Rockin' at the Hop

Old School night in Lakewood

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: November 19, 2003

Rockin' at the Hop

I love music. I love to dance. I enjoy the company of Mi Gente doing the same thing. In this crazy world, sometimes that's all we have as we "chase the dragon" of life. Taking a break from the working world and enjoying good music in a good setting is something I encourage all Mi Gente to do. It's good for the soul!

Recently, I was invited to the Lakewood Hop in Lakewood, Califas, by Mr. Steve Caudillo, to check out their House band, Satisfaction. What made this invitation so enticing is that the Hop in Lakewood promotes "Flashback Fridays", in which Oldies are the main bill of fare every , including Funk, Disco & Rock from the 60's, 70's & 80's. Featuring live bands and a DJ, it's a nice place to party on Friday nights if you're in the area.

From the moment I walked in, you could feel the excitement building as the crowd was warming up on the dance floor to the house DJ, angling to get a good seat near the dance floor and stage. Many people I met were regulars, and they eagerly told me how good the house band was. By 9:30, it was standing room only. A large dance floor, two bars and a colorful ambience made for a great party atmosphere

Satisfaction, a veteran group made up of Jimmy Silva on percussion & vocals, Chris Reserva on guitar, Art Alvarado on bass, Ruben Martinez on keyboards, Ralph Orozco on drums, Robert Benavidez on vocals & percussion, and his beautiful daughter and lead singer Ms. Eileen Benavidez, filled the dance floor from their first number. Easily showing their versatility , Satisfaction took the crowd through a string of genres, including Disco, Funk, Cumbias, Rock 'n Roll, and of course, Oldies. Their tight performance lead one song into another, keeping the crowd happy and on their feet during both sets.

Although different groups of people loudly voiced their favorite genre throughout the night as the band went through their changes, the highlight of the night had to be lead singer Eileen Benavidez's beautiful, straight-to-the-heart rendition of the Etta James classic "At Last." Hitting the high notes smoothly and with professional grace not seen often in such young singers (25 years old), Eileen had the band as well as the audience standing still in awe of her as she went through a 15-20 second vocal roll that earned her a standing ovation before the song was even over.

You could see the pride in Papa Robert Benavidez's and the rest of the band's eyes, as Eileen sang it the way it was meant to be sung. Had she been there, Etta would have been proud! I will be playing that song on my show this Thursday, so check it out!

Afterwards, I was privvy to interview the group backstage. They were most gracious, and appeared to be having as much fun as everybody else in the house! Some of them going back over 20 years together, these guys are good friends who enjoy their love of music. Judging by the reaction of the crowd, it's easy to see why they pack the house twice a month! They also told me they do civic events, private parties, and are featured every year at the Long Beach Grand Prix, among other big name events.

Flashback Fridays at The Lakewood Hop....man, what a party!!

Satisfaction....man, what a group!

Satisfaction can be reached at: http://www.satisfactionband.com
Steve Caudillo from the Lakewood Hop can be reached at: (562) 630-2229 or lakewoodhop@earthlink.net

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme spins the finest Oldies on the World Wide Web this and every Thursday on www.kclafm.com
website: http://www.frankiefirme.50megs.com

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