a teenager back in the 1960's in Puerto Rico, I began going
everywhere there was a band playing at school dances, teen
clubs, military bases and different venues and clubs
around town, and got to know members of the Rock and Roll bands
in San Juan. Went to practice sessions and jams as well, and
followed them to the activities and concerts where they
played. I was a die-hard fan and enjoyed listening and
dancing to the great music! Still am a fan!
All of our Puerto Rico musicians
and singers were exceptionally talented.
They could stand side-by-side with all of the
best anywhere, and they all just got better with time!
Most of them are still in the music scene, some of the old
bands have regrouped, and a lot of them
have become well-known celebrities in the music world.
One of my favorite 'hang-outs' was
Casa Margarida Music
Store where all the local musicians could be found at any given time.
Sometimes a world famous Rock or Pop celebrity would show
up. The popular radio stations at that time were WHOA and WBMJ.
A large group of friends used to get together regularly at
El Monte Apts. where I lived in Hato Rey. Some of the local
band members used to pop in
frequently and join us on the large outdoor stairway 'pa' jamear' (to jam) with their guitars and
flutes, or bang on the floor with their drumsticks, and we'd
all sing. I think everybody in town hung out there at some
We were a large family where great cherished long-lasting friendships were
The web site for Rock In
PR (rockinpr.net) was initiated
long ago by Orly Vázquez, former guitar player for
Los Sonset, as a tribute to the
band members and fans of the 1960's in Puerto Rico. It sat
for years without any activity. I thought it was a fantastic
idea and with his permission began adding information to the
web site. Eventually, I took over the whole project and Orly
handed over the web site to me, as well as all rights to it,
so that makes me the owner and webmaster of this site. Since
then the site has expanded hugely, adding pictures and
stories that Puerto Rico band members so graciously email to me.
These bands were an inspiration to future excellent PR music
makers who need to be given due credit and whos stories are
being recognized on rockinpr.net as well. Rockinpr.net is a project of love,
and a place where everyone can come and get accurate
information, pictures, and music directly from those that
lived through the era of the 60's and started the Rock and
Roll movement in Puerto Rico, and is a valuable heirloom
about the history of the beginning of Rock in Puerto Rico.
In the picture below of my collage there is a flyer towards the
bottom by the heart which was for an event with the local
band The Challengers. I don't remember where it was, but
for some reason the Normandie Hotel in San Juan comes to
mind. I think any band pictures or memorabilia I had wound
up on those picturesque closet doors! The rest of my walls
were covered with posters pasted up by mixing regular
cooking flour with water... who remembers that? My parents
freaked out but it was too late, the paste was dry already! :-)
Wall collage paying tribute
to the 1960's era.
The British pop bands (British
Invasion) like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Dave
Five turned us on to some great
music, as well as new words such as Blimey (wow!!), Cheerio
(greeting), Loo (the john), Fag (a smoke), Kip (sleep), and of course
FAB (fabulous)! Their music was also a great inspiration for the
Puerto Rico Rock bands.
All of the above began
my Dad came home one fine day in late 1963 with a plastic 45rpm
record that had
The Beatles song 'She Loves You', and also 'I Want To Hold
Your Hand', I think it was Christmas. I was 11 years young! Little did he know
what a 'can of wonders' he opened up for me!
I got hopefully lost in the evolution of Rock and Pop music and
the Rock bands in Puerto Rico,
not to mention Hippiedom and Flower Power. Still have all my
old vinyl records from the 60's on up, starting with that
very first Beatles 45, lots of Surfin' Music and also some
older Elvis and Shoo-Bop. All
I can say is,
if I could do it all over again I would in a
PAZ Y AMOR
custom hand crafted for
me in Puerto Rico
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