Be On the Lookout!

Aaron Ballesteros and APB thank Aztlan

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: May 21, 2006

Be On the Lookout!

"Attention all personnel...and APB has been issued, be on the lookout!

(Police and Public Authority jargon for an important announcement ~All Points Bulletin~ that requires everybody's attention, less something or somebody significant be missed, and the public good become compromised)

...it's like that right now in the Land of 1000 Dances. Check this one out:

East L.A.'s Aaron Ballesteros, drummer/percussionist extraordinnaire of TIERRA, EL CHICANO, THEE MIDNITERS, WILLIE BOBO, TITO PUENTE, PRINCE, and JAMES BROWN bands fame, now has another feather in his cap, as the Goddess of Ritmo de Aztlan has blessed another of Aztlan's musical warriors that represent the Gente Brown so well.

His new group, APB and their first CD entitled "Be On the Lookout", along with their much acclaimed DVD video "?Huelga!", has just been nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 5 different categories, and is predicted to go platinum, according to some sources.

As his friend and home~boy, I'm proud of Aaron's accomplishments over the many years he's been performing, and proud to say that I was the first DJ in the World to debut his CD on my show. Aaron and his Lady Clarisa have worked long and hard on this project, and the efforts of their love is now showing for the World to see.

My Lady and I have become good friends with the Ballesteros's, and despite their hectic and busy schedule, they have not let success spoil them to their friends, which are many!

That being said, the APB band recently gave a free concert at the TOWER RECORDS Bldg on the East L.A. ~ Monterey Park border in appreciation to all their fans for their wonderful support. This was their most anticipated first public performance, and my Lady and I were not gonna miss this one.

The "guy from East L.A. with the green metalflake drumset" fame put on quite a show, singing, playing, and even hosting his own event, which was well received by the large crowd in attendance. He made everyone feel welcome and at home with his jokes & wisecracks, even involving some of the audience to participate in the "HUELGA!" number.
(...was that Pepe Marquez & Gilbert Rodriguez holding signs?...)

APB spotlighted the talents of Aaron (at drums & percussion), Gilbert Stokes,(lead vocals), Steve Falomir (bass), Victor Cisneros (saxophone), Dennis Alvarez(guitar),Bob Luna (keyboards), John Kito (keyboards), and Johnny Sandoval (drums & percussion), and they put on quite a performance,which was enhanced by the superb sound engineering of Phil Reyes and Larry Sallas, who "tweeked it a little" with each song.

Singing songs off the CD, lead vocalist Gilbert Stokes (of EL CHICANO fame) was in his element, belting out tunes and going from genre to genre, just like the CD, and having a good time entertaining.

Besides showing his wit and fine singing voice on stage, Aaron also "wowed" the crowd with his ripping solos at drums & timbales, reaffirming his well deserved reputation as one of the finer drummers/percussionists in the World.

I spotted Aaron's Lady Clarisa, El Chicano's Bobby Espinosa, singer Pepe Marquez, Benny Lopez of THEE MIDNITER fame, Cable TV's "East L.A. Rey" Garza, former L.A. Thunderbird roller derby star Josie "Honey" Sanchez, and brother Chicano Radio DJ's Angel "Baby" Rodriguez and Ray "Maloman" Roybal, all just having a good time and checking out the scene.

"Aaron and I are friends, and he personally invited me tonight," singer Pepe Marquez told me. "We have become fans of each other's music, and as artists we respect and support each other. Driving down to L.A. from Santa Barbara was no big thing for me on this occassion. I really wanted to catch APB live...and I'm glad I did. Aaron deserves this."

"Man, it's about time," El Chicano's Bobby Espinosa told me, "Aaron's so talented, and he deserves it all. I had to come down and support my brother, and damn, did HE sound good!".

TOWER RECORDS Manager Dan Luna looked quite happy amongst the large crowd, and was overheard saying, "This is one of the best groups that have ever performed here." That's quite a statement considering the many fine groups & artists who have played there under Dan's scrutiny.

Like all good songs and all good rides, the show was over much too soon. Aaron and the members of APB thanked the loud and appreciative audience, and stayed afterwards to sign autographs, talk with friends and fans, and just hang out.

It's like that in the City of Angels in the Land of 1000 Dances, among Chicano familia...takes us forever to say goodbye when there's so much love in the air!

Congratulations, Aaron and APB ! Si se puede, Carnales!

NOTE: for more info on Aaron Ballesteros & APB: www.apbmusic.org

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

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