Gracias, Califas

My trip to Aztlan

By Crazy Chuy Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: February 17, 2005

Gracias, Califas

It was an honor for us to come to Califas and be well received by la Raza de Aztlan. My wife and I, flew (for the very first time) into L.A. on Friday morning due to a delay in schedule (an omen, no doubt) and we're received by a welcoming committee of one ? mi Carnal ? who resides in Somis, Ca, an hour drive north from L.A. and going to bed a 3:00 am (5:00am TX, time) which meant I had gone 23 hours without sleep. My wife slept on the plane.

Later that day, I contacted El Vato Frankie Firme to find out what was on the agenda. We were saddened as he told me of the passing of his fiance's mother, but assured me that plans were still on I felt very uncomfortable under the circumtances, but Frankie was adamant and we made a connection that evening in downtown L.A.

(To my raza de Tejas, do not take off late to L.A. on friday evening while raining cause an hour trip became 2 and a half hours on the road).

We finally met Frankie (Man is he hyper, unlike his character on radio) who greeted us with WELCOME TO L.A. and we proceeded to travel to Wilmington, CA (otra hora en camino) to see the SATISFACTION band at the Wilmington Senior Center.

WOW, what a welcome as I was surprised to find many fans who listen to Chicano Express Radio who greeted us with applause and gritos. After entering the center, I met the members of SATISFACTION and the very lovely and talened Eileen Benavides. We took pictures and also met Mr. Duran of THEE MR. DURAN SHOW, (who later interviewed me and Frankie for broadcast on his show, I believe this Wed. on the internet) plus rub shoulder con el Se?or Abelardo de la Pena Jr. of LatinoLA.com who served a M.C. for the night.

I was in heaven when I finally heard SATISFACTION tear it up with oldies, salsa, and Tejano (Thanks for the shoutouts, guys). This band is AWESOME!!!! La raza de Aztlan were very friendly as some came to say hello (not used to the attention) and some were formerly de Tejas. We hated to leave, but Frankie had a itinerary which I must say was tiring. Thank you SATISFACTION y La Raza De Wilmington for having us.

After saying our goodbyes, we again were on the road to the San Gabriel Vally (a 45 min. trip) to La Puente Hills Hop. Upon arriving, the place was packed as the world renown Rudy Salas y TIERRA were beginning their 2nd. set of the evening. HIJOLE, WHAT A BAND!!! They put on a show that had the place hopping as they began with a drum solo by Aaron Ballesteros and then broke into In The Mood with some of the guys dress in ZOOT Suits and then their vocalist Billy Mondrago and Rudy Salas had the girls swooning as they did some of TIERRA's hits.

Billy is an awesome singer who really feels whats he's singing and has a very good vocal range. I was home, Raza!!!! We finally went backstage to meet the guys and take pictures and then went back to L.A. (otra hora on the road) and had an early breakfast at DENNY's and then it was back to Somis (an hour & 15 min drive) going to bed a 3:00 am (MAN, we were exhausted)!!!

Saturday, we traveled to Norwark, Ca for the big Valentine's dinner and show. We were greeted by promoter Steven Chavez of East L.A. Revue All Star band and we also met with rapper KEMO who was gracious enough to come to visit with his lovely wife LisaMarie and son Brooklyn. Then it was off to the room (a suite, how sweet of them) courtesy of Mr. Guy Zimmerman-Ramada Inn & Bruce Soto-SOTO Entertainment & leader of SOTO.

As the event grew near, Frankie was decked out in a black pin-striped Zooter, looking de aquellas, and I in a gray pin-striped Zooter myself. We were escorted to our table and were introduced to the capacity crowd by our gracious host Frankie Firme and he got the party started as we were entertained during dinner by uno de los mejores Mariachi de Califas, LA VOZ DE AMERICA. They were fabulous.

Frankie kept introducing us to many musicians, producers, and DJs who were performing at two other venues at the Ramada, who were very grateful that we are promoting their music on our show. Then it was showtime and Frankie gave us the honor of introducing the East L.A. Revue-All Star Band, who raised the roof con su musica, (now heard on Chicano Express). You know a band is good when an hour set, seems like only 10 mins, que lastima!! Then SOTO took center stage and man, what a show!!! Non-stop music, until the legend Steve Salas, formerly of TIERRA, took the stage. Este vato has been performing since the 60's as the duo The Salas Bros. The night seemed so short, but we were tired and headed to our suite for some rest and hopfully some good sleep. This was a weekend I'll never forget.

Our most heartfelt thanks to all who made our trip possible, SATISFACTION, EAST L.A. REVUE, SOTO, THE RAMADA INN and of course FRANKIE FIRME. Also gracias to recording artists Pepe Marquez and Kemo. Thanks to Richard Duran-Thee Mr. Duran Show, and Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr. of LatinoLA.com. Also thanks to brother Rex & his wife Yadira for the hospitality in Somis, Ca.

Again, Gracias from un humilde servidor y amigo for life.

DJ. Crazy Chuy & Janie Hernandez

About Crazy Chuy Hernandez:
Crazy Chuy Hernandez, producer/host of the Chicano Express Radio Show, heard solely on the internet at www.chicanoexpress.com. Keeping Chicano-Tejano Music Alive in 2005.

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