Whatever Happened to Jonny Chingas?
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
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. . . .
Premium Seating: Los Angeles Angels v St Louis Cardinals
TicketsTue., May. 10, 7:05pm
Getdown 21 - Mma Fights
TicketsSun., May. 15, 3:00pm
Premium Seating: Los Angeles Angels v LOS ANGELES DODGERS
TicketsWed., May. 18, 7:05pm
Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
TicketsWed., May. 18, 7:05pm
* * *
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.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts