I Ain't No Groupie, But...
A month's worth of SATISFACTION
As I've said many times before, one of the wondrous benefits of being involved in the Chicano Music world is the chance to meet and hang out with some of the finest talent of our people, and to gain a perspective as to how the rest of the World sees us.
Published on LatinoLA: August 19, 2004
Sure makes me proud to know that Chicano talent is now being recognized, enjoyed,and respected around the World when hitherto, we were seen as a hindrance to the great white hope and the impression that the entertainment World belonged exclusively in white hands. A few crumbs to the brown folks, and mediocre talent still walked the red carpet and got all the awards. That's the way it used to be...que lastima, no?
This not being said to incite racism, but as a brief historical perspective leading to enlightenment, as new and veteran talent of the Brown persuasion no longer have to alter their names or performing abilities in hopes of "crossing over" to get their fair share of the commercial world rewards and public adoration. Self loathing is no longer part of "paying your dues", appreciated by powers that be, to exert control over small minds. Having a good time need not require sacrifice, other than honest hard work prior.
Times have changed, and Brown dollars are just as good as anybody else's. Orale!
That being said, let me give you a brief glimpse of the luck this old Vato from the 'hood has had lately. And always remember... with me, it's a Brown thing, baby!
One episode of my good fortune began last month, when I was fortunate enough to score on some time with one of Southern California's hottest music groups, SATISFACTION.
Coming off a killer performance at the Fairways Country Club in Pacoima, California, and packed houses at the Lakewood Hop & Puente Hills Hop for CD release parties of their new CD "At last", members of the group agreed to guest on my show, "The 2nd Time Around". The ratings were great, and I received numerous requests for their music afterwards.
Coincidently, a brother internet DJ from Texas, "Crazy" Chuy Hernandez, the legendary "Godfather of Tejano Soul" (www.Chicanoexpress.com), had also been experiencing high audience participation on his show after playing Satisfaction's music. Ever so classy, Robert Benavides, daughter & lead singer Eileen Benavides, and master guitarist Chris Reserva all displayed a humility & respect for the Gente & each other that belies their dynamic stage performance. I could see the love for each other these artists have, that is sometimes lacking in others of their stature.
A few weeks later, I was privvy to appear as co~host on the "Thee Mr. Duran Show" (www.mrduran.com), starring the brown & proud Richard "Thee Mr." Duran, the first and only Internet TV show dedicated to showcasing the best in Chicano entertainment for the World.
"Best" being the key word, guess who his musical guests were? SATISFACTION!!
While Richard Duran, myself, and the whole World watched, SATISFACTION put on a world class performance. Strangely, guitarist (and brother Homie de Bassett) Chris Reserva told me afterwards that due to some equipment problems and space limitations, they weren't able to give it their best shot. Damn, I thought, how much better can you get?
My question was answered less than a week later, when the band graciously invited me to their much demanded return performance at the Puente Hills Hop, in the San Gabriel Valley, California... mine & Chris' old 'hood!
With a sold out crowd, (and a good looking Chicano crowd at that!), SATISFACTION put on an electrifying performance that even had me saying "oooooh" & "ahhhh"!.
Eileen Benavides was beautiful & sparkling as ever, making use of the large stage by struttin' her stuff with smile & style, as she belted out english/spanish favorites like I've never heard her before. As expected, she brought the house down with her trademark song "At last", where you could have heard a mouse pee on cotton as she went into her now legendary vocal roll as the band stood back & gave her the stage for this moment.The dance floor and audience can only stand and stare as "one of ours" shows the world what Chicana talent is all about! You could see the moist glimmer in his eyes when Robert Benavides proudly said "That's my little girl".
Not one to be outshone by his gorgeous prodigy, Papa Robert Benavides easily gave back the love by giving us older folks in the crowd a soulful, heart grabbing, "baby, let's dance" version of the Midniter's classic "That's all" . With chingon Jimmy Silva hittin' the saxophone solo so sweet, I swear I expected chonies to come flying on stage, as the female screams brought chills to my spine when Robert hit the ending vocal roll while going to his knees. (Not bad for an older guy! Ha! No hay pedo Robert!) I could feel the recipricol tears of pride in her eyes when Eileen said afterwards, "that's my Daddy".
Taking in the love and appreciation of the crowd like an intoxicating aphrodisiac, the band then went into a spectacular musical medley, with Guitarist Chris Reserva plying his trade, and showing why he is one of the best in the business today. Dancing, strutting, singing, smiling, and flirting on stage, while hitting some of the most absolutley intense and well played guitar solos I've heard in awhile (Carlos & Jorge Santana, watch out!), Chris made the hometown crowd proud & loud!
Bassist Art Alvarado, keyboardist Ruben Martinez & drummer Ralph Orozco all gave up some solo action that had the place packed and dancing till closing. All smiling professionals, these 6 guys and a doll make for a dazzling performance that will make you want to come back for more!
Mick Jagger probably never saw a truly BROWN performance when he sang "I can't get no satisfaction".
Come to Aztlan, Southern Califas! There's plenty of SATISFACTION here! And so much more to come!
SATISFACTION...as my friends, I have endeared them. As performers, I have come to repect & admire them. As Chicanos...they do our people proud! Get some SATISFACTION!
I'll say it again...it's a BROWN thing baby! My dream fantasy is to someday host a show with SATISFACTION and the great EAST L.A. REVUE ALL STAR BAND on the same stage!
Rumors have it that somebody great will help me put it together! Hmmmm... Keep LatinoLA.com on your toolbar "favorites", because you'll hear it first here when fantasy becomes reality!
note: www.satisfactionband.com ~ and tell 'em Frankie Firme sent you!
Frankie Firme will be hosting the 2004 Latin Oldies Festival in September, and co-hosting along with Gilbert Esquivel on the Sunset Strip for the Chicano Comedy~music Review in August. He spins the best Oldies on the net. www.frankiefirme.50megs.com