by Red Cell
“In 1964” (Click to PLAY)
The End of Being is proud to announce that David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez have sent us a new spoken word track called, “In 1964”, for our readers to scope out. It will appear on their upcoming album, The Long Goodbye.
The overly talented men behind behind both Los Lobos and The Latin Playboys have a new album coming out on January 12, 2010. Most of us are familiar with Los Lobos’ specific brand of Latin rock and roots music, but for anyone who is unaware of the Latin Playboys, they are a cross between experimental, Latin and roots, a sound that is unique to them alone. David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez front both these bands, but their new release is is under neither moniker. It is a compilation of unreleased tracks spanning the last 40 years of the duo playing together. Read the press release below.
“The Long Goodbye”
by David Hidalgo & Louie Pérez
David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez started writing songs together when they were in high school,
way before they ever became members of that group known as “just another band from East
L.A.”: aka Los Lobos. As the main songwriters in one of the world’s most solid and long-lasting
roots-rock enclaves, they’ve accumulated an outstanding collection of tunes.
The Long Goodbye is a collection of previously unreleased recordings celebrating 40 years of
songwriting by David Hidalgo & Louie Pérez of Los Lobos. The songs range from acoustic
american folk to classic country, showcasing just how deep American music is engrained in their
With a canon of work that includes such iconic songs as “Will the Wolf Survive?” from Los
Lobos’ breakthrough album, 1984’s How Will the Wolf Survive?; “Kiko and the Lavender
Moon,” from 1992’s Kiko; the title tunes from Neighborhood, This Time and Good Morning
Aztlán; “Somewhere in Time” from The Ride; “Mas y Mas” from Colossal Head, and so many
others, plus their Latin Playboys side project and soundtrack compositions (most notably for
several of director Robert Rodriguez’s films), the time is finally right for Hidalgo and Pérez to
survey their history as songwriters.
“We started this musical conversation back in about 1970, and we haven’t stopped talking,”
Pérez says, sounding simultaneously amused and incredulous at the realization that it”s been so
long. “That?s why it?s important for us to explain how it”s done; to sit down and say, Hey, this is
us as songwriters, this is where it all starts.”
“They’re very cool songs,” says Hidalgo. “You do get the impression that you’re kind of looking
at your graduation picture from high school, but there’s something very honest about it.”
Actually, it started in an art class at Garfield High School in East L.A., home of the nation’s
largest Hispanic community. Becoming fast friends, Hidalgo and Pérez began hanging out after
school, composing songs Pérez says were usually about “some goofy girl.”
As they matured, so did their subject matter. Poverty, illegal immigration and other cultural
issues made their way into Pérez’s verses, which occasionally revisit the East L.A. of his youth –
a theme that has carried through to the band’s 2006 release, The Town and the City.
The latest of several Lobos albums to land on influential critics’ top 10 lists, The Town and the
City provides yet another fine example of the creative connection these songsmiths share.
Whether conjuring a minor-key rhythm that percolates with undercurrents of danger, as in “Kiko
and the Lavender Moon,” or a groovin’ rocker like “Jenny’s Got A Pony,” Hidalgo’s blends of
Latin-American, R&B, blues, soul, jazz and rock influences can inspire Pérez to find exactly the
right words. Or vice versa.
“Over the course of the years, the ideal situation for David and me was always to sit down with a
pencil and a pad of paper and a guitar and write a song,” Pérez says. It doesn’t often happen that
way anymore, but they’ve developed a communication system that works just as well, one that’s
evolved from snippets of ideas passed back and forth via mailbox drops to files delivered
electronically. Or they’ll trade bits and pieces in the studio, and flesh them out on the spot.
“After so many years, there’s so much intuition here – I can’t even find any other word – where
the music and the lyric just fits together in some incredible way. I don’t know what it is,” Pérez
admits. He often falls in love with the demo version, but still finds amazement in a song’s
metamorphosis from a thought to a fully realized track – a process that is still far from automatic.
“When we start to work up a song and we get in trouble, when all these beautiful colors are
starting to turn into brown sludge, then its time to go back to the song,” Pérez says. “We always
go back to, ‘You know, Dave, sit down and play it again. Sing it.’ And then it’s just, ‘Oh, there’s
the song again.’”
Adds Hidalgo, “That’s what this is about: going to the song and really letting people hear its
As they near their fourth decade of making music together, there’s no time like the present to
look back at where they’ve been.
“We’re here for a short amount of time and what’s going to remain?” asks Pérez philosophically.
“For David and I, going all the way back to when we first met each other, what’s gonna remain is
And what a legacy they are.
In 1964, you could see the Sears Towers on Olympic Boulevard from anywhere in East L.A.
It stood guardian like over rivers of concrete that pointed eastward toward Boyle Heights and
the then green hills of City Terrace
Crayola colored stucco houses where mexicanos took their residence long ago ran up those
Behind ?apping screen doors a million moms rolled buttered tortillas and gave Kool Aid to their
kids as they ran out the door to play in the dust
We chased watermelon trucks in the summer time or ride the Kern bus for a dime to the
Chicano Miracle Mile, Whittier Boulevard to watch movies at the Boulevard Theater
We saw the Three Stooges in Orbit there, on the screen Moe hit Larry, in the lobby Lencho hit
Rudy and we all ran out to squint into the sun
My big sister took me to hear Thee Midnighters in the Johnson’s Market parking lot
Girls all screamed and cried for their own fab four or ?ve or however many there were in their
skinny pants and Flagg Brothers boots
She wiped her tears and we headed home with the bar-b-que chicken in a foil sack and a loaf of
We’d lie on the convertible sofa on hot nights with the door wide open to catch a breeze and
hear dad’s same old stories about the war, monsters, and uncle Manuel’s operation to remove a
splinter that grew to the size of a small tree
Every mother’s day he’d buy mom these sweaters that she’d rewrap and put away just to keep
wearing the tattered orange one she wore on her migration from Colorado to L.A. in 1922
My Grandma Cuca lived behind us with my dad’s oldest brother Joe, a quiet man who slept on
an army cot and played solitaire while smoking Camels all day long
My abuelita didn’t speak any english so she’d sit and watch TV with the sound turned down and
make up her own plots, her best friend was a guy she called “Gunsmoke”
Life never seemed or wanted to change in that little white house on Hammel street with its
decorative iron and mosaic of plant pots sitting on the porch rails
Everything stood unshaken that summer until the ambulance took dad away later that year left
us watching cartoons and listening to Ray Charles on the radio
The current list of confirmed 2010 David Hidalgo and Louie Pérez tour dates is as follows:
01/14/10 Boulton Center – Bay Shore, NY
01/15/10 Lincoln Center For Performing Arts – New York, NY
01/16/10 South Orange PAC – South Orange, NJ
01/17/10 Tupelo Music Hall – Londonderry, NH