The Past Meets the Present
Cory Silva's Tribute to the Legends of the 1960's & 70's
So many changes in the world in the world lately, and the world's population has tripled during my lifetime...that means more changes are coming as the population keeps growing.
Published on LatinoLA: July 25, 2007
So much controversy in my world today, too. Celebrity scandals, political corruption & favoritism, the continued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, street & racial violence, idiots and decadents running for public office and getting elected...even the Catholic Church of Los Angeles is getting in on the action, having to fork out over $660 million to victims of sexual abuse by priests. When will the madness end? (Or better yet, where did the Church get over $660 million? )
Doesn't anybody do anything for anybody out of love & respect anymore? Doesn't anybody else care or think the World is worth bringing a little sunshine to the streets and hearts of our people...even if it's just for a little while? Doesn't anybody want to step out and just have a good time?
I brought this up to music promoter Cory Silva (pictured) while kicking it with him and RAMPART RECORDS President Steven Chavez on the golf course in Montebello a couple of months ago. (I don't play, but I like driving the little cart around and parking in the shade while others do). Steven tee'd off and hit a beautiful 150 footer that landed smack in the middle of a lake. He then left to find a pair of trunks, because he thought he was supposed to swim into the beautiful clear lake and get his golf ball out. It was a really hot day, so I decided I wouldn't tell him he didn't have to...until later.
"You know," Cory said while softly putting 16 footers for practice, "I grew up and was raised listening to Oldies music. I love Oldies, I sing Oldies, and raised my kids on Oldies. They represent another time, another kind of people...a time when people respected other people's boundaries, other men's women and families, and there wasn't a lot of profanity, hate, and ignorance in song lyrics. I mean, sharing music, love, and dancing was like being a family...safe, fun, comfortable, cool, and something you wanted to do over and over. How can we get that feeling back, and into the people again?" he asked.
I pondered this question for about an hour as we watched Steven Chavez swimming and snorkeling in the well-maintained golf course lake, eventually coming out with a bucketful of over 100 golf balls. As he emerged in his Hawaiian shorts, swimming fins, goggles, and snorkel, carrying a bucketful of golf balls, Cory & I just had to ask him why he didn't stop after he found just one.
Laughing, Steven said "You guys are all hot and sweaty just sitting there on this 102 degree day, while I was moving and cooling off, and I feel great! I knew I was probably the only guy crazy enough to jump in the lake to seek his golf ball, and I ended up finding a treasure nobody else sought. As a result, I now have over 100 new golf balls that I can use & enjoy over and over, for the small price of a swim. Nobody thinks to go in the water, and there's still a couple hundred more balls in there, so if I'm so inclined, I can jump back in and bring them back into play, enjoying the experience all over again." He generously made us a gift of several golf balls and I could see his point. (golf balls are waterproof, you know)
My first thought was that I guess it pays to keep swimming trunks and snorkeling gear in your car when coming to the golf course...but I could see that Cory was thinking something else.
Suddenly, he was hit with inspiration. "That's it!" he exclaimed, "I'll take a chance on something crazy, seek and share treasure where not a lot of people do, do something cool, enjoy myself, have fun, and bring something back that people will enjoy and appreciate, and want to do over again. Like coming back to the golf course...only those that enjoy it will come back".
Without another word, Cory then picked up his golf clubs, ice chest, and boom box and jogged back to the clubhouse (Cory's in good shape), leaving me and a soaked Steven to cruise back in the little carito...for once I was content to let others do something crazy...music people are a strange lot, you know, but good people for the most part...
That was the last time we saw or heard from Cory until last month, when he called and invited me to co-host his powerful music tribute to the 1960's-70's Legends Show along with Chico Manqueros.
In a bold and creative move that hasn't been attempted east of the L.A. River since Art Laboe pulled it off at the El Monte Legion Stadium over 30 years ago, Cory went deep into the Chicano and Black classic music talent pools, combining & assembling a monster tribute line up of "name" acts that brought back that good old feeling, and drew people from all parts of the City of Angels, in a generational reunion that took us all back in time in one of the best concert parties of the year!
Opening up this historic show were the KOOL KATZ Band from San Jose, who had just made their L.A. debut the night before. Then, the show boasted the live sounds of THE TEMPTATIONS, THE CHI-LITES, THE SHIRELLS, THE DELFONICS, THE STYLISTICS, THE MARVELETTES,THE TEMPRESS,Rudy Salas of TIERRA, Tex Nakamura of WAR, Rocky Padilla, Billy Cormier & the IMPOSTERS Band, Cory, Sarina,& Keith Silva, and the AFTER DARK Band.
Everybody in the house became 18 again...
Known mostly for Spanish language entertainment gigs, Cory mixed it up and picked the
A MI HACIENDA Restaurant Ballroom for this one, and over 500 lucky attendees enjoyed a marvelous Oldies tribute concert & dance show where there had never been one of this magnitude before.
Great food, great service, great entertainment, a great crowd, lots of room in a modern, air conditioned venue just off the 605 freeway along the banks of the San Gabriel River made this the perfect spot, for the perfect show, on a perfect Southern California Sunday afternoon.
For over 5 hours, beautiful Brown & Black people partied, danced,and shared love together while enjoying some of the best music & entertainment in the World...just like back in the good old days. My homie Cory Silva was certainly inspired for this one
...the only question EVERYBODY all had: "When is the next show?"
Talk about throwing the dice and taking it to another level...I guess jumping in the lake wasn't such a crazy idea after all.
Note: for info on upcoming shows: www.midnightproductions2.com
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul.