“No Chicanos on TV” by Lalo Guerrero (1916-2005)
I know I saw Lalo Guerrero perform live, but I’m not quite sure when and where. I think it was eight years ago. Yeah, it had to be then because that’s when Ome and I first became roommates. Our sophomore year, we got stuck together in Hedrick Hall, room 676. The sixth floor was supposedly the “multicultural floor,” but there were only a handful of brown people.
At the performance (I think, it’s all kinda fuzzy 8 years later), Ome bought a CD of some of Guerrero’s hits. We got a kick out of hearing the respected musician — the father of Chicano music — sing a song like “Marihuana Boogie.”
Perhaps I never actually saw Lalo Guerrero perform live. I’m not old enough to start having fading memories of my late teens/early 20s. Maybe it was all just a dream. You ever have that feeling? Sandra Cisneros captures it perfectly in Caramelo, “Did I dream it or did someone tell me the story? I can’t remember where the truth ends and the talk begins” (p. 20).
If it was all just a dream, at least I got to make up for missing Lalo when he was alive by catching a performance of ¡Gaytino! by his eldest son, Dan Guerrero (review to come, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the show).