chicano cable hot wired news network : revisit con frankie firma
reflection on your visit of texas y 2006 y la onda
Published on LatinoLA: February 17, 2006
Orale, David. Welcome back to the Land of 1000 Dances. Doing great, thanks . How are you?
?On all your travels??.
Steven, Pepe and I were welcomed warmly by the Gente in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We were honored to be at the Tejano R.O.O.T.S Hall of Fame Ceremony in Alice, and we met a lot of real good people. We got to party con Mario & MaryAnn ?DHOC? Gonzalez, Bobby Butler, Ham Guerrero and his son Alfredo, their lovely Ladies, and the guys from The Latin Express Band were simply ?in the zone?. Of course Crazy Chuy Hernandez and I came in our customary Zoot Suits, and The Latin Express Band opened things up with a ?pachuco boogie? song in our honor, publicly welcoming Steven Chavez, Pepe Marquez, and myself. Everywhere we went and met the Gente, the food , drink, and love flowed. It was a truly memorable experience. On the way back, we stopped in San Antonio and were guests of Robert and Dolores Gonzalez, and they made us a feast, and gifts of music. Crazy Chuy Hernandez and his family gave us a real nice personal tour of Dallas and San Antonio.
?Your exploration of Texas??.
First of all, Texas is BIG!! We made stops in Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Adrian, Waco, Waxahachie, and of course Alice. Every town I went to, I put on the radio and checked out the local radio action. It?s very evident that La Onda is alive, but for some reason, people seem somewhat disconnected. I don?t know, maybe it?s the distance, but people in Adrian, for instance, had no idea what was happening in San Antonio, Houston, or Alice. I had mentioned to a few people that Lil? Joe, Ruben Ramos and occasionally Sunny Osuna make it out our way and to Las Vegas, and I got a puzzled look, almost of disbelief, like they were unaware that TEJANO has spread so far outside of Texas proper. Crazy Chuy Hernandez has helped with that BIG TIME, and he has also helped us come into the Texas market with our West Coast sound. Pepe Marquez and Steven Chavez were really surprised and touched that so many people came up to them at the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. ceremony and complimented them on their music. I was really honored to have met so many people that told me they listen to my show It?s all about connecting, forming bonds, and spreading the music. That?s what will keep our people connected for generations to come .I was really impressed with the Latin Express Band and the Saenz family. 4 generations of musicians!
?The latest spin??
First of all, I?m really pleased that the Gente in Texas are joining us in Califas in separating the AMERICAN~CHICANO music scene from the traditional MEXICAN and South American scene. Don?t get me wrong, there are some talented artists for sure, and I mean NO disrespect, but I just can?t wrap my mind around cowboy hats and Norteno, Banda, and Quebredita , and brass that sounds like it?s from 1800?s Germany or Austria. ( I really try not to giggle when I hear somebody booming this in their car in L.A.) Sorry. That?s just not me.
Secondly, since the political~protest scene doesn?t really specify ( and it?s no secret that I hate the word ?Hispanic?) , the Chicano Music scene , bi-lingual and all, is truly an AMERICAN product, made in America, by Americans of Mexican decent. I am not being an elitist, but it used tick me off when the national TV networks would air the ?Latin Grammys? in the U.S. , to a U.S. audience, supposedly representing the American Latino music tastes, and all the winners were from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and South America, with music I had NEVER heard. Where was the Chicano segment, I used to wonder? Who were they trying to fool? Like I said, I?m not being an elitist, and I welcome any artist from every corner of the planet to please keep alive and share the art of music, but not at the exclusion of anybody else, know what I mean?
?What does 2006 bring???
I?ve just celebrated my 1st year Anniversary as a guest DJ on Crazy Chuy?s Chicano Express Radio Network (www.chicanoexpress.com) , and Chuy and I have agreed to continue working together, joining our people through the cultural bond that is Chicano music. I?ve also just started doing shows for Arizona based Q~Vo Radio (www.QVORadio.com), and will continue with my weekly show on KCLA FM out of Hollywood. (www.kclafm.com) . There are a lot of shows, concerts, books, movies, and CD?s coming out that will expose the World to Chicano music on a level never before seen, and it all starts in 2006 ! And I will continue as a contributing writer on www.LatinoLA.com , joining some of the finest contemporary writers in Aztlan today. I?m in good company!
?If you noticed,sir??
First of all, it takes a lot of heart to publicly announce your views and opinions in any website, make no mistake about that. You always run the risk of somebody publicly challenging or contradicting you, and feelings sometimes get hurt. This handful, as you say, has actually set the tone for dialogue that is needed in any forum, if the issues are to produce any positive action. All websites are a form of journalism, and the primary function of Journalism is to inform, educate, and entertain. If it hadn?t been for MaryAnn ?DHOC? Gonzalez?s TEJANOVIEW website, myself, and a WHOLE LOT of people in Califas would have never heard about the state of TEJANO music, Crazy Chuy, or La Onda Tejano in general. I applaud any and all of those who post.
?Comparing la ondas??.
It?s really no secret that las Ondas de Califas y Tejas are so much alike?we?re just closer to the beach and have more of a Black influence in Califas, while Los Tejanos have more of a country and Mexico influence. But we ARE Chicanos, we love music, and as Chicanos, we take what?s there, mix it up, turn it inside out, and do it OUR WAY! Music is geographical, and it just makes sense to see what an audience appreciates, but it doesn?t hurt to experiment. I mean, you?re never going to get a Black Rap group from Chicago or New York to perform at a KKK rally in Mississippi , and expect great ticket and CD sales, right?...then again?ya never know! Music progresses, yet there is an appreciation for a classic element. A middle ground is what Chuy and I are trying to accomplish, and listener participation and support is what?s needed. As I?ve said before, CHICANOS can do it all, in 2 languages. We should try to expound upon that , instead if taking a isolative stance.
?It has been said??.
In Califas, because of density of population, the varied population that it is, and the fact it just happens to be where Hollywood is , there is by far more attention given as the ?entertainment capitol of the world? for sure. Up until the 1960?s , Chicanos, who make up a major part of the population in Southern Califas, were excluded and disregarded as a group artistically, and simply labeled ?Mexicans?, thus, stereotyped into Spanish language EVEYTHING.
After such events as the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, The Chicano Moratorium, Cesar Chavez?s UFW, The student walk outs beginning in 1968, The Viet Nam War (where a high number of CHICANOS earned Medals of Honor for bravery in combat), The Chicano Riots on Whittier Boulevard, and the birth of the West Coast East Side Sound ( a truly unique CHICANO experience in American music) , English speaking, American educated, capable and talented Mexican-American artists became more credible, thanks to visionaries like the late Eddie Davis, founder of RAMPART RECORDS, and Black entertainment legends like Johnny Otis.
I know this doesn?t sit well with a lot of ?Hispanics?, ?Mexican Americans?, ?Spanish Americans?, or ?Latins?, but CHICANOS relish a good fight, especially if there?s an underdog involved, and our side is it. That is not to say that every fight takes the form of physical violence, indeed, don?t let the racial stereotype of the ?Aztec Warrior? color your impression of that statement.
One of the biggest things TEJANOS can do to gain support for their struggle is to LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT IN AN INTELLIGENT, NON-THREATENING MANNER. I remember at the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Ceremony, as I was leaving, some guy in a cowboy hat and too tight shirt, heavily intoxicated and reeking of alcohol, came over and put his arm around my shoulder and literally BREATHED in my face while slurring ??ese..carnal?let the Gente aya en Califas know we got it going on down here tambien..? He had no idea how idiotic he looked, how offensive he was, and my good friend Ham Guerero had joke, ?Hey, carnal?. aren?t you glad he wasn?t up on stage with you??. How could this brother ever expect ANYBDY to take him seriously?
?Is it possible??
By all means, Internet and Satellite radio is World Wide , and formats are not limited to just their neighborhoods. They are the future, and the future is here.
?we know that this year??.
As I said earlier, I just celebrated my first year anniversary with Chicano Express Radio, and the results are more than ever dreamed of ! Of course Chuy Hernandez and his family are most gracious hosts, y la Cultura Chicana is alive and well in their house. Chuy has amassed an impressive library of music that his children will be blessed to inherit, and he has instilled the virtues of respect, education, and responsibility, as well as the love of music, into all his children. He has almost single handedly brought Tejano Radio to Califas!
By all means, yes!! I thank all my fans in Texas, as well as all over the World, for your love and support of Chicano Music, from the bottom of my heart!
?Frankie, it was a pleasure??.
Thank you David. The pleasure was all mine.
daniel lopez is the creator of this wacky world cchwnn. lives in kingsville, tx. the mecca of tejano music.