What's In the Wind in Aztlan?

Age is only a state of mind

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: March 11, 2006

What's In the Wind in Aztlan?

Ahhhh, spring time in the Land of 1000 Dances...a little rain isn't dampening a thing, and the music, action and Gente are sounding and looking good as always.

As I cruise through the music Boulevards and Avenues of Aztlan, I see changes that make me smile, and let me know that the Gente is steppin' out and getting involved in their world...and we're not talking solamente los chavalones!

First and foremost, I recently read that 2 leading U.S. advertising & marketing firms have recently changed their "productive, significant, and profitable audience target range" from 18 to 34, to 18 to 49 years of age. If you don't understand that, what it means is that corporate commercials and advertising will now try to catch the attention of people over 34, as somebody is finally getting it that people 35 and over are not dead, not confined to wheelchairs, still matter in society, have jobs and are able to have a heck of a lot of fun, and don't start riots.

Hopefully, the "ghetto" and "jock" appeal in commercials will mature as the audience in the U.S. has.

(I'm sorry, but at my age, I just don't look good in baggy sportswear and crookedly worn baseball hats, I don't gather with a bunch of guys at the office and eyeball chicks walking by from an upstairs window, and I KNOW I won't starve if Carl's Jr. goes out of business!)

Secondly, thanks to Mr. Jesse Perez of Pomona, Califas, for his fine aricle last week (latinola.com/story.php?story=3264), not just for the props he gave yours truly, but for his significant title and opening statement to the Gente at large, along with a great description of Chicano happenings.

I have been promoting what I call "That good looking, hip, and slightly over 40 Chicano crowd" for about 6 years, in my endeavor to bring it back and keep it alive, with marvelous results, and now Mr. Perez just straight up calls the over 50 Gente out....and they responded! I got quite a few e~mails bringing Jesse's piece to my attention, and more than a couple liked his statement about the over 50 crowd. Jesse nailed a concept that some people have been hesitant to name. One lady went so far as to say "Hey, Frankie, your over 40 crowd is getting older, but better! Keep up!".

When I was in my 20's, I thought 40 as the beginning of old age. When I hit 30, I figured "time to start planning some retirement." When I hit 40, I was suprised at how good I felt (some aches & pains, of course) but the payoff of taking care of myself has been immense.

When I hit 50, I began to notice that there are a lot of Gente that don't need to slow down on their own time, and they're not alone. More clubs are beginning to cater to Veterano crowd. My 2nd Time Around Show on 3 Internet radio Stations (kclafm.com, Chicanoexpress.com, QVORadio.com), with over 2 million combined listeners World wide, are testament that the music will never die.

At The gym I go to, I sometimes stare in puzzled awe (and I must admit a little envy) when I see some of the older dudes (I'm talking over 60 now) still bench pressing, treadmilling, and swimming, along with the older "mamas" that can hang in a 20 minute aerobics class then hit the weight machines, and they are STILL turning heads as they strut on by. (Go on with your bad self, abuelita!)...makes this 50 something youngster want to hang in there and do right!

As I've said many times before, as long as there's music and dancing, you'll never catch me just kickin' it on the porch munchin' nachos waiting for a check in the mail.
Music is a fountain of youth, and I do drink from it regularly.

"Older" people today are a lot more together & active than "Older" people as recent as just 30 years ago. Age has now been reduced to just a number, Mi Gente.

Movies, concerts, dances, comedy shows, stageplays, nightclubs, and other public venues are on the rise for those of us Veteranos that make the word "older" just another verb in the new millenium.

Last week, CORY SILVA, ROCKY PADILLA, and SPICE rocked it hard for the Gente at The Montebello Inn. Some younger Gente were there, and I gave them a shot in front of the crowd with their rap, (not bad) but what I appreciated more was their looks of astonishment that here they were, probably the first time at a club in the midst of Veteranos, and most of Veteranos were on the dance floor...and THEY WEREN'T!

The week after, Thee Mr. Duran (pictured) started off his "Montebello Thursdays" at The Montebello Inn, bringing in the older crowd that misses the Puente Hills Hop, with "NightFlight2" and "Custom Made" on the stage, playin' them Old School & Motown Oldies.

TIERRA and SATISFACTION got it on in an old fashioned East Side Battle of the Bands in Downtown L.A. to a capacity crowd.

Gilbert Esquivel and Co. bring his famed "Old School Music and Comedy Revue Show" back to the San Fernando Valley on March 17th by popular demand. Puro Veterano action, here!

Anticipation is brewing in L.A. big time, for the coming of WAR at the Quiet Cannon Restaurant & Country Club in Montebello March 18th, and the return appearance of SOTO to the Montebello Inn March 24th.

Pepe Marquez and his band release his 3rd CD up in Santa Barbara on March 24th, where I will host and Emcee, joined by comedian Ernie "G", The Misbehavin' Band, and the Pepe Marquez Band. At time of this writing, it's almost a sold out event.

None of these performers will you EVER see on MTV or the Disney Channel, and a lot of us are closer to retirement than the high school prom.

Longevity is a beautiful melody, no?

Keep your eye on the LatinoLA.com calender page for the best in Latino entertainment!

CHICANO MUSIC....need we say more?

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme's webpage: www.frankiefirme.50megs.com
e~mail: FrankieFirme@yahoo.com

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