Friday night will see the Juke Joint hosting a concert featuring doo wop vocalist Vicky Tafoya and her band, the Big Beat, along with Royal Crown Revue vocalist Eddie Nichols. The show is a benefit for Tafoya's nephew who passed away recently and will feature an auction to help his family with expenses following his death.
We got to chat with Tafoya, a life-long fan of doo wop who plays in three bands including the a capella group the Redondos (which features Eddie Nichols) and the punk-oriented Vicky and the Vengents. During the past year, this band has caught the ear of venerable DJ and sonic "picker" Rodney Bingenheimer whose featured the songs "Out of My Mind," "The One you'll Never Know" and "The Day he Went Away" on his show.
It was unexpected and my sister was just lost. The family helps but we can't help too much-- Even though I'm in three bands, I'm not a rich person. She was asking "can you do anything" and she was crying to me and I said "I don't know what I can do. I can do a show and you can have my pay..." My guitarist Matt Beld, he knew Johnny over at the Juke Joint and he was nice enough to ask him for me and Johnny was gracious enough to do so and here we are.
Eddie Nichols (Royal Crown Review) will be opening for you guys, and you've worked with him a lot. How did you two meet?
My husband and my guitarist Matt used to be in a band called Los Infernos. And Los Infernos opened up for Royal Crown review at the Glasshouse, gosh I'm going to say 2006, maybe 2004. There's a lot of acoustics backstage at the Glasshouse and I thought "man I'm going to sing a little bit" cause I sing a lot of Doo Wop... Eddie was in the changing room, I had thought everybody had left and my husband's band was still on...and I'm like" you know what? I have a backstage wrist band I'm going to go ahead and go back a little before my guys get off the stage." I started humming and Eddie's all 'who's humming that Doo Wop?"...After the show I started talking with him about Doo Wop and he goes ' you know there's a little area upstairs where there's a lot of echo, come on up after the show." I was like ok and I told my husband and my husband's like "that's cool" so that evening we started singing a little bit and he said I'll give you a call. That night we sang a bunch on the roof. A couple weeks later he called me.
Do you remember what songs you guys sang?
I sang a little bit of "So Young" by the Students. We were singing ooh and aahs, maybe "When we get Married" by the Dream Lovers.
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Can you talk a little about your introduction to Doo Wop, does it go back to when you were a kid?
I've always listened to different radio stations mostly KRLA. I grew up in a neighborhood where they always had oldies playing in the barrio so it was always in my head.
Which band are you most focused on right now?
Vicky and the Vengents is like my main band right now. Me and Matt we wrote all the songs, we're on our second recording and we're really fortunate right now, God blessed us with Mr. Dusty Watson. He sat in for the album, he (used to play) with Agent Orange and Dick Dale.
Not everybody has the energy to play in three bands, what motivates you to do it?
My head's always into music. I believe in Rock & Roll. I've always been good to it and it's been good to me. You just gotta stay positive.
Vicky Tafoya & the Big Beat, Eddie Nichols, Lil Mo & the Dynaflows will play Friday 9p.m. at the Juke Joint, 735 N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim 92805.