Whatever Happened to Jonny Chingas?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And where do those fancy Mexican belts come from?

DEAR MEXICAN: One evening in 1983 or 1984, I was walking home from work on Haight Street in San Francisco and stopped into Watusi Records to look through the dollar cutout bin. I flipped through it for a bit, and then stopped dead when I saw the Jonny Chingas Pachuco LP. I looked closer, saw what was written in small print on the license plate of the car on the cover ("se me paro"), and went, "Holy shit! I've gotta have this!"

The record (especially the title cut and "El Corrido del Bato Loco") was funnier than shit (and musically not too bad). A dozen years later, just after the Internet came in, I ran a search on AltaVista and got a single result, for a little indie record company in East LA. I wrote to ask if it had any more Jonny  Chingas recordings and received a single-sentence reply: "Hey, man, I think the vato's dead." Running a Google search now, there seems to be no info whatsoever on who the dude was, other than his name, Raúl Garcia, which matches the credits on the original Billionaire LP: "R. Garcia." In 200 words or less (to match your column length), who was this incredibly funny, talented guy, and what in hell happened to him?

Ye Olde Gabacho

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DEAR GABACHO: "Se Me Paro"! Literally translating as "It Stood Up," but Mexican Spanish for "I Got Hard"—as in, "My Chorizo Is Ready to Get Into Your Pink Taco" hard! By the legendary Jonny Chingas, the Blowfly of Chicano rap! Man, I hadn't heard that song—a raunchy doo-wop Spanglish retelling of a homeboy getting it on with his heina, complete with moans and mecos—in years. And I urge everyone to give it a spin, as it was a rite of passage for all Mexican men who came of age during the 1990s to listen to this rola off their cholo cousin's Lowrider Magazine Volume 1 CD. Chingas' other songs are similarly hilarious—"El Corrido del Bato Loco" ("Ballad of a Crazy Vato"), "Yo Quiero Tirar Chingasos" ("I Want to Fuck Someone Up") and "La Dolencia" ("The Longing"), the most romantic song about blue balls EVER. But who was he? Born Raul Garza, he recorded mainstream Chicano tracks with a bunch of East LA Chicano rock bands during the 1960s and 1970s under the names Raul Garcia and Ruly Garcia, but he achieved immortality with the Jonny Chingas persona. J-Vibe of Dragon Mob Records produced some of Chingas' last recordings—and, yep, Chingas is now cruising alongside Jesus in that dropped '64 Chevy Impala in the sky. Finally, sorry for crossing your 200-word border, but you know how we Mexicans are with imaginary boundaries. . . .

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DEAR MEXICAN: In what state and city are the cintos piteados made?

Una Metiche que Quiere Saber si Sabes Tú Información del Piteado

DEAR NOSY WABETTE WHO WANTS TO KNOW IF I KNOW INFORMATION ABOUT THE PITEADO TECHNIQUE: You're referring, of course, to the belts featuring arabesque designs that are a staple of hombres from central Mexico. The most famous city for production is Colotlán, Jalisco, but the best ones come from Jerez, Zacatecas—not that I'm biased or anything.

 
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9 comments
dsspice1
dsspice1

Sometime in the mid 80s me (Black chick from the Midwest) and my gabacha roomie from Iowa went to the Holywood Tropicana (when it was a dance club before it became the home of female mud wrestlin') to see Jonny Chingas. His dirty songs were funny but I was more a fan of songs like phone home and automatic lover.During the concert it was announced that the band was headed for a European tour. I have wondered if any footage exists of any of his European performances, like the original poster said, it's hard to find any info on him on the Internet and the only video I've found on you tube was of him hanging out in this producer dude j - vibe's living room. It's too bad he's not better known cuz the music was actually pretty good

cecerivera44
cecerivera44

He was married to my aunt.  Yes, he passed away.

cathy_tapia
cathy_tapia

To all that are talking about Jonny Chingas he was my Tio and he died of Cancer .

It is good to know that he is not forgotten I remember the band practicing in the little white garage in Boyle Heights and going to baseball game in Lincoln Park the band was a family and most of the band members met their wife's on these tours .

I have many memories growing up with this band and hanging out backstage Rick Dee was a very huge fan and also played a song on the radio before it was banned .

So thank you all for still remembering this great guy :)

akhaddd
akhaddd

e achieved immortality with the Jonny Chingas persona. J-Vibe of Dragon Mob Records produced some of Chingas' last recordings—and, yep, Chingas is now cruising alongside Jesus in that d

japishhd2005
japishhd2005

Found jonny chingas CD at Norwalk records on Firestone in Norwalk

cecerivera44
cecerivera44

His real name was Raul Garcia.  He had 3 daughters with my aunt.  My cousins, Trina, Cathy and Christy.  But my uncle did not die of cancer.  He had a heart attack.  And he never lived in Boyle Heights!!

alvarez11
alvarez11

@cathy_tapiaHi Cathy, So you are Rauls niece? nice. I have Johnny Chingas greatest hits cd. and many other songs by him. His music is very hard to find. would love to get as much as possibile of his music. many several years ago (like8) A local radio station here (88.3 Radio Aztlan friday nights, also online) once did a whole show dedicated to him. was really nice. Great music. Take care Cathy

 
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