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Frankie Firme Exposed!

The exclusive CCHWNN interview

By Daniel Lopez
Published on LatinoLA: December 19, 2004


Frankie Firme Exposed!


Our arrival at the Hollywood Bowl was an interesting one. To sore like an eagle on the net is a hairy experience. But we did manage to make here an awaiting our special guest. FRANKIE FIRME. Yes raza we do have an exclusive today for you. An now that interview con FRANKIE FIRME?..

DD: hola frankiefirme Como esta uste?

Ff: doing well, brother, doing real good. Thanks for having me on your show. I'm excited to be here.

DD; I am sure frankie firme que muchos de tejas are interested on knowing more about. So l start con: what are you go at doing?

Ff: Well, I do appreciate that. I was just as excited when you contacted me. I'm honored.
Right now, I'm the producer and host of the 2nd Time Around Show, a weekly 2 hour Internet Radio music show broadcast out of Hollywood, Califas, which primarily focuses on Chicano style, West Coast cruising Oldies but Goodies and Latin Soul music. My show is heard coast to coast and around the world every Thursday, at 6: oopm, Pacific Time. I am also a contributing writer for LatinoLA.com, a Los Angeles based, Latino website that promotes the arts, culture and entertainment news of Latinos. This last year, I've hosted and MC'd many live shows & concerts, most notably the Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival in Oxnard, Califas and the 2004 Latin Oldies Music Festival in San Bernardino, Califas.

I love music, love to dance, and have been a music collector and mobile DJ for many years prior to my show. I try to focus on Latino artists that performed in English and in early rock n roll before it were acceptable to the American commercial public. A lot of people are not aware of the significant contribution Latinos, especially Chicanos from the southwestern United States, made to American music in the early years of recorded music, moreso to the evolution of rock and roll, which has influenced musicians all over the World. And the music is soooooo good!!

Dd: that is great; I can see how you would manage such success. Now frankiefirme what is your opinion on tejano music and its future?

ff: I think Tejano music is great, mainly because it's unique, and favored by Mexican Americans, it's an American (like the Blues) creation, but has kept it's Spanish language roots, and it reflects the unique styles, tastes, and talents of Chicanos in the Southwestern United States, on our own terms.

Many of the artists are adept at English language music, and have their musical roots in many different genres, but to put a colorful "Attitude" , if you will, to a particular style of original music in Spanish that cannot fully be attributed to Mexico or Spain is something that I've always admired...something akin to "the bad boys & girls" of Spanish language music, without the negative connotations or stereotype that usually goes with a style that is not traditional( i.e., less than 100 years old, etc) yet is traditionally appreciated. I was first introduced to Tejano music about 32 years ago while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps overseas with carnales de Tejas. Been a fan ever since! Tejano music just gets in the blood and stays there, know what I mean?

DD: you are so right man, I know as a fact que you and I have a neutral friend named crazy chuy?

FF: Ahhh...Crazy Chuy...now there's a guy who lives for Tejano music! Quite a character I might add. Great sense of humor and he has a good idea of what Chicanos/Tejanos want to hear. Yes, he and I are friends, and he has turned me on to so much Tejano music, and I've reciprocated with west coast oldies but goodies & Latin Soul music. Together, we've introduced our respective audiences to each other's music, and both of our fan bases have swelled. Because of the Internet, we can hear each other's programs from anywhere in the world. We're not racists, by any means, but we share our love of music & our gente when we say "it's a Brown thing, baby". It's guys like him that have renewed my interest in La Onda, and help keep it alive. The man is a walking encyclopedia on Tejano music, and has my utmost respect.

DD: what are your long range goals con la onda Chicana, and do you really think que young people even care about la onda?

Ff: Like my beloved Oldies but Goodies, I want to help "bring back, and keep alive forever" the musica de La Onda. Not just because it's great music to kick up the chancla to, but for cultural & historical reasons. Classical music is over 400 years old, yet, it has been perpetuated, copied, performed and appreciated by people all over the world for generations, and will continue to be so. Again, I reiterate that I'm not a racist, but classical music has its roots in European, Caucasian taste buds, nothing wrong with that. But, I am always so proud to call myself CHICANO, and I don't share the same taste buds. That being said, why can't the same respect & appreciation be bestowed on music that has comes from the heart of Brown people? If you're not exposed to it, you don't know it, and it will die with its creators. I say expose it by playing it loud & playing it proud. I just can't see my friends & family prancing around to Mozart & Beethoven and talking about having a good time! But throw on some Lil' Joe, Tortilla Factory, Tierra, or East L.A. Revue, and you got a party!

Young people have the natural tribal ability to learn from their elders if exposed & presented to well, and will perpetuate and pass on what they've learned, if they've learned in a positive manner with good role models. I mean I can't see stuff like "grunge rock", "glitter rock" or "heavy metal en espanol" surviving past its initial coming out generation of fans. I seriously laugh when I see some over the hill hippies & former rock stars like Ozzie Osborne looking for same age peers in significant numbers, and don't see the entertainment value similar to a circus monkey they provide for young people. Youngsters might want to "watch" them for a laugh, but they will in no way emulate them in future years, or teach their kids to act like them.

On the other hand, the older generation of performers & their music actually exemplified true musical talent, artistic thought process in their lyrics, and weren't afraid to address human emotions like love, pain, heartache, and other deep emotional attachments like friends & family, without the social put downs and psuedo street bravado that is so boring in a lot of today's music. There are now schools that teach Mariachi, early Rock and Roll, and Blues as an art form to young people. I see that happening with Tejano music. Just look at the brief world wide attention and next generation of copy catters to the Selena phenomena. Its coming back, believe me, and it's coming back in a big way!

DD; now Frankie Firme tells a bit about your family. Married or number of girlfriends or even sisters?

Ff: Well, I was born in Los Angeles, Califas. My father was a "Zoot Suiter" originally from El Paso, Texas, who came to Califas during WW II. My mother was a "Jitter-bugger" from East L.A. Both my parents put the love of music & dance in my 3 brothers and 3 sisters along with myself all my life. I grew up listening to classic Mariachi and Rancheras, along with "Boogie" music of the 1940's & 50's (now called swing), and at a time when Chicano Rock and Roll was just new on the radio, during the Beatles craze & civil rights era of the 1960's. I served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army National Guard .I'm divorced (more than once), and have been blessed with a handsome son, a beautiful daughter and three wonderful grandchildren...all who know music in English & Spanish, most of it older than them.

Currently I'm blessed with a good Brown woman who just might be the next "Mrs. Firme" if I play my cards right! I've also been privileged to meet, interview, write about, and work with some of the biggest names in Chicano music, and enjoyed some of the finest music of a lifetime! I didn't grow up materialistically rich, but whatever I wanted for in life I didn't have, I always had the richness of music.

DD: and finally Frankie Firme, if you had extra money would you send us some?

Ff: But of course!! I support all causes that promote my people and our culture, and it seems you are doing just that! (Where should I send the check?)

DD: gee thanks man. Anyhow thank you very much frankiefirme for your time and comments concerning la onda...

ff: My pleasure, David. And thank you!


Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano style oldies but Goodies and Latin Soul on the World Wide Web this & every Thursday on www.kclafm.com, at 6:oopm, pst.

Well cyber world what a treat for all of us to have had frankiefirme on our news network. From our command post I am David Duran.

?Your business is my business and my business is none of your business?.

About Daniel Lopez:
DANIEL LOPEZ IS THE CREATOR OF CHICANO CABLE HOT WIRED NEWS NETWORK . A SATIRE ON BARRIO NEWS AND WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN. LOPEZ IS FROM KINGSVILLE, TX .




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