What is all this fervor about a trip to Texas by three homies from California? It?s been done before. I can remember making several trips with friends to New Mexico and Texas to party and visit relatives. So what? Probably do it again.
Well, it caught my attention so I thought I would investigate just a little deeper ?cause The Ayatolla of Rock n? Rolla gotta? knowa!
I started my inquisition by interviewing Frankie Firme, author of the recent three-part story ?Trippin? to Texas?. He is a hard person to catch up with. I was able to meet with him and we had a very interesting conversation, regarding the reasoning and purpose of the goodwill and music promotion tour.
Frankie said that he was invited by the Tejano R.O.O.T.S Hall of Fame to present an award at this year?s awards ceremony in Alice, TX. Lately, he has been working with other internet radio DJs and specifically one in Waxahachie, Texas. He was humbled and proud of this invitation, being the first non-Tex presenter, and he told a few close associates, one being Steven Chavez. Frankie said, ?Here?s his business card. Talk to Stevie, ?cause he?s the nuts n? bolts and I must go.? Wow, Frankie?s a busy cat.
Later finding out nuts and bolts meant planning and logistic, I contacted Mr. C. by email. After several email exchanges, he gave me his phone number and asked me to call. My dime.
We had a good conversation about the cultural and historical importance of the Eastside Sound music from East Los Angeles and its close connection to the Tex-Mex music roots in El Paso, San Antonio and Alice. He mentioned that this is the 40th anniversary year that three songs from East Los Angeles Chicanos made the national charts and he wanted to celebrate the milestone. The world meets the Eastside Sound. ?Chicanos are different but we are the same,? and he finished off the conversation on a rage. Hmm!?!
Neither Steven nor Frankie Firme would make claim to the spark that incited a trek across Aztlan, on a mission to promote Chicano music from here to there to here. They asked several Los Angeles area bands and entertainers for promotional packages and CDs for presentation to music promoters, radio stations and friends across Aztlan. OK. Sounds good but was it worth the time and effort? While making the contacts, vocalist Pepe Marquez, decided to join the posse (that?s how DHOC, one of Texas most talented and gorgeous writers, referred to them in related story). Are the Tejanos interested in California style of music? Chicano rock! Why? I gotta? knowa!?!
I shifted my attention towards the West and got in touch with the entertainer from Santa Barbara, CA. I asked him how his music was received in The Lone Star State? Pepe Marquez told me that, ?The people were so nice and cordial there. We met and exchanged music with many music lovers, and had a great time. Even though I live in California, I was proud of our cultura throughout Aztlan. I liked the sopapillas in Albuquerque, tambien.? OK?!?
I checked out his CD and The Ayatolla can tell you, this Brother can sing! Now he was very interested in the early years in Texas, musical groups like the The Royal Jesters; Sunny Osuna; and The Tortilla Factory. Great history.
With the help of Pepe, I was introduced via three-way calling to ?The Godfather of Tejano Soul? from the internet radio station ChicanoExpress.com, to ask a few simple and non-intrusive questions regarding the intensions and purpose of his associate?s visit to the Lone Star. (Wow, these vatos are seriously high tech and want the word out).
I was a bit nervous contacting this person from across the southwest region, for such a personal inquiry, but The Ayatola gotta? knowa. Mr. Hernandez was very pleasant and had a vast amount of information and history about Tex-Mex music and surprisingly a lot of information about the Eastside Sound and its roots in Los Angeles. ?I am very interested in La Raza?s musical history and the facts about the cultural changes in L.A. in the early 1960s. My wife and I have been there several times to enjoy and party with our family and friends. We love the Chicano style of music in Califas and I know those vatos love Tejano style. Que viva Tejano music! Hey, now I know why they call him ?Crazy Chuy?.
I guess the trip was worth it?!? Chicanos across Aztlan should share in our heritage and history. What do you think? Comments are welcomed.
And so . . . Out of time, out of mind. The Ayatolla of Rock n? Rolla gotta go . . . . I am the guest speaker at tonight?s gala event at the Center for Wayward Homies.
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The Ayatolla of Rock n' Rolla:
An occasional writer who enjoys Latino LA web site and is thankful for the opportunity and freedom to submit written thoughts and positions.