of the most acclaimed American bands of the 1980s and '90s, Los Lobos were seasoned musical veterans
with nearly 15 years of experience under their belts when they scored their
first hit in 1987 with a cover of Richie Valens' "La Bamba." Though
their time as pop stars was short, the group -- who enjoyed calling themselves
"just another band from East L.A." -- won over critics and a legion
of loyal fans with their bracing mixture of rock, blues, Tex-Mex, country,
R&B, and Mexican folk sounds, with the band's sound ranging from gentle
acoustic ballads to the outer limits of experimental rock. While often cited as
one of the great bands of Latino Rock, Los Lobos' eclectic sound in fact defined them
as a vital example of America's cultural melting pot.
Los Lobos were formed in 1973 by
guitarist/accordionist David Hidalgo and percussionist Louie Perez, two students at Garfield High
School in East Los Angeles who discovered they shared eclectic tastes in music.
Recruiting two other Garfield students -- guitarist Cesar Rosas and bassist Conrad Lozano -- they put together a band
which they dubbed Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a take-off
on the celebrated Norteño band Los Lobos del Norte. While their interests
ranged from hard rock to free jazz, the new group began exploring the Mexican
folk music they grew up with, and they soon found themselves regularly playing
weddings, parties, and Mexican restaurants in East Los Angeles.
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See and hear more at LosLobos.org