LOS GRINGOS – The True Story
It all started with the opening of Mexican Micks in Byron Bay in 1970 when we decided this was a good lurk to go surfing every day rather than picking bananas or working on the trawlers .
The opening of El Gringo’s Mexican Restaurant Easter of 71 in Mooloolaba Queensland saw the beginning of Spanish Mexican ‘culture in the DNA of my modern cultural influences .
Surf , music , hot rod’s and the role of 50’s n 60’s California, Texas and New Orleans was it. In New Orleans the Cuban met the French, the Native Indian, the Caribbean and fused with the black American musical genius to create new styles of incredible music doused in Blues Rumbas and Voodoo Vibes.
In Texas cowboys fused blues, western swing, conjunto and Tex Mex Polkas into a spicy menu of Tacos Soul . Quentin Tarantino was made and surf music which was created by many of the great Mexican musicians in Hollywood soared again .
Hot Rods n Harley’s were turned into Lowriders and the Calimex of everyone from the Sandpipers to Ritchie Valens , Linda Ronstadt , Los Lobos and the Paladins led a whole new wave of music bursting out of movie sound tracks.
After a trip to East LA and watching Ry Cooder with Paco Jiminez playing chicken skin music the dye was set and out of the then swamps of Mudjimba Queensland arose Leroy and the Lowriders dedicated to west coast car park watching and dual Valiant coupes parked out front .
On the other side of the Ocean even further West than the great Hawaiian Islands where Monster Trucks cruised the beaches with Hawaiian music blaring out of boom boxes, Cesilio and Kapono were the kings of the Hawaiian Luau fusing the Pacific beat, there was a place of even more perfect waves bathed in similar layers of hot chilly spices and swaying rhythms’ .
The Tarian Topeng or masked dance was now played in crisp clean barrels across thousands of coconut fringed islands. Om santi santi. Add to this a mix of Hippies, Surfers and Hotrodders previously hidden behind kampung walls they were now free to jam and surf and mix steel and art. Los Gringos was a part of the revolution of this new global culture. Playing in kampungs and warungs across the heartlands of Bali, Java, Singapore, Malaysia, India even Hong Kong……. Los Gringos brought the Rhythms of the Barrios to the peoples of the East. It was easy cause it was in their DNA too .
The Los Gringos collaboration still hasn’t stopped. We are still developing this music, food, hot rigs and surfing whilst the rest of the world sits there confused by false ideologies, the digital explosion, urbani-sation and the destruction of the environment by an over explosion of population reeking havoc through climate change.
But we know the way …..
Keep the Rhythm a’ Rolling……….
Valve amps, balsa boards, home made guitars and tricked up funky cars all washed down with generous doses of tequila and tacos are still today’s ethos. Recycle reuse and retrace the sources ……..
You won’t look back you will just move forward…….
Surf Soul Tacos n Lowriders