Sunday, September 11, 2016

John "00" Fleming, and the capturing of powerful photographs

Hello everyone,

I hope that all of you are having a good day today. I want to share something with you folks that on the surface might not seem to have much to do with DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM, as it's an event that happened just eight days ago--not an incident from the 90s glory days as chronicled in the book. However, I think you might change your mind about that after you read about what happened at Avalon Hollywood last Saturday night, September 3rd. It was going to be an old-school trance fest, as the headliners were the double billing of Christopher Lawrence and John "00" Fleming. There are few trance artists in the world that have longer pedigrees than these two, and having known both of them for a long time now (nearly twenty years in Christopher's case), I've seen them do some amazing things with audiences. If you're into trance, a night with these guys will not disappoint...and this was certainly the case at Avalon this night. Trading off on the decks on a constant basis, they brought the energy level in the room to a spectacular height.

However, something else was going on that neither Christopher nor I was aware of...something particularly intense and powerful that was going to transform this ordinary night out into something bigger. Much bigger. I'll let Christopher tell the story at this point--this is from his Instagram post about that night.

"I can’t begin to explain what a privilege it is to have John "00" Fleming [as my] best friend and DJ partner. I have never met someone with as much integrity behind the decks and in everyday life. On the night of our set at Avalon Hollywood last weekend, John received the news that his mother had passed just before we left for the show. He never mentioned this to me even as we drove to the show and did our prep and sound check. True to his professional nature and dedication to his audience, he kept silent knowing that I would worry about him if I knew and that it might effect our eight hour open to close show. How he found the strength to do this I will never know.

At Avalon that night he played the most powerful set I’ve ever heard from him. We have played many sets together but this one stood out from the others. There was a particularly intense part when John had been playing pounding techno and the crowd was loving it. I went up to him to tell him how much I was digging it when he suddenly made the dance floor erupt with an incredible emotional melody.

It was only the next day when John told me of his mother’s passing that he said the powerful techno set followed by the euphoric release was when he had been thinking of his mother. It made that intense part of his set all the more special and explained the raw emotional roller coaster his sets had been throughout the night.

John’s mother was always extremely proud of him with good reason and I know she was looking down on him that night. I felt very honored to have shared the stage with him.
It was important for me to let you know what an incredible person John is. So perhaps show him a little more love as he sets out on a three day tour of back to back open-to-close sets in Australia."

This is my photograph of the moment that Christopher was talking about. When I look at it today, it almost gives me shivers, it's such an epic and transformative moment...and I happened to catch it and immortalize it. I won't say it was completely by accident--I was there doing my job professionally, as I always strive to do--but as Christopher said, John was the only one in that room who truly knew what was going on. I didn't know. Christopher didn't know. Nobody on that stage knew. So for me as a photographer, to know that I serendipitously caught the instant where John is just about transcending into some higher plane, and knowing (now) the circumstances behind it...well, these are the moments that keep photographers going. This is what we live for--knowing that we got it.

Here's a link to a YouTube video that I shot that also captures the atmosphere pretty well. Sorry about the noisy quality.

On another, more sobering note, I wish to express my condolences to John Fleming. I know this can't be an easy time for him, in spite of the big outpouring of fan emotions thanks to Christopher's post. And as usual for him, he's going straight ahead into more work, even during this trying time. I hope that he continues to get support from the public in the future, because of course you can't really just cope with something like this.

Anyway, as I said at the beginning of this piece, I believe this has a lot to do with DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM, because just as back in the day, electronic music has the ability to take a moment and transform it, to shape it into something bigger, something more sublime...and dare I say, universal. This is something that has not changed over the decades, from the classic rave days to today's EDM world. Thus, the spirit of DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM is very much alive on today's dance floors, in spite of the fact that the audience has inevitably changed over the years. That Avalon crowd wasn't made up of old, grizzled rave veterans like myself. It was a largely twenty-something audience that was going for Christopher and John trance just as passionately as their old fans back in the 90s and 00s. It's heartening to see that spirit has been passed intact from one generation to the next. It's why, even in the light of the numerous incidents that have been plaguing festivals as of late, that I still have faith in the future of electronic music. This thing is now too big to simply go away--it has woven itself into the fabric of American pop culture so deeply that it will never be completely removed.

This same post is on the DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM web site. Hope that you go over there and order a copy for yourself or a friend. :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Article Series Of Mine Premiering On!

I'm pleased to announce that I have started writing flashback articles for about some of the most memorable raves and clubs during the 1990s and 2000s. You know, the time when everything blew up for all of us, and the biggest musical force in America since the birth of hip-hop was launched into the limelight.

 This first article is about one of the most infamous events in L.A. raving history: the "In Seventh Heaven" New Years Eve riot of 1996/97 at the old Grand Olympic Auditorium (now a Korean mega-church). It's not an investigative piece that delves into the back story of the incident (that function has already been performed by the L.A. Times), but rather a retelling of the chaos and confusion that prevailed at the site, as party-goers began collapsing thanks to bogus synthetic drugs and were taken off to the hospital, while the LAPD attacked the crowd waiting outside.

In addition to my words and photos, there is also some disturbing video showing cops dispersing the crowd that's worth watching.

Incidentally, there is a chapter devoted to "In Seventh Heaven" in DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave. You can CLICK HERE to go to the book's web site and order your very own copy!

More (non-violent) party flashbacks to come later. Thanks to Insomniac for providing me with this platform.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Every Picture Tells A Story: One Day At The Federal Building

June 21, 1998

This is a shot from a protest party called "Celebrate Life", thrown at the Federal Building in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. It was a protest against police crackdowns on raves, one of the few times that the West Coast rave scene got overtly political. Considering the considerable persecution from the mainstream media and law enforcement the rave scene was under, it was remarkable that the people in the scene made their point of view felt in such a public and entertaining way.

What you can't see in this picture is that the grass area in front of the Federal Building (out of frame to the right) is filled solidly with a few thousand party goers, which is why these folks are spilling out onto Wilshire Boulevard--much to the puzzlement of the people driving by. Remember that this area is right near a freeway off-ramp, so that people coming from far-off places on the 405 would be exiting the freeway, and encountering...this. I think the phrase "WTF?!" may have been uttered once or twice. It was a great case of different viewpoints colliding in a most unexpected fashion.

This shot is part of the iBook "DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: The Out-Takes".

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Video Interview With Neon Owl

Hey folks,

What's up? My latest interview is now up online, and it's on the Neon Owl electronic music web site:

We did the interview last month at the Sayers Lounge in Las Vegas during the week of EDMbiz. Here's a still capture:

More interviews still to come! STAY TUNED!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Busy week: new interview article and feedback

Hey folks,

It's been a busy week here at 5150--then again, every week is a busy one in the book publishing business!--and there are some good things to show for it. First off, "DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM" is beginning to collect some great reviews on its page! Take a look at these:

Very cool! Nice to see that people are enjoying the book enough to take the time to say so publicly on Amazon! And here's the second good thing to happen this week: my latest interview piece! This time it's with More Moi Music, who interviewed me while I was at EDMbiz in Las Vegas last June. It's a really good article overall, and while I have some pointed things to say in it, I think that the More Moi people really topped off the piece just right with the following ending paragraph:

"While we weren’t adults raving in the 90s, we and other fellow Millennials, tend to feel nostalgic for times we’ve never experienced ourselves. We long for the simpler times detailed in Dancefloor Thunderstorm, which focused solely on the music, the atmosphere, and the raw energy it could provide. We hope that the resurfacing of these untold stories permeates into today’s DJ celebrity crazed, financially oriented and production heavy dance music culture."

Couldn't have said it any better. Here's the link to the article:

And third, I'm taking part in a new group gallery show in downtown Los Angeles! It's at a new record store/art gallery called Pop Obscure Records, which is on Los Angeles street between 7th and 8th. The show opened on July 9th and was a real success. The pictures were all products of current or former employees of Freestyle Photographic Supplies. Here are a few pics for you:

The artists

 Getting ready for a busy weekend. Hope yours is productive!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New monthly column in DJ MAG!

The good news just keeps on coming! I'm happy to announce that I'm now penning a monthly column in the print version of DJ MAG!

The column is called "Stay In", and it's basically a collection of things to see and do at home when you're not out on the dance floor. It includes video, Internet, software and apps, among other things. Have a look at the first's a pretty good blend of modern and retro stuff that should appeal to both generations of electronic music culture.

In the meantime, have a great 4th of July weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2016


Hey everyone,

Good news! I'm going to be taking part in a group photo exhibition at the brand-new Pop Obscure Records in downtown L.A.! It's co-run by my old friend and colleague Sherry Lee from Freestyle Photographic Supplies, and it's part record store (vinyl only!) and part art gallery.

The show's theme is Music, so appropriately enough I went and pulled some of my good vintage rave material. Here's one of them:

Frankie Bones, 111999
The other participants in the show are first-rate artists, so you know there's gonna be a great selection of works to admire! The show opens on Saturday, July 9th. It's gonna be a great night , and I hope that you can make it down!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Post-EDMbiz Report: Success!

Hey all,

What's up? Yes, it's been a while but a lot has been happening at this end over the past month and a half, and a lot of that had to do with the big EDMbiz trade show at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas last week, where yours truly delivered a presentation on the history of electronic music photography!

The event went off really well. There was quite a number of people in attendance, and the gig ended up being a very interesting and informative one. I ended up doing many interviews with several media outlets, and have more coming up in the near future. DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM also ended up being a hit with the other event speakers as well. Can't wait to go back next year!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

New XLR8R Interview Article; West Coast Weekender Speaking;Dr. Freecloud's Book Signing

Oh yeah, this is good news. One of the great old-school rave media outlets,, has just put out a new interview article with me. It contains not only the usual number of great classic rave photographs, but also a bunch of my comments about my photographs, rave history, and Rave vs. EDM. Here's the link to the story:

Here's a clip from the opening paragraph: "Southern California was on the ground floor when rave culture and dance music exploded in the 90's and, thankfully, the archival tales and photographic relics of that time are now seeing the light of day. In a new book titled Dancefloor Thunderstorm—released in October of last year—electronic music photojournalist Michael Tullberg gives the reader a voyeuristic look at some of the biggest and most outrageous parties and underground raves from the 1990s and early 2000s. Reporting from the center of American rave culture during that time, Tullberg amassed an enormous library of photos, news articles, interviews, and memorabilia—the best of which make up the contents of his book."

Sounds pretty accurate to me. Oh and by the way, it's not only ONE WEEK until Michael speaks on the discussion panel at West Coast Weekender in San Diego!

I will be taking part in the "Music For Positive Social Change" panel discussion on Friday, May 13 at 4:00 PM! I very highly recommend that you attend this new electronic music conference, since there are not only several very thought provoking panels taking place, but also numerous great parties in the evenings, as can be seen in the flyer! It's gonna be a great weekend, so don't pass this up!

And of course, only two days later it's the big book signing at Dr. Freecloud's Record Shoppe! It starts at 1:00 and "officially" ends at 3:00...but of course, if we find any reason to keep it going longer, we see no reason not to take advantage of that! Be sure to make your way down for a day of fun stories and more than a little of old-school rave history! SEE YOU THERE!

Friday, April 29, 2016

New podcast interview on!

Hey all,

Great news - my latest podcast interview is now up and running! It's on the web site, and it's a short piece (just 8:24) that's put together really well by GiveABeat's Mick Jacobs. It sounds almost like a short NPR-type piece, which is pretty cool since anyone can breeze through it without getting bored. I talk about DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM (naturally), and some of the history of the rave scene in North America. Here's the link:

Enjoy listening!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book signing on May 15th at Dr. Freecloud's!

Yes, it’s that time once again! I'm doing a special book signing at a very special location: the awesome Dr. Freecloud’s Record Shoppe in Fountain Valley! The Southland’s legendary original rave music and gear shop (21 years and counting!) is playing host to a great event, where I'll not only be autographing copies of Dancefloor Thunderstorm, but also telling the stories behind some of the iconic pictures inside the book! And there is no shortage of stories to tell, that’s for sure! It’s gonna be a great trip back in time, to the days when the rave scene exploded out of the underground and created endless fantastic memories for those of us lucky enough to have been there! So come on down, hang out, shop and have a great time with all of us!

Dr. Freecloud’s is at 18960 Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley, CA. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

10 New T-shirt Designs Now Out on ARENA.COM!

 Hey everyone! GREAT NEWS…we now have ten new exciting t-shirt designs up on the "DFTS" merchandising page! We couldn’t just do one or two, ohhhhhhh, no! We had to go all-out and put out everything we had in the pipeline! We did this because of the wide range of designs we came up with, as you’ll see below! We’ve got some “DFTS” logo variations, we’ve got three shirts featuring the book’s cover, and we’ve put in a number of great shots from within the book itself! Have a look for yourself at the images below (full disclosure: they’re mock-ups), and by clicking the following link:

Click the image above to get the larger view! Each shirt is 100% cotton, goes for only $20.00 and is shipped straight to your door! Available in sizes Small through 2XL! So go to and get your ultra-exclusive rave swag today!

Thursday, March 17, 2016



5150 Publishing announces groundbreaking book’s availability on world’s biggest bookstore!


LOS ANGELES, CA:  5150 Publishing today announced that acclaimed photojournalist Michael Tullberg’s rave music photo book “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave” is now available for sale on the global sales outlet With this development, now electronic music fans across America can easily locate and order the first groundbreaking coffee table book about the rise of the underground electronic music scene in the 1990s. It also marks the first book from Tullberg’s own publishing house, 5150 Publishing, to make it onto the site of the country’s biggest bookstore. The book can be found at the following online link:

“It’s a great thing to finally be able to put “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM up on Amazon,” said Tullberg. “With such a convenient place to go to, now the customer can get their copy of the book faster than ever before. And, having “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM” alongside so many other high quality works on Amazon’s site means that people can combine purchases with other books about electronic music. It’s a great opportunity to indulge one’s self while diving into the history of this music and culture.”

DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave” is a 308-page hardcover volume that features the electronic music pioneers of the rave era, including Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Moby, Frankie Bones, the Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack and more. Released in October of 2015, the book was first available for online ordering at its web site, Since then, it has picked up numerous praises in the media, including the following:

PAPERMAG.COM: “A new book, DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of the Free, Home Of The Rave, showcases the work of photojournalist Michael Tullberg who documented the rave scene in Los Angeles and Southern California throughout the '90s and '00s. His pictures capture young people in ecstasy (sometimes, we imagine, literally) dancing to the beats of top DJs like Paul Oakenfold and Richie Hawtin along with local producers on the scene. Along with photos, the book includes anecdotes and remembrances of parties, promoters, DJs and more that'll make you want to grab a pacifier and a glow stick and turn on some Prodigy.”

MIXMAG.NET: “A photobook from electronic music photojournalist Michael Tullberg showcases images of the glory days of the American rave scene, before EDM was even a twinkle in Steve Aoki's eye. 'DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave' charts the history of the underground dance movement during the 90s and 00s before it was dwarfed by the stadium EDM concerts that take place today.”

BUZZFEED.COM: “Photographer Michael Tullberg was a witness to the sights and sounds, and his new book Dancefloor Thunderstorm, reveals his first-hand account of what ’90s rave culture was really about.”

LA WEEKLY: “Light refracts, piercing images like those moments when your eyes have been open for far too long. Scenes morph into vortices that blur at the edges, like your memories will the next day. In Tullberg's photos, faces melt and hands multiply. They are photos that make you feel like you are in this moment that you hope will never end.”

DJBROADCAST.NET: No one comes more esteemed within dance music photography than Michael Tullberg. As a self-described ‘rave photojournalist’ Tullberg was there to capture the very building-blocks of the US electronic music scene. His early work documented the likes of Digweed, Sasha and Cox as they dominated the underground massive.”

Michael Tullberg has also picked up endorsements from electronic music virtuosos like the following:

DJ CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE: Prior to the rise of camera phones and social media, it was down to photographers like Michael Tullberg to document the rave scene with photos appearing in URB Magazine, BPM Magazine, XLR8R and many others. He was at every warehouse party, festival and afterhours in Los Angeles from the 1990's shooting the DJs and crowds. Many of my best known live photos during this era were taken by Michael. He was known for his creative photography and capturing the spirit of rave culture. His book is incredible and worth buying as it is a historical time capsule of an amazing period which gave rise to the electronic music scene as we know it today.”

DJ FRANKIE BONES: “Our scene was built on capturing a moment. Michael has done this moment after moment for many years and [DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM] shouldn't be missed. That book goes beyond anything anyone could ever want in a history, blindsided by kids having to pay six installments of $89 to go to one festival.”

KEN JORDAN (The Crystal Method): “I remember the first time we encountered Michael Tullberg. I remember there was this crazy photographer guy on stage with us—around the stage, around the gear, climbing over people and everything! And we thought, who is this crazy person? But then of course we saw his work and his photos, and he’s been a welcome addition to our stage, any time and every time he wants.”

Tullberg’s recent iBook follow-up, “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: The Out-Takes”, is available in the iBook store for only $6.99, and can be found at the following preview link:

Any press inquiries should be directed to the following:

Michael Tullberg
President & CEO, 5150 Publishing, Inc.
P.O. Box 86802
Los Angeles, CA 90086
(213) 321-5401

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

3 new t-shirt designs on!

Hey folks!

Got some good news - three new "DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM" t-shirts are now up for sale at! Two feature the "DFTS" logo, and the third contains the classic "Alien" photo that has always ranked as one of my most memorable. You can check them all out here:

More designs to come, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016



5150 Publishing enters the digital realm with interactive follow-up to trailblazing American rave photo book!


LOS ANGELES, CA:  5150 Publishing today announced the release of a new digital iBook entitled “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: The Out-Takes”. Available exclusively on Apple’s iBooks store in iBooks format, this digital volume is a companion to the groundbreaking coffee table photo book “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave”. Written and designed by electronic music photojournalist Michael Tullberg, “The Out-Takes” contains hundreds of top-quality classic American rave photographs that didn’t quite make the final cut for the “DFTS” print book.

“I’m really excited to be able to release this book in this electronic format,” said Tullberg. “The fact that anyone with an iPad or a MacBook can now instantly access this amazing period in American pop culture history so affordably is a great thing. This may sound funny, but the final stages of editing the DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM book were actually pretty painful…there was so much great material that for one reason or another just didn’t quite make it under the wire. Now the fans of the music can enjoy some of those pieces in a totally interactive way that’s a lot of fun.”

DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: The Out-Takes” is indeed a highly interactive electronic book, with features that Apple users will be very familiar with. Readers will be able to scroll through image galleries, shrink and stretch pictures, connect with Internet-based videos and music, and search for numerous hidden “Easter Eggs” within the iBook itself. As in the “Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave” print book, “The Out-Takes” features the elite of the electronic music world, including Frankie Bones, Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Jason Bentley, Basement Jaxx, DJ Dan, the Black Eyed Peas and more. Also included is a long-lost interview with internationally lauded artist BT, conducted in the early stages of his career upon the release of his “ESCM” album. In addition, there are also links to online videos and streaming music that reflect the classic rave vibe of the 1990s and 2000s. In other words, “The Out-Takes” contains a great collection of material that will keep the electronic music fan occupied for a long, long time.

DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: The Out-Takes” is available in the iBook store for only $6.99, and can be found at the following preview link:

The “DANCEFLOOR THUNDERSTORM: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Rave” print book is available for online ordering at, and at select Southern California retailers including Amoeba Music, Book Soup, Skylight Books, Dr. Freecloud’s Record Shoppe and more.

Michael Tullberg
President & CEO, 5150 Publishing, Inc.
P.O. Box 86802
Los Angeles, CA 90086