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My Concert with Yaqui
Puente Hills, California:  May 26, 2005

by Mark Guerrero

     On Thursday, May 26, 2005, Yaqui performed at The Hop in Puente Hills, California.  As planned, I played guitar and sang with the band.  Yaqui reunited for the first time in 30 years for the concert, which  was to celebrate the reissue of their 1972 album, "Yaqui."  Yaqui, Tierra, and I all shared the same manager in 1972, Art Brambila.  I had recently heard the Yaqui album and suggested to Art to reissue it because it was a shame such an excellent record was no longer available anywhere.  This set the wheels in motion that led to the reunion.  The band then asked me to perform with them to do some of the vocals originally done by the late Eddie Serrano.  We decided we would do two of my songs and one of my dad's (the late Lalo Guerrero) in addition to six songs from Yaqui's album.  The Hop was packed as we had hoped.  Musicians in attendance included Rudy Salas of Tierra, Andy Tesso (formerly of The Romancers), and Pat Vegas of Redbone.  We burned through our set of nine songs and the audience responded enthusiastically to every one.  The set consisted of "Mitote," "She Caught the Katy," "Brown Baby," "On the Boulevard," "Blue Harbor," "Los Chucos Suaves," "Rich Keep Getting Rich," "I'm Brown," and "It's Time for a Change."  George Ochoa handled the lead vocals on "Mitote," "Brown Baby," "Blue Harbor," and "It's Time for A Change."  I sang lead on my "On the Boulevard" and "I'm Brown," and my dad's classic "Los Chucos Suaves."  George and I also sang the harmony lead vocals on "She Caught the Katy," which was a highlight for me.  Larry Cronen sang lead on his "Rich Keep Getting Richer."  Everyone played extremely well.  Ronnie Reyes stepped up front and played some virtuosic lead guitar throughout the night and once again showed he's a world-class rock guitarist.  Ronnie and I played double lead guitar on "I'm Brown" and we, along with the band reached some musical and emotional highs in the process.  The drums and percussion section was also fantastic.  Ray Rodriguez played with great power and technique which provided the energy and excitement the songs require.  Rudy Regalado is a great timbalero and showman.  He also played and performed with great energy and excitement.  Sitting in with us on congas was Willie Loya.  (Willie played for years with his brother Marcos, a great Latin jazz guitarist.  Willie also played with a band I put together in the late nineties to back my dad.  We played many venues together in a show we called Lalo Guerrero with Mark Guerrero & the Second Generation Band.)  Willie did a great job playing with Yaqui and fit right in, perfectly complimenting what Ray and Rudy were doing rhythmically.  George Ochoa sang well and performed with abandon, jumping around the stage.  During the last song, "It's Time for a Change," George introduced the band.  As each musician was introduced he played a solo.  Each player in turn impressively showed his stuff.  In rehearsal, George talked me into playing a fragment of an instrumental I recorded in the 60s with Mark & the Escorts called, "Get Your Baby."  It was amusing to those who remembered the song, which was also recorded by other East L.A. bands, such as The Blendells and The Premiers.  We all had such a good time, we're talking about doing some more shows in the future.  Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of Yaqui.

Flyer for Yaqui Reunion Concert at The Hop
and link to Yaqui Photo & Video Gallery below

Click Here for Yaqui Photo & Video Gallery
 

 

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