Trippin' to Texas - Part One

Journey thru Aztlan on a cultural and musical exchange

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: November 17, 2005

Trippin' to Texas - Part One

Ahhhh....back in the Land of 1000 Dances, the City of Angels, Califas. Home and my beautiful golden haired Lady never looked so good!

After 6 days and over 5,000 miles on the road, this mission for LatinoLA has come to a safe and happy ending, with Chicano music de Southern Califas and the word of Aztlan that is LatinoLA, now being heard and read by the Gente in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

A cultural, musical exchange between many tribes, if you will.

A couple of weeks ago, music promoter Steven Chavez, renowned Texas Internet DJ Crazy Chuy Hernandez, our very own Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr., and I discussed the possibility of taking our cruise thru the musical boulevards of Aztlan on the highway, to meet some of the good Gente of different states throughout Aztlan who have connected with us thru the magic medium that is the Internet, and sample the varied flavors of the diverse locations that are what make Aztlan the Land of 1000 Dances, and connect on a personal level.

(That's me pictured on the far left, joined by Crazy Chuy Hernandez, Juanita Hernandez, and Steven Chavez)

Ya sabes...it's a Brown thing, baby!

That, and the opportunity to return visits to our distinguished friends Mr. Crazy Chuy Hernandez, Mario and MaryAnn "DHOC" Gonzalez, and Tony "Ham" Guerrero in the mythical land of Tejas was a calling from the Azteca Goddess of Ritmo that was irresistable and well overdue. To top it off, I was genuinely honored (not to mention joyously flabbergasted)to be invited to attend the prestigious Tejano Music R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony in Alice, Texas, to be the first non~Tejano to appear as a guest award presenter on stage with Crazy Chuy Hernandez. Talk about a rush!!

So it was, after some initial contacts and lots of logistical planning, that myself, Steven Chavez and Pepe Marquez packed our bags and hit the road, armed with music graciously donated by Hector Gonzalez of Rampart Records, The East L.A. Revue All Star Band, Aaron Ballesteros & APB, SATISFACTION, Chico Band, The COMPANY Band, and of course Pepe Marquez, and headed for eastside Aztlan.

Driving all night, the sunrise greeted us in Gallup, New Mexico, where our first stop was a radio guest spot with Sammy Chioda and Al "Drive-in" Rangel of KYVA FM, where we were interviewed and allowed to spotlight some our music, and Steven Chavez was able to give out the 411 about the Eastside Sound de Califas. During the show, the telephone lines lit up as listeners wished us well on our trek to Texas and a couple were lucky enough to score on a couple of Pepe Marquez CD's.

After a brief brunch among the locals in cowboy hats, we headed off for Albequerque, New Mexico, where we landed at Real Oldies 1600 AM, where Mr. Vince Guillen and "The Real Oldies" Show was in progress. Welcoming us warmly, Vince put us on the air immediately, interviewing Pepe Marquez while playing his music, along with tunes from the other groups we had brought, most notably Steven Chavez's Eastside Sound collection. The highlight of the show was an on air call in from legendary diva Rosie Hamlin of ROSIE & THE ORIGINALS, welcoming us to New Mexico, and letting us know that news of our trip was getting around, thanks to articles in LatinoLA.com, which has quite a natonal following.

Leaving the radio station afterwards, Vince Guillen took us on a short tour of "El Burqe", landing us at Garcia's Restaurant in downtown Albuquerque, for some of the finest New Mexico cooking in town. (...and FINE it was!!) After lunch, we headed towards Cristy Record Store in downtown, a landmark in Albuquerque, where we were greeted by DJ Fred "Fredtastico" DeHerrera and Ricardo Maldonado, for some music chit-chat and of course, a generous music exchange. The Gente de New Mexico were quite friendly in their welcome, the best part being the appreciation of Chicano music that easily rivals my side of the planet.

During the day, we received calls of well wishes from SATISFACTION's Chris Reserva, Steve Salas, "the Man" himself: Thee Mr. Richard Duran, Ruben Molina, and of course, our Ladies.(..a good Brown woman NEVER lets her man forget where the home and heart is!)

Catching a beautiful New Mexico sunset, we pulled into the Chavez Ranch just outside downtown Albuquerque for some well deserved rest and a critique of the day. Tired but inspired, we looked forward to entering the great state of Texas and hooking up with the "Godfather of Tejano ~ Chicano Soul", Mr. Crazy Chuy Hernandez.

...but first, some well deserved rest!

PART II : Texas...ajua!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme's website: http://www.frankiefirme.50megs.com

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