Can You Hear Me Now?: Whine Tasting Is Not My Cup of Tea

1-vex-apic

The Vex, Willie Herron III and Punk Rock. Three interesting subjects. All are respected (by me) but sometimes maligned (by others). It’s a Saturday afternoon, why not entertain the three? 

It all came together at the Federal Art Project on 2nd Street in downtown LA.

2-federal-art-project

“Alternative to the Club Circuit: The Vex and East LA Punk” is “a panel moderated by Colin Gunckel of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center that will discuss The Vex, a punk venue in East LA that brought together local musicians and visual artists. The panel will include ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’ authors David Reyes and Tom Waldman, Willie Herrón, and Jesus Velo (member of Los Illegals). Sponsored by the UCLA Chicano Resource Center.”

First of all:

UCLA? Please.

Secondly and more importantly, the place (sure, it’s small) was packed.

3-gallery-inside

The Vex is the most talked about punk “club” from the Eastside Renaissance and so the most shitted on. Willie Herron is one of the greatest muralists in East Los but is often ridiculed for “living in the past.”  And little old Punk Rock is called noise when it is…what it is. Great, exciting music, no?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

PLAIN WRAP “Punk Rock”

First, all I know/heard is that The Vex was home to many great punk shows. Here Here! There were other places but this panel ain’t about them. Oh well.

4-vex-flyer-3

Second, Willlie Herron is a friend of mine. Nuff said. Unless you got something to say? Didn’t think so.

Here he is last week, at his restoration project for the “No Somos Animales” and  “Advancements of Man” murals at Chavez and Soto.

5-w-herron

As usual we had a nice chat and we basically discussed the event and how it went down. The history of the The Vex and Los Illegals and Willie’s involvement is more than can be contained in this post. How about a panel discuss… never mind. I just give you what I saw.

Third, punk rock makes me smile. Watch and Listen to this and you too can turn that frown upside down:

You see. It works.

At the gallery, I saw many artistes in jeans and blazers. Hmm. Thought that shit was banned when Miami Vice was cancelled. Blazers and t-shirts? During the day!!??

6-miami-vice

I guess not.

7-miami-vice-2

We had videos playing overhead and black shirts everywhere, hugs and kisses all about. The place is tiny and Willie’s art drapes the walls. One of the best moments for me was seeing Willie’s attire for the day. That’s what I’m talkin bout.

willie-shot

He created some fuckin beautiful murals in City Terrace, but is he taking fashion tips from one of the most vehement opponents of the Industrial Revolution?

8-unabomber-hoody-thumb-340x3401

But Willie, without the invention of the spray paint can, a great innovation, what would you have done on those lazy nights strolling the streets of Van Pelt and Hazard? What about those “scoundrels” who decorated LACMA?

phantom

Come on Willie. Order and Progress. It’s true, no? o no?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Revolucion X

I kid but as a kid I grew up with Herron’s art, it sanctified the alleys and disguised some walls in my City Terrace neighborhood. Man, if I ran behind Eva’s liquor store, there he was.

wall

When I exited the City Terrace Library after returning some late books, there he was.

11-plumed-serpent

When I took the 68 through Boyle Heights, there he was.

12-advancements1

We go way back.

I planted myself amongst the seated as we awaited the panel discussion.

gallery-waiting-seated

Oh man, those two words usually mean zzzzz…

13-sleep-and-drunk

I hear shards of conversation behind me:

“Did you get a chance to see my myspace?” and

“No, the show is in November. You better come and bring Larry.”

And not to be forgotten (I wrote em all down, no way I wanted to forget),

“Yeah, she did the walk. It was fantastic. I’m serious. Everybody was there… Yeah, maybe next time… No, we’re at Marjorie’s place in Monrovia.”

14-tea-party

Oh my achin head. Maybe I needed a drink. But no mezcal or sarin in sight. Just this soft shit. That won’t cut it.

15-gallery-wine

Artists chatting. Those words individually are terrifying. Together, they make quite a satanic concoction. Fixing their hair, looking to see who they know, this is getting less punk every second. Or more? Such shenanigans reminded me of one of the monumental minds of this or any other century and how he dealt with such situations.

Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but come on, on with the show please. Panel is composed of David Reyes, Tom Waldman, Willie H, Jesus Velo and Jimmy Alvarado.

Waldman rambled about Tierra, El Chicano blah blah…who gives a fuck? We talking punk, not the bickering Salas Brothers. Alvarado mentions other places where punk shows were held during the time period discussed. I know of Jimmy and his detailed efforts to accurately document the ELA punk scene back in the day. A point is made by Velo, that the Vex was an attempt to bring ELA and West LA together and not an attempt for fame or cater to the Hollywood glam scene, which, according to many, shunned many a band with brown-skinned members. What about this brown-skinned member?

16-brianputzy

So as I burrowed through the fog of info, a storm hit!!

17-volcano_lightning_landov2

This 70’s looking guy stood up (from among the seated)

SWITZERLAND MUSIC MEAT LOAF

puffed out his chest and proclaimed his immortality:

18b-zeus

“I started the Vex with Willie Herron!”

The latter part of the sentence was said in a lower tone to show who be the man. Alpha Male to save the day. He was preaching His revival. I think I saw a Foghat patch on him. Or was it Journey?

journey-revelation

Some grumbling began but Meat Loaf was not to be thwarted.

He bellowed, “You had 20 years to screw up the history of The Vex!”

He was determined but he seemed troubled. It seemed he had said this many times before, but now he had a public audience.

I was surprised but also giggling my ass off. This was getting tense and the wine sippers waited and tried to breave. David Reyes blathered about maybe the history is incomplete, blah blah, man this guy sounded like a professor, I almost mouthed every word and gesture. Yawn. But, this Vex guy would not be denied.

“The Vex is me. I did every show. Why are you trying to change the history? If you wanna know about the history of The Vex, you have to talk to me!”

Oh shit, it’s going down. Today’s program has gone rogue care of an interloper. Wait, is this punk?

“I’ve allowed you 20 years to destroy the history,” the guy who kinda looks like Meat Loaf continued.

So much preaching, I thought I was at a Victory Outreach car wash. Thank but no thanks for the anointing.

Problem was, if dude had a gripe he was going at it in the wrong way. Willie was the coolest cat and let Vex man have his say, but the guy just bloviated really. It was sad, he stormed the show and didn’t follow through. He even called on a security guard from back in the day to back up his claims. Really! Willie presented an invoice on screen and asked where Joe had signed it. It went like that.

Instead of clearly making his case, the guy just went at it in a loud, repetitive manner that lost him almost everybody in the place. Sure, he testified but come on now! I thought he was gonna pop someone or cry? I would not have been surprised.

70’s guy even brought witnesses or back-up depending on where you stood. Why would he need back up?, I wondered innocently. It was soon made clear in one of the greatest lines ever spouted at an art/punk show where innocuous beverages are politely sipped.

“This could get ugly or we can get the truth.” Holy shit. Can you dig it? Not everybody did.

20-psycho

Awkward silence followed by more. Because it was all up in there. Nonetheless, I stayed focused on this surreal novela.

He carried on for awhile and then sat. Frustrated. I must give credit to Willie. This was about him and his work at The Vex and this guy came to crash the party with back up. WH was very calm.

21-santorini05_edit

He tried to rebut much of Mister Vex’s testimony. Yet, he even credited him with being a major part of The Vex.

One of the panelists left and Mr. Promoter took the seat. How punk was that? Shit was really odd. He actually had a couple of supporters who wanted to hear his side but his redundant ways and selfish tone were too much, even for me. Jimmy mentioned some other punk spots and said, “ASCO were masters of PR.” Is that why The Vex is often mentioned? I don’t know. Willie responded with, “The Vex was in the nucleus of East LA. Home to visual artists. That’s why it’s remembered. It was a mixing of an Art space and music.” That’s the crux of his words. But, he had to get a dig at the interloper.

“Joe was not solely responsible for The Vex.”

Oh no you dint! Yup, he didded.

That got Promoter Man off his chair. I think he even wore a gold chain or was it just some tangled chest hair?

22-hair-kini

He adjusted his pants and prepared, again, to break it down. The Bill Graham of East LA then adjusted his mane.

“This is how the whole thing went down.”

Man, I’m dying here, again.  He had already said that, like 3 times. Did I drop some x before I got here? I should have.

“I wanted to start a magazine…I brought in Sister Karen (of Self-Help Graphics).”

He’s like a drunken uncle at a barbecue who won’t stop talking about the one that got away. Talk, pause, stare at the floor, drink, talk…

“So I was gonna start a magazine…”

Joe Vex was asked politely to keep his spiel short, all to no avail. Believe me, he had ample time to make his claim. They began to discuss the infamous Black Flag show that led to Self-Help Graphics no longer hosting shows.

The guy said, “The Black Flag show got screwed up and do you want to know why?”

At least 50% of the attendees scream out, “NO!”

Oh shit.

He just kept on talking. I’m not kidding. I wanted to scream out in laughter.

Had to check if my pants were wet. This guy needs help, he was obsessed that he was the sole person responsible for The Vex. He wanted no history claiming he was a partner or he just helped out, homey wanted all the glory. The panel was suddenly terminated, I think, because this guy would restart his hymn to himself even when the panel was discussing other aspects of the time period. Moderator was very respectful but he’d had it too. This shit had to be cut short.

silva

I walked around the small gallery to check out the art and was approached by this guy. He asked about my zine days and we shot the shit for awhile. Jimmy Tumors is a good guy and we talked about City Terrace, punk rock, etc. We were joined by others. The conversation was difficult because of the sudden loud music.

I decided to leave and who do I see outside the entrance? Two East Los legends!!24-valadez-and-guevara

John Valadez and Ruben Guevara were just hanging out shooting it. I joined them and mentioned that I bumped into this woman at Victor’s Barbershop on City Terrace Drive and she said she was John’s sister.

That blew his mind because he hadn’t seen her for a long time. Then Ruben and I traded substitute teacher war stories, mainly from Roosevelt and Belvedere. The one he told about that kid walking around the room with the flag was funny. I told them about the classes I took over because the teacher was struck in the eye with a rock. We smiled, then we sighed.

25-dresden

We said a few more things, then we departed.

I walked to my ride and went East, back home.

32 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me Now?: Whine Tasting Is Not My Cup of Tea

  1. Interesting and funny read- I think Willie Herron is a really good muralist although I do not know of any new murals, he just seems to only restore the few existing ones.
    HIs mural on Soto was always getting tagged and he didn’t do anything about it eventually it was completely covered in tags which just became this eye sore. So finally now he is again restoring an old piece.
    And it does seem like he “lives in the past,” kind of like the High School football star that 30yrs later is still talking about the Big Game. He comes across as a wanna be rock star.

  2. a funny and painfully accurate assessment of the evening’s festivities, CT. it was also good to finally meet you after all these years,. kinda odd it took so long seeing as we grew up in the same ‘hood and know so many of the same people.

    the sad thing is that while he admittedly went about things the wrong way, joe has a very valid gripe. virtually all that’s been written about east l.a. punk alternately implies or directly states that vex was started either by willie alone or with sister karen — including waldeman and reyes’ “land of a thousand dances,” a book so full of odd declarations and anemic assessments of anything past 1980 that it’s hard to put much faith in the veracity of the rest of the book — when the reality seems to be that not only was joe very much an integral part of the vex from its beginning, he continued to run the place without willie or most of the illegals (he credits manuel from the illegals as being an essential part of the vex throughout its existence) for three more years at three more locations after the black flag show that closed it down at SHG. even vex’s existence at these other locations, when to my mind it really succeeded in becoming the bridge between the east and west punk contigencies all involved in its inception hoped it would be, is rarely if ever addressed. take a look at the period’s fanzines or talk to the hundreds of bands that graced the stage, where chances are you will encounter “joe vex” as the person most mentioned or interviewed in conjunction with the vex, then contrast that with the version being peddled by the press and academic circles in the years since. if i were joe and was being systematically dismissed or wholly written out of the history of something that was such a big part of my life, i’d be pretty pissed, too. what i wished as i was sitting up there, though, was that the two of them would quickly move past the “i started it/no, i started it” stuff and admit they were both equally important to the foundation and continued legacy of the vex so we could go on and discuss some other topics. as you know, that didn’t happen.

    like i said that day, the fact that anyone is even talking about the vex is the result of a symbiotic relationship between joe and willie: joe’s efforts during those remaining three years provided the vex with its legacy and legend, and willie and the ASCO cats’ perpetual invocation of the club have kept its memory alive. without joe there’d be little to talk about, and without ASCO and their impressive PR skills (which i pointed out that day totally out of respect. their adroitness at self-promotion is something to behold), the vex would have long been forgotten like so many of l.a. punk’s other crucial venues, including the cathay de grande, BACES, godzillas, club 88, devonshire downs, stardust ballroom, the olympic auditorium, fenders, XYZ, and others.

    despite how little was addressed that day, i hope what became clear was that the work of too many lazy journalists and scholars has resulted in a flawed, myopic view of east l.a. punk that starts with the formation of the illegals, mentions the brat and the odd squad, and ends with that black flag show in late 1980, a time period of roughly a year. now that that small sliver has been written to death, maybe some attention will be paid to the other bands that were sprouting up before and during the same time period (the stains, thee undertakers, the snappers, why nut, the warriors, wild kingdom, the cliches, girl scoutz, violent children, etc.), the other venues that were contemporary to and came after the vex (stage one, rudy’s pasta house, bit of new york, richard duardo’s “hecho en aztlan” studio, the lipslide and transitions skate parks, tropico, mr. t’s, the blvd., even those places on the borders and outskirts of the eastside like al’s bar downtown and u-gene’s in santa fe springs), the backyard scene that rose up after the vex closed up for good on september 3, 1983, and the hundreds of east l.a. bands that have flown the punk flag and kept the scene alive in the decades since.

    i ain’t holding by breath, though…..

  3. CT,
    Thanks for the excellent writeup, it feels like I was there! Only I didn’t have to suffer through the “soft” drinks and the pontificating. Plus I always love your use of multimedia to help decipher an idea.Finally, someone puts all the random shit on the internet to good use.

    JT,
    Thank you for your comment, that’s actually very informative. If you ever wanted to write something about this situation we’d be more than happy to post it here.

    At the very least, this post and comment will give Mr. I started the Vex a voice online, so when the next academic starts trolling for material this might actually come up.

  4. As someone who has dipped his toes working with punk history, this is par for the course. There’s no shortage of people out there presenting narrow, single-source (usually themselves and their booze/drug aided memories) versions of events. There’s also this painfully obvious desire some folks to monetize and profit from punk, so they inflate the importance of whatever it is they have to sell or tell, and a desire to discredit anyone with a competing version.

    Add to this the fact that everyone seems to want punk history boiled down to a palatable, single serving version, with 95% of the actual history (the boring part, I guess) left out, and you’re left with something that’s not really history and that’s not really true most of the time.

  5. All historical documentations can be filed under “the history of bullshit”. Next fueling topic for this punk panel series ” Who suffered the most?” CT–cool seeing you today—now I know where your secret man-cave-office is. Loved this multimedia post and YES Feederz made smile! You had me at “Artists chatting. Those words individually are terrifying.” Damn, I almost fell off my chair laughing.

  6. Sonia,

    Interesting and funny? One is good, two is better. Thanks. You say “really good” muralist and I say “great”.

    None of the ASCO members were ever accused of having tiny egos. Maybe your interaction with him was not so pleasant. I haven’t seen him act like a “wanna be rock star”. I have had several conversations with him and once had an extensive interview with him. Guy was nothing but forthcoming and respectful. Does he like attention? What artist doesn’t?

    To me, John Valadez’s “The Broadway Mural” or Gronk’s “Conquest” or work by Barbara Carrasco or Isabel Castro are not holed in this or that decade.

    I’d rather not question this or any artists’ motives, nor ask, “yeah but what have you done lately?” Should we do that to BB King or JD Salinger or Malaquias Montoya? These artists, for me, did SO much. Some of the work may be 30 years old, but the impact is still relevant. Again, maybe your personal interaction with him was different than mine.

    JT, sorry Mr. Tumors,

    Yup, it was painfully amusing. Guess us finally meeting, not in CT, but in beautiful downtown (oh shit, that’s funny) is funny in itself. Guess CT ain’t so small. See you at the Plaza market later, ok? I gotta get some potatoes.

    He may have a legit gripe but you may be right to some degree to lay blame at so called “historians” and “journalists”. He is at fault mostly, as he admitted he allowed the “other” version to go unchallenged for 20 years. The only way to correct that is to listen to Jello: “dont’ hate the media, become the media.” At least you’re doing that.

    I think Willie would take issue with your belief that “the vex would have been forgotten like so many other crucial venues” because it was at SHG. His point is in my post. He can defend himself. But at the same time, who says they are forgotten? I was there!! You were there! El Chavo was there! I won’t forget them. Do we really need that recognition? From who? Do I need my experience mentioned in a fucked up book? Did you expect anything more from that book? I read it and I believe it ridiculed the “angry Brits” and the “artsy” New Yorkers, saying that they were pretentious and filled with guitar solos!!! And that Chicano rockers didn’t take themselves that seriously. Oh man, The Ramones, artsy? What solos? They were from Queens, no? Last time I checked, that was in NY. Chicano rock n rollers, as they were described, were probably just as pretentious as any “rock n roller”. Hey, I wanna be a “rock r roller”. Where do I sign up? BTW The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” is just Richie Valens’ “Come On, Let’s Go” no? Can they be considered Chicano “rock n rollers” now? Man.

    I could care less. Let the punks write about punk. Like with SSP, I would dust off my hands and say, “am I now part of the canon?” No? “What about the Chicano canon?” Still no? Fuck, Plaza de la Raza refused to sell my zine. They said it wasn’t “art oriented”. How bout that? It had Willie’s mural on the cover and an interview with him. But, nope, not art oriented. But, and maybe more importantly, students would quote the rag as a resource at CSULA. Plaza didn’t recognize but the kids did. Good enough for me.

    Or are you just asking for an accurate assessment of the times? Well you are already showing that by the accuracy of your articles and project. Asking won’t get shit. Let me stay on the accuracy point and rely on reliable sources by quoting from that Chicano tome, some say Codex, Sal Si Puedes, The Second Wind, “The mainstream is all dried up,” been that way for millenia… Now that’s good for a chuckle or three.

    Mr. Chavo,

    You didn’t want to be there, believe me. John, Ruben and I were talking and just nodding our heads, all in agreement that the panel went nowhere. So much pontificating if pontificating means talking a lot and not saying much. Yeah, it’s fun to write or read sumpin and add an image. I can multi task, even if I don’t like gum. All that random shit is beggin for some random guy to use it randomly. Wait, one more: random.

    And you are right, Mr. Promoter Man, can now revise the history, right here. Be good to hear his “side” in a much more calm and clear manner. Maybe JT is right and his gripe can be altered from a gripe to a simple and not so blurry vision of what happened then. El Chavo and JT: You guys can hold your breaths for me.

    Marshall,

    Yeah, Punk History already is a charged term. “No I was there, you weren’t… blah blah.” I remember when Martin Crudo put out his “Mas Alla de los Gritos” video. Oh shit. “Why did he interview them but not them… there were other bands too…he’s not even from L.A.” Par for the course, as you write.

    Victoria,

    a “History of Bullshit”. You’re probably right. Who suffered the most? No shit. The punks? No, the Latino Punks. What about the Black Punks? I mean Afro Punks? Didn’t Black Flag scream about the “White Minority”? Native American Punks have it the worst…blah blah Thats’ funny and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that panel soon. Let me call ELAC or CSULA and set it up. I’ll say I’m a Mechista.

    Yeah, you all busy over there, getting all meetingd up. Your project is gonna work out great. What an idea! Don’t forget the candles on the water ok? Yup, that is one of my isolation chambers, along with Circus of Books, Chico, Homegirl Cafe, and Troy’s and the aformentioned Plaza Market. I’m with the people. When I’m not alone.

  7. ct,

    guess i didn’t really make my point clearly — the place would’ve been consigned to the “lost” history of l.a. punk the same way all those other places would’ve been had it not been for willie and the asco kids continually referencing it. of course, willie might take exception to that assessment based simply on the fact that he’s worked so hard to make sure it has remained a part of the conversation. and you’re right, joe totally accepts responsibility for his own part of being written out.

    my gripe has always been about the politics of exclusion, and the “accuracy” of these books that, for good or ill, represent our scene and its (lack of) place in historical canon. it’s one thing to be excluded from so-called rock history, but another thing entirely when the authors purport to be covering chicano/east l.a. punk history cover a period of one year and three bands and that’s it. it’s even worse when nearly every single writer addressing the same topic perpetuates the fallacy. is it journalistic/scholarly laziness or elitism based on the lack of art world cred? willie and the illegals blame the former and say they are just as frustrated by it, and i think the exclusion of fanzines like SSP at art venues like plaza gives credence to the latter (wonder if they accepted pocho mag for sale when it was active). i think it’s a bit of both.

  8. “He’s like a drunken uncle at a barbecue who won’t stop talking about the one that got away. Talk, pause, stare at the floor, drink, talk…” CLASSIC… how much more punk can you get at an ART GALLERY props to the loud old man

  9. Mister JT,

    “Lost” history? It just hasn’t been written is all. It may be often misrepresented but lost… Maybe Victoria’s right.

    Willie’s referencing his involvement with the vex might add to it’s “legacy”, but being based in the “heart” of East Los in a “cultural” center doesn’t hurt it’s staying power. Maybe not. When is your book/flick gonna hit the streets?

    If there is going to be something called a “historical canon” and if a “we” or a “they” is going to be described, motherfuckers better get it straight, but they never do. that’s why they’re motherfuckers. but again, cannot expect anything else from “them”. just write the shit yourself.

    “art school cred” is funny. I think Valerie Solanas had a great idea regarding art schools. She was a blast.

    As for SSP, yup those pilgrims at Plaza were still in the 1600’s. I asked them, “How come you guys don’t promote your events more publicly? You know, event flyers on some telephone poles down in City Terrace.” She did some verbal dance. Damn, I didn’t even feel welcome in their little “gift” shop. Then one of my friends asked about using that outdoor stage for a benefit gig and we were given more sentences with “well” and “you have to understand” and “art community” and blah blah.
    Well JT, no more need to wonder, yes they did sell that rag you mention. You know it was just so “art-oriented.” Now that’s funny. It was supposed to be satirical or funny and it was neither. Some of my friends got it, but I never did. I was laughing with Pessimiser (Inglewood) and Chautauqua (Santa Monica). Now, those zines were funny and interesting) Yet there it was, in that tiny gift shop, laughing at me as, Rosie, I believe was her name, took my precious little zine to “talk with the director to see if it can be sold here.” What a shock when she returned with her “I’m sorry and maybe next…” I remember that shit like it was yesterday.

    as for the “politics of exclusion,” sounds like two synonyms and a preposition.

  10. The Gallos finally come home to roast! Willie & his side kick Poncho Jesus Velo…They have been playing this one trick o
    pony since the 80\’s,ever since Los Lobos took the crown as the Best East Los Band on the Planet, and when they fired thier talented lead guitar player manuel, for playing basketball before a rehearsal!? How lame is that, and after they had the big pay day signed to A&M records. They can never get over the fact that the \”other\” Los band Los Lobos made it and they didnt!
    Willie herron the *III,are we suppose to bow, or kiss his ring? the 3rd my chicano black butt!
    …living in exile was the name of a Los Illegals album,but it was really Willie saying hes in exile fixing toilets in orange county since the 80\’s…Thats Mr Punk rock Willie?
    You got it right,Mr East l.a. being real…real phony.
    Leave East los to those that live here bro!
    Lets not hate here, but give us a break.
    Thank God the real Founder of the Vex is finally speaking up, and he is due his props for working Vex, and putting up with Mr.Willie,recreating history to touch up his ego and eliminating the real founder?
    …Im the last cigar store indian of City Terrace, living in Orange County \”representing\” Herron IIIIIIIII bla bla bla,Muralista from the 60;s,
    …turned handyman, because his ego gets in the way of another painting.
    Shit, Johnette Napolitano fired him because his head wouldnt fit into the gig van, and he did nt know how to play guitar on a proposed tour with Concrete Blond. Guess he s all smoke and mirrors folks.
    Willie,little willie…why drive so far east,to stroke your ego, just stay in Laguna Beach, and fix the white mans toilets already, play your 60\’s 8 tracks, and keep your bald head covered under that hood…oopps, did I say to much? You had your 15 minutes of fame bro!
    NEXT~!
    Not to worry….We ve got George Yepes!

  11. “HISTORY REINVENTED”

    CITY TERRACE..

    I’m sorry, Man…
    I don’t know how old you are…
    How well-versed you are in East L.A. Scene…
    But YOU’VE GOT THE FACTS WRONG HERE, MAN.
    AT BEST..
    You’ve had someone RE-ALTER HISTORY FOR YOU.
    And you’re falling for it.

    YES…
    Willie Heron WAS part of THE ORIGINAL VEX location.
    YES..
    It was a Multi-Media Celebration of Art, Music and Culture.
    But Willie was NOT the regular booker and operator of the subsequent LONG RUNNING VEX CLUB.
    The CLUB that was home of such stellar bands like Black Flag, The Adolosecents and others.
    JOE VEX WAS…
    THE VEX CLUB that was located at the decrepit “PARAMOUNT BALLROOM” on BROOKLYN AVENUE in Boyle Heights.

    Heron was NEVER a part of this VERSION.

    I joined Joe Vex as the DJ of both this location, as well as the location Downtown at what was once called: “Casa Espana”
    I ALSO DID THE ARTWORK for the weekly VEX FLYERS
    (Which would grace the Refrigerators of many a punk apartment of the day).

    SERIOUSLY, CITY TERRACE.
    THIS IS THE HARD CORE TRUTH:
    Willie Heron’s ONLY INVOLVEMENT (IN THIS VEX)
    was to appear with his band “LOS ILLGALS” during a full-“EAST L.A. BAND NIGHT”
    This VEX CLUB which featured stellar bands like: BLACK FLAG, BAD RELIGION, CIRCLE JERKS, 45 GRAVE, SOCIAL DISTORTION, T.S.O.L., THE MINUTEMEN, MIDDLE CLASS, D.O.A. Etc. Etc. Etc.
    Along with all of the best East L.A. Bands of the era:
    THE PLUGZ, LOS ILLEGALS, THE STAINS, THE BRAT.

    During the breaks, I would play all of my Punk, Rockabilly and Nancy Sinatra 45’s EVERY NIGHT.

    I STILL HAVE THE RADIO ADS I PRODUCED FOR KNAC RADIO
    Remember when KNAC would play THE BRAT???
    Willie Heron didn’t have ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT, EITHER.

    This is SAD.

    HOW and WHY ANYONE WOULD “CLAIM”
    someone else’s HISTORY is beyond me…
    BUT THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH.

    C’MON, People..
    WAS EVERYONE THAT HIGH during THAT ERA that you don’t remember your EAST L. A. HISTORY???

    REALLY????

    Where are ALL OF THE BANDS
    THAT WERE BOOKED AT THE VEX…
    WHY DOESN’T ANYONE ELSE SPEAK UP???
    Better yet:
    WHY DON’T YOU GO SPEAK TO THEM…

    As the D.J. and right-hand man of JOE VEX, I can HONESTLY CERTIFY that YES..
    IT WAS JOE VEX who was the BLOOD, SWEAT, HEART AND SOUL of “THE VEX”.

    I never knew Willie personally.
    All I know is he is attempting to stretch
    facts far beyond recognition.
    Sadly, You are FALLING FOR IT.

    It would be WORTH YOUR WHILE to DO SOME PROPER DIGGING and RESEARCH.

    JOE VEX DESERVES AN APOLOGY!!!

    Michael Sanchez (THE MAN FROM BEAT)
    Original D.J. of the VEX (Brooklyn Ave)

  12. Well said Sr.Sanchez
    These guys dont stop with taking credit for single handedly creating VEX
    they go on to “recreate” history,song credits, etc
    check it out if this isnt already to fucking boring!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Illegals

    One just has to look no further than the “self hype up” wikipedia
    loaded with bullshit. El Ley?…forgot to mention Gronk as co writer
    Chizmoso? forgot to mention the Creator of “lil rudy g” and the Chizmosos!
    EMI?….the lil rudy g and the Chizmosos was on BMG,not EMI (I own the CD)

    Cesar of Los Lobos, said quote:
    We got tired of doing weddings in East Los, and decided since we were fans of the new wave scene,and loved groups like the Blasters, that it was time for us to “plug in” go electric and start playing some hollywood clubs, if we were gonna make it, this was the time for us to go for it!

    on and on,these guys twist and fabricate history…..but what do you expect from Ol’ timers of what?
    58 yr old Willie Heron? hes not only losing his hair hes losing his memory,
    Shit Happens…right

  13. Senor Soto…

    Gracias for the heads-up on the Wikipedia B.S.

    SHIT LIKE THIS IS HAPPENING DELIBERATELY.
    ONE CHISMOSO trying to CLAIM SOMEONE ELSE’s PAST???
    ONE CHISMOSO ALSO TRYING TO MAKE $$$ OFF OF IT???
    ISN’T THAT CALLED “FRAUD”???

    And AGAIN. I ASK:
    How pathetic is this individual who must resort to low-life FRAUD in order to bolster his own image???
    Why aren’t THE REAL PEOPLE coming to Joe Vex’s DEFENSE???

    In the Wikipedia article,
    Willie Herron also seems to have forgotten to include
    Former LEAD SINGER of Los Illegals EDDIE AYALA as PART OF THE GROUP.

    Eddie,
    (I’m sure MOST of the knowledgeable readers will remember)
    was the CHARISMATIC LEAD SINGER of Los Illegals before getting kicked-out of the band.
    (Eddie Ayala went on to form “oddSQUAD” with Angela Vogel, Richard Vogel and Monica Flores)

    As I have said before, I don’t know this Willie person.
    And I don’t ever go LIVING IN THE PAST.
    I haven’t bothered to go reading articles
    about East L. A.’s Punk history.
    I live in the Present-Day… NOT the past.

    But I DO REMEMBER IT. AND I DO KNOW MY FACTS.

    Willie Heron is preying
    on future generations of East L.A. Kids
    and serious Students of Chicano History and Culture
    by STEALING OTHER PEOPLE’s LIFE-WORK and HISTORY
    and somehow regurgitating
    that HE is “The GODFATHER of EAST L.A. PUNK”…

    Absolute BULLSHIT!!!

    THAT TITLE WILL ALWAYS BELONG TO JOE VEX

    …ALWAYS!!!

    ANYONE ELSE that thinks differently
    should GO DO SOME REAL HOMEWORK and then start asking:

    “How did I ever get duped by ESTE PINCHE CHISMOSO???”

  14. M.S.

    I’m old enough but not very well-versed in any scenes, much less the East L.A. one. I got the facts wrong? No problem, let’s fix em.

    Someone realtered history for me? Who could that be? I fell for it. If only I wasn’t so dumb.

    So, Willie was part of The Original Vex, ok? Got it. He said that. It was a multi-media celebration of art, music and culture. He said that too.

    “He was not the regular booker and operator of the subsequent long running Vex Club.”You have written something that WH did not say at the event or at subsequent discussions.

    You say it’s the hardcore truth and I am not disputing any of what you are saying, JUST that you are talking about The Vex post 11/80, no? Where WH was not involved. I have never heard him say he was.

    Funny, the bands you mention. Just listened to “Out of Vogue” ep this morning.

    Did WH claim anyone else’s history? He definitely has his own.

    Why don’t those bands speak up? Maybe this battle for the East L.A. scene from back in the day is not on everyone’s to do list. Could it also be that Willie clearly stated at that panel that he AND Joe Vex AND others started The Vex and that he was involved from March, 1980 until November of the same year? Even Joe Vex said he started it with WH.

    Also, my post was on That event for the most part. I could not feign some kind of deep knowledge of that scene. I was and am into those bands, but I didn’t see as many shows as you did during that time. I was at Hammel St. Elementary! Why should I go speak to THEM, when YOU are right here? You are as relevant as any of those bands, no?

    You don’t know Willie, I do. In fact, just bumped into him in front of Alvarez Bakery on City Terrace. I still haven’t met this megalomaniac you seem to describe. In fact, at that event, he was pretty calm when Joe Vex took the stage and made no sense for way too long. As I wrote, he had plenty of time to make his case… about “This” or “That” Vex. He definitely did not.

    You say WH is stretching the facts, but at this event he was more than willing to… well, why would I repeat what I already wrote? I don’t know MS, it’s hard to argue over something somebody did not say. I sure did not hear WH claim ownership of The Vex. It’s almost like you are looking for a battle when no one wants to fight.

    You suggest I do research and digging, for what? The post was not about The Vex. Why would I do all that work, when YOU can shed some light. MS, you were there, instead of complaining about someone else’s “version,” why not write the right one?

    As for an apology, Joe Vex owes me one for wasting about 20 minutes of my life with dull, repetitious meandering. He sure ain’t getting one from me. Your bud was all over the place. Ask ANYONE who was there.

    You claim not to live in the past, but simply want to set the record straight. How hard can that be, when the forum is right here? Be our guest. Don’t stay in the “comments” section, when you can make some crazy multi-media clarification/elucidation on this blog, especially since you are an artist. I’m sure LA Eastside would be more than happy for some punk history posts.

    Were you at the event described? I may be off, but my description wasn’t.

    P.S. A few months back on Soto and Chavez, I saw WH and he was hanging out with that “charismatic lead singer,” Eddie Ayala. You would think Ayala would be all pissed for having his history “realtered.” But they were having a pleasant conversation.

    P.P.S. MS, you were there, as a major contributor, you have a lot of things to share and set straight. Plus, all those flyers! Maybe you could post some of them here and write a description of the gig, etc. Not to live in the past, but to get an accurate portrayal. Again, I know that would be most welcome here. I don’t mean some kind of “look, those wild East L.A. punkers” but more about some of the great people/bands/artists, etc. We wait for the record to be set staight. It’s all a process. Let it contitnue.

  15. Sorry… but to correct history, The one true and only first DJ at the original Vex was NOT Joe Suquett’s buddy Michael Sanchez as he claims above–but a guy named “Eddie Zargoza” or Eddie Z. He had the balls and foresight to put his effort into a “non Comercial” Vex venue during the reign of March-November 1980 (historically the undisputed most important Vex time period). to check facts ask Louie Perez, he was the connection. Also, If you’d bother to read CD credits, Herron & Los illegals were the Chizmosos behind lil’ Rudy g.

    Let’s move on & out of the past this is stupid and boring.

  16. Orale, Wizard o’ Wz there,
    Myself,a major admirer of the writings, and songs of that loco, “Lil Rudyg” let me chime in here.I know lil Rudy g’s Son,and Vick Silva, and some jente that were there for the recording/production of lil Rudy g,
    and For the record! The man has been living in George Bush exile for 6 yrs, I hear & understand all over Argentina,Brazil,Colombia, Cuba, and hopefully
    hes got to have some powerful stuff coming out soon enough, but who can tell.
    So,back to the facts as we know them,
    Willie Heron IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII etc, had nothing to do with the lil Rudy g & Chizmosos CD.
    His name is on the credits just as a shout out from Bill Reyes,who worked on the CD,and definately was a Chizmoso during the project. It was’nt called lil Willie H, or little illegals,
    Blues man,Vick Silva, definately was there, but Willie H. whom many wish to shower with awe,for anything about East l.a. wasnt even in the room. los illegals,wants credit for the name “Los” Lobos,because the “ripped off “LOS”, & while were at it, we may as well give Cesar Rosas credit as a chizmoso since he didnt contribute either? So, if one member of a band works on a project “all members get credit?” How, cozy….
    Hey,Lobos louie Perez maybe help us out here,therefore Conrad Lozano should get credit for writing,singing,& playing on los Super 7?
    Hes Lobos right?
    Even though he was drinking a beer and the reading paper, sitting by his pool, at the time.
    Sorry vato Wz Kid,with all due respect you have to actually write a song, or play an instrument to get CD credits for “creating” something new and original.
    Sure they can mention your name on the liner notes, as a shout out, but it ends there. Until then
    We’ll all just have to wait another
    “what” 20 yrs for the next Willie and the illegals “2nd”CD ? release party to check out the new tunes from the Man and his band that never plays.
    Meanwhile,settle for Los Lobos breaking new records, playing the White House, or Tito & Tarantula touring continually touring Europe and writing songs for Robert Rodriquez films,Hell even Shakiras new la LOBA or gazing in wonder at the magic paintings of George Yepes! or another kick ass play from Culture Clash,….New, all new.
    Im outta here:
    “the Chairman of the bored”

  17. ….etc
    Ask Louie Perez? Whats his cell#!Damn it!
    Is he avaialble, or still on tour or cutting the New CD?
    …Undisputed time period, because you happen to be there?
    Undisputedly the best time because you and d.j. Z, will dispute anyone else having a good time at any other time? Vex was only valid, for 8 months? and nothing else mattered?
    After all those years,and all those shows that came and went to VEX, only those “8 months” were nirvana?
    Come on Bro,What kind of fuckin LSD, were you on BRO?

    This is fucking beyond hilarious, Wizard o’wz there!

  18. Oye Tapa Boca,
    Dude! Check your Source!!
    So your quoting Josh Kunn articles, which “spoon feed” the Vex experience from 2 illegals members “lips and Hips” of Willie H. and Jesus Velo while holding
    hands and “Milking”Josh K. for all his gringo ass,for all they can get!!
    to hype up their version of the l.a. Punk scene and how “everyone” even Darby Crash “Passed
    them the Punk Crown”…etc PLEASE!!!
    Bla Bla Bla….
    Give us a fuckin break here Ese,
    and come back with some real shit/news. Not BIRDSHIT FROM
    “another los Flocking Illegls”:self hype article…..
    because they say it doesnt make it fact!

    Never trust the Artist, just the ARt!
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”
    Adolf Hitler!

  19. OK racist cry baby facist: here it is for you to deny (and every body to see for them selves): Joe Suquette admited he didn’t come up with the VEX name (which he said HE invented) on page #247 of this book:

    We got the neutron bomb: the untold story of L.A. Punk By Marc Spitz,& Brendan Mullen see PAGE 247–

    Let it go, I don’t really give a shit, neither should you. get a life.

  20. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Mr.Boca?
    “Quote:Johnny rotten,San Franciso to close the last punk rock show, Jan 14th `1978”

    So, Tape your Boca?
    Since your being so nice to us here on LA Eastside,
    by providing this intense research book -We got the Bomba,Los Lobos,Vex,etc..chapter 32, page….etc
    Oye Boca
    Please mail us all a copy of this famous book,
    the untold story of l.a. Punk,
    (an “Oral” report,which means anybody can say anything, while having their Cock sucked, and Tapaboca will believe it?)
    and we’ll all be happy to read page 247! and page 248!
    *All You’ve proved so far Boca,is that your creedo is:
    if I read it, it must be true”!
    You naive litte slut,dont go getting your panties up in a twist over this stuff, ese! ….and find your self a better library.
    Ciao,
    Dr.Loco

  21. Dude, you are seriously ill…and made a fool of yourself in front of everybody to boot.

    I’m bored of this & outa here

    Please get over it.

  22. GET A PINCHE LIFE. There’s more to it than this stupid bull shit.
    GET A LIFE
    GET A LIFE
    GET A LIFE …

  23. T.B.
    You obviously arent PUNK,ese!
    Darby Crash, would pull your knickers down “in front of everybody: (all 2 of us)
    and have his way with you…..
    TapabocA,
    dont be such a Chavala chiquito,y no llores.
    Now,Since you’ve had your heart broken here “in front of everybody”?
    can you get off the line, and let somebody else take the subject back to VEX, and how some ego trippers are trying to high jack, and jive us with fantasys.So stop it already with those bullshit “spin Dr” quotes,
    and
    change those funky calzones tambien,Erkel! ufffff
    I love you…

  24. OK…

    BACK TO THE ORIGINAL SUBJECT.

    Here is JOE VEX’s own MY SPACE PAGE:
    http://www.myspace.com/vex80

    If you click and enter the “Photo Gallery” Pics Section, you will see MULTIPLE VERSIONS of flyers that were done to promote SEVERAL YEARS of VEX CLUB SHOWS.
    (From 1980 to a few Vex shows that Joe recently promoted, last year.)
    Specifically, photo’s #16 and #24(In the Gallery)were TWO VERSIONS of the regular VEX WEEKLY FLYERS I did EVERY SINGLE WEEK. We didn’t do “Nightly Flyers”.
    (Remember.. THIS VEX CLUB was open 3 to 4 NIGHTS A WEEK)
    PHOTO #24 is MY FIRST-WEEKLY FLYER.
    The date is February 1981.

    You will also see one of my VEX flyers
    in the FLIPSIDE MAGAZINE ARCHIVE:
    http://www.flipsidefanzine.com/Framespage.html
    Check the year 1981.
    (REGULAR WEEKLY VEX FLYER)
    http://www.flipsidefanzine.com/Vex6May81.html

    This (Brooklyn Avenue) VEX CLUB
    (THE LONG-STANDING CLUB THAT IS OF ISSUE, HERE)
    was open 3 to 4 NIGHTS A WEEK.
    I was the D.J. there, “THE MAN FROM: B.E.A.T.”
    ANY sensible-thinking individual
    would agree that THIS WOULD BE CONSIDERED
    A “REGULAR CLUB”.
    An ON-GOING place of REGULAR, STEADY BUSINESS ACTIVITY.
    Not just a “One-Off” or “Once-a-Month Party”.
    And that THIS VEX CLUB
    is the one where ALL of L.A.’s MAJOR
    PUNK and Local BANDS PLAYED.
    EVEN ONE of my favorite L.A. Bands,
    “WALL OF VOODOO”
    PLAYED AT THIS VEX CLUB.

    Don’t take my word for this…
    Go look for yourself HOW MANY NIGHTS (AND HOW LONG)
    this club was open ON A REGULAR BASIS PER WEEK..

    I can conservatively estimate that I DJ’ed
    AT LEAST 40 to 50 SHOWS
    (Probably closer to 60 SHOWS)at this VEX CLUB
    and the VEX CLUB in Downtown L.A. (CASA ESPANA)
    REPEAT…
    From 1981 to 1982,
    AT LEAST 40 REGULAR VEX CLUB SHOWS.
    Not some one-off party-events.

    C.T.
    You claim to know Willie…
    Perhaps NOW you should REALLY get to know JOE VEX…
    Start by going to HIS my space page.
    LOOK at all HIS VEX FLYERS
    and those of ALL THE BANDS that Played there.
    NOTICE for yourself that THIS VEX CLUB was open 3 to 4 nights per week… (Sometimes EVEN ON SUNDAYS)
    EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

    THIS was the VEX CLUB MOST PEOPLE REMEMBER, C.T.

    WHY???

    Because IT WAS OPEN CONSISTENTLY, week after week…
    NIGHT AFTER NIGHT…
    Because Joe successfully brought
    not only the O.C./East L.A./
    San Francisco, and Hollywood bands in to play…
    But he ALSO BROUGHT INTERNATIONAL BANDS like
    D.O.A., THE SLITS, U.K.-D.K. and many others
    there to play.
    THIS VEX CLUB ACHIEVED INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION.

    THIS VEX CLUB advertised on KNAC.
    I PRODUCED THOSE RADIO AD’s.

    JOE VEX’s EFFORTS
    are legitimately archived in Flipside Magazine.

    Perhaps THEN…
    You will understand what this is all about.
    You will understand HOW AND WHY JOE VEX reacted and
    did what he did at this event.
    (AND RIGHTFULLY SO!!!)
    Go back and re-read JIMMY TUMORS eloquent comments(Above) about this subject.
    I couldn’t have said it any better.
    IT’s ALL TRUE!!!

    This ISN’T about ME, C.T…
    I’m not here to write any book or documentary simply because I was the VEX DJ. back in ’81 & ’82.
    I am not a Chicano Historian
    (And I don’t live like Al Bundy in the past).
    But, apparently those who CLAIM THEY ARE haven’t bothered to get their facts STRAIGHT.
    So I am merely attempting to set those facts straight for those who give a REAL damn about their REAL East L.A. Band and Punk History.
    (And in reading the comments posted here…
    THANKFULLY, SOME PEOPLE STILL DO GIVE A DAMN…)

    WHY???
    Because I WAS THERE…

    I do not diminish Herron’s
    (Or anyone else’s) part in the Vex History.
    And…
    Herron has done some remarkable murals and artwork.
    Yeah.
    Plain and simple, this is about
    a mis-appropriated legacy.
    Metaphorically speaking,
    this would be like:
    PETE BEST taking credit for “HEY JUDE”.

    PUT YOURSELF IN JOE VEX’s HOT,
    SMELLY, SHOES, C.T…
    How would you like someone else
    (In twenty-five years time)claiming:
    “THEY ARE THE FAMOUS L.A. Eastside C.T.”
    Having an exhibition with YOUR ARTICLES???
    And, (In turn) having little Fake C.T. followers claiming your FAKE C.T.
    “ES UN DIOS DE LA MOVIMIENTO DE L.A. EASTSIDE”…
    DON’T LAUGH…
    If it HAPPENED TO JOE VEX… IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

    So,
    I will repeat my ORIGINAL SUGGESTION TO YOU and to EVERYONE ELSE:

    GO DO YOUR PROPER HOMEWORK.
    Go LOOK AT JOE VEX’s OWN WEBSITE.
    GO STUDY ALL THE VEX FLYERS
    AND REAL VEX/BAND BOOKING SCHEDULE HISTORY.
    (80, 81, 82, 83 and the more recent VEX EVENTS)

    There is even VEX CLUB VIDEO on YOU TUBE you can watch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHQK8eyPcho

    You can read the comments posted on YOU TUBE
    that will ALSO back-up the VEX facts
    of the WHEN and WHERE…

    ALL THE FACTS ARE THERE FOR YOU, C.T.
    AND EVERYONE ELSE
    TO SEE AND PROPERLY DIGEST FOR YOURSELVES.

    TOO MANY OTHER PEOPLE
    ALREADY KNOW THE TRUTH.

    YOU SHOULD, TOO…

    AND, FINALLY,
    When you do…

    JOE VEX
    still
    deserves
    an
    APOLOGY…

  25. Who are you?
    Do you know that there is a REAL cultural WAR! SUrrounding all the Punk and Chicano art & music culture… people do get HURT or KILLED!! AND NOONE WILL EVER KNOW THEY EXISTED!!!!!!!!!!!!
    IF you think JOE! DESERVES AN APOLOGY. i KNOW The whole thing was staged! and YOU know it TOO!!! IF U WANT THE REAL F—- STORY CONTACT ME…I was called “the main conduit to the alternative and underground eastside scene”BUZZ MAGAZINE”1998. I carried IT and recorded ‘it’– a compilation of 10 eastside bands in the nineties the whole thing was sabotaged by u know who!!!… I along with Patssi Valdez produced huge multi-media events, sold out all the major venues on the westside (now my life is being threatened)
    and now I am being “written off” ERASED FROM HISTORY…ITS BIG NEWS AND IT WILL GET BIGGER!!!Your sight is FUNNY really FUNNY now investigate the death of Marcos Garcia one of the kids that started the peace & justice center…

  26. Theres the man!
    Oye Eddie, so now you can tell us all the truth ,the real history once and for all, why Willie H. erases you out of the bands history or whats up? (on wikipedia there is no mention of eddie as a founding member of illegals)
    They are saying you guys were meeting, so whats the real deal once and for all?:

    CT Quote:.S. A few months back on Soto and Chavez, I saw WH and he was hanging out with that “charismatic lead singer,” Eddie Ayala. You would think Ayala would be all pissed for having his history “realtered.” But they were having a pleasant conversation.

    So, now you can clarify for us here what the deal is?

    Wife Beating
    BTW -over this past christmas, a friend who happens to know willie X ,Cindy Heron, mentioned that Willie Heron was charged with spousal abuse against his X wife Cindy Heron and sentenced to “anger management” with a suspended sentence. There was a hitory of spousal abuse, which was the grounds for divorce.
    So, it looks like Mr.”Calm” as CT refers to Willie has an Evil Twin? and takes out the his troubles on his wife with a good ol fashion beating?
    I dont know about any of you, but
    Thats fucked up man, beating up a women.
    !!Que Viva la Mujer!!

    “Never trust the artist, just the Art”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *