If you saw the movie “La Bamba” many years ago, and hopefully paid attention to the Los Lobos soundtrack, then you know there’s a folk version of that song that predates the pop-rock version that Richie Valens made famous, and in many ways is superior to it. Did you know that it goes on forever? My favorite verse is the one that begins: “Para subir al cielo…”, reminding me of the Spanish title of the Bunuel film “Mexican Bus Ride,” se necesita, una grande escalera…” and so on into infinity. I think at some point Jarocho son masters just make up their own verses and let the Homies decide what sticks. And now Las Cafeteras does their own East Los Angelized version that just happens to rock, not suck. Got politics?
The best part of living in LA (‘
Hollywood’ for short) for me is that it is at the crossroads of so many immigrant cultures. With the possible exception of Nueva York, I doubt that any other American city even comes close. Miami? Naah. Chicago? No way. Even my favorite city San Francisco really only specializes in a few Asians in geographical symmetry and a few Hispanics in cultural sympathy.