Los Rockin Devil's Biography

  

History of Mexican Rock

The history of Mexico's rock 'n' roll era is one brought to significance through its resident counterculture, seeded by the rise of international rock 'n' roll around the 1960's and nurtured by conflicts over political unrest in the nation's administrations. With aid from the record companies in an effort to profit from foreign markets, local-language translations of English rock 'n' roll were sought and pressed into clubs and concerts. Where ballads once dominated the eras immediately before, the British invasion with groups like the Beatles reconstituted music into a trust that the rebelling youth could invest in. Because of the ensuing protests against patriarchal political authority, rock and rock idols became the adopted icons for the era of demonstration leading into the late 60's and early 70's. Having bestowed rock with the symbolic representation of the counterculture movement, the rebellion embraced these magnificent and magnified sounds in "silent" protest against the turbulent bureaucratic regime. Though the events of this rock 'n' roll era may be overlooked by the historical standards of the texts presented in schools (and otherwise), Mexico's revolutionary rock music was in effect Mexico's revolutionary war.

 

  
  

  
  

 

With traditional picket protests cast aside, the youth adopted more active, impressionable social protests, which included new rebelious fashions, the invention of a new vernacular, and the embrace of Rock 'n' Roll as a channel for their frustrations. Record imports dropped drastically as the youth began to pick up their guitars and drumsticks, and record labels, such as Orfeon, CBS, Peerless, and Capitol, began to produce Mexico's resonant, resident rock tunes. The musical battleground included such entertainers as:

  
      
  • Tijuana-5
  • Javier Batiz and his Famous Finks
  • Los Black Jeans
  • Los Strwck
  • Los Salvajes
  • Los Americans
  • Los Freddy's
  • Los Blue Caps
  • Los Johnny Jets
  • Los Loud Jets
  • Los Babys
  • Los Yaki
  • Los Ovnis
  • Los Moonlights
  • Los Rebeldes del Rock
  • Los Hermanos Carrión
  • Los Apson
  • Los Sputnics
  • Los Reno
  • Los Leos
  • Los Monstruos
  • Los Belmonts
  • Los Psicodelicos Xochimilcas
  • Los Crazy Boys
  • Los Dug Dugs
  • Los Hitters
  • Los Teen Tops
  • Los Hooligans
  • Los Locos del Ritmo
         and
  • Los Rockin Devil's
      

  

 

History of Los Rockin Devil's

Los Rockin Devil's was among the earlier lyrical armies on the frontier of the Mexican revolution. The band was formed in Tijuana in 1962, with a series of members from various parts of the country. The original members included Francisco Estrada (vocals), Jesús Olivas (vocals), Jaime Gonzalez Castellanos (organ & piano), Elias Amabilis Palma (guitar), Miguel Angel Osuna (bass guitar), Jose Luis Villanueva (drums), Francisco Campos (saxophone), Juan Campos (trumpet) and their youngest members Blanca Estrada (vocals) and Irma Estrada (vocals), respectively. Within the first year following their first vinyl release, the band was reformulated with Alejandro Robles (drums) and Victor Mariano Rojas (saxophone). At one point, the group has also included particpants like Guillermo Barajas, Memo Méndez Landeros, and Esteban Ríos. Like all bands, Los Rockin Devil's started off as a garage band, but grew in popularity as the group played parties, concerts, and several other local events. It didn't take too long before regular requests came pooring in for the entrancing ensemble to play professionally. Los Rockin Devil's frequently played the nightclubs of Tijuana as well as doing a lot of touring about the country... ...continue w/LRD History

 

  
Francisco "Frankie" Estrada (Lead Vocals)
     1943- present
Francisco Estrada was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, where he was raised for only a few years. His family moved to the United States, in Southern California, to escape the political turmoil in Mexico. He grew up in what was known as the "Dairy Mart" house by some, as it was a home owned by the affluent owners of the a dairy mini-mart chain. Frankie and his siblings always showed an affinity for music, although he also enjoyed playing football. When Los Rockin Devil's first started out, they were entertaining the notion of his younger sister Irma Estrada being the lead female vocalist, but when that idea fell through, Frankie brought his other sister Blanca to join the group. Frankie and his sister were the force behind the vocals in most of those unforgetable songs.
Frankie graduated in 1960 from Mar Vista High School in San Diego, CA, and continued to tour with the band members full time soon after. Like most of the other band members, Frankie Estrada liked to have a good time and had encountered many young women throughout his musical tour, but he put his party days aside to marry his true love. During his career, he earned five golden records and three silver records for his achievements in singing. Frankie's singing days were put aside for a while, until he sought to legally retrieve the name of their band. Frankie now resides in Imperial Beach, California.

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Blanca Estrada (Lead Vocals)
     1950- present
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Blanca Estrada moved shortly thereafter with her siblings to the San Diego area. She was very young, very beautiful, and always charming. Blanca Estrada enlisted and ameliorated the troop, adding that supporting magnetism that helped hook fans. Although she was quite a charmer, she was also quite shy; this didn't stop her male fans from hounding her. Among other interests, Blanca loved swimming and was fascinated by all types of guys, as reported by a local rock magazine. Francisco and Blanca remained the force behind the vocals of the Los Rockin Devil's throughout most of its career.
Blanca Estrada now resides in Southern California, married to long time friend and Los Rockin Devil's band member Miguel Osuna. Both of them still lend their talents to musical events.

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Luis Jaime "Guero" González (Organ)
     1946- 1981
Born into a family of eight children, Luis Jaime "Guero" González was most known for his uncanny expression of happiness, despite the financial difficulties that a large family encountered. Born in La Capilla de Guadalupe, Jalisco, Jaime and his family moved to Tijuana, where he connected with several of the other band members, including Robles who was born and raised there. Jaime's obsession with music prompted him to study the art of classical music, taking private piano lessons whenever it was affordable. He often tended to his family's economic and emotional hardship with money earned from gigs. His mother died shortly after their move to Tijuana, but Jaime persisted with his musical career and served as a pillar of motivation for the band.
Jaime was known as a "noviero," a casanova, always attracting women to his arm, a title not unlike the other members of his group. If not love for women, he was certainly in love with his music. His fascination with music drew him to poetry; he was always thinking lyrically, and assembled verses of material constantly. Jaime utilized his music appreciation and knack for the piano and invested it in an organ, one of the key elements in the ensemble. Soon after, Jaime created "Los Rockin Devil's" and recruited his buddy Frankie and all of the others... This was the start of their 40+ year career.

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Alejandro Robles (Drums)
     1941- present
Alejandro Robles was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California, and was the oldest member in the Los Rockin Devil's, beating Francisco Estrada by two years. Next to Jaime González, Alejandro never was one to exclude himself from a conversation; he was a particularly happy and talkative fellow, with an often serious exterior. His past times included baseball and soccer, but his exceptional talent on the drums led him to join the band.

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Elias Amabilis Palma (Guitar)
     1946- present
Born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Elias grew up with a knack for the guitar. He moved to Tijuana and resided around the downtown area, where he lived with his mother and sister. His favorite hobbies included playing basketball and baseball, but his academic endeavors included a place in science as a chemist, taking courses in Orizaba, Veracruz. He brought his guitar skills to the band since its humble beginnings, and continues to play with the group to the revival shows of today.
Elias also leaves a legacy in Mexico through his music school Escuela Superior De Composicion y Arreglo Musical, SC (ESCAM). Offspring to Elias, his son Jonathan Amabilis Galicia tours as percusionist and guitarist of Los Temerarios, continuing the legacy of his father.

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Miguel Angel Osuna (Bass)
     1942- present
Miguel had an immense interest in extra curricular activities, such as boxing and baseball, but he studied music intensely while attending school in Tijuana. Like the other members, he was no stranger to the ladies either; however, he married his love early in his musical career. He played bass for Los Rockin Devil's since its conception in the late 50's, and continued to strum vigorously into the next decade, the highlight of the band's career. It may even be argued that Miguel's skill with the guitar was a key element in the band's induction into stardom. Miguel Osuna went on to marry long time partner Blanca Estrada.

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Irma Estrada (Vocals)
     195?- present
Also born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Irma Estrada grew up with her family in Southern California. Irma was among the initial choices for the Los Rockin Devil's female vocalists. She was part of the core group that recorded the first LP for Tambora (Discos Orfeon) in 1965, which released the hit song "Bien o Mal." Yet as the even smaller sibling of Blanquita, Irma was especially young and impressionable. Their parents would not allow her further participation, fearing that the rebellious and extravagant environment could influence Irma too early in her life. Thus, Irma Estrada only participated in the creation of this recording before leaving the band. In the years following the major career of the Los Rockin Devil's, Irma continued as a vocalist alongside her brother and sister, serving as an important influence in the reinstitution of the group.

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Victor Mariano "Mario" Rojas (Saxophone)
     1950- present
Mario was among the youngest of the group, almost the same age as Blanca. His impressionable state made him an avid fan of football and music, and was easily influenced by a shot at a musical career. At about 15, possibly 16 years-old, he was plucked from his academic studies to tour with the group. He easliy succumbed to the rebellious and extravagant environment of a touring rock group, drawn in by the party scene. Mario was like a phantom of the group, since he was a member who played more often than he was seen. Several records and publicity photos are without his figure, yet his audio presence exists in the music.

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By the early-mid 60's, Orfeón Records was scrambling for great talent, as its rival, CBS Records, aggressively campaigned and collected musicians throughout Mexico. The record companies recognized the creation and amalgamation of the counterculture and "rocanrol," and the marketability of the music, and had their bank books ready to sign the best of the best. Orfeon signed Los Rockin Devil's to its label, and the first album sold in 1964 without a hitch. The band created at least half a dozen different records under the Orfeón flag, sold throughout the greater parts of North American and South America; Los Rockin Devil's were becoming a sensation of pandemic proportions.

Because of their increasing fame, Los Rockin Devil's had launched its career into an array of lucrative opportunities. Beside their already cushy nightclub and concert gigs, the band was selected to score and play roles in movies. The band played under such actors as Javier Solis, Rosa Maria Vasquez, Maura Monti, Eleazar "Chelelo" García, Manolo Munoz, and Fanny Cano in a film career that started with their musical accompaniment in Juventud Sin Ley (aka Rebeldes a Go Go), to starring roles in other beautiful movies like Amor a Ritmo de Go Go. The times were anxious for such talent, and Los Rockin Devil's genius was bountiful; the rock group was at its prime.

 

  
  

Los Rockin Devil's stirs up the dance club crowds and causes a rush into music bins,
earning them the first of 5 gold records and 3 silver records.

  
  

 

Conflict between members of Los Rockin Devil's caused the band to slowly deteriorate during the late 1960's. Mario Rojas was removed after only a few years with the group because of his habitual use of illegal substances. Then an alleged affair broke out within the band, wherein the unmatched bass player Miguel Osuna decided that he had to depart the ensemble to avoid further conflict. Soon after Osuna's unexpected leave, the band scouted for a replacement musical marksman who could attempt to fill the group's opening; David González took over those duties, and became the youngest member of Los Rockin Devil's, trailing Blanca Estrada by merely a year. ...continue w/LRD History

 

David González (Bass)
     1951- presente
David González was born in Mexico, D.F. (Federal District of Mexico, also known as Mexico City) with an acute ear for music. He was still pretty young when Los Rockin Devil's first started to play nationally and gain recognition, but he was well aware of the grand impact of the music. David immediately recognized the invitation extended to him to play bass guitar for the band as the opportunity of a lifetime. One of his first albums with the troop was Nuevos Hits de Los Rockin Devil's, where he engaged in such rocanrol adaptations as "Soy Feliz" "Adios, Adios," and "Bum Bang A Bang."

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The band remained strong in its musical endeavor, yet the change never really sat well with the band's established enthusiasts. Surprised by the unanticipated, yet accepted, surrogate members, fans continued to purchase Los Rockin Devil's albums and attend concerts, keeping the band financially secure. At this time, Orfeón nearly stopped production of new records and strongly pushed for the production of "greatest hits" albums into the 80's, which contained the original and still popular Los Rockin Devil's music. Near the cusp of '69 and '70, the fans' toleration of Los Rockin Devil's alternate members was concluded as Ms. Estrada decided to bow out of the band. Los Rockin Devil's production was shelved for the time being.

Nearing the middle of the decade, organist Jaime González made a valiant effort to resuscitate the Los Rockin Devil's name. Circa 1975, a fresh company comprised of new members, including González's current girlfriend Martha, hit the town to play the old spots that once brought the band to glory. As his vision proceeded to come true, with the release of new records by Orfeón, the dream was cut short in 1981 when the aspiring Jaime González died tragically in an automotive collision. Speculation of the cause from that fatal event points to his girlfriend, whom sources say was a bitter and overbearing woman. Spawned by avarice, her pretentious relationship with the artist led to an arrangement wherein a sober Jaime and his friend where drugged at a local bar in Mexico. It was with González that the everlasting idea of Los Rockin Devil's remained. Los Rockin Devil's ended its 20-some year-long career...

 

  
  

  
  

 

Los Rockin Devil's: The Band's Future

Battles over the copyrights of the band's name and material ensued between the label and the band. Although Los Rockin Devil's had finished production with Orfeón, the band took their matter to the courts to retrieve their life's work from the unwilling producers. The remaining member's tried to strike a chord with Orfeón, where the band would be allowed to continue to play it's music, and the production company would be allowed to release their existing recordings. A deal was made, and since then the band has produced one more album with the music label. However, despite their agreement, Orfeón has released over twenty albums containing music by Los Rockin Devil's, with little or no residual compensation to the members of the band.

Furthermore, because Jaime González was the band's true leader, the "Los Rockin Devil's" name became the custody of the widow Martha, who was unwilling to grant the band it's true title. Time and time again of pleading and frustrating deliberations made no ground. Finally, after the band could make a monetary offer suitable to Martha's avid wishes, the band regained it's namesake. Los Rockin Devil's was a legitimate ensemble once again.

Since their compromise, Los Rockin Devil's has toured around parts of Mexico and Southern California as a revival troop, singing their classic songs from the 60's and 70's, and performing songs that were previously unreleased. From the late 80's and into the mid 90's, Los Rockin Devil's remained a favorite among Rocanrol fans seeking to revisit there rebellious youth. Those where times of corruption, mutiny, and revolution; and now they are forgotten moments, except for the precious moments contained in the music. Though the band has finished their musical tour as of 1996, they continue to play the occasional venue as two separate entities; Los Rockin Devil's from the north (Tijuana and California) with original members Franky. Blanquita, Irma, and Miguel, and Los Rockin Devil's from the south (Mexico City) with original members Alex, Elias, and Mariano. After years of a rollercoaster career, it would be no surprise if Los Rockin Devil's materialized together in your town once again.

 

  

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