How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

RIP Richard 'Scar' Lopez

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlTPFERD8zs

Earlier this morning I linked to a post in LA Observed noting the recent death of Richard "Scar" Lopez, a founder of Cannibal & the Headhunters, a revered Eastside vocal group that for a short period in the mid-60s had a wildly successful run with "Land of 1,000 Dances." (The song is best known to later generations who grew up hearing it on oldies stations as that song that starts with "Na, na-na-na-na...") In its heyday, the band opened for the Beatles (at Shea Stadium, no less), the Rolling Stones and the Righteous Brothers.

Lopez, a graduate of L.A's Lincoln High School, died July 30 in Garden Grove at 65. The Los Angeles Times also has an obituary today, featuring  quotes taken from a 2005 interview that Lopez did with the LA Weekly. This is one of my favorites:

"I remember we were cruising Whittier Boulevard in Bobby's '49 Chevy and [DJ] Huggy Boy plays our song," Lopez recalled in a 2005 interview with LA Weekly. "And we were going crazy, going ballistic on Whittier telling everyone to put their radio on."

And this one:

As Lopez said in his LA Weekly interview: "We were four Mexican kids from East L.A., coming from the projects. Your dreams can be fulfilled if you work at it."
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