Been reading the book “White Riot… Punk Rock and the Politics of Race” for the past few weeks. I’m almost finished and more on it later. It’s an intense book that is proving to be valuable in terms of the history of punk and of getting another perspective than the typical Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash history we so often are told over and over and over. I’ve got a lot to say about this book, mostly good, with a few criticisms, but for now I just want to bring to your attention an all Latino punk band from Chicago in the 1990s “Los Crudos”.
They were one of, if not the first U.S. punk band to sing almost 100% in Spanish, though as you can see form this clip, they also spoke fluent English. Also, as you can tell by the clip they are (surprise) very political and as you can tell by the short, burst of lyrics that are hard to understand regardless of language, very hardcore.
Not my favorite genre of punk music so I would have probably never stumbled upon these guys with pandora or ipod or any of that type of music had these guys come along a decade or so later. Yet their perspective as their self proclaimed “We’re that spic band” probably would have landed them on “American Latino TV” or “LatiNation” alongside NOFX, Tiger Army, Calavera, Madball, No Way Joseand any other semi-well known punk, pysychobilly or rockabilly hand that had a decent Latin following.
I was always trying so hard to counteract the popular notion that Latinos only cared about R&B, Rap, Hip Hop and “Latin” (Cumbia, Meringue, Salsa, etc.) music. We tried really hard to showcase underground communities where Latinos were so instrumental and that includes punk which, if you’ve been following us for a while, has a huge Latin American and American Latino (U.S. Latino) following as well as a history of participation.
Punk history is rich with Latinos in the scene including bands like Black Flag, Iggy & The Stooges and many, many more I won’t go into here today.
When I Executive Produced those shows, I was very involved in getting our producers to target these subcultures very strategically, covering not only bands but events like “The Warped Tour” and “Viva Las Vegas”from a U.S. Latino perspective and it worked beautifully.
Not only did I feel good about representing this ignored part of Latino culture, ratings in cities from California to Texas increased dramatically. We had successfully added to our following which was really important for a small, indie TV Show with no marketing budget to speak off airing in most of the country in the most fringe of late night or early morning weekend time periods.
Now, sadly, and predictably the new owners and producers have cheezed it up again. The shows look like a cheap version of TMZ, with nothing but pop culture after pop culture references. They even changed the show logos and theme music to gaudy, loud metallic purple and silver colors and cheeze ball electronica music.
But hey, the shows are in their 11th & 9th seasons respectively so I understand that change is inevitable. It’s ok. There are a couple of people there that do try to represent (Agnostic Frontwere featured last season and one of the editors is from the Colombian band “La Pestilencia”).
In the meantime, I leave you with a couple of videos of “Los Crudos”. I would sure like to interview these guys for “Punktology”documentary. If anyone knows how to get in touch with them, please hit me up.
Listen to some punk music from all over the world. Got some good music you want to share? join the group and upload. In the meantime, enjoy these tunes by our good buddies Los Suziox (Colombia) and Rudos Wild (Uruguay). Disfruta!
IF YOU MISSED THE ARTICLE LAST WEEK FIRST PUBLISHED IN REMEZCLA, HERE IT IS IN IT’S ENTIRETY WITH A FEW MINOR TYPOS CORRECTED TO BOOT. THANKS TO ISABELA AND THE GANG AT REMEZCLA FOR SHOWING INTEREST IN THIS SUBJECT (IT RECEIVED OVER 300 “LIKES” AND STILL GROWING). AND OF COURSE THANKS TO PANCHO FROM LOS SAICOS FOR THE INTERVIEW.
Our Article on Los Saicos for Remezcla Magazine
The question of how and when punk music really began, or who really was the first punk band have fueled many documentaries, books, articles and more than their share of drunken conversations over the years. Hell, they may have even contributed to a bar room brawl or two. Despite being steeped in the scene the past few years both at home and abroad, I’ve never really felt qualified to have much of a discussion on these points.
There is so much written about the history of punk, yet it seems so easy to get the info twisted, such as getting the dates of punk’s emergence mixed up. And to be honest, I really hadn’t cared that much about punk history. I’m a fan of ’80s west coast punk and it seemed a bit pointless to worry so much about history when there is so much good stuff going on right now. While I respect it, I don’t want to live in the past. If old school bands like The Damned, Dead Kennedys or Social Distortion are touring, I want to hear all their songs, past and present.
Bands like Social Distortion still going strong...
All this changed when I visited Lima, Peru. Now, Peru is known for some serious history, mostly the indigenous kind with ancient ruins (If you didn’t know it, Peru is home to Machu Picchu and many other ancient ruins), but you’d be excused if “the home of punk rock” doesn’t exactly pop into your mind when I mention Lima. But what if I told you that Lima, Peru was in fact home of one of the very first punk bands in the world, years before the Sex Pistols and the Ramones popped onto the scene? Despite my previous statements, I do have a rough, sort of working class knowledge in a general sense of punk history. I’ve read the books, I’ve seen the films, I know about the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaran, “God Save the Queen” and all that good stuff. I’ve read extensively about Joe Strummer, The Clash and the influence of Jamaican immigrants in England on their music.
COULD IT BE, THAT DESPITE ALL WE HAD BEEN TOLD, ALL
THAT HAD BEEN WRITTEN ON THE SUBJECT….THAT SOME OF THE
FIRST INKLINGS OF PUNK MUSIC BEGAN IN SOUTH AMERICA?
Having lived many years in New York City just a few blocks from the famed CBGB’s, I know and certainly appreciate the Ramones and that now-deceased venue’s (and others like Max’s Kansas City, Coney Island High, etc.) incredible influence on the scene. I know about the Sonic, Iggy Pop, the MC5 and Detroit’s own influence on the scene. I’ve read and even vaguely remember that Blondie was punk, before they were funk, and how a young David Bowie was looking for talent at places like these former hot spots cum dive bars dotting the lower and then sketchy parts of Manhattan in New York City.
The reality is that the true beginnings of punk and even subsequent subgenre’s like psychobilly (The Cramps, Meteors, etc.) and fore bearers like rockabilly (Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, etc.) are up for debate and really hard to pin down. Relying on sometimes extremely foggy memories of an increasingly small base is not exactly scientific research. To further complicate matters you have that pesky and equally popular little question: What exactly is punk anyway?
But in all the debates and conversations, how many times have you heard of Peru even mentioned? If you live in South America maybe, but I’ll wager if you live anywhere else in the world, probably not. While traveling down in Latin America working on my documentary Punktology… The Worldwide Influence of Punk and blog for Punk Outlaw, I had heard for a couple of years about a band from Lima, that was playing some cool music in the mid ’60s, well before the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones and right around the time bands like the MC5 were lighting the motor city and surf was making a splash on the west coast. Now remember, kiddies, no internet back in these days, so underground music was traveling quite differently (and much more slowly) back in those days.
At first I thought maybe my Spanish needed improving, during my travels in Latin America, and I was just misunderstanding the folks who kept mentioning this quirk of history I’d never heard of. Finally, I realized there must be something there, so I researched and it led to some interesting possibilities. Could it be, that despite all we had been told, all that had been written on the subject, all that had been documented, debated and deciphered about it, that some of the first inklings of punk music actually began in South America?
It seemed people in Latin America knew something that had hardly been acknowledged (at least to me) by the English speaking, dominant messengers and historians of punk which had always pointed to bands in the U.S. and Europe as the closest approximations to the Fathers of the punk music spawn. But for Lima, Peru, there’s no debate.
A band called Los Saicos (as in The Psychos) was such a band. The band’s story begins like many others. They were four childhood friends and amateur musicians who grew up together in the Lince neighborhood of Lima. They sprung up on Lima’s music scene in 1964 and while they only put out 6 singles before they broke up in 1966, they are arguably the most influential rock band ever to come out of Latin America. I realize this statement may ruffle some feathers in rock Meccas like Argentina and Brazil.
I wanted to learn more about Los Saicos so this past August while traveling in Latin America I made the pilgrimage to Lima, in the dead of the Peruvian winter (which means chilly, damp weather without a hint of sunshine), with a barely adequate grasp of the Spanish language and high hopes of meeting and interviewing Los Saicos which had recently reunited in 2006.
Initially it seemed my timing was bad. Soon after I landed in Lima, I heard that Los Saicos was holed up in a studio in Mexico City laying down some new music. Determined to make the most of my trip, I got busy interviewing a fore mentioned bands from the 2nd and current waves and that kept me plenty busy.
Interviewing George AKA "Pelo" From Lima's 2nd Wave Band "Narcosis"
It was about time to head home and I had pretty much given up on getting an interview with Los Saicos when my contact and local punk resident Victor called to tell me that Los Saicos’ drummer, Pancho Guevara, was back in town and would agree to meet with me. Pancho didn’t speak English so I had to rely on my Tarzan Spanish, which counter intuitively seemed to be getting worse each passing day!
Off the bat it was clear that this was not going to be like most of my punk interviews in a loud concert venue or at a drunken rehearsal. We met Pancho and a pal at a diner near Lince. Pancho was wearing a V neck sweater and sipping hot tea.
...with Pancho of "Los Saicos" in Lince
Pancho wanted to feel me out and see what my purpose of the interview was. I know they’ve given countless interviews but mostly to Latin press. I felt we hit it off immediately as I told them about my projects and Pancho filled me in about the band. From the diner, we headed over to the plaque on the street corner, which proclaims Lince the birthplace of Los Saicos and punk music.
Pancho pointed out to me the nearby street corner where the guys from Los Saicos would meet up and hang out. When I asked Pancho if he held any resentment to not being recognized for being a major player in the founding of punk music, he didn’t seem to really understand the relevance of the question and I think I understand why.
The plaque declaring Lima, Peru the home of punk rock!
Before, during, and after the interview, numerous people on the street recognized Pancho and came up to him, not for an autograph, but to chat. Like old neighbors from the neighborhood recognizing an old lost friend. Pancho is the only member to still live full time in Lima. Guitarist Rolando Carpio died in early 2005 and singer Erwin Flores and singer/bass player César “Papi” Castrillón live near Washington, DC.
The surviving members of Los Saicos have played gigs again in Peru and Spain. A documentary Saicomania was released this year and Pancho said he has conducted many, many interviews recently about the band. They have plans to tour the U.S including a stop in California next spring which I hope to catch. I think, at least as far as Pancho is concerned, there is plenty of recognition, albeit a bit late.
Pancho’s positive outlook notwithstanding the recognition of Los Saicos as punk is lacking. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy by North Americans or Europeans to not give Los Saicos their due. But I do think it points to a larger issue of punk music being viewed erroneously as a largely working class, white music, largely a stereotype perpetrated by mainstream media that has no idea what punk is.
That is one of the points of my documentary Punktology. We’ve interviewed punks the world including punks in Latin America (who are a rainbow of colors), as well as African punks, Asian punks and even Muslim punks. Punk is the most tolerant music subculture I know of. But history has a way of being written from slanted perspectives, and in punk music’s case, it was written from a largely North American and European perspective (sound familiar?). Ironically, this is exactly the type of ignorance, misinformation and subtle racism that punk music often rails against.
And I know I said that history doesn’t matter, but it does. We need to give credit where credit is due. Reunions notwithstanding, Los Saicos had a short life span but so did the Sex Pistols, MC5 and numerous other bands widely credited with contributing to punk’s earliest beginnings. We need to recognize Los Saicos for what they are; an influential, unique and original band that was one of the most influential ever in Latin America and possibly the world. Check ‘em out and next time you’re in a debate about the beginnings of punk music, you’re gonna come across as the smartest (or craziest) guy or girl in the room!
LIMA, PERU – What can I say, Lima Peru really knows how to rock and to treat a visiting punk. The punks there had arranged for a private showcase of sorts which featured no less than 5 current punk bands playing 3 songs each, exclusively for our cameras.
I want you to all to get a taste of the type of punk music being played in this country which has such a legendary history going all the way back to the 1960s (if you find yourself scratching your head on that one, then keep following over the next couple of weeks and I’ll explain, I promise).
But right now we’re focused on the present punk wave in Peru or for me personally the not so distant past (last week).
I’ll feature the first couple of bands from the showcase this go around.
First up was Los Lemmings, a band with lots of energy. This song is called “Tocamos Rock” (We Play Rock) and all I can say to that is yes they do. Indeed, this little ditty has a little hint of 1950s rockabilly mixed in with pure punk. What do you think?
Next up was a band that ranks right up there for having one of my favorite all time band names and that’s saying something. Consider some of my favorite band names are translations from Latin America as well. Names like (Los Suziox) “The Dirty”, (Rudos Wild) “Rough and Wild” and (Estoy Puto) “I”m Pissed” and of course the classics which need no translation like “Stiff Little Fingers” and “Chlamydia”.
These guys are called “Lo Que Roe” or “What Gnaws” translated. Wait… so they are “What Gnaws”? Whew! Who knew?
I’ve been wondering what that gnawing feeling has been all these years and now I know. I thought it was just some primitive, genetic defect left over from caveman days or possibly some buried childhood memory.
Lo Que Roe (What's Gnawing)
The band’s vocalist is none other than Juan Atto, who also has a local punk record label called “Lukro Records” which promotes punk bands and concerts in Lima (including one coming up this weekend, so if your in town, check it out!).
Lo Que Roe performed a song called “Perdido Control” (Lose Control) and it’s below for your enjoyment.
Check out the bands links (click on their names) and Lukra Records’ link if you want to know more about the Lima punk scene and these bands.
And stay tuned here. We’ll have 2 more bands that played in the showcase later that evening as well as coverage of a big anarchist punk concert from last weekend that kicked some ass.
Then we delve back into some history covering what could be the very first punk band in the history of mankind.. now that my punk amigo, is heavy sh** that you need not miss!
In every major city in each country I’ve visited there seems to be one punk fan, aficionado and ambassador of punk ,if you will, who sees fit to take it upon themselves to show me the ropes of their local punk scene.
"El Terrible Y Los Mongoloides" Interview
For Medellin, Colombia it was Jorge, for the Moscow rockabilly scene it was Viktor (with a “k:) and for Lima, Peru it’s Victor (with a “c”)
I met Victor like I meet many punks I get to know before I visit their fair city, through my contacts via Punk Outlaw’s facebook page. In this case a good punk soul from Colombia referred Victor to my page.
When he graciously offered to help me do some groundwork for getting plugged into the scene in Lima, I was hoping he’d help me line up a couple of interviews.
El Hueko... a legendary punk pit, now a pre-school
Well Victor went above and beyond the call of duty and not only arranged more kick ass interviews than I could accommodate, he arranged a showcase of 5 current Lima punk bands to perform exclusively for our cameras.
Like a true punk rocker, Victor didn’t ask for a thing in return including recognition, so this will be all I write about him when recapping Peru. He’s not a Mohawk wearing punk with a ton of tattoos and like many; you might never guess the guy is into punk music by looking at him, but Victor knows his stuff.
El Averno - Not your average community center
I think it has something to with the fact that he was born and raised in a house right next to the legendary El Hueko. This little spot in a suburb of Lima is bordered by the local TV stations, a Jewish Synagogue and a Catholic church where Victor reportedly witnessed a dust up between the local punks and the area priests! Now that I’d like to catch for the Punk Outlaw cameras.
During its day in the 80s and 90s, El Hueko was the home of the Lima punk band Eutenasia and with it’s concerts and constant punk music pouring out it’s pores, El Hueko was the rough equivalent of CBGBs of Lima.
It wasn’t an official bar, but it was a place where many a punk concert took place during Lima’s punk heyday.
Today it’s a preschool.
El Averno's Cool Art
El Hueko was also the location for my interview with El Terrible Y Los Mongoloides (The Terrible and the Mongoloids), a street punk band which has been tearing up the Lima punk scene for quite some time.
The guys were great and we had the interview right where the local pre-schoolers learn their daily lessons and the Mongoloids gave me a history lesson of my own, on the punk scene in Lima.
After the interview at El Hueko, we all headed to downtown Lima to tour the Al Averno Cultural Center, a very bohemian and picturesque spot in downtown Lima, that hosts many punk concerts and all types of music events and is an important staple of the underground and counter culture community in Lima.
Punk Procession to Peru Noise Studios in downtown Lima
From there we caught up with the 4 other bands and walked the few blocks over to a rehearsal studio just a block away from the beautiful San Martin Plaza in downtown Lima. About 30 of us in all in this punk procession, headed down to Lima Noise Studios, which is in a basement studio accessible by a series of unlit, pitch black stairways that had me wondering “where in the hell were we going?”
But I trusted my punk brothers and sisters and it paid off.
Once inside Lima Noise each of the bands performed 3 songs in an incredible showcase of current punk and hardcore music just for our cameras.
Now I’m going to feature the other bands a bit later on but for now, from Lima Peru, here are El Terrible Y Los Mongoloides performing “Generacion Negativa”. So enjoy it motherf***s!
Our first official day of shooting in Quito, Ecuador and we had a date with DMTR at the famous local rock bar “The Garage Bar”. In case your wondering, DMTR stands for Demeter and refers to the God of Fertility.
Now, I had done my research on these guys before hand and though there was not a ton of info on them, I had already previewed their music on Myspace, really dug it and really wanted to feature them.
Alfred - Vocals/Guitar for DMTR
So I sent about a dozen emails via myspace to no avail and finally, tracked them down on their facebook profile and tadah.. they answered back and we were all set.
We arrived to The Garage a little early and after we set up for our 3 camera shoot, the guys ripped through their two recorded songs “No Balas Sin Fronteras” (No Bullets Without Borders) and “Mentira” (Lie) for our cameras and a small entourage of friends, managers and girlfriends.
The music was fast, furious and melodic (and yes, fertile too). To me, it had a distinct U.S. west coast punk flavor and by the 2nd performance I was hooked on DMTR.
The guys from DMTR are eager to record more of their songs and tour outside of Ecuador, including possibly Colombia and the U.S. No matter where you live, if they come to a town near you, trust me, you will want to check em out.
In the meantime, enjoy this clip from their performance of “No Balas Sin Fronteras” from one of our cameras at the shoot.
Also if your ever in Quito be sure and look up the Garage Bar for good live rock and punk Music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday (this is not a paid endorsement, just a bit of advice, you punk cynic you).
Disfruta (enjoy) the vid and see if you don’t think this is some fine ass punk music regardless of language, location or whatever!
OK I admit I feel I sort of shortchanged the guys from Sikotikos by focusing on the robbery attempt my 1st night in Quito on my last post.
I’m also finding that Quito’s punk scene is beyond even my healthy expectations. It’s nothing short of incredible and requires more than a measly 3 days of part time coverage on my part.
Now we have some good stuff coming up including a performance from punk band DMTR and also a nice interview with El Juntos, both good, local Quito punk bands with some important stuff to say about the scene. But I have to get time to put it all together first and it’s a little hard during hard core shooting schedule and traveling so your patience is asked for.
So to appease the punk gods who might be angry at my selfish whining about the robbery attempt and to give you guys a little better glimpse into the punk scene in Ecuador, here is a little clip from You Tube that the guys from Sikotikos sent me of their recent concert.
It’s amateur video and stuff, just like my stuff half the time right?! But it’s punk and it’s Quito and it’s Sikotokis in concert and it serves a good purpose. So Until I can get DMTR and El Junto up, please do enjoy Sikotokis!
It happened so fast. One minute I’m in the middle of the tourist zone packed with people, the next I take a turn down a not too dimly lit and not so isolated street and notice 2 sketchy characters coming my way. I decide to head the other direction and then notice 2 other sketchy characters heading my way from that direction. Then a couple others emerge out of the shadows. Yup, I’m getting surrounded.
It’s 9 pm on a Tuesday night in Plaza Foch, the main tourist zone for restaurants and hostels in Quito’s Zona Rosa. I’ve been in Quito less than 3 hours.
Quito is a punk city
My camera is out but I try to hide it inside of my hoodie. Too late. Before I know it I’m in what seems like a life or death struggle for the camera with some guy dressed all in green (almost like surgeon’s scrubs, we’ll call him aqua man) yelling unintelligible Spanish .
All I can think of is how I screwed up and I need this camera for the rest of the shoot and aqua man is trying to take my camera and God knows what else and ruin my night, indeed the whole trip before it even gets started.
Quito is a beautiful city
I’m thinking “Tonight is my first night in Ecuador for God’s sake. I haven’t shot a frame video and just a few stills.”
I scream out “no way man! no f**ing way”.. as I struggle with aqua man. I feel my groin muscle pull and I realize I’ve just re-injured my groin that took me 3 months to heal from. I hear a ripping noise, it’s my hoodie.
Having known what it feels like to be robbed in Argentina just over a year ago, I wasn’t anxious to relive that experience.
Next I feel a couple more hands on me as another dude tries to grab me from behind. I’m waiting for the inevitable pummeling at the hands of the other guys. 6 on 1, should be an easy task for them but I figure I’ll make it as hard as possible and try to hurt somebody at least.
I start to yell louder, “Policia!!!!” “Robbery!!!” whatever pops into my head and now at the top of my lungs. I sound and probably look crazy and it starts to work.
Quito is a fun city
People start to come out of their houses and businesses. But no one does a damned thing. I’m thinking that these cowards are going to sit and watch me get robbed and not lift a finger!? Now I’m really pissed and start to fight back harder. I want to punish somebody.
Aqua man and I swing around a couple more times, then he finally lets go, now completely ripping my hoodie in the process.
Miraculously they ALL walk away and now, my camera firmly in my hands, lens cap on the street and my hoodie in shreds around my waist I scream at them.. “puta madre” (mother f**er)! The “F” word, The “C’ word, it all comes flowing out like I have tirets’ syndrome. It’s in English and Spanish as low as I can go on the vocabulary scale and as high as I can go on the volume scale. No translation needed.
Quito is a political city
It all lasted maybe 30 seconds? Maybe 45? who knows, but I feel victorious and primal and yes, it feels strangely good. Like a warrior who vanquished his enemies. “Hell no, not tonight! Go get some more help bitches!”. I’m really pumped up now and ready to kill somebody. I’ve gone from scared to pissed, I mean really dangerously angry in a matter of seconds. I was ready now, lets do this.. why are they walking away now? This is just getting good!
A crowd has now gathered as the wanna be thieves trot and then slow to a walk and stroll away like nothing had happened. They are walking away and no one is doing anything? Finally 10 minutes later some police came by while some nice concerned locals tell the cops what happened and try to translate my Spanish which is worse than normal because of the adrenaline. I’m sure they were wondering if this Gringo might be a touch loco? The police shake their head, tell me it’s very “peligrosa” and to be careful and drive away.
Quito is a dangerous city
By now I am laughing at the incident, happy as a clam that my camera is still in my possession and that I won’t be feeling like a total loser tomorrow because my camera was stolen the first night of a shoot. I’m happy that all I have is a ripped, cheap hoodie, a re-pulled groin muscle and a story to tell for my trouble. No black eye, no bloody nose, no stab wound, no gun shot wound. I have my camera, my phone and my wallet and I start to feel really fortunate.
But I’m also concerned. The pack of thugs walked away but are possibly still around and I think it wise to return to where people and police are more numerous so I head back to the main area of the Plaza where I am supposed to meet and interview the guys from Sikotikos (Psychotics), a local punk band at 9:30.
Incredibly, it’s now only 9:15. Time was crawling by. I still have 15 minutes to kill. I was in this dire situation because I had finished dinner early and wanted to get some stills of some punk graffiti I had seen on some of the side streets on the ride in from the airport.
Quito is a Sikotikos city
In just a few hours in Quito, I had already seen several punks, anarchy graffiti, rocker bars, etc. I already knew Quito is a big punk town but I wanted to grab a few stills to help me tell the story, My little digi hand held camera I normally use in these situations is broken so hence my big, expensive Cannon D12, the one I use for video, was out and snapping away.
At this point, I’m back in the main tourist area and I’m still pretty shaken and thinking of grabbing a beer to calm my nerves when I see 3 of the guys walking in the distance. There he is, Mr. Agua Man walking by like not a care in the world.
My first instinct is to go and confront. Then I think better of it and run to the police who are nearby. They bolt into action and before I know it the 3 cats are assuming the position, taking off socks and shoes and being searched and sadly, slapped around a little by a now fired up police force that includes a couple under covers who seem to know this pack of hoodlums all too well.
I’m still pissed so I look the guys in the eyes and say “Recuerdes me!? (Remember me?).. I show the guy my ripped hoodie and say “Recuerdes este” (Remember this?).. I say something like “Seis en uno no mano y mano eh?” (6 on 1 not 1 on 1 huh?) in my broken ass, tarzan Spanish and regret yet again at not being able to express myself adequately in Spanish.
Now surrounded by police and onlookers, they looked much smaller and more pathetic now. I start to feel a twinge of guilt and sympathy for these guys. Of course they are dirt poor and a couple look to be immigrants. Five of the six attackers were black, usually the poorest of the poor in Ecuador which is pretty damned poor to begin with.
Moments ago I wanted to kill them, now I’m sorry that I brought this misery on them by flashing an expensive camera all for the sake of a few pics for this blog. Of course they brought it on themselves but still… I feel bad. But for the grace of God could our situations be reversed? Who would be an angel if they are hungry or addicted? Why did I stupidly put that temptation out there?
To my right I see 3 punks taking in the scene among the crowd that has gathered. It’s the guys from Sikotikos. They recognize me. I had described my wardrobe so I was easy to spot, but I guess they weren’t expecting me to be in the middle of a police bust. What can I say, I wasn’t exactly expecting that either.
After the police excused me and told me once again to be careful, I shook their hands, thanked them and walked off with Sikotikos to do the interview. They told me they knew of these guys, that they see them around all the time and that last week they robbed someone they know and beat him up really badly.
I was lucky and I know it by now. Adrenaline or not, one knife point, one gun, one brick to the head and it’s all over. This is my third robbery attempt since traveling to Latin America the last 10 years (only one was successful and that one was completely non violent). Though in each event situation I can point to a careless situation on my part, it’s starting to get old.
I’m beginning to wonder when am I gonna get unlucky and get the knife or gun or whatever pulled on me.
If i keep traveling, it will happen again I know it. May as well get prepared.
Sikotikos got my back.
In the meantime my interview with Sikotikos was an admittedly jittery affair. I kept looking over my shoulder during the interview to assure myself the pack of thieves weren’t back. Only 3 of the 6 were in custody and for all I knew had been released and were out for revenge. I tried to focus.
While Sikotikos answers were almost all in Spanish I was able to comprehend from the guys that the punk scene in Quito, is as I expected, pretty damned strong.
They are playing in a big punk show this weekend with 15 other bands, and I’m really pissed I’m going to miss it but alas I’ll be in Banos working on my other project, the one I’m really here to work on, Raw Travel.
The guys were cool enough to give me a funny little shout out that went something like “We’re Sikotikos from Quito, Ecuador and don’t ever try to rob the Punk Outlaw!” Thanks fellaz!
Wish we could have spent more time together. I can tell you Sikotikos are some cool cats who promised to have my back should the robbers show up again.
Oh and they play some pretty sweet punk music, check out their myspace page. They’ll have a new CD dropping soon so stay tuned on that information as well.
I have a couple more punk interviews set up between now and when I leave Quito, so stay tuned for that as well.
Oh yeah.. Really sorry about that misleading headline, since I actually didn’t get robbed (nope they didn’t get a thing but arrested). But I can’t let a good robbery attempt go to waste can I?
I mean, “Almost Robbed in Quito” Just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?
Back in February I made a return trip to Montevideo, Uruguay to see my old pals fromRudos Wild. A lot had happened in the year I was away. I signed the guys to my fledgling digital record label “Punk Outlaw Records”, I had begun work on a new travel show “Raw Travel” and I had moved from the U.S. to begin living abroad in Colombia, South America.
Rudos Wild Concert in Montevideo Feb '11
What hadn’t changed was the quality of the music of Rudos Wild and the pure, genuine energy of the band, when they are playing and when they aren’t.
We took advantage of my trip down there to hang out some more. I taped one of their live concerts, chilled at Peyo’s house at a big meat filled BBQ and ended up featuring the band in Raw Travel’s episode on Uruguay/Argentina.
Oh and we also shot a little music video for them for their song, “No Toleramos” (We Won’t Tolerate), which I just love.
Well the video has finally been edited and you get to peek it here first.
It’s dedicated to Leo 666, Rudos Wild bass player who’s been ill and in the hospital. Maybe you should think about eating a steak every now and then amigo! (Leo 666 is a strict vegan in Uruguay of all places, possibly the most meat eating per capita on the planet). Seriously, stay strong my friend and get well soon.
Special thanks to Renzo Devia, Moses Naranjo and Camilo Mendoza who helped shoot and edit the video.