO, so basically I direct how everything runs. We have Madison Dickey who oversees the program, Josh Harris Schackett who works on sales and social media as well as Kyle Radzyminski who takes care of all the artwork design and the website.
C.J. Asher – How did you first get started in the adult nightclub industry?
Bob Chiappardi – Every year, I would get a phone call one from my record label marketing clients who would ask me if I could promote a song of theirs to the strip clubs. I never said “no” to any offer for work, figuring I could always figure it out. I remembered that a guy I know named Don Waite was now working in the strip club industry running a trade publication called Exotic Dancer magazine. I met Don when he had a music industry trade publication called Performance Magazine. He used to come to all my heavy metal conventions promoting his magazine, and that’s how I got to know him. So, once a year, when one of these songs came about, I would call him up and we would put together a plan where I would manufacture copies of the song to insert into his magazine and I would take out a full-page ad to advertise the promotion.
Then, one day, there was a cover story in Billboard Magazine talking about how rap music was breaking out of the strip clubs. A lot of this was stemming from Little Jon and the whole “crunk” movement, which started in Memphis and made its way to Atlanta. These guys would go to a strip club with a new song and have the DJ play it for the girls. If the strippers reacted well to it, they would release the song. If the girls didn’t, they would take song back into the studio and work on it some more or even scrap it and start all over. So after reading that article, I’m thinking about how the record labels we’re coming to me every now and then trying to get their music into strip clubs and there was an opportunity for me to provide a service for them on a regular basis. I came up with the concept of StripJoints. By manufacturing CDs and putting a number of songs on it I from different labels, I could divide up the costs so that it would be affordable for record labels put more songs on more often. Instead of waiting for them to find me, I would turn around and I would chase them down telling them what songs I thought would work well in the strip clubs. One of the songs that was on the very first StripJoints was Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch”. It all took off from there.
C.J. Asher – Tell me a little bit about how StripJoints Music works, in terms of music selection.
Bob Chiappardi – Basically, the record labels and managers of artists have known about us for the past ten plus years. They will contact us if they think that have a song that will work well in the strip clubs. We will check out the song and, if we agree, we will cut a deal to get the song in the program. It is not uncommon for a label or manager to think a song they have would be a strip club song and it is not at all appropriate. Some of the folks have never even been a strip club, but that is ok, because we will always guide them in the right direction. Not worth us putting a cut on the site if not even some of registered DJs will not want to play it. We know that not every song is right for every club, but it needs to be good for a good portion of them. We also check the label release sheets and radio charts each week to see if there is something that we think would work well. We will then pitch the label to include the song.
C.J. Asher – What prominent DJ’s and DJ groups, such as PANDA, have you partnered with?
Bob Chiappardi – Our first great relationship was with ED Publications; this is where it all started. We advertise in their publication on a regular basis and we have a strong presence at the Gentlemen’s Club Expo each year. We also partner regularly with PANDA, Strip Club Radio, A! Entertainment and Planet Platypus. It has been great with working with all these great organizations and each year the bond and level of work increases and improves.
C.J. Asher – Tell me about your first gentlemen’s club experience… how did that go?
Bob Chiappardi – I was seventeen years old. Back in those days, you could drink in New York at the age of eighteen. I had my cousin’s draft card, which had no picture on it, and we looked very similar in appearance, so I was never questioned. The first club I went to was actually walking distance from my parent’s house on Long Island where I grew up. It was originally an old school candy store/soda fountain. I would walk every day with my best buddy and our moms. We were like four years old, we got a nickel each day in order to buy either a comic book or an ice cream (have I totally dated myself here?). Fast forward thirteen to the first night I went into the adult store turned strip bar. It was quite a rite of passage that evening. I saw a dancer that night do things with common household items that are illegal in most states, I would imagine. It was also the first time I was introduced to Jack Daniels. That relationship did not turn out so well and, after a couple hours in the club, I found myself hugging a tree out in the back and expelling everything I had put into my body in the last two days… and then some. To this day, I can’t even smell JD without getting a woozy sensation. From the perspective of a seventeen year old, I would have to say that, overall, it was a great experience.
C.J. Asher – Gentlemen’s clubs have been around for decades and will certainly be around for years to come. What do you think is the long-term appeal of the industry?
Bob Chiappardi – I think the best answer to this question lies in the Tom Waits song “Pasties and a G-String”. “Getcha little sumthin’ that you can’t get at home”. To me, that “sumthin’“ is the fantasy of seduction, passion, access and “strange” all rolled into one.
C.J. Asher – What is the current hot trend in gentlemen’s club, or nightclubs in general, music?
Bob Chiappardi – The dancers are younger and lean to pop, hip-hop and EDM. The DJ’s are older and love their rock. There is a happy medium which StripJoints is trying to nurture. We plan on delivering more rock songs with EDM remixes. I am working with some of the PANDA DJs to help facilitate this. Ilan Fong in particular has been great to work with when it comes to giving me strip club DJ insights on this topic.
C.J. Asher – Do your friends and family know about your work with StripJoints Music and, if so, what do they think about it?
Bob Chiappardi – My life is an open book. And, with my friend Dave Manack from ED’s help, one day a published book. My friends all know about StripJoints and so does most of my family. I think they all like having a go-to guy that can navigate the strip club world. I don’t bring it up to mom and dad, but I have dated many a dancer I my day, so I don’t think it would bother them that much. All the entertainers I have dated have been pretty cool girls. Maybe one psycho in the group, but overall they were great ladies.
C.J. Asher – Tell me about your DJ Pool and how becoming a member of StripJoints Music can be of value to a DJ.
Bob Chiappardi – First, let me emphasize that StripJoints is FREE to our registered DJs. To register is very simple: 1) you need to be a working DJ in a strip club, 2) you need to go to http://stripjointsmusic.com/landing/ and register. There is info on that page that explains what the program is about. Our DJs get free music, songs that are geared for strip clubs, songs before they are released to the general public, exclusive mixes, exclusive contests and promotions, news, reviews, and interviews.
C.J. Asher – What other hot upcoming club service options can we expect to see from StripJoints Music in the near future?
Bob Chiappardi – Two things that I hope to do this year: run a contest where bands would compete to write and record the next strip club anthem, something along the lines of “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Pour Some Sugar” or “Crazy Bitch”. I think that would be BIG fun. I also want to do a cover album where popular artists of today re-record classic strip club songs like the above mentioned tracks… a kind of “strip club tribute album.”
C.J. Asher – I know StripJoints Music is part of the larger Concrete Marketing company. What other projects is Concrete, such as Cloud 9, involved in?
Bob Chiappardi – Very excited about Cloud 9. It is an all-natural aphrodisiac drink that enhances the senses, tastes great and is an amazing mixer for cocktails. We have pre-orders of 400,000 cans, and we start manufacturing 500,000 cans this week. Most of the orders are going to our distributors oversees (UK, Asia, China, Australia) and we are just now choosing distributors here in the USA. Our aim is to hit the strip club and adult retail markets first to build a solid sales reputation. We are planning a real presence at the next ED Publications Expo event this August in New Orleans.
The drink market is jammed packed here in the US, so it pays to have a leg up in less competitive arenas. We will be enlisting the help of our DJ friends to help bring Cloud 9 to market. You can go here for some initial info: http://www.concreteplanet.com/shared/Cloud9_Deck_US_Can.pdf. I also work with Pledge Music which is a Direct to Fan online music platform. Artists get to share their creative process in making an album or music based film project and fans participate to support their efforts. Bands that have used the platform include Megadeth, 311, Joan Osbourne, Slash, Ben Folds Five, Bring me the Horizon. You can learn more about it here: http://www.pledgemusic.com.
For more information about Bob Chiappardi and StripJoints, please visit http://www.StripJointsMusic.com.