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