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Interview with Steve Berlin of Los Lobos

Los Lobos
Piero F. Giunti
New West Records & Red Light Management
Los Lobos are still going strong after 50 years of making music.

The iconic band from East Los Angeles is celebrating 50 years of doing their own thing. 

As you get older, anniversaries become more meaningful the more times that special date comes around.

For rock ‘n’ roll bands these occasions are also important, considering the number whose lifespan barely lasts a decade.

And even though there are now a high number of musicians who are still going strong — such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, U2 and the like — when a group gets to celebrate a special mark... say, 50 years in the business, it’s cause for celebration.

Los Lobos is now in that category. Starting as a band who played backyard parties in East Los Angeles in 1973 and shared the stage with some legendary punk rock bands, the group is now on the road to honoring 50 years of making music, winning Grammy Awards and continuing to evolve their sound.

Growing up in Los Angeles — namely the San Fernando Valley (insert jokes here) and having attended a few punk rock shows over the hill in the city, I was aware of Los Lobos. Seeing a Latin band on the bill with the likes of The Blasters, The Circle Jerks or X wasn’t an odd site. It was part of the stew that L.A. was at that time: all sorts of bands, looks and sounds shared the same stage, and no one cared where they came from, only if the music sounded good and was different.

I interviewed Steve Berlin, saxophonist and percussionist with Lobos (and who was with The Blasters) about this era of music, the longevity of the band and about the evolution of how their iconic record Kiko unleashed a new way of making music. Plus, we dig into to how they came about doing a children’s record for Disney.

You can read more of my conversation with Steve Berlin on Style Weekly.

Los Lobos performs with Paulo Franco at The Broadberry on Friday, June 2. Tickets are $49.50. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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