When I was a kid, starting at 4 years old or so, I would play my parents records on our stereo in search of something good. I found this one album called Live at PJ’s by Trini Lopez and I was pretty excited about it. To say that Trini was a latin Sinatra type, on reprise records, does not do him justice. He was a great performer with a cool voice and a folk sensibility that he swung with a latin beat. The record was recorded live in a small club and had covers of (I want to live) in America, If I Had a Hammer, La Bamba and Celito Lindo, which some of you folk might know as Aye Yi Yi, Yi. Man, I dug it.
Now as an adult with my almost-3-year-old who is in love with all things latin involving guitars and good melodies, I played it for her. My daughter loves Mexican cowboy music and is mad for Ritchie Valens, so I played her Trini, to see if she too would dig it. Yes she did. She told her babysitter “I love Lopest (not a typo). Do you love him?" I played her the West Side Story version of America, but she told me she did not like it, she just wanted to hear Trini rock it with the classic sixties latin beat. As I listen to the songs with her, I am reminded how damn good he is. A real entertainer in the best lounge-y sixties folk singer way, so cool and talented. Trini ad libs the lyrics and mixes up the beat, playing guitar while singing, grooving out in his special way.The band, made up of just two guys, is phenomenal. Give the drummer some, people!
I am loving our listen sessions with Trini and I see how much I was influenced by him as a song writer and performer. Yes, my music was a whole different thing, but I took lessons from this guy.
My daughter is nuts for music, very specific music. I expose her to lots of styles and she lets me know what works for her. She rejects many of my favs and really has her own taste. She loves bands and guys with guitars who sing. But when the day is done and I ask her about ladies with guitars, she will always say, You, Mommy. And I say, That’s right, Mommy played guitar in a band and sang and so can you. She used to love my music, but she has outgrown it. If I put it on she’ll ask for Lopez and although my ego is bruised, I comply and we dance our best latin steps and sing along. Ay!