With the closing of the Avalon looming, promoter Latin Rock Inc. is rolling out the first in a series of shows featuring Latin-inspired rock ’n’ roll. They’re calling the series, “the Last Days of the Avalon,” in honor of the venue’s impending closure.
Before you get too sad, get ready to dance, especially if you love Latin music. Headlining the first show on 4/20 will be El Chicano, legends in the East LA Latin rock movement in the 70s. Think of Carlos Santana’s Latin flavored acid rock of the early 70s and then tip it a little more toward the Latin, rather than the acid rock, and you get a sense of what El Chicano is all about.
El Chicano rode through most of the 70s on MCA, churning out Latin-soul-rock originals and covers. They Latin-ized “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles and “Light my Fire” by the Doors to surprisingly amazing results. Their rendition of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” scored El Chicano a hit single in 1971 and other hits include “Viva Tirado” and their funky original, “Tell her she’s Lovely.”
One of their songs that should have been a Latino anthem was “Don’t put me down (if I’m Brown)” from their 1971 album, “Revolution.” It could have been the Latino sing-along equivalent to “Say it Loud (I’m black and I’m proud).” Maybe, it’s not too late.
Also performing on the bill is Salvador Santana, Carlos’s son, the salsa sounds of Blanca and Soul/R & B group Showtyme.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The show starts at 8pm.