Kickin' It With a Legend

Steve Salas rocks Internet radio

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: August 4, 2003

Kickin' It With a Legend

As I've said numerous times, one of the more enjoyable aspects of being an Internet Radio DJ is the chance to meet many of the talented artists, writers, musicians and promoters of my beloved Chicano music world, not to mention the wonderful fans that help keep this music alive. Music is an international tonic of goodwill and I take my spoonfuls regularly.

This month has been most rewarding. First of all, during the month of July, the American Radio Broadcasting Network, the parent company of KCLAFM.com and other stations, allowed me to do two hour shows ( I usually do a weekly hour-long show) for marketing research purposes. What we found out was that I was the highest rated internet Oldies but Goodies show on the 'net.

Secondly, I was invited to co-host the Oxnard Salsa Festival. Pablo Ortiz and Goldcoast Broadcasting Corporation, along with the City of Oxnard, were most gracious hosts. I got to meet some of the hottest artists in Latino music, including heavy hitters like Ruben Palazuelos and Nuestro, Leslie Paula, Susie Hansen, Antonio Madrigal, and The L.A. Mambo Combo. Talk about a party! This was quite an honor for an Oldies DJ from L.A.

Third, I got the chance to meet and have as a guest on my show, one of the legends of Chicano Rock n Roll, Steve Salas of TIERRA fame. Granted, I've been a fan of the Salas Brothers since the 60's, so this was quite a treat.

Initially, I was intrigued by the article in LatinoLA a couple of weeks ago announcing that after some years, Steve has a new CD out. Knowing that Steve, like myself, is a lover of music and can put out just about any kind of genre (Oldies, rock, salsa, Latin jazz, boleros, Latin soul, etc.) I contacted their website after finding out that my local Tower Records had sold out of Steve's new CD.

Not only was I offered a chance to get a CD on the quick, I was also invited to MAS Records by Antonio Perez, Steve's promoter and partner in this new venture, to meet Steve, Antonio, and Mary, the nucleus of MAS Records. I was somewhat intimidated at first, going to a record company and meeting one of my all-time favorite artists, but I was greeted with warm smiles and made to feel like familia.

Steve, Antonio and Mary were most gracious hosts, and I was pleasantly surprised that they had heard of my show. Despite his busy schedule (live appearances,TV and other radio spots), Steve agreed to come on my show as my guest.

Good things coming my way as they have, thanks to God, Steve and I arrived prior to the show to find out there had been a last minute cancellation, and I was offered a chance to do a three hour show. Originally agreeing to a one hour appearance, Steve agreed to stay for the full three hours, and we kicked it like two homies on the front porch.

I was honored to find out that I would be the first radio program in L.A. to spotlight his new CD, beating out the powerful Radio Aztlan homies in Riverside for the honors. To add icing to the cake, I was also privvy to be the first radio program in L.A. to spotlight the hot, new R&B Artist from Austin,Texas, Alfredo Guerero, aka "The Latin Guy", singing his new hit "Sexy Girl".

Despite his being in music for over 40 years, Steve Salas is a suprisingly humble and non-assuming type of guy. While we were playing Alfredo's new song, we both started rockin' out in our chairs, shoulders & heads groovin' to the music, and Steve gave an on air compliment to this young carnalito that was more than a sign of acceptance from pro to rookie. "We have to love & support our own." Steve later told me.

Starting out with some early Salas Brother's music, moving up to Steve's stint with El Chicano, then a beautiful Spanish duet with renowned Chicana crooner Geree, then TIERRA's first national hit "Gonna Find Her", mixed in with the finest cruising Oldies but Goodies (but of course!), the three hour show was not long enough for me! Steve talked about his love for his musica, his long career with his brother Rudy, and some of his experiences during the 40 plus years he has been singing.

Although he told me in between takes that he was a little nervous being that he hadn't been interviewed on live radio in almost 20 years, he nonetheless came across as the music pro he is, even doing a live, unrehearsed sound bite for me and the show. Thanks, brother!

We then moved on to his new CD, which I must say, is a superb example of the musical talent and versatility of this true Chicano icon. Playing about eight songs from the CD, I knew this was one of those CD's that I would be playing over and over.

After the show, Steve accepted my offer to drive him back to his office, as I explained to him that I review the show in my car while driving home through the streets of L.A. every week. The streets of Hollywood and L.A. seemed to be seething with life, a kaleidescope of lights, people, aromas and noises. Cruising down Sunset Boulevard, then Cesar Chavez Avenue, with the windows down and the music playing, Steve and I shared a laugh as only true Gente de Aztlan can, two veteranos tripping on life while listening to Oldies, just cruising down the crowded streets of L.A.

This was a truly memorable experience for me. Steve's new CD "Directions" will always remind me of that day. I highly encourage all Mi Gente to pick it up and check it out. You will definitely not be disappointed!

Orale, Steve. ?Si se puede, carnal!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme spins the finest Oldies but Goodies every Thursday, live at 6:oopm, L.A. Time, heard all over the World, only on www.kclafm.com Steve Sala's website: www.stevesalastierra.com Alfedo Guerrero's website: www.thelatinguy.com

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