Man! What a Night!
Pachuco Zoot Suit Boogie Night in San Fernando with the Marines & the American Legion
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: May 10, 2011
If you were one of the Gente that stood home Saturday night in your shorts & chanclas, watching the NBA playoffs and Pacquio~Mosley fight on TV, saving your energy for Mother's Day the next day, eating nachos & potato chips while sitting on the couch como un papa celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, you missed probably one of the BEST shows we've EVER had at the San Fernando American Legion Hall Saturday night!
The kind of night that only happens in America in the Land of 1000 Dances.
Pachuco Zoot Suit Boogie night in San Fernando, brought to you by the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League, turned out to be a standing room only event. (was THAT El Editor & Mr. Steven Chavez out there on the dance floor? Couldn't tell‘«™too crowded, tu sabes..)
Probably about 90% of the crowd came out dressed in Zoot Suits and 1940's style dress‘«™like a costume party for the big kids, with all the glitter & glamour you would expect on a night like this from the San Fernando American Legion Hall, with the Marines and their Ladies, and ALL their friends looking good, y estavan tirando some serious chancla! (ay, que Spanglish! LOL!)
And the Ladies! Ooooh! THE LADIES!! The hairdos‘«™the make up‘«™the blood red lipstick‘«™the clothes‘«™the stilleto high heels‘«™the dancing‘«™
...Oooh! Like I said‘«™THE LADIES !!
No wonder there were Zoot Suit riots back in the day! LOL!
First, we had the NBA playoffs on the widescreen TV in the clubhouse area for the early birds, then, we had a Chicano Rock-a-Billy Band from Orange County known as WINO BOOGIE take the stage in the hall to start off the evening‘«™and them bruthas and a sista KICKED ass with the rock-a-billy, 1950's style rock & roll, and some sweet doo-wop oldies that got us all in the mood for a borleo‘«™
‘«™then, we had the fight in between, back in the clubhouse area widescreen‘«™
‘«™then‘«™comedian Wolfy Hernandez tickled some funny bones on stage‘«™puro vato loco !
THEN‘«™the fabulous PACHUCO JOSE y LOS DIAMANTES took the stage in the hall for the moment we had all been waiting for all night.
Ma Bruthas & Sistas, I never had the chance & privilege to see the great Lalo Guerrero or Don Tosti, the Fathers of Chicano Music, in their prime, when my parents were jitterbugging to their music back in the 1940's-1950's‘«™but Saturday night came as close to a trip back in time as you ever want to get!
Like a dream, or a classic scene out of an old movie, PACHUCO JOSE (in full, custom made Zoot Suit and dancing like Cantinflas or Tin Marin or Edward James Olmos all rolled into one) y LOS DIAMANTES, nine-members strong, put on a show that caused a full dance floor, people clapping, gritando, whistling, and standing up to the stage snapping flash pictures, and the band played some KILLER Chicano Boogie music, as he sang and danced like nobody's business, slipping and sliding oh soooo smooth!
They got a Japanese brutha named TAKAO INOUE who wailed on the saxophone so fine, and brought screams from the crowd as he blew his horn and at times danced on one leg and shook his booty for the ladies!
They had some pompadoured Bruthas playing stand up bass and original Stratocaster guitar.
They had 2 beautiful Latinas who sang backup vocals, played percussion, and danced in step with Pachuco Jose & the crowd throughout the performance, giving it a Las Vegas~Hollywood feeling of "wow!"‘«™
They had some hot trumpet and baritone saxophone, accompanied by a drummer who knew his business!...real professional musicians and performers who all knew THEIR business!
Afterwards, after brief DJ music stints by JUNIOR NAJAR and FRANKIE FIRME, we brought out the oldies on the Wurlitzer jukebox and danced until 2am, with members of both bands sticking around to join the crowd and the party.
‘«™it was one of those nights that will be hard to forget, I tell you !
All in all, even with so many people staying home watching the NBA finals and the fight on TV, getting ready for Mother's day the next day, we had a pretty good sized crowd, and a great time with so many people dressed to "the 9's", all dancing, laughing, and enjoying themselves together as one big happy Brown family...it was like a trip back in time that none of us wanted to end‘«™
‘«™and one that I know is gonna happen again somewhere in the Land of 1000 Dances!
Note: A big "Thank You" to Brother Ruben Molina of ChicanoSoul.com, for his personal recommendation of these great performers to the Gente en San Fernando !
...we owe you a cold one, ese!
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the "Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul" heard daily on world wide Internet radio and a regular contributor to this fine web magazine!
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