domingo, 19 de junio de 2011

Los Hang Ten's

"Los Hang Ten's" was a Peruvian rock group formed in 1964, originally from the San Isidro District in the country's capital Lima, from which the band Traffic Sound, the first so-called rock "supergroup" in that country's music history, drew two of its original members and, through them, the main idea regarding its creation.

In the early months of 1964, a number of the more rock music-inclined members of the Christian Brothers´ "Santa María School" student body, specifically a few of those amongst them attending the 9th grade, decided to create a rock band in order to entertain their friends and schoolmates, primarily at school functions and parties. The name of the band, "Los Hang Ten´s" - a direct derivative of a complex surfing position, but keeping the article "Los", in Spanish, ( as opposed to the English "The")-, was chosen by consensus by the original group members, most of whom were surf, as well as music aficionados in their remaining free time.

Initially, the group had the brothers José (b. Lima, 1950), and Freddy (b. Lima, 1952) Rizo-Patrón Buckley playing lead and rhythm guitar, respectively, whose mother was a US national from Boston. The -then future Justice Minister and Secretary of State of Perú- currently President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Diego Garcìa-Sayán Larrabure (born New York, 1950), on drums. The line-up was completed with schoolmates Ramón de Orbegoso Elejalde (b. Lima, 1950), who played bass, and Felipe Larrabure Aramburú (b. Lima, 1950), who was García Sayán's first cousin, on lead vocals.

A few weeks after, another schoolmate, future music impressiario Arturo Rodrigo Santistevan (b. Lima, 1949), joined the group by playing the tambourine, as well as, on the occasion, did another school friend, the future "Traffic Sound" lead singer, DJ and businessman, Manuel Sanguinetti (b. Lima, 1950), who sang several songs with Larrabure, each providing back-up vocals to each other, in alternance.

The group was influenced by the arrival of the so-called "British Invasion", which had taken over the United States by storm, the latter a country most of their members had visited on either school-sponsored, family, or personal vacation trips, the two previous summers.

Most notably, it was the sound of the UK group The Kinks, led by the Davies brothers, Dave and Ray, that impressed them the most, which led them into performing covers of almost their entire set of hits, ranging from rockers like "You really got me". "Till the end of the day" and "All day and all the night", to the blues infested "Com'on now", or power ballads like "Baby, where have all the good times gone" and "Tired of waiting for you".

In the next two years, classics from the Beach Boys, The Young Rascals, Donovan and the Rolling Stones became a part of repertoire, including the latter group's first big US and UK hits, "Get off my cloud" and, starting in the summer of 1965, "Satisfaction". The Beatles, by then the world's most successful artists, were also influential, although it was mostly covers they had done themselves of early US rockers, like Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music", which ended up becoming part of "Los Hang Ten's" play list.

In their manner of dress, at least in its early formative stage, the group wore what was then, and still remains, a quite unique attire consisting of a turtleneck, usually in light blue and white horizontal stripes, under dark suits.

After developing a fan base consisting of the families and friends of their schoolmates, and of teens who did not attend "Santa Maria" School but who had become their followers and, soon after playing live in several important festivals, executives at "Odeon", then one of the major Peruvian record labels, suggested that they record a single, which soon materialized with their recording of "Till the end of the day", their favorite Kinks composition, as the "A" side, and a blistering, unusual version of Nancy Sinatra' s then massive worldwide hit, "These boots were made for walking", on the flip side.

Both sides of the single ( the 45 RPM, Odeon 45-9671, was released in November 1966), drew fair airplay, mostly in AM stations, as was the custom in Peru's radio broadcasting, particularly insofar as Rock-oriented music in the mid-sixties is concerned. Conversely, because "Odeon" released only a relatively small print, consisting of 500 copies, the single has become with the passing of time, a coveted music memorabilia item for both Peruvian and Latin American early rock aficionados alike. The musicians who played on that recording were the original 5 members, plus Rodrigo, who played the tambourine and left the group, soon after.

In the spring of 1967, José Rizo-Patrón left "Los Hang Ten´s" to create another band, but not before re-recruiting Sanguinetti to sing lead, as well as signing in some of the best guitar, drum, and jazz-oriented musicians then available within their school and social and circles, namely Willy Barclay, on lead guitar, Willy Thorne on bass, Lucho Nevares on drums and, most importantly, Jean Paul Magnet on saxophone, thus launching Traffic Sound.

In the meantime, the "Los Hang Ten's" line-up was immediately re-arranged, as original bass player Orbegoso switched to lead guitar, leaving the bass to another schoolmate, Jaime Sabal Saba (b. Lima, 1951). Still another former child schoolmate, - who by then was attending another high school -, Juan de Aliaga Fernandini (b. Lima, 1951), was then recruited to play the rhythm guitar position left vacant by Freddy Rizo-Patrón who, eventually, also left "Los Hang Ten's" to join his brother José in the early stages of the formation of "Traffic Sound". Ironically, unlike Freddy who remained with "Traffic Sound" until the end, it was Jose, in spite of his being the original mastermind behind the creation of "Traffic Sound", who chose not to continue on, opting instead to dedicate his time fully to his university studies.

Finally, in early 1967, drummer García-Sayán recruited a close friend, the then future United Nations Official and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Brazil and Perú, Guillermo Pérez-Argüello (b. Lima, 1950), himself the son of a Peruvian Ambassador and a New Orleans-born, Nicaraguan diplomat's daughter, to join the band and sing additional songs, mostly R&B and early Rock and Roll classics from the SUN Records era, as a second lead singer.

Until February 1968, "Los Hang Ten's" continued playing, mostly at week-end festivals and ad-hoc venues but, with their college and university education just around the corner, they all parted along different ways, some taking up higher studies first at home, then abroad, as was the case for García-Sayán and Guillermo Pérez-Argüello who obtained post graduate degrees in the US, and in Britain, respectively - , the others remaining in Peruvian universities, some simultaneously joining other bands - as did Aliaga and Orbegoso, who played with a few rock bands in the next two years -.

To this date, several of them remain very close as friends and, on the ocsasion, still jam together.

Tomado de Wikipedia

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