After Avándaro: the black hole of mexican rock
 The black hole of mexican rock

 From the time of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz's government (1964-1970), to Luis Echeverría Álvarez (1970-1976), José López Portillo (1976-1982) and part of the reign of Miguel de la .Madrid Hurtado (1982-1988), the rock scene endured big troubles, although in Carlos Salinas de Gortari's régime, the situation was liberalized, in part because he was of the generation of the missing musicians.

What were the reasons? In the first place, the authoritarianism, followed by the Student Movement of 1968, the slaughter of June 10, 1971, and the Avándaro festival. Worst of all was that it let slip a major opportunity for the global success of Mexican rock, with its corresponding foreign currencies.

But the biggest obstacle that existed for rock was the fact that rock groups didn't get as much radio exposure as other types of Mexican music and foreign groups.
But the biggest obstacle that existed for rock was the fact that rock groups didn't get as much radio exposure as other types of Mexican music and foreign groups. To mention the monstrosities that invaded us and are now part of the memories of those generations: Raphael, Hermanas Jiménez, Rocío Durcal, Roberto Carlos, Roberto Jordan, Tom Lopaka, Julio Iglesias, Lupita D'Alessio, Leo Dan, el Pirulí, Juan Gabriel, Camilo Sesto, Mocedades, Rigo Tovar, Mike Laure (those last two were both former rockers), Terrícolas, Pasteles Verdes, Angeles Negros, José José, Fito Girón, Napoleón, the rockeros who played covers, the folkloric groups and the Disco music.
And even this way, these soloists and groups didn't have it easy, much less the rockers. Music Orbe, in a "checkup" of the five means of popularization of the professional recordings in 1975, affirms that radio exposure accounted for only 22% of the Mexican music industry's sales. The big winners were the disco groups (Disco Tex and his Sex-o-Lettes, the Sound of Philadelphia, Barry White, Minnie Ripperton, Frankie Valli and others).

Juan Gabriel was a hero to the nation and a zero to the rock scene. The aforementioned Mr Loco won the World Festival Yamaha of Tokyo with the song "Lucky Man."


Following is a breakdown of the year's fifty biggest hits by country:

The USA led the charge with 17,
Mexico followed with 11,
Argentina with five,
Spain with five,
Brazil with four,
England with two,
Italy with two, France with two,
Puerto Rico with one and finally,
Venezuela with one.

After Juan Gabriel, Lupita D'Alessio was in 14th place, with "Mundo De Juguete." And by the good grace of the radio programmers, at number 63 was the song "Que Buena Esta Elena" (How good is Elena) by los Hermanos Banda Salud!

TThe depth of the black hole varied according to region, since in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the rhythms were different, as demonstrated in an article called "Guadalajara en la onda", written by Angel Rodríguez and published in December 1973 in the magazine Dimension.

"Because of the Fiestas de Octubre in this city, there has been a lot of rock activity here. In several places there have been free concerts. Let us take a look at some concerts that I saw: in the Plaza de la Liberación the following groups played: Central Chicago, Alpaguijo, The Zonicos, Gente Extraña y Los Almas; in the Auditorio there were El Fuego and Mario y su Desafinado 4; in the Mirador Independencia the group Atmosfera 73 played; in the Concha Acústica the Festival Musical Guadalajara 73 happened over two days with the following groups: 39.4, Spiders, Toncho Pilatos and Stone Facade, all playing for an entry fee of 10 pesos. Before, in this same place, Las Cucarachas, the masked group, played, with El Fuego y Los Jinetes; in the Jardín del Carmen, Toncho Pilatos performed; in the Plaza de los Paraguas, the 39.4; in the Jardín Aranzazú, Las Cucarachas; in the Condominio Guadalajara, The Stone Facade; in the Plaza de la Bandera, the group Revolución 33 and in the Gimnasio Mexico 68, the group La Gente Extraña.

 As you see, there were some groups that played multiple shows and that without a doubt is due to the quality of their music. The following bands have regular paying gigs: La Solemnidad plays in the Casino Harlequin of Independencia 23, in San Pedro Tlaquepaque, and only occasionally turns over the stage to some other group, as they did recently for the Superbanda Frugal; Los Nobles are in the Teocali; in El Campanario, Los Barones; another time the Guadalajara Theater presented The Spiders and The Stone Facade; the Guich's, Las Líneas Blancas and Free Love have arrived at the Forum; at the Pantera Rosa de Chapala, Frankie, Alfredo and Paris, Cierco and later in that same place La Vida, Opus and Vaquero. 39.4 cancelled their performance in the Centro Internacional de la Amistad due to the mourning for unfortunate events in this city.
Regarding tours, Pedro El Askil has traveled to Tepatitlán twice; The Stone Facade went to Morelia, where they played at a party organized by the society of students of the Prepa 2, along with a local group, La Diligencia; to Noschistlán went Toncho Pilatos and La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata.

Lucifer teather in Guadalajara

Other news: in the Forum there was the first concert in the series that had been announced for every Saturday night, and its inauguration was horrible; there was little attendance for the performance by Los Spiders and Pedro El Askil. They had planned to have La Revolución, Enigma and Arbol from México City at the first concert (not at the Forum, but a Saturday concert) , but an agreement could not be reached either way.

And speaking of records, by this time the first album by Toncho Pilatos should be available in stores on the Polydor label; I am sure it will spread the wave of Toncho, with the band accompanied by the violins of the Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. Meanwhile, also on Polydor, young 25 year-old tapatío Alvaros Dávila's EP was released; the four songs contained on the disk were all written by Alvaro, from the lyrics to the music or the other way around, and the titles are "De dónde vengo a donde voy", "Recuerdos", "Mi vida ya va a cambiar" and "El mundo en sus manos está". As I write this "Mi vida ya va a cambiar" occupies seventh place in the Hit Parade of Radio Juventud, alongside several purely American songs. On other stations, "De dónde vengo a donde voy" is getting more airplay. Tony and Tucky of Los Spiders went recently to Laredo, Texas, to upgrade the instrumental equipment for their group, and they continue not to perform in Spanish, for how much longer?

Commercial news: Los Jinetes debuted their new song "Adiós, Adiós, Amor" at the Concha Acústica, in Agua Azul, where they played for the third time. This group has already finished recording its first LP which will be released very soon. There are already eight members in this group; if you don't remember their names, here they are again: Jaime Enciso (voice); Jaime Roque (trumpet); Salvador Chitica (sax); José (sax); J. Luis Limón (organ); Sergio Peiró (guitar); Juan Lomelí (drums) and José Ma. Lomelí (bass).

Meanwhile, Elbert Moguel of Los Strwck plans to release the song "Un sueño" in the United States, Europe and Latin America. For Elbert Moguel it is the greatest opportunity of their life to have international exposure.

And now some good news for the youth of Guadalajara: Lucifer is again organizing concerts. On November 11 they opened their new local and Toncho Pilatos played the first show, then Los Spiders the following week, and they plan to continue the concerts every Sunday like before. I hope that all the audiences will behave themselves and not get out of hand, which is why Lucifer closed last time."

In México Ciy the scene developed in a different way, demonstrated by the following article by Ricardo Morales in Dimension magazine in 1973.
"This column starts with the details of a weekend filled with modern music, beginning with Sunday the 7th, which saw several parties in different parts of the city.
The show that had the biggest lineup was in Lago Como 55, with Javier and Baby Bátiz, Three Souls in my Mind, Náhuatl and Mayita. Very good atmosphere, although attendance was a little sluggish. It is logical that there weren't a lot of people, because that club is not yet well established. We hope that saloon stays open.
Also on the same night, at none other than "Santana" at Lago Chalco 77, Los Dug Dug's appeared for the last time in the capital before thier upcoming tour, with Tequila and Medusa also on the bill. Of course the Dug Dug´s triumphed at their farewell. They leave for a two month tour of the northern republic, where they are regarded as very famous idols.
Before leaving, they released a single with two songs: "Brillo De Sol" and "No te asustes (es sólo vivir)". Hopefully this will become a big hit, since "Smog" was only moderately successful.
In Xochimilco, there was a party, with only the group Nahuales playing. In the Siempre lo Mismo, as always, there was a good atmosphere for a performance by Three Souls in my Mind. Before them, El Perón made their refuge in the Avenida Ocho".

On the other hand, in Tijuana, Baja California, we print an extract by Omar Foglio Almada from Formation of Agents and Cultural Practice in Daily Life: Rock in Tijuana.

"In spite of having a diversity of musicians, groups, promoters and rock clubs since the fifties, the city of Tijuana doesn't figure in the North Nmerican version of rock history, and in that of the Federal District it is scarcely mentioned. Maybe because the conditions to participate in this historical slope are not characteristic of the Tijuanian context.

Javier Batiz and the Famous Finks
 In December of 1957, a young 12 year-old "tijuanense" began his music career. In a nightclub on Avenida Revolución, a young boy named Javier Bátiz developed a style and a sound unknown in other parts of the republic.

Less than ten years later Javier Bátiz, like many other musicians of the Avenida Revolución, moved to Mexico City and transformed the way rock music was played and heard in Mexico. While the Federal District hummed with the melodies of The Tijuana Five, The Tj's, The Graveyard and later, Los Dug Dug's, El Ritual and Peace and Love, Tijuana remained an ideal place for the rockers' formation.

In this city you could listen to live rock 24 hours a day. There were musicians in the nightclubs who played long hours; managers and owners of these clubs who coordinated, hired and publicized the rockers; and youths who enjoyed night after night of music in the Avenida Revolución.

The tijuanense rock of the fifties, sixties and first part of the seventies made possible in great measure a daily interaction among the musicians, managers and the public. These people created a series of extremely specific relationships around the performance and appreciation of rock music in places like the Mike's Bar, Blue Note, Oscar's, Tequila, Aloha, etc.

But not only that, while the rockers of the Avenida Revolución perfected their musical abilities, they built their music as an entire project of life in intimate relationship with the street. Then, there were musicians that imagined working in the "Revu" until the death; others that remained only long enough to graduate to a "professional career" with the goal of stardom; thusly, the rockers gave sense to their lives from their occupation.
However the rocker's trade in Tijuana suffered a serious transformation starting in the seventies when the managers of the nightclubs displaced the musicians in exchange for Disco music. Most of them abandoned the city and the few that remained abandoned rock as a source of work. The conditions for the creation of a tijuanense rocker were altered."

In Monterrey, Nuevo León, nothing was easy, La Tribu, Los Brillos, Los Clicks and El Amor were the most populars groups, but they can find work in that city, only the saturdays and sundays in ballrooms.