My Writings. My Thoughts.
One of my fondest memories and biggest rewards from writing this blog has been meeting different punks and just awesome and interesting people from all over the world. From Cuba to Russia to Mexico, Colombia, Philippines and Peru I’ve met some truly wonderful people and legends in the world of punk music.
Pancho Guevera, the drummer for the Peruvian rock band (and some say the world’s actual 1st punk band) Los Saicos was one of those people. I say “was” because I just received word that Pancho has died. More information on Pancho’s death HERE.
I had heard about Los Saicos before arriving in Peru and had been told that despite Pancho’s legendary status he would gladly meet with me.
I met him at a coffee shop with another pal of his via a local bi-lingual Lima punk who had been guiding me around the punk scene in Peru.
Pancho didn’t speak much English and my Spanish was pretty laughable but we got along quiet well. I instantly liked Pancho from the moment I met him. He was a gentle soul, obviously older, but yet punk to the core, I could just tell.
When I wrote my article about Punk rock starting in Peru rather than the UK or the U.S., it stirred a little controversy of course and was picked up (and ripped off?) by other outlets like Vice, etc. The jury is still out whether Los Saicos was the actual first punk rock band or, like the Kinks in the UK or other bands in that era, simply influential in the formation of punk.
It’s not for me to say, but what I will say after meeting Pancho is that he was a really good guy… and 100% punk rocker in his heart.
I’m sad I won’t get to reconnect with him (my goal had been to produce a Raw Travel – Peru episode and have a reunion with Pancho on camera). But I’m very happy to have made his acquaintance and I never forgot about meeting him and never will.
I have a good video interview with Pancho that I hope to include in my documentary “Punktology” when I finally get back to working on that again. in the meantime, if you wish to read the article I original wrote on the subject of Peru’s founding of punk music and meeting Pancho, you can read the article HERE.
Pancho… you will be missed amigo, but gracias for all you contributed not only to punk music but music in general. More importantly thanks for, by all accounts that I can see at see, being a very good human being.
Rest in Peace Amigo.
The Republicats is a punk band made up of some of Manila’s movers and shakers in the Punk Music Scene. These guys were kind enough to not only hook up an entire evening of Filipino punk music for our cameras but to sit down with us before hand and tell us how the scene developed and what it’s like to be a punk rocker in the Philippines.
Thanks to the magic of television, you can see more of the Republicats, if you tunein this weekend to Raw Travel’s Magical Manila premiering May 9th-10th all over the U.S. Visit HERE for tune in info.
Thanks to the magic of Manila, if you ever get to visit, you are in for a treat. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can get an idea of what it’s like by watching our exclusive interview of the Republicats below. Enjoy!
40 years after the fall of Saigon, we went to Vietnam to check it out. It was wild.
I’m glad I was born when I was and instead of going as a draftee in a cargo plane to fight a vaguely defined and scary war in a jungle I was able to go as a tourists.
The Vietnamese were great people and showed not a bit of animus towards us.
The punk music scene in Vietnam is kind tame by U.S. and Latin American standards but we stumbled upon this cool band KOP Rock Band who put on a show for us at the Acoustic Bar down a side street in Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City)… Yes, Vietnam is, gasp, communist, but I didn’t see anyone begging in the street, or that much crippling poverty. Everyone seemed fairly well off in comparison to say the Philippines, a decidedly more Western & American Influenced culture where kids sniffing glue and sleeping on the street was a normal occurrence.
Vietnam has it’s issues, I know. but the people are war weary and that typically makes for, at least in my estimation, for some people who enjoy some good rock and roll. And KOP Rock band gave it to them.
Here’s a music video from our travels to Vietnam and our pals KOP rock Band and if you want to see more of them, then watch Raw Travel this weekend (May 2nd-3rd). More info on the show HERE.
The punks in Chiang Mai, Thailand are cut from a slightly different cloth than those in Bangkok, or so I’m told. Since we were in Thailand during the extended New Year’s holidays we weren’t able to hook up with any of the punks in the famous Bangkok scene, though I did, finally hear back on some emails I sent out when I had moved on to other locales in Southeast Asia. I do hope I can get back to Thailand under less stressful circumstances (camera crew filming on deadline and really get to know this place and meet some Bangkok punks finally.
In the meantime, as a first time trip goes, it was quick and I was pretty much beyond jet lagged the entire time, but I am appreciative of the punks who played for us at the 7 Pounds bar on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. These guys Stomper 191 didn’t speak too much English and I didn’t get a ton of insight, but what do you need to know? They obviously love and live the lifestyle.
Enjoy this cover from a Stomper 191, appropriately enough, it sounds like they may have stomped the sound system before going on.. True punks indeed.
I see they are still cranking out the punk.
Hope to see you guys soon. Viva Punk Rock in Colombia Amigos!
Hot off the presses and just for you guys, my Los Angeles based Russian & Latino pals from the metalcore band Degrees of Freedom have just released their brand new music video for “My Fight”.
So the U.S. and Cuba are friends again? Thank you President Obama for listening to me, though as in most things, it took the U..S Government 5 years too long to act. Now, at least, a few hundred old Cuban-Americans in South Florida no longer dictate policy for a nation of 300 million. Finally, things are beginning to make sense.
Yes, after a trip to Cuba, it was the only logical conclusion any rational human being could come to. It was time… indeed past time, to change policy towards Cuba. See my 1st blog post on the subject HERE ?
But as I saw first hand, the Cuban government is as corrupt (and I believe incompetent) as it gets. I witnessed this when they arrested some of the punks or “Los Freakies” (The Freaks) as they are often referred to in Havana, when speaking with me on camera.
It’s been almost exactly 5 years since I was in Havana, interviewing these punks and some were carted off to jail for God knows how long.
Now, today, the U.S. has announced they will begin to “normalize” relations with Cuba. Great!
I thought it would be a good time to remind you of this video back when this blog was just getting off the ground.
I feel like throwing a party? You in?