Remembering Celia Cruz

The July 16 death of salsa super-nebula Celia Cruz brings back memories for Héctor Castellanos, part owner of Anaheim Latin music cathedral JC Fandango. Castellanos served as Cruz's chauffeur in the late '80s when the Cuban diva made a rare Orange County appearance at his family's nightclub. "I remember picking Celia and her husband up at LAX and dropping them off at a four-star hotel near our club before the show," says Castellanos, who led JC Fandango patrons in a moment of silence for Cruz the Friday after her death. "You know how you meet certain people that you just want to be around? Celia was one of them. She was just so down-to-earth about her fame and treated my family with the utmost respect. I remember trying to tell her in my horrible Spanish while driving her around that it was an honor to have her at JC Fandango, but she was humble enough to say the honor was hers." Castellanos doesn't remember much about the show itself except that Cruz loved the venue and that the Castellanos family lost money on the deal—even the sell-out crowd couldn't generate the cash to cover Cruz's high appearance fee. "But I remember my dad—may he rest in peace—telling me after the show, 'Mijo, we lost a lot of money, but it's okay because we can say we had Celia here,'" Castellanos adds. "After that, the reputation of our club grew massively. It's one of the few times we lost money and came out better for it." (Gustavo Arellano)

ROQ OF THE '80s REDUX

The rumor mill has been churning about the musical theme of this year's KROQ Inland Invasion, which looks to be set for Sept. 20 at the Big-Ass Corporate-Named Amphitheater up in Devore (oh, you know what it's called). Last year's fest was a tribute to vintage punk rock, headlined by the Sex Pistols. This year, plan for a new wave/'80s extravaganza. According to Pollstar, the Violent Femmes have already been booked and the Psychedelic Furs are likely. But these two bands alone could hardly pack a 60,000-capacity shed, so the big-name headliner buzz is on. Among the hot gossip: the Cure! (Not impossible.) An Oingo Boingo reunion! (A source tells us he overheard a friendly phone chat between Danny Elfman and an ex-bandmate as recently as a week ago, though who knows what that means?) Billy Idol! (Sorry, he'll be on tour, and not in Cali.) Duran Duran! (Was the PacAmp gig a sneak preview?) A Smiths reunion! (Yeah, right.) (Rich Kane)

ET TU, KINKY?

Looks like corporations are finally warming up to using Latin alternative music acts for scoring their commercials, and guess what, Shakira? The groups don't have to bleach their hair or poppify their sound in return! Heard recently on radio blurbs for the FX cable show Nip/Tuck were the windshield-shattering opening thunks of "Más y Más" by fuck-they're-talented Monterrey, Mexico, natives Kinky. It's at least the third time this year alone that the 2002 track has been used for shilling purposes—previous spins occurred in television commercials for the NBC Mexican narco mini-series Kingpin and in stylishly produced plugs for the Honda Element. Just one question for Kinky: Where's the español? None of the commercials features the lyrics of "Más y Más," instead repeating that delicious introductory bass line and a couple of other Kinky swirls. Granted, Kinky aren't renowned for their insightful lyrics—"We're wanting more and more!" is about as deep as they get—but it would have been nice if Kinky included some Spanish during the "Más y Más" excerpts, considering they're Mexican, ¿tú sabes? Ad producers, scared that white consumers wouldn't pay attention to a commercial blaring Spanish, probably committed the snub. Then again, when Kinky was in the Mouse of Blues this past spring, they addressed their panting fans mostly in English. First Ricky Martin, then Shakira, now et tu, Kinky? (GA)

REASON NO. 437 WHY JOURNALISTS SCREEN THEIR PHONE CALLS

The following British-accented message was left on Matt Coker's voice mail: "Hello, this is Mark Nelson, the Phil Collins guy. I'm calling to talk to Jim Washburn about the Fleetwood Mac concert. I'm trying to get me girlfriend Candy in to meet Stevie. Call this number and ask for Candy or Mark, and I will be calling you, and we'll see what happens, all right?" In case you're wondering, Washburn could not place "the Phil Collins guy," and respectfully asked Coker to accidentally delete the message. (Todd Mathews)

 
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