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Park Sex Is in the News. A Brief Chat With a Guy Behind the Song “Rock Creek Park”

The 1975 track by the Blackbyrds is all about "doing it in the park."

Photograph of Blackbyrds courtesy of Amazon.

According to a recent story in the New York Times, fewer people are having sex in urban parks. What used to be a fun and popular pastime is apparently losing its appeal, at least in New York. Is that also the case here in DC? We don’t know. But Washington does have a history of park sex—at least according to what can only be considered the activity’s theme song, “Rock Creek Park” by the Blackbyrds, which is all about “doing it in the park, doing it after dark, oh, yeah.” Founded at Howard University in 1973 by the late jazz musician Donald Byrd and some of his students, the funk band was revived in 2012 by original drummer Keith Killgo. We happen to be big fans of their ode to Rock Creek sex, so we recently called up Killgo (second from left above) for a very brief chat about the tune.

What exactly does one do in the park after dark?

Plenty of things. It’s where you take your girlfriend with a bottle of wine. After dark, the whole scene changes: the bugs, the sounds, the creatures that crawl around. For me it, was more fun. You could be kind of spooky. Yeah, lots of wonderful things happen after dark.

Have you taken someone special there?

Absolutely. In high school, that was one of the best spots to go. Also, it was sometimes just a place to get away from everything and think, meditate, look at the stars.

The whole song is basically “doing it in the park / doing it after dark / oh, yeah / Rock Creek Park.” Did you ever think about writing more lyrics?

No. I mean, music to me—if you can’t think of anything else, then you’re done. Some statements say everything. It doesn’t take a soliloquy to get the point across.

The Blackbyrds will perform at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts on March 30.

A version of this article appears in the March 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in fall 2016. She likes to write about race, culture, music, and politics. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in International Relations and French with a minor in Journalism. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.