Answering Your Questions
...Frankie Firme speaks out.
After receiving so many inquiries and requests for information, I thought I'd just spread out some general answers to so many of the same questions from so many good people across the Country. I thank you all for you contact, it means a lot to me.
Published on LatinoLA: June 21, 2006
Q: Who is the best Chicano entertainer, music artist, or group in L.A.?
A: That is one of the hardest questions to answer, because of the wealth of Chicano talent. L.A. is my home, and of course the birthplace of my musical soul, but I have to say that many talented Chicano artists come from other places besides L.A., and I respect and appreciate them all for putting us on the map with their wonderful talent.
Chicanos and other flavors of Latinos people have different & varying tastes in music, depending on their age, hometown, and "roots" country. That's what makes the Latino world so beautiful...our many artists can do it all, and in 2 languages. For a partial list of many of my favorite artists, and some of the more popular Chicano websites, checkout the "what's new page" on my website :www.frankiefirme.50megs.com
For the record, my favorite tastes revolve around classic Chicano favored Rock & Roll, Soul, Funk, and Latin Jazz/Funk from the 1950's, 60's, and 70's...and any other music that plays in that form of genre, especially from many of today's up and coming Chicano artists. It's a real part of Americana...it's a Brown thing, baby!
Q: What is the best Latino webpage or web magazine in L.A.?
A: Again, that is a hard question to answer because of the variety of choices people have, and my respect for people's freedom of choice. My personal choices of course (besides my own) would be LatinoLA.com, eastLArevue.com, and Xispas.com for a number of reasons.
Mostly because of the objectivity of the editors, and because they are 3 of the last webpages not inappropriately labeling themselves "# 1" ad nauseum (God, that is such an overused, insignificant, and burnt out term).
Secondly, because of their adherance to the principles of true journalism: To inform, educate, and entertain the masses, while creating controversy, which in turn stirs debate among opposing parties in a intelligent & rational manner, the result which can only be enlightenment and understanding, which ultimately leads to prosperity & peace for all.
Thirdly, because they promote education, the breaking down of traditional barriers that prevent equality, and credit others more than they credit themselves...which is true objectivity. It is indeed an honor and privilige to be in such good company.
Q: Why are Latino groups so varied and oppositional to each other, and where do we come from?
A: I would applaud the variety, because it represents Latino roots from all over the world, which makes us a major player in today's modern World. It adds so much color to the World, don't you think? With the exception of the North & South poles, there isn't a spot on Earth where Latinos haven't made a mark or left an impression.
The opposition is a sad factor, because it exists, it is acknowleged, and the different factions are entitled to their beliefs...many which hold credence from their personal perspectives, which are undebateable for outsiders.
This keeps us divided, unfortunately...and ultimately will, unless we move in another direction that will unite us.
"Latino" comes from the word "Latin", one of the first sophisticated & educated languages in the World, from which the Spanish language evolved. "Latino" now describes anybody who's native race speaks the spanish language.
The "Latino" factor comes from our Imperialistic & Conquistador ancestors of Spain, who in the early 1400's, began sending Armies and Navies across the Atlantic Ocean to explore, exploit, and conquer less educated and less technologically advanced people than themselves. With their soldiers, sailors, and emissaries interbreeding with the local natives of the lands they conquered (and not always on voluntary terms), new "races" of people were born, and have descended to today, more than 500 years later.
Which race or flavor of Latino is better or superior is not a subject for intelligent or rational debate, because the darker shades of skin have always been an unspoken & unadmitted source of embarassment and shame for many who favor their the European, caucasian roots, and reminds them of a period of time of which they would rather not admit existed on the brutal terms of which it did .
This has clouded & perverted opinions and rational conclusions for generations, and a redress of long ago commited wrongs will never come to pass.
So I say live today, and make tomorrow better!
Q: Why are you not on a local L.A. station?
A: Believe me, I have tried, and there are ideas and negotiations on the table. So much of the commercial world of network radio is filled with agendas which go against my beliefs, deny creative control & input, and promote so many fabricated illusional events and minimally talented artists, that there are offers I had to reject. Public radio is one of my objectives, but even that is being monopolized by commercial interests counter to my people & beliefs. I do feel that being on 3 different Internet radio stations (KCLA FM, Chicano Express Radio, Q~Vo Radio) has given me a wider, more educated and influential audience around the World, which has served my purpose in promoting Chicano music out side of Southern California. Things will change, of course, but for the moment, I'm not going anywhere.
Q: So what's in the future for Frankie Firme, and who are you hanging with?
A: I will continue to do my 3 radio Shows weekly, and a 4th is currently in the works. I'm still open to the idea of commercial/public radio , especially for those not lucky enough to have a computer yet. I'll just have to see what's in the wind... I'm also enjoying writing and doing play/show/movie reviews, and attending shows & concerts.
I also host, emcee, and promote live shows, which are listed in the calendar pages of LatinoLA.com and east LArevue.com.
I have also been fortunate to connect with talented people like Steven & Janie Chavez of the East L.A. Revue/RAMPART RECORDS, Hector & Miroslava Gonzalez of RAMPART RECORDS, DJ Jesus "Crazy Chuy" Hernandez of CHICANO EXPRESS RADIO, editor Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr. of LATINOLA, Luis Rodriguez of Tia Chucha's Cultural Center in Sylmar, Benjamin Hernandez of Ben-Her Productions, and so many talented artists, promoters and venues that make up my world of Chicano music.
I have also enjoyed the love and support of my Lady, my family, my friends, and my many fans that keep me motivated and encouraged.
I still work a full time job in the real world, but plan to retire in 6 years.
...I've recently been approached by a publisher asking me to think about writing a book....what do you think?...
Frankie Firme is "The Al apone of the microphone, and the Hitman of west Coast Chicano Soul".