My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

ritchiestamp640[Editor's Note: When we shared our Happy Birthday Ritchie Valens story on Facebook last Friday, FB user Danna Carina commented, "Ritchie was the subject of my senior thesis and I graduated with my Bachelors yesterday ON HIS BIRTHDAY. Good omen I suppose!"

We wanted to see what she wrote, and to share it with you.

She agreed, and noted, "Writing this paper was a very intimate and intellectual experience, so it makes me very happy to share it with and the Chicano community."

Thank you, Danna Carina, and congratulations on your graduation from SUNY Purchase.]

Mas…My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

Roots of Chicano Satire: Lalo Guerrero and Culture Clash (videos)

Before there was Bordertown, there was The Culture Clash show. Only about TWENTY-SOMETHING YEARS AGO, so SUCK IT humorless haters!

(It was my first showbiz writing gig!) Big props and eternal thanks to the Culture Clash guys!

And before all of us, there was LALO GUERRERO doing Chicano satire, hell, INVENTING it! Check out Guerrero’s singing There’s No Chicanos on TV!

Mas…Roots of Chicano Satire: Lalo Guerrero and Culture Clash (videos)

Can’t rock harder than Lalo Guerrero’s ‘Los Chucos Suaves’ (video)

Lalo Guerrero is the Father of Chicano Music. His amazing musical legacy (he died in 2005) includes the classic Spanglish “boogie-woogie jitterbug” Los Chucos Suaves – the kick-ass dance-tune inspiration for Zoot Suit (the musical.) We especially like the abstract piano solo that goes off into outer pachucostan and comes back in the nick of time. ¡Que suave!


  • [EDITOR’S NOTE]: That’s Pete Alcaraz burning up the keyboard with an insane piano solo. No relation to POCHO Jefe-in-Chief Lalo Alcaraz as far as we know.


Documentary: ‘Zoot Suit’ knows the way to Monterey (video)

In 2008, Monterey County education officials (Central California) mounted a massive effort to stage three separate productions of Luis Valdez’ epic play, Zoot Suit, featuring combined casts and crews of kids from all their high schools. This documentary follows the teachers, Valdez, local volunteers and student actors from planning through auditions to show time.

The next time someone complains that arts education programs are a waste of money or that teachers are ripping off taxpayers, ask them to watch this video. They probably won’t watch, but if they do, and still don’t think Monterey County did a good thing, un-friend them on Facebook. With friends like that, you don’t need enemies!

If they agree, then let’s all bailar to Lalo Guerrero’s Los Chucos Suaves!

Mas…Documentary: ‘Zoot Suit’ knows the way to Monterey (video)