/ Interview On Thee Mr. Duran Show: March 11, 2008
by Mark Guerrero
On Tuesday night, March 11, 2008, I taped an interview and
"live" concert backed by a 5 piece band on Thee
Mr. Duran Show, which airs on Adelphia cable in many parts
of the greater East Los Angeles area and worldwide on the
internet at mrduran.com. Thee Mr. Duran Show has been
on the air for nine years. Many guest artists have performed
"live" on the show including Thee Midniters with
Little Willie G., Tierra, and Brenton Wood. On this
night, I played guitar and keyboard, in addition to my lead
vocals. The musicians who backed me on the show were
Ron Reyes on guitar, Karl Carrasco on keyboard, and Steve
Alaniz on tenor sax, who had played with me on numerous concerts.
Art Sanchez on bass and Robert Zapata on drums were playing
with me for the first time. Actually, Art and I had
performed together before as part of the Yaqui band reunion
at The Hop in Puente Hills, California in 2005, where we played
three of the songs we also did on the Mr. Duran Show on this
night. This new band lineup did one rehearsal at Little
Ray's Sanctuary Studio in East Los Angeles one week prior
to the taping of the Duran Show. On the day of the taping,
I had mild bronchitis and laryngitis, but the stage had been
set and I didn't want to cancel. Two days before I had
a cortisone shot and was put on a strong antibiotic in hopes
I would recover enough of my voice to be able to sing effectively
on the show. My new band lineup and the Mr. Duran Show
appearance happened in an interesting way. Robert Zapata
had e mailed me, which led to a phone conversation.
At the time, I didn't have a drummer for my original music
band and since he was working all the time with Ron Reyes
and Karl Carrasco who knew my material, he suggested we have
a rehearsal so if something came up, I'd have a band ready
to go. Coincidentally, I had been a guest on Thee Mr.
Duran Show about a month before with David Reyes, co-author
of the book "Land of a Thousand Dances." David
and I were interviewed by Mr. Duran about the "Eastside
Sound" and other topics related to Chicano music.
Once the band and I had a rehearsal date set, Robert said
"why don't we go on Thee Mr. Duran Show?"
That would give us something specific for which to rehearse.
Coincidentally, I was also in negotiations for a concert in
Tucson, Arizona at Pima Community College, so I pushed for
me to be able to take a band with me. Fortunately, that
came through so we had two things for which to rehearse.
Unfortunately, the budget in Tucson allowed for me to take
four musicians so I couldn't invite Steve Alaniz, whom I would
have loved to include.
The songs we did on Thee Mr. Duran Show were the following:
four of my songs; "The Streets of East L.A.," "Zoot
Suit," "On the Boulevard," and "I'm Brown"
and two of my dad's songs; (Lalo Guerrero) "Tin Marin
de do Pingue" and "Los Chucos Suaves."
These were the only songs we had rehearsed so when the stage
manager asked us to play another song at the end of the show,
I burst into a version of the classic Freddy King instrumental,
"Sen-sa-shun." I played lead guitar on it,
but Ronnie, Karl, and Steve also soloed on it. The band
really rocked the house and my voice was good enough to pull
it off, but it was very hard to sing and have the control
I like to have. One of the highlights was our performance
of "I'm Brown," a song I first recorded in 1972
on Capitol Records. Ronnie and I traded guitar solos
at the end and the band rocked its way through an extended
ending. I also did interview segments between some of
the musical performances. The audience was very enthusiastic
and gave a great response to all the songs we did. I
would like to also mention that Phil Reyes, who's the sound
engineer and production manager of Thee Mr. Duran Show, did
a great job with the sound and mixing, along with his staff.
There were some musicians in the audience including Robert
Benavides, lead singer of the band Satisfaction, and Albert
Martinez, formerly of the Desires in the 60s and currently
of Tabu. The energy in the small television studio was
intense and we all had a great time. Videos of all the
songs, with the exception of "Sen-sa-shun" are on
youtube.com. You can access them on Mr. Duran's website
or from my sight on my "Mark Guerrero Videos" page.
Click here to get to the page.
Visit Mr. Duran's website, www.mrduran.com
for more info on his show and to see videos of the other artists
archived there. Two weeks after my taping of Thee Mr.
Duran Show, Mr. Duran was a guest on Tony Valdez's "Midday
Sunday" on KTTV in Los Angeles, where he played
a clip of my performance of "The Streets of East L.A."
to open the show. I had a great time doing Thee Mr.
Duran Show, as did my band. We've been invited back
for another appearance in the near future. We'll do
a different set of songs and, hopefully, my voice will be
healthy and back to normal.