Posthumous Arizona Music Hall of Fame Induction- Phoenix,
April 17, 2005
below: the story and text of the Lalo Guerrero Death Resolution
read at the Arizona House of Representatives: Phoenix,
Arizona- April 18, 2005)
by Mark Guerrero
On Sunday afternoon, April 17, 2005, Lalo Guerrero was posthumously
inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of
Fame (AMEHOF) at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Arizona.
Inductees besides my dad included the late Marty Robbins,
the late Waylon Jennings, Glen Campbell, Jessie Colter, Dyke
& the Blazers, and others. The first annual induction
ceremony included live musical performances, along with speakers
telling the stories of the careers of the inductees and, in
some cases, friends or relatives of the inductees saying a
few words of thanks. Hanging out backstage most of the
day was legendary goth rocker Alice Cooper, who lives in Phoenix
and was a speaker at the event. Alice added some extra
color and excitement, along with a surreal quality, to the
festivities. I was honored to perform two of my dad's
songs at the event, "Los Chucos Suaves" and "Tin
Marin de do Pingue." The former song is one of
my dad's pachuco songs, recorded around 1949, and revived
for the play and movie, "Zoot Suit" in the late
70s. The latter song is a rocker in Spanish written
and recorded by my dad around 1956 that rivals "Rock
Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets.
Backing me were four great musicians. Three of them
are members of my 9 piece band, Mark Guerrero & Radio
Aztlán; Robert Dominguez on drums, Leo Valenzuela on bass,
and Steve Alaniz on tenor sax. On piano was a local
Phoenix musician by the name of Ralph Chavarria on acoustic
grand piano. He did a great job. I was on electric
guitar and lead vocals. I was extremely pleased with
our performance and the reaction of the audience. Since
my dad had just passed away exactly one month earlier, it
was a very emotional experience. It was tough getting
through the songs vocally, but I managed to do it. Just
prior to our performance my brother Dan said a few words about
our dad, followed by a great two minute video he put together
which provided highlights of the life and career of Lalo Guerrero.
Other stand out musical performances included Jessi Colter,
Rollie Stevens & the House band's three-part harmony rendition
of Marty Robbins' classic "El Paso," J. David Sloan
& the House Band performing in honor of Waylon Jennings,
and Dyke & the Blazers performing their classic r&b
hit, "Funky Broadway." The finale of the ceremony/show
was Dyke & the Blazers coming back at the end of the show
to reprise "Funky Broadway." Some of us were
asked to come out and join in so Leo and I, along with a few
others, played along with them. It was a lot of fun
and ended the event on a happy and funky note. One of
the joys of the event was the friendliness and goodwill between
the ethnically and musically diverse artists backstage.
After the induction ceremony and show, there was an after
party at Alice Cooper's restaurant/nightclub, Cooperstown.
The nightclub part of Cooperstown is outdoors and very spacious.
There was an excellent live band from L.A. playing hip hop
and r&b. My bass player, Leo Valenzuela and I hung
out there for an hour or so and then headed for the after
after party at a blues club called the Rhythm Room.
When we arrived I told Leo I was kind of tired and didn't
think I would go up and play. Next thing I knew Leo
was up on stage playing with the band. I was then announced
by someone on stage so I went up and wound up singing and
playing almost a whole set. Some of the other musicians
who had played at the Hall of Fame event came up and played
also and the jam was on. The music and the fun re-energized
me and I had a great time. The Hall of Fame people put
us up at a historic hotel which is rumored to be haunted.
I heard about it when we first arrived at the hotel in the
afternoon, but had forgotten about it by the time I got back
after the long day and night. One of my band members
and his wife swore the next morning they heard some unusual
things in the hallway in the wee hours of the morning.
The experience was shared by the wife of one of Dyke &
the Blazers. Since I didn't hear anything, I don't have
an opinion on the matter.
Mark Guerrero performing at Arizona Music & Entertainment
Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (photo by Ray Bowen)
See Program Below
The next day, my brother Dan and
I went to the Arizona House of Representatives, where a death
resolution in honor of our dad was to be read. The resolution
was spearheaded by Tucson representative Tom Prezelski, who
is half Chicano and half Polish-American. He's very
young and hip and is a real friend to the Mexican-American
community, which is a big part of his constituency.
We spent some time in his office prior to reading of the proclamation
and discovered he has an excellent knowledge and appreciation
for Chicano music. My brother and I were ushered down
to the floor of the House of Representatives, where we sat
on either side of representative Prezelski. In the balcony
were a couple of my dad's sisters, Teresa and Connie, his
brother Ruben, his niece Catarina, his grand niece Chrissy,
and my bass player, Leo. Tom Prezelski stood up and
read the resolution in honor of my dad and asked for a vote
of approval from the other representatives. The entire
House of Representatives stood up and unanimously approved
the resolution and there was a minute of silence in my dad's
honor. It was a great gesture from the legislature of
his beloved home state.
See House Resolution
A Resolution on the Death of Eduardo
Eduardo "Lalo" Guerrero, the "Father
of Chicano Music," died in California at the age of eighty-eight.
Born on December 24, 1916 in the Barrio Libre neighborhood
of Tucson, Arizona, Lalo Guerrero received musical instruction
from his mother and showed remarkable talent from his earliest
days. Known far and wide as the "Father of Chicano
Music,' he enjoyed an exceptionally diverse career as an entertainer.
He wrote and recorded hundreds of songs under different record
labels and his records sold millions of copies. Lalo
Guerrero's pachuco songs from the 1940s were used in a popular
musical and film, and his composition "La Canción Mexicana"
became Mexico's unofficial national anthem. He established
"Las Ardillitas de Lalo Guerrero" for hispanic children
in the 1960s, a time when his songs were tremendously popular
in the United States as well as Mexico and Latin America.
He appeared in several Hollywood films and in 1993 co-hosted
"El Nuevo Show de Paul Rodriguez" on the Spanish
language Univision channel.
In recognition of his tremendous contributions to American
music, Lalo Guerrero received numerous honors and awards throughout
the course of his career. Among his many accomplishments,
he received the National Medal of Arts in 1997 from President
Bill Clinton, the National Heritage Award from the National
Foundation for the Arts in 1991, and a Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Mexican Cultural Institute. He was named
a National Heritage Fellowship winner in 1991 and a National
Folk Treasure by the Smithsonian Institute in 1980.
Lalo Guerrero will be greatly missed by his family and many
friends as well as countless admiring fans around the world.
Therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives
of the State of Arizona: That the Members of the House
of Representatives sincerely regret the passing of Eduardo
"Lalo" Guerrero and extend their deepest sympathies
to his wife, Lidia, former wife, Margaret, sons, Dan and Mark,
granddaughter, Maya, sisters, Connie, Theresa, and Mona, brothers,
Gene and Ruben, and other surviving family members.
Video below (three minute video put together and narrated by my brother
Dan shown at the induction)