Clap For The Wolfmen

Holy Dos Equis, Dadio... is that a blue maned burro in my studio playing the platters?

Holy Dos Equis, Dadio… is that a blue maned single horned burro in my studio playing the platters?

It’s time to put away the illegal fireworks for another year and get on with the hottest part of the Summer.  If you need some cooling off during those dog days, The Nest can provide some Sirius help every Monday in the form of our epic Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown!  We’re getting into the creme de la creme of my favorite do-overs, and the excitement is so prevalent in the air that DJ Scratchy and the Sponks can feel their tails standing on end.  Let’s get another exciting month of covers started with the song ranked at my favorite number in the history of numerals…


#13. “La Bamba” – Los Lobos

Ritchie Valens had one of the shortest musical careers of anyone you’ll find in the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though it’s not his fault he won a coin toss that cost him his life at the age of 18.  But the whole reason he was hanging out with living legends like Buddy Holly and The Notorious Big Bopper at that tender age was the fact that as a teenager, he took the nation by storm with his hit record “La Bamba” just a few months prior to music’s demise.  For a song that’s nearly 60 years old, it still sounds pretty darn good… but like most music from any era, it didn’t stand a chance when the 80’s got ahold of it.

I'm glad we could get the band back together!

I’m glad we could get the band back together!

In 1987, Hollywood decided the time was right to make a movie about Ritchie Valens short life, and they got the Mexican American band Los Lobos to cover Valens’ signature song.  These wolves didn’t sing shitty songs about a dog named Boo, they played straight up kickass rock with a Latin flavor… and their spicier version of La Bamba is guaranteed not to give you Montezuma’s Revenge…

That guitar solo by Cesar Rosas alone is almost enough to justify this song’s position in the countdown!

There's 1352 guitar pickers from East LA.

There’s trece cien cincuenta dos guitar pickers from East LA.

The Mexican Wolves also did a really great cover of Valens’ first US hit, “Come On, Let’s Go” for the movie.  These guys were so great at turning music from south of the border into pure oro, they might have even been able to salvage The Macarena…

If there's any justice in the music industry, these two are selling sombreros for tortilla money at some flea market in Tijuana right now.

If there’s any justice in the music industry, these two are selling sombreros for tortilla money at some street market in Tijuana right now.

Come back next week and howl at the moon to the next fur-raising song in The Nest’s countdown!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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22 Responses to Clap For The Wolfmen

  1. draliman says:

    One of my faves of the bygone era! I didn’t realise the cover version was so long ago.

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Why? Just…why?

    • LOL, Just when I think I had at least one song in the countdown everyone could agree on…

      • NotAPunkRocker says:

        I was thinking more about the title, honestly. In another weird association, I think of the tune from “Up For the Down Stroke” by Parliament when I try to remember “Clap for the Wolfman” (not that I want to do remember that song at all, ya know)

      • I’ll agree with you there… “Wolfman” is a terrible song. But I thought if fit the post better than Duran Duran…

  3. That image of the wolf howling at the moon is my all-time favorite picture of yours. I really love it. And wolves. And you, too.

    • Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllllllllllll!!! 🙂

      Squirrelwolves are indeed awesome! That is a very old drawing of mine. My archive says I drew it on 8/8/2009, and the reason I drew it is…. well, it’s silly and unexplainable. And that’s often the best kind of inspiration there is…

  4. JackieP says:

    Everyone should howl at the moon at least once. Very soul freeing. 😉

  5. Mental Mama says:

    Loved that movie, but I’m a sucker for Lou Diamond Phillips. Great soundtrack.

  6. markbialczak says:

    The Wolves beat poor dead Richie, Bill. I wish they would’ve also covered The Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” A smoking version of that ditty? Oh, baby, that’s a what I like!

    • Ha! I always thought that was one of the stupidest songs ever. I don’t know if The Big Boppa would’ve ever lived Chantilly Lace down even had he lived to become a true one hit wonder….

      • markbialczak says:

        Oh, he was a one-hit wonder, Bill. Chantilly Lace made it to No. 6 on the Billboard chart, believe it or not, peaking on Nov. 8, 1958. And that was three months before the plane crash, believe it or not.

      • Yeah, but can you really peg someone as a OHW who never got a chance to have another hit? I’m thinking J.P. would’ve likely been destined for the Hall of OHW even had Waylon Jennings not cursed his plane, but we’ll never know…

      • markbialczak says:

        The fact that his other songs out before the crash peaked at 99, as well J.P.s voice and singing style, make me think ‘Lace’ would have been it. But as you say, Bill, you never know. Plus, there’s no accounting for taste.

  7. Los Lobos wins paws down! La la la LA!

  8. a1mamacat says:

    Scooter would like to know if you got a signed permission slip to use his gif with the geetarrr

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