El Casino update 5

Los Lobos' David Hidalgo

Los Lobos' David Hidalgo

Caught up with Los Lobos before and after its Rialto Theatre show last night and got members David Hidalgo, Louie Perez and Steve Berlin to share some of their thoughts on El Casino Ballroom with the camera. Hidalgo recalled the group’s first gig at ECB playing for a friend’s child’s baptism. They invited kids on stage to play maracas and other percussion with them. He also remembered a Christmas show where they tossed M&Ms and Snickers bars out into the crowd at El Casino.

Both Berlin and Perez shared their thoughts about El Casino’s place among the great old ballrooms of the world.

After leaving the backstage area around 1 a.m I headed home to input the footage and integrate it into a four-minute preview piece I was putting together for the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Awards, which are being held tonight at El Casino Ballroom. I finished it a little after 7 a.m., slept for two hours, then drove down to deliver it to the TPAC office for the show tonight.

At 1 this afternoon I spent a wonderful hour on the phone with my old friend Herb Stratford. Herb, as some of you will recall, is the man who spearheaded the renovation of Tucson’s Fox Theatre and put it back into service. These days he works as a consultant around the world, bringing his expertise in that subject to theaters in need of restoration.

He also writes and has a television segment locally about Tucson’s arts scene. He was interviewing me today about the Cine Plaza project for the July/August issue of Tucson’s Zocolo Magazine.

This town is blessed to have a few excellent writers left in the journalism world, and I’m honored that he thought to do this.

About an hour later the phone rang and it was photographer David Horowitz, who photographed a ton of the old KXCI House Rockin’ concerts at El Casino in the 1980s. He’s been pouring over his images and invited me to come by and check some out before he prints them. Can’t wait to see what he’s got!

Thanks again to all of you who have contributed either monetarily or in forwarding news of this Kickstarter project to friends and relatives. We still have a long way to go, and I still need a lot of help to get there. But seeing the ways you’ve helped in this truly warms my heart. Again, mil gracias!

More soon!

~ by Daniel Buckley on June 16, 2012.

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