ISSUE 5 . 14
Thank you for believing in La Loca. Thank you for supporting independent media and community-based publishing. Thank you for standing by us through our learning curve, our typos, and our mishaps. Thank you for allowing a group of crazy girls to create a vision and give it a voice. Because of you, with this issue, La Loca Magazine celebrates her first birthday. Every other month for a whole year now we have been reaching the eager little hands of readers across the state, as well as folks as far away as Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Brazil, and Colombia, sashaying across demographics from the Phoenix Heard Museum and the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts to school teachers, doctors and our incarcerated fans doing time. La Loca was a baby that a community helped raise, and now here we are a year later in the midst of signing with Warner International, a distribution company that will allow our dream of reaching newsstands throughout the state, and eventually the country, come to fruition. With this exciting advancement, we will, as of this issue, change from a bi-monthly periodical to a quarterly, giving us just a little extra time to take La Loca from a 36 page “zine” to a 48+ page magazine. None of this would have happened without the help of my dearest friends and family members who have encouraged and supported this project from day one, including my mother and father, my fiancé and the guys at EFG Creative, as well as Team La Loca, who were all basically friends I cornered, recruited, forced, and otherwise conned into writing and modeling for me, and who have, in an utter representation of loyalty and unified vision, stuck it out. I love you girls like sisters. La Loca por vida! Before I sign off, I’d like to recap on what exactly La Loca is and what we hope to represent as a publication and brand. When I started this magazine I had the feeling that there wasn’t a publication for me, nor the thousands of
Locas from left: Amber Fuentes; Andrea Zamora; Candie Cosmos; Abigail R. Ortiz; Ungelbah Davila; Samantha Bencomo; Carmen Marsello; Vivian MirAnn Photographer: Carrie Tafoya PAGE 4
other New Mexicans who don’t fall into the commercialized version of New Mexico that at times seems to be the only representation we are given of ourselves and to the world. A small minority of New Mexicans are “celebrity artists,” wear $5,000 cowboy boots and ride in hot air balloons with Val Kilmer. Those folks are cool too, obviously, but what about the guys at the lowrider shop down the street who paint cars to look like museum pieces, or the girl next door that is a stone fox whose beauty is just as deserving of being captured and praised as any other model, or our parents and grandparents whose lives, stories and legacies created New Mexico and shaped this country? Who is telling our stories, the stories that are the norm, not the elite? The culture in New Mexico is completely unique. We’re like a yummy posole of Casillanos, Sephardic Jews, Mexicans, Navajos, 19 different Pueblos, Apaches, Dust Bowl immigrants and more, all simmered up into an incredible culture that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth with family roots as old as the land itself. Combine that with the deep connection we have with our heritage, ancestry and land that makes us perfect candidates for vintage, Rockabilly and Americana enthusiasts and you have La Loca Magazine. By capturing our history and placing it in a contemporary context, next to tattoos and local businesses, we hope to reinforce our sense of place and identity in the world, not only for New Mexicans but also for anyone seeking a better understanding of who we are as a people. What does it mean to us to be New Mexicans? To be Americans? Having an answer to that makes us a strong people and a strong country. Understanding where we come from and how we got here will make our spirits undefeatable. That’s loca.
Models from left: Samantha Bencomo; Candie Cosmos; Amber Fuentes; Abigail R. Ortiz; Ami Montes Photographer: Ungelbah Davila
Images Courtesy of Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts, New Mexico Route 66 Project and UNM
Route 66 is a symbol of the American dream, of the enterprise, ingenuity and freedom that build a prosperous civilization out of war, poverty, immigration and hope. It is one of the last great relics of the American West and its inherent promise of a new life, carved out of dust and sweat and ambition. It was the road that linked rural communities with metropolises, tore families apart and brought them back together, that transported men from ranches and farms and reservations to the ports that would ship them as far away as Okinawa and bring them home again to G.I. bill educations, automobiles and modernist ideas. This Mother Road, as author John Steinbeck called it, is a long, winding piece of living history from a time that, for better or worse, forever altered the portrait of a country, transporting it, quite literally, from cart and buggy to the Chevy Bel Air, from poverty to excess, from family farms to canned foods, from segregation to civil rights, from chalkboards to the computer. Out of the same desire for progress that paved the 66, so came Interstate 40 and the Mother Road’s decline. In the history of the world, America is but a baby, and like any growing child, we easily forget where we were yesterday in our enthusiasm for the moment and tomorrow's great adventures. In our obsession with modernism, we have PAGE 6
all but lost the visual reminders of the history that was so connected with Route 66. The roadside neon motels, cafes and curio shops have been plowed down along much of the route, and the communities that housed them find themselves in a sort of cultural purgatory, trapped somewhere between a past that is gone and a future that has driven right past them. Route 66 through New Mexico is "as different as the opposite ends of a cow," with the eastern half of the state "as flat as a cowboy's purse the morning after pay day," stated the University of New Mexico's "Guide to New Mexico," published in 1940. In New Mexico, home to 604 miles of the route, the history of Route 66 is a story of change and adaptation. Like any great trade road, much of what became Route 66 in New Mexico originated from other established trails, namely the National Old Trails, established in 1912, and the Ozark Trails. With statehood, these trails developed into a number of state roads, linking Gallup, Grants, Los Lunas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. US Route 66 then absorbed these state roads in 1926. During the early 1930s Dust Bowl era, migrants seeking new futures in California passed through New Mexico in tattered throngs, and those not able to make the next
800 miles to California often ended up where fate placed them, creating New Deal communities such as Bosque Farms, and a new cultural dynamic in the predominantly Hispanic and Native state. In 1932 it was approved for the former NM 6 stretch of the route, connecting Laguna Pueblo with Los Lunas, to be realigned straight through Albuquerque. In 1933, a new bridge was constructed over the Rio Puerco, making this realignment a possibility, and in 1937 paving was completed on the state’s new, shortened Route 66 path, linking Gallup directly to Albuquerque, Santa Rosa and Tucumcari, making New Mexico home to the country’s only Route 66 crossroads. The exact crossroad point, where the pre- and post-1937 Mother Roads meet can be visited in Albuquerque’s downtown where 4th Street, the pre-1937 path that led from Los Lunas to Santa Fe, and Central Avenue, the current path to Santa Rosa, meet. In a recent push to bring this vibrant part of American history into a contemporary context, pre- and post-1937 Route 66 municipalities, such as Los Lunas, Albuquerque and Tucumcari, are finding new and creative ways to give their hometown routes a fresh breath of life and inspire a new burst of economic development using the resources on hand.
LOS LUNAS Now one of the fastest growing communities in New Mexico, along a bustling Interstate 25 and two highly traveled state highways, the village of Los Lunas also sits along one nearly forgotten road. This NM 6, pre-1937 Route 66, connecting Laguna Pueblo to the Central Rio Grande Valley, is a romantically desolate stretch cutting through a Bugs Bunny-esque panorama of colorful mesas and pristine desert. The allure and character this length of the route has to offer is not found in James Dean filled diners or within the creaking chambers of yesterday’s roadside motels, but in the solitude, untouched landscape and warm breeze that rushes past the window, nearly the same now as it was three-quarters of a century ago. Racing along this path, mind wandering in the openness, one feels the true essence of freedom and adventure that defines Route 66 in our imagination. With a recent grant from the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways program, the village of Los Lunas is excited to bring the beauty of this pre-1937 route back into the public's consciousness. “A lot of that historic character has been lost here,” says Los Lunas Community Development Director Christina Ainswoth. “People don’t really associate Los Lunas with Route 66, even though we do have a pre-1937 route. So we’re trying to change that and bring that identity back.” Ainsworth describes Los Lunas as a community that has always embraced progress while staying connected to their heritage. “There are ways to both progress and retain your historic character,” she says. “It’s a delicate balance that I think is achievable, but you have to start implementing that right away before the new takes over the old.” To Ainsworth, the era surrounding Route 66 is important to remember in that it changed the face of city planning by introducing the mobility of the automobile. As something of a double-edged sword, the automobile allowed for urban growth in ways that would have been previously unfeasible, but also, she says, created sprawl that has become inefficient, rather than building more densely around an “efficient city core,” such as a plaza, which helps maintain a community’s identity and sense of one-ness. She says people are trying to recreate these older models of community, and this is where Route 66 can
again play a role. “You want to have that identity, and in some cases you have to recreate it to bring people back and start generating that activity again, and remembering that part of your history,” she says. The first step for Los Lunas in reviving their Route 66 history will be through the grant and creating signage, historical markers and beautification along their route that will bring its legacy into the forefront of residents’ and visitors’ minds.
ALBUQUERQUE The year was 1950 and Albuquerque, like cities all across the West, was in mid-transformation from a dusty, tumbleweed town into a full-fledged metropolis. Candy-colored Chevys, winged Cadillacs and hotrod Fords filled the city’s Route 66, Central Avenue. In the midst of this booming post-war economy rose neon signs like electrified rainbows, towering above the Main Street of America, beckoning to the motorists below, promising them the mystery and magic of this modernist era. Today Albuquerque’s Central Ave. is still home to a collection of mid-century motels, diners and other structures whose glowing neon and asymmetrical designs still define the 11-mile stretch from Coors Boulevard on the western mesa to Juan Tabo Boulevard at the mountainous Sandia foothills. Recognizing the value in this disappearing history, the city has launched the Route 66 Action Plan, an aspect of Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s ABQ: The Plan, a long-term project aimed at branding and marketing Albuquerque’s unique route and crossroads location as a destination hot spot. “The vision for Route 66 in Albuquerque is a vibrant and rich experience for all generations with attractions that build upon the memories of the past, contribute to the present lives of locals and has an ever-evolving appeal that expands into the future,” reads the January 2014 draft of the Route 66 Action Plan. Some of the plan’s goals are to preserve and protect Route 66 “assets and interests,”
promote economic development and tourism, all through tactics such as unique signage, public art, neon sign preservation, and historic preservation of period structures. “I feel that Route 66 is the core of Albuquerque,” says Eric Garcia, creative director at EFG Creative, the creative house responsible for designing the logo that will accompany this new Route 66 identity. The logo is a Chevy blue roadrunner racing through the iconic Route 66 sign. “We can use Central Avenue and Route 66 as a unifying force for the city. This is just the beginning of recreating the new Route 66 experience.”
TUCUMCARI The first city one reaches on their path west along Route 66 through New Mexico is the historic, mid-century community of Tucumcari, once the site of a reported 2,000 motel rooms, giving it its legendary tagline: Tucumcari Tonite! With it’s collection of expertly restored or preserved neons, such as the Safari, Historic Route 66 and Blue Swallow motels, alongside the almost post-apocalyptic ruins of less fortunate period pieces, this city is a prime example of a Route 66 community in the midst of a renaissance. In its present incarnation, Tucumcari is a sort of cruising museum, where the skeletons of a great history are nearly as enchanting as those that have been brought back from the dead. On every block of this undiscovered gem are the echoes of stories, the captivating and tangible feeling that you have entered a memory. “Tucumcari’s heyday was based on being on the railroad and Route 66,” says Tucumcari Mayor Robert Lumpkin. For Lumpkin, the route is a recent
memory that he holds an intimate nostalgia for. He is of the generation that remembers traveling the route through Oklahoma as a child in the backseat of his parents’ 1954 Ford and the route being “bumper to bumper.” When Lumpkin moved to Tucumcari to become a school teacher in 1972, he says the route, which runs right through town, and its neon lights were the first thing people wanted to show him. Many of his students had jobs working in the motels and gas stations on the route and would cruise up and down it on the weekend. “It was beautiful,” remembers Lumpkin. “It was such a glamorous, happy time in Tucumcari. Route 66 helped create a culture of mobility and travel, with bright colors, neon, chrome, motels, drive-in restaurants, drive-in movies, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, glamour and fun.” Today Tucumcari is working to bring the route into a modern context, using community driven projects, such as the Main Street Group’s that worked with muralist Doug Quarles for the Paint The Town project, painting both abandoned and non-abandoned buildings in a retro feel that captures the
route’s classic style, and the gas station project where the community helped paint nine stations from one end of Route 66 to the other. In total, Quarles has worked on creating over 50 murals around town, with at least 11 on Route 66. Members of the community have also joined forces to create the state’s first Route 66 Museum, housed at the Tucumcari Convention Center. As La Loca Magazine fans will know, Tucumcari is also the location of the state’s largest annual Americana music festival and classic car show, Rockabilly on the Route, the first weekend in June, produced by La Loca and Vive le Rock Productions. “I developed an unexpected crush on Tucumcari, I kept gravitating back to it,” says Simon Cantlon, owner of Vive le Rock Productions. “The town is the perfect encapsulation of a classic Route 66 town with the ghosts of the past mixed with the triumphant spirit of the present. You don't expect to fall in love with the town, but it sneaks up on you and you do. “Many of the people who came out for the festival last year said the same thing, ‘Why Tucumcari?’ By the end of their visit, they understood, and it was no longer a question. There's just something about it, something special."
by Ungelbah Davila
Three-quarters of a century after Route 66’s completion, it is New
Mexico’s honor and privilege to be home to 487 miles of this bedrock in the development of our country’s prosperous identity. Fifteen miles of this rich history can be found in Albuquerque, where its potential for economic development and a continuing symbol of our national character is every much as real today as it was 75 years ago, and just as important. This iconic road has not only served to connect our country for generations, but serves to help our citizens remember where we have been so that we may have greater clarity in seeing, quite literally, our road ahead. “I have always been fascinated by the Great Depression and what inspired people to make America great,” says Eric Garcia, creative director at Albuquerque’s EFG Creative. “I want people to really experience a new Route 66, what it means now, showing progression rather than depression.” Within the last two years, the stars have aligned to immerse the EFG team in a series of route-related projects, a subject close to Garcia’s heart. As with so many nostalgic New Mexicans, Garcia’s roots are on the route. A Los Lunas native and current Bosque Farms resident, “Route 66 has always been a part of my life,” says Garcia. In his Fourth Street office, nestled along the pre-1937 stretch of old Route 66, Garcia and his team have spent the last several months visualizing a new Mother Road experience and what this new identity will mean for the city of Albuquerque. The result? Piles of notebooks filled with Garcia’s ideas and pages of one-of-a-kind sketches that transform the iconic Route 66 sign into everything from rockets to roadrunners. Some of the luckier sketches leave the notebooks and come alive on Garcia’s computer. One of these lucky designs, a roadrunner dashing through a Route 66 sign, will soon be the city’s new ABQ: Route 66 logo and the centerpiece of several wayfindings along Central Avenue. “I wanted to take the iconic Route 66 logo and incorporate the state bird into a very contemporary setting where the roadrunner is running through the sign and its feet are the 66,” says Garcia. “We use a classic Chevy blue color and wanted an icon that would represent the fun side of Albuquerque and its attraction to Americana.” The design manages to capture the spirit of Route 66’s mid-century heyday without looking like a relic. Rather, the design succeeds in bringing the spirit of the route into a contemporary context, making it accessible to a whole new generation of route-dwellers and enthusiasts alike. Garcia says his goal with the design was to transform the classic Route 66 sign into a new, memorable icon unique to Albuquerque. “I want it to be used as an identifier for Albuquerque,” says Garcia, “where when people around the world see it, they instantly think, ‘Albuquerque.’ It’ll change the face of Albuquerque and hopefully make it a place where people want to come and stay. With our artistic talent, we’re trying to change the city’s economy for the better and give people a reason to come here or stay here.” The generation that is now experiencing Route 66 anew, whose ancestors once used the route to PAGE 1
scatter and disperse, are now interested in building a sense of community and one-ness, finding an encompassing sense of identity. With this new trend in city living changing from a migration to the suburbs back to a desire for closeness and community, Route 66 can become a unifying element for the city, whose downtown district and Nob Hill already fall along its path, presenting endless potential for revitalization, walkability, transit, and other community projects. Under Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry’s ABQ: The Plan, many of these improvement are already underway. “EFG is really riding on that wave of the changes that are already going on, and I think the timing is right,” says Garcia. EFG was recently selected by Bernalillo County to present design concepts for a proposed bus shelter in front of the Hiland Theatre on the eastern portion of Central Ave. The hope for the shelter is to serve as contemporary, functional art that also pays homage to the theatre’s past. “We’re taking our artistic designs and making them three-dimensional, functional art, an experience for people. I think that when a person can sort of live in our art, be a part of it, that, to me, is very inspiring,” says Garcia In Los Lunas, another Route 66 community, EFG has worked on the village’s branding, creating a structural design for their scenic byway project. Garcia’s design is a 10x20’ cottonwood tree holding a “Village of Los Lunas” sign in its branches. The tree, says Garcia, represents roots, foundation, family, community, growth and agriculture. It is also reminiscent of the ancient cottonwood that grew outside his childhood home in Los Lunas, which was the subject of his very first drawings. Through reinterpreting nostalgic Americana, EFG Creative’s wayfinding design and logo will at once pay homage to the history of Route 66 and the icon it became, while bringing it into the present and making it relevant in today’s world. These wayfindings will capture the American spirit of enterprise that literally paved the way for one simple road to forever change the country’s socioeconomic landscape. But most importantly, they will remind viewers of where we have been, as Americans, New Mexicans and Burqueños, and where we have the ability to go, instilling the importance of Route 66 in our inevitable growth into the future, and placing New Mexico at the heart of that change.
The event that took Eastern New Mexico by storm in 2013 returns to the iconic blacktop roadway of Route 66. We got a chance to chat with a few of the bands headlining this yearâ€™s shindig, ranging from Norway to Denver, and found out some surprising facts, stories from the road, and how these talents are defining the modern age of Rockabilly.
true? JS: There was this really cool picture someone took of me, and they just got the right angle I guess. It came out looking vintage and looking a lot like Elvis, so we used it on some posters and Elvis Presley Enterprises sent a letter to the casino saying you can’t use a picture of Elvis to promote your show. We were like, “Well if you look really closely you’ll realize that there’s no La cord on the microphone in the Loca photo.” They didn’t respond after Magazine: Do you get along with other Elvis tribute that, haha! artists? LLM: Best advice you’ve ever Justin Shandor: They’re all been given? friends of mine, and a lot of them JS: Be humble. That’s what I look up to me. A lot of other tribute was always told from my first artists ask me questions about hair boss. Always be like Elvis, be and make-up, where to get good humble, respect everybody, and costumes made. They’re all good guys. They all like good music. They never belittle anybody else. all try their best to bring the memory LLM: If Elvis were here today and pay tribute to what Elvis was and you had a chance to perform, about. what would you sing? And if you could say anything to him, what LLM: Do you get any Elvis fans would you say? that are a bit fanatical with you? JS: I would sing “Unchained JS: Not everybody. There are still Melody,” and if I could sing people who wish that Elvis Presley another song for him, I would sing was still alive. Some people look at “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With tribute artists as a way to see Elvis You.” I would ask Elvis, “How Presley alive, and, you know, they does it feel to live the dream, to pretend, you know what I mean, have everything that a performer they’re going along with the game. works for and dreams of?” And I You know Elvis fans are their own would tell him, “Thank you for animal. being you and making something happen for so many people.” You LLM: What do your kids think know it’s funny, Sam Phillips’ son about what you do? JS: My kids love what I do. Elvis came to the show last week and Sam Phillips was the guy who Presley, I think, is universal to all ages. I was watching King Creole the discovered Elvis. His son’s name is Joey Phillips and I walked up to other day, I watched it with my two youngest boys, and every time Elvis him, shook his hand and I said, would get up and sing the boys would “One thing I would like to do, is get up and dance and laugh and you that I would like to thank your dad know they love it. My kids have seen for giving me a career and feeding a lot of my gigs. It’s funny, with my my children, for giving Elvis Presley a chance and not turning two youngest, every time they see him away.” I do think that if I Elvis they say, “DaDa.” actually met Elvis I would probably be too star struck to open LLM: I heard that Elvis Presley my mouth. Enterprises mistook a photo of you for actually being Elvis. Is this really Interview by Simon Cantlon PAGE 12
La Loca Magazine: What is the rockabilly scene like in Colombia? P. Rocker (vocals, guitar): I have to say that there’s not a rockabilly scene in Colombia. Most people don’t even know what it is. Moreover, there’s not other bands playing rockabilly or even trying to do it, so we are like pioneers. I’m making some efforts to highlight the culture on my own radio show where I’m spreading rockabilly music to my hometown of Medellín. LLM: What drew you to this subculture and musical genre? PR: I have been listening to rock ‘n’ roll since I was a kid -Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and others. Actually, I started my guitar lessons with some rock ‘n’ roll guitar licks, and I always have been attracted to the ‘50s culture. So one day I found that everything I love is named “rockabilly.” LLM: What kind of a musical legacy does Colombia have? PR: Colombia is a country full of music from coast to coast. We have different kinds of music that represents every region. Even though we are not a rock ‘n’ roller country, for ourselves, we had a lot of bands in the mid ‘50s and ‘60s that covered Elvis Presley and Bill Haley songs, so in that way young people from that time took those rhythms and made a mix with Colombian folk rhythms. LLM: Who are your heroes, musically or otherwise? PR: Although he is
not a rockabilly musician, my main influence is Mike Ness from Social Distortion. As a musician, I have been influenced by Ronnie Dawson, Johnny Burnette, Paul Gayten, Clarence Samuels, Nick Curran , Muddy Waters, and Little Walter. I love jump blues and delta blues, as well. LLM: What are your feelings about playing a festival in a historic Route 66 town? PR: For a Latin American band, it is so important to play in the states, so we are so excited to play rockabilly in the country where it was born. To me, playing at Rockabilly on the Route is going to be a summer school. I know that I have a lot to learn about the genre and I’m sure that I’m going to find a lot of musical information there. LLM: Anything else you’d like us to include about Dorados? PR: We would like to invite all of you to stay tuned to our work and check out our sites: punkoutlawrecords.com/artist/dorados-rockabilly-trio/ www.facebook.com/thedorados.rockabilly Interview by Ungelbah Davila
La Loca Magazine: How would you describe The Lucky Bullets to someone who hasn’t heard your music? Tank Harvey (vocals): I would describe it as rockabilly for a start, with some unexpected twists. There is some country western in there, some soul and some European influences. We are, after all, Norwegians. LLM: What makes The Lucky Bullets stand apart from other bands? TH: Old school sounds and looks, but with a lot of powerful wildness. You understand where we come from, but you´ll still be surprised. LLM: How was The Lucky Bullets created? TH: We were simply a couple of guys who wanted to start a rockabilly band. We found that the scene in Norway was lacking bands of their own, so we took matters into our own hands. LLM: Please describe what you love about the music you create. TH: We love the rhythm and the expression. It is important to perform it right -- first to have a good song as a base, and then the performance of it both in the studio and on stage. LLM: What should fans expect to see from you at Rockabilly on the Route? TH: We think they will find it refreshingly vital, if we have a good day. We are surely prepared as hell to give it full throttle. We have sad songs in minor, sweet songs in major, some good ol’ rock’n’roll, and some wild and crazy stuff that´ll blow your minds! LLM: Can you tell me a little bit about each band member? The Lucky Bullets: Jimmy Dapper works as a night clerk at a hotel, plays drums, and can never really tell what day it is. Butch Comet is a traveling chef and butcher and owns a horse and a dog. Ace Dynamite combines professional
photography with his job in the county jail, has two kids and drives a 1956 Plymouth. Tank Harvey has two kids, and works with animation when not singing in your favorite band. LLM: What’s one interesting fact about each band member that fans don’t know? The Lucky Bullets: Jimmy Dapper is scared of jelly. Butch Comet likes to smash honey bees with tennis rackets, makes ém go buzzzzzzz POW, and then weeeeeeeeeeeeee. Ace Dynamite has an extra kneecap. Tank Harvey once won a bar fight butt naked, psyching out his enemy and messing with his mind. LLM: When fans walk away from one of your shows, what’s the message or feeling you want them to leave with? TH: We're hoping they had a really good night, and that they were both moved and amused. LLM: What’s next for you guys? TH: Back to Norway for some gigs and then we hope to find time to make some new material. LLM: If you could be any alcoholic drink, what would it be? TH: Negroni: It's not for everyone. It's bitter, sweet, classy and strong. Interview by Abigail R. Ortiz
La Loca Magazine: How would you describe yourself in a sentence, including one surprising fact people might not know? Eddie Clendening: I would describe myself as an entertainer, and a hobo. As far as an interesting fact people may not know... I suppose maybe the fact that I rather enjoy old school rap music, and can karaoke a mean version of The Humpty Dance. LLM: What is your No.1 guilty pleasure and your adult beverage of choice? EC: Guilty pleasure? Fried things with cheese. Adult beverage? A Guinness and a shit ton of Jameson. LLM: What is your creative process when it comes to writing music? EC: My creative process typically involves a quickly approaching deadline and a feeling of panic. I also tend to hear lines spoken in movies that I jot down and try to write songs around.
LLM: What are your feelings about playing a festival in a historic Route 66 town? EC: I'm from Colorado and have traveled Route 66 tons of times in my life, but this is my first time playing in this area. I am just excited to see some new faces and meet some new friends. LLM: What were some of your inspirations, themes or imagery involved when you did “Walkin’ and Cryin’”? EC: I just wanted to make a guitar heavy record that incorporated some of the low and lonesome sounding stuff that I had been listening to more and more. I wanted something consistent, but with enough variety to be interesting front to back, and I wanted to do it all exactly the way I wanted it with nobody else to answer to. I'm very happy with the results. That being said, the guys who played on it brought tons of ideas and talent and took it beyond where it was in my head.
LLM: How have you seen yourself and your music change or develop from when you first began performing to now? What have been some of the factors in that journey? EC: I've just grown into an adult of sorts, and my music has changed along with improving skill and broadening tastes to LLM: Anything else you’d incorporate more of what I like to add? know and love about life and EC: Just that I hope to see art. everybody out for the show in Tucumcari, and I look forward LLM: Who are your heroes, to tearin' it up down there. See musically or otherwise? y'all soon. EC: I love all sorts of music See more at: and have all sorts of heroes, www.eddieclendening.com from Audie Murphy to Alan Seeger, but I have always loved Interview by Ungelbah Davila Paul Newman. I've been listening to a ton of Waylon Jennings lately. PAGE 13
LOCA MUSIC LLM: What's your favorite classic car? SK: I’m really more of a motorcycle guy than a car guy. Our drummer, Leeroy, is the car guy. I guess I’ve always been partial to the 1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88.
La Loca Magazine: What can we expect from Voodoo Swing in their debut performance at Rockabilly on the Route? Shorty Kreutz: A high energy, no holds barred rock ‘n’ roll show. Playing live is really what we’re all about, and our live shows are something we take great pride in. LLM: What is your version of rockabilly? SK: Hard to say. Certainly not traditional, but not psychobilly, either. I guess a high energy, slightly louder interpretation of the genre is where we’re coming from.
LLM: There's sure to be plenty of “fast cars, guitars, tattoos and scars” at Rockabilly on the Route. What are you guys looking forward to the most? SK: Meeting and making new friends is always the highlight of any festival for me. Some of the best friends I have in the world I’ve met at shows. LLM: Who are some of your influences in music and life? SK: Musically, roots music for me begins and ends with The Paladins, and Dave Gonzalez has been a real hero and mentor to me. In life, I think it’s really just about being kind and respectful to everyone. Anyone who acts in that manner is an influence on me.
LLM: Where did your love for psychobilly come from? SK: I lived in England in LLM: What's next for Voodoo 1987-88, and got to see bands like Swing? the Guana Batz, Restless, The SK: First, we have a Summer Pharoahs, Quakes, etc… at the very tour in Europe with huge beginning. I loved the fusion of punk rendezvous such as Muddy Roots energy with rockabilly. Festival in Belgium, Cahors Blues Festival in France, Blue LLM: How did you create Balls festival in Switzerland, Voodoo Swing's unique sound? shows in Germany (Berlin, SK: I think that ultimately it’s a Hamburg)… It is going to be a product of the members of the band. blast! Afterwards, hard to say, to We’ve kind of all tended to play be honest. You never know! more aggressively than a lot of rockabilly bands. I’m a huge blues LLM: If Voodoo Swing were fan, so there’s always been that a cocktail, what would you be? element, as well. SK: Hmmm… something with a lot of different ingredients! LLM: Will you be cruising into Probably an “Adios MotherfuckTucumcari in the Voodoo Continener!” tal? How's she running these days? SK: Unfortunately, no. She’s not Interview by Carmen Marsello in the best of health as of right now! She needs a lot of love and attention! PAGE 14
La Loca Magazine: How would you describe your sound? Emily Herring: I would say that I play Texas honky tonk and western swing. It’s not all about Texas, but you can tell from hearing me and seeing me that that’s a big part of who I am. LLM: When did you get into this whole playing music thing? EH: I have been playing for about 15 years. I started when I was about 21. I didn’t know I was going to be into the more country stuff at all. I played in a lot of punk bands when I was first starting out. LLM: What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever played? EH: I have played some pretty bad weddings. There was one that was Native American themed and it took place in their front yard. They were burning sage and smudging and all that. I can’t remember what song they wanted us to play but it was something by Lonestar. Then they had a woman get up and sing “You Light Up My Life,” during the wedding. The guy who was running the karaoke machine had to pick the track from a CD and he kept hitting the wrong song and playing, “American Woman,” like three or four times in a row before he could finally get “You Light Up My Life” to play! The singer was wearing a big blue silk dress with a giant wolf head in the middle of it!! LLM: What was the first album you ever bought? EH: First album I ever bought was probably “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. That was a great album! I remember going to Sears and they had this whole section dedicated to him, you could get one of those awesome
jackets of his and Michael Jackson dolls. I mean it was intense. I wanted one of those jackets so bad. LLM: What’s the most ridiculous thing that ever happened to you on the road? EH: One of my crazy stories from the road is when we ended up staying at this one motel and it was so terrible that we all threw our sleeping bags on top of the beds because we didn’t want scabies. There was also, apparently, a hooker named Jaime at the motel and we had a dog with us who was also named Jaime and these dudes would pound on Jaime’s door in the middle of the night and yell “Jaime,” and the dog would just lose it and be like, “Why are you calling my name, who are you?!” LLM: What’s your experience with Rockabilly music? EH: In my early 20s I was living in Denton, Texas, and the whole rockabilly thing was blowing up again. I got kinda swept up in it. I had a pompadour and I had these little fake sideburns that I would dye bright red. I became obsessed with it. So I kind of came in on the crest of it. It was right about that time when Brian Setzer first put out that swing album and there was that swing, punk, rockabilly thing going on. I was super into it. Interview by Simon Cantlon
In books like “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac, the music of Nat King Cole, in movies, comics, cartoons, in the world of vintage cars and bikes, things that I really like. I want to go from Chicago to Los Angeles. I want to know the complete route. LLM: How do you find inspiration when you need to create a design? CS: I think my main inspiration to create comes from the music. For example, I listen to "Devil in Disguise" and I imagine a girl of the music. I listen to "Built for Speed'' by Stray Cats, and I imagine a Faster '57. It’s practically impossible not to imagine, then just put it all on paper!
Meet artist and graphic designer
Cristiano Suarez, of Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil, the mastermind behind this year’s Rockabilly on the Route poster. La Loca Magazine: What made you become a graphic artist and why do you focus on mid-century, vintage and rockabilly themes in your work? Cristiano Suarez: As a child I always liked to draw, on account of comics, and also as a child I was influenced by old songs that my parents listened to, like Paul Anka and Ritchie Valens, and it turned out to be a great wedding of ideas. At 6 or 7 years old I was a fan of Elvis Presley, and I tried to imitate him in the living room. Besides music of Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, I loved movies like “Grease.” This has all been a great school for training my way of making art. LLM: What does Rockabilly mean to you? CS: Rockabilly means being a rebel and not following the standards imposed. LLM: Have you ever been on Route 66, and what do you know about it? CS: I've never been on Route 66, but I really want to travel and see the surprises this historic route holds. I know about it in popular culture:
LLM: Do you listen to music while you design? What do you usually listen too? CS: Surely. I always work while listening to music! It makes the job more pleasurable. In fact, I usually hear something that has to do with what I'm drawing. If I'm drawing a wicked and sexy girl, for sure I'll be listening to songs like Stray Cat’s “Fishnet Stockings” or “(She's) Sexy and 17.”
LOCA ART living from my drawings, meet other artists and be able to work directly from the universe of rockabilly, punk and rock 'n' roll, and maybe live in Los Angeles. I love the universe of kustom kulture and lowbrow art born in California. I want to draw more and more! LLM: What does it feel like designing posters for events that happen all over the world that many people see? CS: Actually I have done posters for South America, and especially the U.S. I'm happy, because I am a great admirer of American culture, and know that they appreciate my work. The feeling is of satisfaction, and willingness to do more work for the outside world! See more at: cristianosuarez.wix.com/cristianosuarez facebook.com/cristianosuaresartwork Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
LLM: Do you get turned on by the woman you design in your posters? CS: Yes, I love my bad girls, would be interesting to talk and drink Jack Daniels with them. LLM: Are there any real women in your life that inspire the women you create in your art? CS: Actually my girlfriend Patricia inspires me a lot, besides supporting me a lot in my work, and she loves Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin. But there are other real women that inspire me like vintage actresses such as Rita Hayworth, Debra Paget, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, or more modern artists like Bernie Dexter and Claire Sinclair. LLM: Where do you want your career to go? What would be your ultimate achievement? CS: When I was a kid, I dreamed of working for Marvel Comics, but I think today my work has taken another turn. I want to make a
Interview by Simon Cantlon
LOCA CULTURE Rockabilly is a very unique style of music that originated in the early 1950s in the American South. This style of music is a combination of the rock ‘n’ roll and country music, often known as hillbilly music, of the early 1940s and ‘50s. The name “rockabilly” itself is a merging of the words rock and hillbilly and is often simply referred to as rock’n’roll. In addition, the style is considered by some to be the third generation of country music. Many other influences of rockabilly music include honkey tonk, American folk, bluegrass, boogie-woogie, rhythm and blues, western, and even some African incluences introduced during slavery. It crossed many cultures and nationalities, forming its own genre. For example, the well known Elvis Presley song “Hound Dog,” was actually first recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1953. Some features of rockabilly music include vocal twangs, tape echoes and a combination of different instruments, including the guitar, upright base, drums and even the fiddle. By 1956 rockabilly had reached its peak with chart topping artists such as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly,
Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Wanda Jackson, and each of these artists brought their own unique style to this new sound. “I think rockabilly paved the way for things to come,” says Elvis Suissa, front man of Three Bad Jacks. “All in all, I think rockabilly was rock’n’roll with a bunch of electric hillbillies that were creating a PAGE 16
new sound. I think the world was changing and so was the music.” In the 1960s and ‘70s, the craze for these danceable beats fell out of vogue in favor of the new pop music of the day. But, since we all know “rock’n’roll is here to stay,” in the ‘80s and ‘90s, this style of music enjoyed a comeback with bands such as the Stray Cats. This new-old style became wildly popular in Europe, developing into its own subculture and eventually crossing the pond back to its birthplace here in the states. Like the music itself, the rockabilly subculture has shown great adaptability and staying power, branching off both musically and stylistically in a myriad of different variations, including psychobilly, punkabilly, cholabilly and just about anything else you can stick a “-billy” on the end of. But the essence of the culture and music stays the same, with its foundation rooted in the 1940s through early ‘60s and everything “cool” those years had to offer. The legacy and importance of rockabilly and the early American music that influenced it was perhaps put best by music industry legend Quincy Jones during his 2012 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award speech, when he said, “Our classical music is Jazz and Blues, and don’t you ever forget it.” Jones also said that
“every country in the world knows more about our music than we do,” so to help change that theory, here’s a look at some memorable rockabilly artists that helped shape an era of history and music. Even today, their songs continue to define not only rock’n’ roll, but a continuing legacy of Americana.
BLUE SUEDE Y LA BAMBA Elvis Aaron Presley was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. His parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, were expecting twins, but Elvis’ twin brother was stillborn and Elvis grew up an only child. His parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948 and he graduated from Humes High School in 1954. His musical influences came from the Black R’n’B music he heard on the streets of Memphis, as well as pop, country, and the gospel music that he heard in church. His style, charisma, talent, and good looks caused this young heart throb to become real popular real fast, and by 1954, he was signed to a small label known as Sun Records. In 1955 Elvis’ contract was sold to RCA Victor, and by 1956 this young stunner was a worldwide sensation. With his racy dance moves and shouldering good looks he became the poster boy of this era of American culture. While Elvis was best known for his hit “Blue Suede Shoes,” the song itself was originally recorded in 1955 by Carl Perkins. The song originated in December 1955 while Perkins was playing a dance. He looked out on the floor and saw a young couple dancing. The young man looked up at his lady, saying in a stern voice, “Uh oh, don’t step on my suedes.” Perkins thought to himself, “A pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his shoes.” Perkins went home that night and began writing the song, and Sun Records released their first recording of the song in 1956. By February 11 of that year, the song skyrocketed to being featured on the radio and became No. 2 on the Memphis charts for the next two weeks. It was standard practice to record cover versions of songs, and RCA was interested in having new performer Elvis Presley record “Blue Suede Shoes.” Presley performed the song three times on television, and continued to perform it many other times. As the story goes, when Elvis originally begged to perform the song, he was doing it to help Perkins out after his friend was in a horrible car accident, and had no idea what fame and fortune the song would end up bringing them both. Another famous artist who is not classically “rockabilly,” but nonetheless loved by many modern-day rockabilly guys and gals, especially here in the Southwest, is Ritchie Valens. Ritchie, whose birth name was Richard Steven Valenzuela, was born on May 14, 1941, in Los Angeles, California. Growing up very close with his family, he was surrounded by Mexican music, but also got many of his influences from groups such as the Drifters, the Penguins, and the Crows. At 16, Valens joined a band, known as the Silhouettes, and soon after was auditioning for Bob Keane, owner of Del-Fi Records. Some of Ritchie’s more popular songs include hits “Come On Lets Go,” and “Oh Donna.” One song that was very popular among Mexican families was "La Bamba,” and is often played during weddings. Although some sources say the song originated from African slaves, others say it originated in Mexico. This Veracruz-style song is often performed in the Mexican dance known as ballet folklórico. The phrase "la bamba" has no literal translation, but the closest related word to is "bombolear," which means, "to shake," "to stomp," or "to swing." “La Bamba” is reported to date back over 300 years, however the song gained popularity after it was performed by a young Valens in 1958. The song became so popular that it was a Top 40 hit and ranked #354 in Rolling Stones Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all times. Although Valens was not the one who originally wrote the song, he was the one who re-wrote it, performed it and helped it gain its great popularity as a Chicano, rock’n’roll and Cholabilly staple. The Valens version of “La Bamba” continues to be played all over the world, can be heard at any and every New Mexico fiesta, and manages to be one of rock’n’ roll’s earliest Spanish language hits. Que chido! PAGE 17
The luster of Tinkertown will call most
loudly to anyone who's ever been taken by the idea of dusty ol' towns filled with cowboys, Indians, and outlaws of the Wild West. Within the museum walls, which are artfully crafted from 55,000 bot-
tles of all shapes and colors, lays a tiny town of tinker. And by “tinker,” we mean a spectacular collection of miniatures that could champion the greatest collection. A museum that is literally encrusted with relics of early Americana, old world charm, and 1,500 hand carved and painted miniature figures. Through the mosaic hallways you will find 24 rooms of handmade minuscule Americana -- the result of artist and creator Ross Ward’s childhood fascination with the old west and an adventurous life as a traveling "show painter" during the 1960s. The museum can be found roughly 25 miles off Route 66 through the forested mountain roads of the Sandia Crest. We suggest taking the super scenic cruise up the mountain to Tinkertown after stopping at one of the local waterin’ holes, such as the Lazy Lizard, where you'll find "the best food on the mountain," according to owner Bruce Ogle. "They call us the East Mountain 'Cheers,' because everybody knows your name." The locals take full advantage of the PAGE 18
buy-your-buddy-a-beer system, where you can do just that. The name of your lucky bud goes onto the highly sophisticated dry erase board system, until they claim it. Once your troops are fed, they will be fiending for more fun and an epic roadside attraction. As luck would have it, Tinkertown is right up the road from the Lazy Lizard. The second you pull into the two-acre lot it becomes clear you have entered the masterpiece and life work of a brilliant artist. On the way to the front door you walk past pillars made of stone, down a walkway of weathered wood, under a canopy made of metal shingles, and peek through a wagon wheel window to get a glimpse at what lays in store. For just $3.50 for an adult admission, the price can’t be beat. Although showing up with a pocket full of quarters would be wise since several of the scenes depicted within Tinkertown are automated. The thrill of dropping a quarter into a machine to see a tiny animatronic show certainly brings back the nostalgia and wonderment of a 9-year-old boy at the circus. After loosing a battle with Alzheimer's, Ward passed away at the age of 62, leaving behind the Tinkertown legacy for wide-eyed travelers to enjoy. The artist’s wife and co-creator of Tinkertown, Carla Ward, reflects on the museum and her 22 years of marriage to Ross. "The 22 years that Ross and I were married were extravagantly productive, artistically fulfilling and emotionally exhilarating,” she says. “The thrill of being a partner to a true genius is a gift I treasure. I am grateful for the opportunity to have shared in his remarkable talent."
For locals and travelers alike, it seems to be a little known fact that Clovis, NM, was the home to one of the most influential figures in rock ’n’ roll history, Norman Petty. Norman and Vi Petty resided in the dusty desert town of Clovis during the 1950s, where they operated a small studio that recorded legends such as Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, and, years after Petty's death, a young Leann Rimes. Born and raised in Clovis, Norman and his wife, Vi, grew up in the small town where they graduated from the local high school and went on to become part of a chart topping trio. The success of the trio allowed Norman and Vi to expand their studio, which is still intact and available for tours by the Petty estate manager, Ken Broad, who resides in Clovis to this day. With the help of Ken Broad, the Clovis Chamber of Commerce was able to remodel and transform their basement into the Norman and Vi Petty Rock & Roll Museum. The museum is decked out with a giant neon ‘50s Fender Stratocaster and packed full of authentic rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, including a recreation of the original 7th Street studio. A similar recreation of the Petty studio has also recently been created in Nashville, Tennessee next to RCA records to commemorate Petty's contributions to music and sound engineering. It was in the 7th Street studio that Norman pioneered the art of analog recording and vacuum tube amplification, a technique unlike any recording methods that exist in today’s recording world. At one point Petty even remodeled the historic Mesa Theatre as a studio because is had perfect acoustics.
as a studio because is had perfect acoustics. "He was a perfectionist. He had an ear for natural pitch," says museum co-creator Chase Gentry. After Petty's death in 1984, Vi spent most of her days keeping her husband’s legacy alive through events such as the annual Clovis Music Festival, which has featured music and tribute artists of the Petty era. Since Vi's death, the city has kept the festival alive and created the museum to commemorate the contributions of two of the city’s most famous locals. In fact, on May 7, 2014, Broad and the Rock & Roll Museum were inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame by New Mexico's Department of Tourism. If you are in search of historic roadside attractions, be sure to stop into the museum for a glimpse into New Mexico's greatest contribution to rock and roll history.
If it's a good ol' fashioned cowboy bar you're after, then Silva's Saloon is what you're looking for. To this day, if you stop in, it's very likely you'll be waited on by a member of the Silva family. Back in 1933 it was Felix Silva Sr. who started it all. After distilling and bootlegging alcohol during the prohibition era, he decided to go into business for himself and opened up the now-historic saloon. His son, Felix Jr., points out the moonshine that still sits on a shelf while he regales the entire bar with stories of the past. Every inch of the walls are covered with awe-inspiring treasures, including a random collection of nude paintings, photos of patrons with handwritten notes to Felix and his father, and gifts left behind by people who have fallen in love with the bar over the years. Some of the best photos are the ones of Felix Jr. as a handsome young man in the ‘50s, sporting a charming smile and standing proudly behind the bar top. The bar itself hasn't changed much over the years. The bar top wraps around a giant island of bottled liquor, and makes for one heck of a focal point. The adobe walls and the sign hanging on the front of the building are the originals from the ‘30s, giving it a
himself. You can even aim at the same bullet hole Billy left at the bottom of the stairwell during his great escape. Lincoln County has embraced its wild history by keeping it intact. To this day, the historic Tunstall store has over 1,800 pieces of original merchandise on the original shelving. The Wortley Hotel and Restaurant is still open and operating with vacancies available seasonally, all of which are decked out in old fashioned 1890s digs. The most exciting time to visit would be during the annual Billy the Kid pageant, held August 1-3, 2014. This truly authentic, reenactment originally began in the 1940s Wild West storefront and is still performed by real cowboys and look. The parking lot out front that once locals who love telling the tale of one of the served as a hitching post is now motorcycle state’s most intriguing outlaws. parking for bikers and their hogs. Of course there are a few "modern" amenities like the jukebox filled with a ton of country and Mexican classics. Sitting at the bar top in Silva's is sure to make you feel like one of the good ol' boys, and for that, it is a must-see when cruising the pre-1937 route.
For anyone interested in the historical side of automobiles, Santa Rosa, NM, is home to a museum of this very American tradition. Museum owner James Bozo Cordova and his wife Anna opened their own automotive garage along Route 66 in 1980, servicing locals and travelers of America’s Main Street. Bozo’s Along NM highway 380 lays one of the heart, however, was always in classic cars most historic stops in the state, Lincoln and their restoration. So in 1999, he opened County, best known as the site of the the Route 66 Auto Museum, displaying over infamous Lincoln County war, a battle waged 30 restored classics and sharing his passion between questionable lawmen and vigilante with others. For a mere $5 admission fee, cowboys turned outlaw, most notably Billy the this collection of one-of-a-kind rides is a Kid. must see for anyone in search of the AmeriThe storefronts of the one-road town of can dream. Just look for the yellow hot Lincoln seem haunted with ghosts of the rod on the horizon! 1800s. Several buildings stand practically unchanged, even with the passing of more than a century. The best place to start your tour of the county is at the old two-story Lincoln County Courthouse, in Lincoln. With the original flooring still intact, every creaky board you walk over will transport you back to glory days of the Wild West. Inside you'll find the original courtroom, as well as jail cells complete with shackles and all. After a while you'll begin to feel as though you're walking in PAGE 19 the boots of the legendary Kid
Models from left: Samantha Bencomo; Ami Montes; Candie Cosmos; Ungelbah Davila; Abigail R. Ortiz Photographer: Krissy Bencomo PAGE 1
“Tucumcari Municipal Park, located off Route 66 just west of town, (now a ruin) was built as a Civilian Conservation Corps project during Roosevelt's ‘New Deal’ of the 1930s and ‘40s. The buildings at the park were designed by Trent Thomas, a famous architect who adapted the design from La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. When the swimming pool was completed, it was the largest outdoor pool in the state of New Mexico. Locals affectionately nicknamed the area 5 Mile Park, as it was approximately five miles from the center of town. A bus ran locals to the park from town, where they could relax and take a break from the hot summer sun, and children could take swimming lessons. It was also the site of Tucumcari's annual Founder's Day Picnic, during the heyday of Route 66. In 1996 the Tucumcari Municipal Park Bathhouse and Pool were added to the National Registry of Historic Places, and in 2003 it was placed on the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance's most endangered places list . In 2010 the park's main building, the bathhouse, was consumed in a fire.” -- Motel Safari owner Richard Talley, Tucumcari, NM
An ocean of ruby red, sapphire blue and emerald green once invited passersby to experience the extraordinary in towns lining the longest, living stretch of U.S. Route 66. The intoxicating light cast vivid colors, emitted from neon signs, that jumped out at locals and visitors along the Mother Road teasing them into tasting the 66 mystique. Each illuminated sign, featuring neon letters and images, displayed a shining glimpse of the adventure that awaited them at nearby motels, restaurants, souvenir shops and local attractions. Although the Main Street of America is past its golden age, brilliant colors from neon signage continue to decorate the route, originally stretching more than 2,000 miles across the country from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, and beckon travelers to rediscover all of this historic route’s true glory.
Casting the Glow Back into Vintage Neon
Cities located throughout Route 66 have executed restoration plans with the goal of renovating these classic signs that once highlighted the unique ambiance of mid-century America. City of Tulsa, for example, created a grant program for such renovation projects.
The City of Albuquerque created the Central Avenue Neon Design Overlay Zone in 2013 to encourage neon signage that promotes Route 66 history and to identify the road for visitors. This overlay zone, intended to refurbish existing neon signs and encourage the development of new neon or neon-like signs and lighting for properties along historic Route 66, was a step in the Route 66 Action Plan, which aims to revitalize and promote Central Avenue for locals and tourists, according to the city’s website. Thanks to the Route 66 Corridor Restoration Act of 1999, a string of nine neon signs, stretching from Tucumcari to Albuquerque, on New Mexico’s stretch of this iconic American route, were lit up to their original beauty, according to the New Mexico Route 66 Association’s website. Vintage neon restored through this project, as a joint venture by the New Mexico Route 66 Association, the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Office, include Tucumcari’s TeePee Curio Shop’s sign, the La Cita restaurant sign in front of the sombrero-capped building and the Paradise Motel sign featuring a swimmer diving into a pool splash; Santa Rosa’s Sun-N-Sand Motel sign highlighted by a Zia symbol with sun rays extending outward; Moriarty’s rotational rotosphere with rainbow colored spikes at the El Comedor Restaurant; Albuquerque’s red and blue Aztec Motel and Westward Ho Motel, mounted on a green cactus, signs; the Grants Cafe sign in front of a
red curved arrow, which was abandoned and blown down a field miles away from its original location; and the roof-mounted Lexington Hotel Sign in Gallup. For more than 30 years, Bill Maestas, an electric sign fabricator with Metro Sign and Lighting, has kept “beautiful” neon signage illuminated. Hunting for the solution to making these signs come back to life turns into an obsession, Maestas said. “It’s like a mechanic in a motorcycle shop. You’re going to do whatever it takes to get that motorcycle running,” he said, adding neon isn’t dying out.
Assembling the Brilliant
They’re neon tube benders. Their craft ends with a dazzling spectrum of colors featured on a neon sign and a buzzing noise from the high voltage transformers inside of the hand crafted glass tubes. They begin by using a glass blowing technique to bend the colored or clear glass tubes into letters or shapes. They mark where they need to bend the tube with a chalk pencil before heating that particular spot with a ribbon burner. The heat makes the glass pliable enough to bend into the desired shape, which is outlined on a fire resistant sheet. Before they bend the tube, they place a cork in one end and attach a blow hose to the opposite end, which they blow into to keep constant pressure on the inside of the tube and restore the tube’s circular diameter. Excess glass is cut off using a glass file. A glass casing, containing an electrode, is fused to one end of the tube with the help of an electrode holder and a propane hand torch. With a cross fire burner, they add a thin tube with a bubble, a tabulation, allowing gas in and out of the second open electrode. An end torch fuses the open end of the tabulation to a long glass tube that leads to a pumping system that connects the electrodes to an electrical system. When the electrical current hits the electrodes, electrons flow
through the gas, energizing its atoms and resulting in the familiar neon glow. Depending on the color of the glass, fluorescent powder inside of the glass and inert gas, usually argon or neon, the neon glow can change into 80 different colors. A drop of mercury is injected into tubes using argon gas to enhance the color. The crossfire burner is then used to remove the tabulation and seal off the open electrode. A pump vacuums out the air inside of the tube and injects the inert gas into the tube. The back of the sign is dipped into black paint, which is then spread evenly throughout. The completed sign is lit up at high voltage for half an hour to allow the paint to dry. Transparent clips are used to mount the sign onto black plexiglass. And, after all of these steps are complete, a neon sign is born. PAGE 22
Eddie Keller owner of REK Kustoms, Peralta, NM
Tattoo Artist: Greg King, King’s Kreations Tattoo Tattoo: Route 66 “I’m proud to have been raised on Route 66. It’s a big part of history that people tend to forget about nowadays. The whole arm is a little piece of every state Route 66 goes through.” -- Eddie
One can hardly go too long without spotting something that bears an iconic Sailor Jerry image in some way. These days, Sailor Jerry’s “flash” art can be found on merchandise ranging from clothing, hats, purses and shoes to even the delicious Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum. But who was this man and how did he grow from a renegade back-alley artist into such a mainstream tattoo icon? It is undeniable that Sailor Jerry’s impact on the world of tattooing has made his some of the most recognized and beloved tattoo designs in American history, placing him as one of the founding fathers of the American traditional style, or what might now be called the “old school” style of tattoo art. “Sailor Jerry’s work was prolific because of the people it was reaching,” says tattoo artist Czer, co-owner of Blue Jay Tattoo in Rio Rancho, NM. “He created iconic imagery that has really stood up, like his pin-ups.” Sailor Jerry was born Normal Keith Collins on January 14, 1911, in Reno, Nevada. His childhood was spent as a hell raiser in Northern California until his teens when he decided to explore the country by train. He began his adventure into the world of tattooing as a young man when “Big Mike,” a fellow train hopper, gave him his first exposure to applying ink to skin. According to sailorjerry.com, Jerry first started tattooing as a teenager while hitchhiking and hopping freights across America, hand-poking designs onto willing customers with whatever supplies he came across. In the 1920s, a young Jerry found himself in Chicago where he connected with the legendary Gib "Tatts" Thomas, who because his first formal teacher and taught Jerry how to use a tattoo machine. It was reputed that in order to hone his tattooing skills, Jerry would practice on anyone who would let him, including drunks, guys who were brought in from skid row and even cadavers. One story in the Sailor Jerry mythology from Homeward Bound: The Life And Times of Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry, talks about a prank where Jerry was once taken to the city morgue to practice tattooing on corpses. After leaving him in a dark room where a body lay covered by a sheet on a table, it sat upright and screamed, terrifying Jerry and giving his pals a big laugh. The “sailor” was added to his name when Jerry enlisted in the Great Lakes Naval Academy in his late teens. He loved the adventure of being at sea and enjoyed the camaraderie and the brotherhood of the sailors he served with for almost a decade. The Navy took Jerry across the Pacific Ocean to China and Japan which impacted his lifelong interest in Asian art and culture. Jerry soon discovered that servicemen sought ways to individualize themselves in a sea of white, identical uniforms. The answer was tattoo designs that carried common themes of travel, romance and adventure. Jerry found a niche tattooing servicemen and while in various
by Nikki Delaney
images courtesy of Sailorjerry.com
ports, he’d study the local Asian art with local tattoo masters. In the 1930s Jerry made the Chinatown district in Honolulu, Hawaii, his permanent home, where he could stay connected to his love of the sea, the Navy and the Asian cultural influences. When Jerry set up shop in Chinatown, he melded the Asian style and the American style of the time, which used heavy shading and limited color palettes, creating his own unique flair. His love for naval culture also influenced his classic flash designs, and his familiarity with the specifics of sailing vessels allowed him to create accurate naval designs. Other designs were drawn straight from sailor lore and iconic images such as anchors, nautical stars, and sparrows, all of which are still prevalent in modern tattoo designs. “Although here in the Southwest the American traditional tattoo style is in less demand than it would be, say, on the coasts, or even in Japan, I do want to keep that Sailor Jerry style of classic images alive for the next generation,” says Czer. “The American traditional style has never been a fad, it has stayed steadily popular.” Sailors chose to tattoo symbolic images such as chickens, roosters, and pigs in wooden crates on their feet as protection and good luck because it was said that in cases of shipwreck, these caged animals washed safely ashore. Back then, there were no tattoo magazines to show various design possibilities, so tattoo designs were closely guarded by the artists who created them. At times artists would create “rub offs” of their work to trade art with one another. In Hori Smoku: A Documentary on Sailor Jerry, it is indicated that Jerry would provide rub offs to other artists that would contain a small flaw so as to filter out the good artists who spotted them from the bad ones who did not. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Jerry tried to reenlist in the Navy, but ended up joining the Merchant Marines, where he worked on Naval supply ships for a time until he eventually returned to Hawaii to open a tattoo shop called Tom & Jerry’s. Jerry continued to tattoo sailors who ported in Chinatown, along the famed Hotel Street District, which was a hotbed of sailors’ delights. You’d know you were there by the sudden progression of wide-eyed sailors, foul-mouthed roughnecks, and general mayhem. Every other storefront was a tattoo parlor, a bar or a brothel, where sailors were getting “stewed, screwed and tattooed” on a regular basis. It was said that sailors were getting tattooed to represent their adventures, their heartbreaks and even to help identify their bodies in the event of their death. Once WWII ended, Jerry opened his own tattoo shop called Sailor Jerry’s, where he put ink on the fighting men of PAGE 25
integrating it with his beloved American themes. Around 1966, Ed Hardy became fascinated the Pacific for nearly 40 years. He was, as long with Sailor Jerry and it wasn’t too long before as he lived, the saltiest of all seamen. He had a Hardy, who was a classically trained artist, reputation for being tough and outspoken, even became an apprentice of Sailor Jerry. In 1999, pulling out his own teeth when they went bad. Hardy and another tattoo artist, Mike Malone, He created quirky and raunchy images with wanted to keep the legacy of Sailor Jerry alive, catchy sayings and sadistic humor, was known so they partnered with a small independent for his naval images and his sexy pin-up girl Philadelphia clothing company to establish tattoos, as well as his strong details and colors Sailor Jerry Ltd., which owns Sailor Jerry’s that shot him light-years ahead of any other letters, art and flash. The company also producartist of that time. Jerry was the first to really es clothing and a collection of other items, such go beyond the five-color palate, which had as ash trays, sneakers, playing cards, and shot been the norm up until then, by mixing colors glasses. As an anti-sweatshop company, Sailor to create his own vivid color schemes. He was Jerry Ltd. produces nearly all its items in the also the first in the tattoo industry to realize the United States. importance of sterilization, particularly in Since Sailor Jerry spent half his life as a regard to needles, keeping his own shop up to sailor, and the other half tattooing sailors, it was the same level of cleanliness expected at a natural move to create a spiced rum in his medical facilities. He also was an advocate for name. Sailor Jerry Ltd. produces a 92 proof puting these new standards into law, and it was spiced Navy rum featuring a quintessential his advocacy for regulated standards of Sailor Jerry hula girl on the label. As the bottle sanitation that established the level of cleanliis emptied, additional Pin-up girls, designed by ness now expected in modern day tattoo shops. Sailor Jerry, emerge on the inner side of the By the 1950s Sailor Jerry had quit tattooing label. The rum takes its influence from Caribbein protest against the government and taxes. an rum, which sailors would spice with flavors He went to work as a tour guide on local tourist boats, but this didn’t stop people from lining up to get tattooed by him. Sailor Jerry was a man of a million fascinations. One of his interests was playing the saxophone, even playing in a Hawaiian jazz band for a while. Jerry was also a prolific writer and poet, with his poetry coming directly from his dramatic and romantic outlook on the world. Jerry was also the host of a radio talk show called "Old Ironsides,” where he would talk about everything, including his thoughts on women and politics, and even recite his poems over the air. He was reported to be fascinated by electronics and technology, as well. When Jerry chose to return to tattooing in the 1960s, his shop was directly over a topless bar and the walls of his tiny shop were plastered wall-to-wall with his infamous flash. He decided to study even more closely the Japanese style and culture of tattooing, and obtained the name Hori Smoku (Holy Smoke) during this time. He was fascinated that some Japanese tattoo artists chose their human canvases only after determining if they were worthy enough to wear their intricately created body art. In time, Jerry became more and more devoted to the Japanese technique, mixing inks and shading in dynamic ways, then PAGE 26
from the Far East and Asia to make more enjoyable. A cult began to grow around the rum, and pretty soon, it started to outsell anything else that Sailor Jerry Ltd. made. By the time Sailor Jerry died on June 12, 1973, he was one of the most highly copied tattoo artists of all time. What he brought to the art form, as well as the process and the business of tattooing, makes him one of the most important tattoo figures of the 21st century. Aloha Sailor Jerry!
by Ben Emerson When I was given the “how to prepare your car for a car show” assignment, I had a little panic at first, but eventually embraced it. My panic was based on my impression that in regards to all things car scene, it seems everyone has an opinion. Some can be critical, some are informative and some are downright scathing. That being said, I respectfully offer forth some of the things I tend to do before a car show. It may seem like common sense to some, and perhaps helpful to others. The bottom line is, you're going to the car show, and that’s the coolest thing ever!
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
I tend to be fairly habit driven. That is to say, once I set about a task I intend to do repeatedly, I will usually try to develop an efficient routine. For example, I brush my teeth left to right, top to bottom, back to front and for no less than 2 minutes, which I count in my head. I’m not OCD, I just enjoy some good dental hygiene... I wash my car the same way every time, as well. I go to the car wash and wash from top to bottom, back to front, driver’s side to passenger side. I do this because it insures I won’t miss a single spot. I use the same routine when drying the car, as well. I also talk to the car, it seems to help her get squeaky clean. And yes, my car is a girl, but she has never told me her name. I respect her privacy. Once completely dry, and I don't do this every time, I will give the chrome a once over.
I like Mothers for the chrome, and you should invest in a buffer that you can attach to a cordless drill -- about $20 at most auto parts stores. I then run some #0000 steel wool over that, this does wonders! You can also use the steel wool on your windows, for those little tough-to-get spots. And lastly, I do the tires. Armor All is the classic, but choose your own adventure.
mentioned before, sometimes you might need help or to give some help. If you are in a group of cars, and there is a breakdown, someone can help. Whenever possible, coordinate the run with a couple of friends. Maybe meet for a yummy breakfast or pick a place to hangout at for a bit before hitting the show. This will add to the fun, I guarantee it. When you see other cars that you don't know, give ‘em a nod or a HYDRATE! HYDRATE! We live in a desert, we need fluids, and so do wave. It’s this camaraderie that makes the scene unique. our cars. Check ALL of your fluids regularly, but especially if you wanna go on a longer than normal trip. I even carry some with me. This GPS IT list would go as follows: Depending on how well you’ve taken care of your car, you should be ready to roll! But, 1. Oil where are we going? I like to have a 2. Transmission fluid pre-planned route. I consider a few things. Am 3. Coolant I rolling solo or with pals? How quick can I get 4. Brake fluid to a gas station? Are we going on the freeway, 5. Water and if so, can all the cars I'm with handle it? It can be tricky to change plans midway through a 6. Gas (in the correct canister) run, but sometimes it has to be done. Do you have everybody's phone numbers? While it THINGS IN THE TRUNK may sound paranoid, a little prep can go a long You should have a good jack, a 4-way lug way. wrench, and a good spare. A flashlight has proven helpful, as well. A small set of hand GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR tools, which could consist of a socket set, a Whether it’s your first show or your 100th, couple of screwdrivers, possibly a hammer. I can thank my buddy Aaron for a brand new fire the name of the game is fun! I can’t describe extinguisher. I hope I don't need that though. I the feeling one gets when your car is looking also carry a few clean rags, and I’ve never not good and running cherry, you got a rad chick next to you and you’re rolling in a line of good needed them. While you may end up needing friends. Barreling down the highway on a nice some of these things for yourself, it’s also day, the sights, the sounds, and you get lost in pretty cool to be able to help out anyone else how amazing a good road trip can be. So, what who may need assistance. are you waiting for? Even if you don't own an old car, it doesn’t mean you can’t go to a car ROLL WITH YOUR HOMIES show! It’s way fun to be in a line of old cars. As I
Ben Emerson’s 1953 Chrysler Imperial photo by Gabbi Campos PAGE 28
LOCA AUTO Hi there, all you cool cats and hot kittens! As we get back into the making of suicide doors, let's go back and see where we left off. Weâ€™ve got all the doors nice and stripped down, - heeheehee - and now we need to figure out where the hinges will fit, then make all necessary scribes and cuts to mock up and fit them into place. We also need to determine the integrity of the door jambs, which would be the "B" pillar section of the car. Now remember that the car isn't meant to open this way from the factory, so they never took into consideration that the latch side, the "B" pillar section, would have to hold up the weight of an entire door. This is a simple task to incur, and with a little bit of ingenuity, and in my case a couple of PBRs, we can determine how to go about this. After we have determined hinge placement and have made all of our scribes, we now have a general idea where the hinges will recede into the jamb. So now we can figure out where the braces will fit into place. Note: You always need to take into consideration how the internal window regulators will function, so always mock-fit everything and try and imagine how it will all fall into place before making any welds or unnecessary cuts. Always measure twice and cut once, so that you don't have a mess on your hands to fix after all is said and done. The hinges I'm using have a third mount located at the backside of all four hinges; this is perfect for making our first inner brace to reinforce the intersection of the quarter panels. I'm going to take this two-by-two piece of square tubing to run parallel to the inner side of the door jamb, and make flush to the backside of the hinges. After that, it's just a matter of running a couple more pieces of tubing back, or down at a 45-degree angle from your reinforcement, and tying into the floor structure, which should be sturdy enough for the brace to weld to. Now it's just a matter of drilling a couple of holes and trimming out the slots for it all to fit properly, along with mock-fitting the hinges to the doors that you've made fit into the backside of the jamb. I just want to stress that you must make sure that nothing you fabricate on the inside of the quarter panels and the inner section of the door is going to obstruct the movement and the inner workings of the window regulators. It is necessary to take a minute or two to plan out exactly how this will all fall into place. In the end you'll be happy that you did, so just make note of that and have fun with making a unique and proper functioning set of suicide hinges fit into the ride of your choice. Also note: Not every hinge is the same, as far as kits or a pair of junkyard hinges cannibalized PAGE 28
from another car. The hinges Iâ€™m using were given to me by a fellow fabricator and hot rod builder, Eddie Keller of R.E.K. Kustoms in Peralta, NM, and they happened to work out just fine. I wish I could tell you what they came off, but it's a mystery. Be sure to always cross-measure everything and make sure that all of the door gaps and everything else fit properly. Make sure to prep all welding surfaces to insure proper penetration and a strong modification so that down the road you will not have to worry about any cracks or mistakes that might occur. After all, when you're a do-it-yourselfer, you take pride in your work and love to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I know I do. Plus, it wouldn't be very fun if you drove all the way out to Tucumcari, NM, for the Rockabilly on the Route car show and extravaganza and have the doors fall off halfway there! It would make a really good story, but it wouldn't be very fun or safe. If you're worried about your craftsmanship skills, then never be afraid to consult a local car customizer or custom shop to make things a little easier on you. That's what we're all here for, to network and lend a fellow car guy a hand. It's part of the culture, and it's a tight knit community, so share, research, network and get your hands dirty. Also check your hot rod forums and don't be shy to ask around. There are also kits available if you have the cash and you are looking into going that direction. We have plenty of local hot rod and custom shops around Albuquerque, such as Mild To Wild Classics, and a handful of other shops that can supply the necessary kits that are available for this application. I would also check out local junkyards like U-Pull-&-Pay and see what they have to offer. And don't forget to make the "do-it-yourself process" a fun process. It's never going to be easy, and you will run into a snag or two, but it's just a matter of reconfiguring the materials you have and reworking any problems you may run into. Have fun and be sure to grab your next issue of La Loca Magazine to get the third step in this process and catch up on what's new in Coolsville. In the next issue we will discuss the door reinforcements and also the installation of a set of brand new "bear claw" latches. We'll also be installing a set of electronic door latches to accommodate the shaved door handles, and I will be showing you all a good trick on how to stash a safety cable to pop the doors if the battery happens to go dead on the jalopy.
From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to the dirt roads of Chimayo, NM, the culture and artistry of lowriders are as vibrant today as they were in 1970. Originating in Southern California in the 1950s and ‘60s and spreading like wildfire among young Chicanos, lowriders quickly became a staple of New Mexico culture where these unique rides can today be found in practically every city, town and barrio in the state. For Sean Daly of Albuquerque’s Straight Street Automotive, lowriders are more than an interest, they are his passion and livelihood. His five-year-old high end paint and bodywork shop, located at 4200 Fourth Street, boasts ASE certified mechanics with over 14 years of experience, along with paint and bodywork specialists with over 15 years experience in hydraulics, custom paint jobs, fabrication, suspension, air ride, and more. “It’s a place where you can get all your paint and body work done as well as basic mechanics,” says Daly. “We’re generally a lowrider-based shop. Our specialty is in producing car show award-winning vehicles.” Daly, who says he’s been in the business his whole life, grew up among older family members who were into lowriders. He recalls seeing his first lowrider as a child and deciding on the spot that his path in life would involve these cars. “I was in love,” he says. Today his main squeeze is a 1963 Chevy Impala, named “Cochina,” because of her pink and purple color-pallet and over the top appeal. “She’s a ‘dirty girl.’ Her work is very clean, but her personality is dirty.” Historically, lowriders represent faith, family and creativity, expressed through the customization of a car, and Daly says his favorite part of building them is seeing how much you are able to express yourself through a vehicle. From her metal-flake paint to her chrome
dice-capped locks, Cochina, which took four years to complete, and, is a perfect example of there’s no such thing as too much. “Most of the people who come to me are already familiar with my work and trust me,” says Daly. Sometimes clients will give him input and go over ideas and sketches, but more often than not, they tell Daly, “surprise me.” “I don’t duplicate work on a car,” he says. “No two cars look the same, even the hydraulics. No two trunks look the same.” And with every distinct car, in the care of Daly and his team for as long as a year or more to get it completely customized and restored, they become like his children, he says. The shop, which consists of one building for sanding and fabricating and another for painting and mechanics, also has a storefront with custom lowrider bicycles and lowrider parts for sale. “In the next five years, my goal is to grow and expand the custom work we do on other vehicles. like lift trucks and classic cars,” says Daly. For more information visit Facebook.com/straightstreetautomotive or call them at (505) 249-9172.
Model: Ami Montes Photographer: Ungelbah Davila
AROUND THE BAR
For this drink, I do prefer to chill my ingredients first, and then add them into a frozen mug. However, not all bars, whether out or at home, can do this. So, let’s start with a tall glass and add some ice. Next, add in your vodka, then your coffee liquer. Add in your half and half, then follow with your root beer, and stir gently to blend ingredients. Gently float the Galliano on top, using the underside of a spoon to allow the Galliano to flow gently onto the top of the drink. Top with whipped cream, a cherry, sip through a straw and enjoy poolside, out at a car show, or at home on a toasty warm summer day!
The Adult Root Beer Float To celebrate Route 66, I decided to find an adult beverage that would be iconic of The Mother Road. The tough part of this was: What on earth could be the definitive drink for Route 66? Visions of rums and whiskies paraded through my head, but after a while, they didn’t seem quite… right. It wasn’t until I was weeding through some of my fabric stocks that I came across some rolls of 66-themed pieces. Each had pies, neon signs, cars, and hotel logos. And root beer floats. Well, that cinched it. So, I offer you my favorite of dozens of recipes that I had to slog through and sample -- yes, I have a rough job. This drink has been modified to include ingredients found in most well-stocked bars, including the substitution of whipped cream for the vanilla ice cream. Of course, if you’re at home, I recommend the ice cream. Always the ice cream! Cheers!
1 1/2 fl oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka 1 1/2 oz Stolior Vanilla 1/2 fl ozflKahlua Copa Vodka de Oro Coffee 1/2 fl oz Kahlua or Copa de Oro Coffee Liquer 1/2 fl oz Galliano 1 fl oz Root Beer 1 1/2 fl oz Half & Half Whipped Cream Cherries Ice (optional) PAGE 32
POINTERS FROM A PINUP
by Andrea Zamora
It seems like everyone is preparing for a disaster these days. You hear stories about people packing zombie apocalypse kits, first aid kits, wilderness survival kits and dooms day kits. But what about those everyday disasters that every pinup girl deals with? Like spring wind storms, text message breakups and running out of wine to name a few. Come on let’s face it ladies. It takes time to look and feel as good as we do, but it’s not always easy keeping this sassy look all day long. And what's a girl to do on the fly if, for example, you're making out with your boyfriend before an important function and have all your red lipstick smeared? Or maybe you heard a sad country song that plucked your little heart strings and smeared your sexy eyeliner down your cheeks, leaving you looking like Alice Cooper? Don’t you worry your pretty little hearts, ladies, because I have the solution to all those everyday mishaps, and I will teach you how to deal with them by preparing your own personal “Pinup Girl Survival Kit,” using everyday items you probably have laying around the house. The best part is this kit won't cost you more than you would spend on a night out on the town with your girlfriends. What you will need: Big Purse This goes without saying ladies. You’ll need a bag to place your survival supplies in, so dig one of those old puppies out of the closet. If you don't have an extra one or one that's presentable for the public, search for inexpensive and super cute bags online. You can find them in all shapes, sizes and color options at websites such as LLM's favorite, www.roughseasdesigns.com. Red Lipstick Yes, ladies, I know every single one of you has an extra one laying around the house. Red Nail Polish
If you don’t have any, hit up your local drug store. You can find some as cheap as $1.
Hair Accessories Anything from a pretty flower, a fancy barrette, or a trusty bandana will do the job. You can purchase one at 66 Pin-Ups in the Albuquerque Cottonwood Mall for $5 to $10. Extra Heels We all have heels and you never know when you might need an extra pair. This shouldn’t cost you a dime, seeing as how every girl has a million pairs laying around in her closet. It’s also a good idea to have a pair of flats on hand, in case you have to walk a long distance or to give your achy feet a break from your sexy pumps. Black Eyeliner You can purchase an inexpensive eyliner at your local drug store for about $3. Done and done. Bobbie Pins If I know you ladies, you have these laying around all over house, often leaving a trail to your location, in case you ever get lost in the woods. Throw a couple in your kit, you just never know when that wind is gonna come in and ruin those perfect victory rolls you spent an hour assembling. Tissues As women, sometimes we tend to be emotional creatures, and you just never know when something is going to make us cry, especially in the event of a disaster. So dry your eyes and always keep them tissues handy. If you don’t have a small box of compact tissues, just throw a little toilet paper in a sandwich bag, it works just as well. Flask Last but not least, never leave the house without a nice little flask to wash down all the horrible things you have just expierenced, to calm those nerves and remind yourself that everything is gonna be quite alright! You made it through another day, so take a swig, hold that head up high, and carry on you sexy little thing! Model: Ami Montes Photographer: Krissy Bencomo PAGE 33
LOCA BURLY-Q As a burlesque performer, I’ve been very fortunate in the past few years to have had the ability to tailor my life to my art, and to be able to travel as a representative of one of the oldest art forms in America. While it’s not been an easy road, it has been well worth it. Over the years, though, I have noticed that when I travel to perform out-of-state, I occasionally come across people who aren’t aware that burlesque is alive and well in the Southwest in general, and in New Mexico in particular. It’s a bit surprising to me, but I realized that people closer to home are also surprised at the art form’s popularity in other areas of the country. And so, with our latest issue focusing on the glory that is The Mother Road, I thought I’d compile a sampling of burlesque along Route 66. Mind you, Kansas was omitted from the list as no cities supporting shows lie along the 66’s 13-mile stretch there.
Chicago, Illinoi - The starting point of 66 The number of great shows and talented performers in the Chicago area is staggering. One of America’s top performers, Michelle L’Amour, runs a weekly show with burlesque starring not only herself, but also The Chicago Starlets. In addition, the show features stand-up comics from across Chicagoland, hosted by cohort Adam Burke. The shows run every Friday night at the Everleigh Social Club at 939 W. Randolph. Next up, The Stage Door Johnnies! These three gentlemen have been taking the burlesque world by storm with their beautiful, intensely choreographed routines, incredible costuming, and stellar performances. They’re also quite charming and very handsome, and have won awards and accolades across the globe for their work. The Johnnies run the weekly Saturday night Bachelorette Burlesque Show, featuring not only their own performances, but guests from all around. You can find them at The Original Mother’s at 26 W. Division Street.
St. Louis, Missouri Lola van Ella is a force like no other! In addition to being an internationally known burlesque performer, she produces events such as The Shimmy Showdown and the Show-Me Burlesque Festival, as well as running her student troupe, The Bon-Bons. If that wasn’t enough, this fiery gal also works with incredible locals, such as The Hoochie Coochie Girls and The Beggar’s Carnival, which is a stunning Vaudeville showcase spearheaded by the multi-talented Sammich the Tramp. Please learn more about this lovely lady by visiting www.lolavanella.net. You’ll be glad you did! The Grab Bag Burlesque, hosted by Mimi Le Yu of The Randy Dandies, features regular performers plus guests from all around the country, as well. When creating the show, Mimi wanted an unusual event that would blend fun and energetic performers, with audiences paying just $5 to see the spectacle. You never know what you’ll see, and as they say, “Anything goes!” and often does. Shows run every second Wednesday at The Crack Fox, located at 1113 Olive St.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Next on our journey is the lovely Adèle Wolf. In addition to a storied career as a pin up model, Adèle’s Burlesque & Variety Show is widely recognized as an event not to be missed. Along with her talented local burly-q artists, she brings in a smorgasbord of guest appearances by burlesque stars from around the nation. She also runs the Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival, a powerhouse in its own right. Adèle’s regular shows run several times a year, and can be found at www.adelewolf.com.
Amarillo, Texas Research online helped me to find two groups performing in the Amarillo area. The first up are The Red Room Girls, who describe themselves as the burlesque division of the Amarillo Community Theatre. Their performances include not only classic burlesque, but neo-burlesque, as well. The next group I found is the Bomb
City Pretties, who appear to have quite a number of events under their belts since forming a few years back. Neither troupe has a website nor a home venue listed, but you can find them both on Facebook, where upcoming shows are listed.
Santa Fe, New Mexico Pre-1937 route Long before Route 66 was realigned straight across New Mexico, it jogged north to Santa Fe before hitting Albuquerque. Because of this jog, I feel it fitting to mention Zircus Erotique. The ladies in ZE have been performing together with varying members for over half a decade, bringing audiences top acts from across the state. Recently, they’ve begun adding Vaudeville acts, rounding their show out into a sampler to suit the tastes of all in attendance. Zircus runs shows every other month at least, in the theater or ballroom of the Lodge at Santa Fe, 750 N St. Francis Dr.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque is home to more than half a dozen troupes, such as the authors’ own Gilded Cage Burlesk & Varieté, plus numerous independent performers. One such independent is the lovely Godiva Bleu, who is without a doubt one of the most versatile performers I’ve seen in some time. Her style veers from classically inspired to earthy, nature-driven themes, and then veers again into territory reminiscent of gypsies and minstrels of days gone by. Her performances are always top-notch, delivered with a cheeky sex appeal and a touch of whimsy. To see more of her, look her up on Facebook or catch her in numerous shows across town.
Flagstaff, Arizona The Big Zona Burlesque Project is our next stop along The Mother Road. This troupe, which formed in relatively recent times, blends burlesque, offbeat bands, comedy skits and singers into a night of raucous entertainment. Shows are held at well-known venues, such as the Monte Vista and The Orpheum, and upcoming events can be found on the
troupe’s Facebook page under bZb Project.
Los Angeles, California The end of the road Our journey ends in Los Angeles, home of what the LA Times calls “The Foul Mouthed Godmother of LA Burlesque,” the uproarious Lili Von Schtupp. When not performing across the nation, Lili co-produces Monday Night Tease!, which is LA's longest running weekly burlesque show. Events blend an ever-rotating cast of burlesque beauties with juggling acts, magicians and musicians, crooners and much more. Additionally, the busy Miss Lili is the creator and hostess of The Burlesque Podcast, which is available on iTunes. Catch her Monday Night Tease! every week at 3 Clubs, 1123 Vine St. in LA.
The moon-cycle: Full Moon: June 13th, July 12th New Moon: June 27th, July 26th Summer Solstice: June 21st Bringing June in with Summer Solstice and going through two full moons, the energy will definitely feel a bit more intense, but balanced. Fresh air and some major self-time will make this summer a memorable one! Get out and enjoy it! up the summer energy a bit. Get out there and see all the new growth around you. Don’t fall into your normal stubborn pattern; let yourself out of your shell a bit.
Aries – March 21st to April 19th
Summer is here and your impulsive self just wants to get out there and enjoy it. It’s definitely a perfect time for you to be around the good in your life, soak up the positive others have to offer and let the energy consume you with a happy heart.
Taurus – April 20th to May 20th
Positive thinking will get you everywhere this next few weeks. Focus on the blessings you have and work on letting go of those grudges you are so good at carrying. This summer, try something you’ve been keeping on the back burner for a while.
Gemini – May 21st to June 21st
Summer solstice brings out a more positive you Roll with it, allow yourself to indulge a bit more and meet new people. It’s time to cut yourself some slack and enjoy some self-time. Try a meditation or a good massage.
Cancer – June 22nd to July 22nd
The next few weeks will be a perfect time to do some readjusting so you may soak PAGE 36
Sagittarius – November 22nd to December 21st
The last few weeks you may have felt very out of sorts. Well, good news for the next 6 weeks is that you’ll start to feel like yourself again and be rejuvenated by Leo – July 23rd to August 22nd The summer months are going to make summer’s sneaky way of grounding you. Get outside as much as possible and get it tempting to splurge a bit more than normal, but really there is no need to go some much-needed Vitamin D. overboard. Just keep it simple, get into nature, take a long drive or bike ride and Capricorn – December 22nd to January 19th enjoy feeling the breeze while it lasts. You may feel old urges to write, draw and Virgo – August 23rd to September show off your artistic side these next few weeks. I advise you to get outside as 22nd much as you can, socialize with new It’s time to go explore! Get out of your people and get your concepts and ideas normal routines for a short time while this summer is blessing us with inspira- out there. You never know who might get you to where you want to be. tion. Take a long walk, let go of worries and doubts, and allow yourself time to just be you.
Aquarius – January 20th – February 18th
Summer Solstice definitely brings out the free spirit in you. But much like sunburns, you've got to be a little more guarded to The next few weeks may have you what and who you attract so you can feeling a bit more sentimental in your avoid a burn. If you have undone projects relationships; remember its ok to allow yourself to feel this way. Summer brings you’ve been meaning to get done, do it! out a very nurturing side of you. Breathe Let the summer sun fill your home or be in and let go of any stress, and focus on around a few people that make you feel the positive you tend to forget you have. amazing.
Libra – September 23rd to October 22nd
Scorpio – October 23rd to November 21st
You will find some much needed peace throughout June and July, your natural wandering mind will calm and you will benefit from just laying back and enjoying all new, fresh smells and senses. Smile more often and trust you will attract what you need.
Pisces – Feb. 19th – March 20th
This summer you may feel a bit more compassionate towards everyone you meet; your smile can light up many faces. I suggest you go to a few new spots, enjoy coffee or tea in a new shop, ride your bike down a new neighborhood or just walk and breathe in new air.
â€œWe hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness...â€? -- THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
KOA Campground, Tucumcari, NM Models from left: Candie Cosmos; Ami Montes; Samantha Bencomo; Abigail R. and Isaiah Ortiz Photographer: Ungelbah Davila
DEL’S RESTAURANT SINCE-1956
ainstree M s ’ t ca
hop Eatery &