Cannibal & the Headhunters
|Cannibal & the Headhunters|
Cannibal & the Headhunters in 1966
|Origin||East Los Angeles, United States|
Cannibal & The Headhunters were an American band from East Los Angeles. They were one of the first Mexican-American groups to have a national hit record, "Land of a Thousand Dances", recorded on the Rampart label. They were the opening act on The Beatles' second American tour, backed up by the King Curtis band.
They were discovered by Rampart Records label owner and founder Eddie Davis—and were among the 1960s Mexican-American musicians and singers who pioneered the "East Side Sound" of Los Angeles, a musical phenomenon that attracted international attention.
Richard "Scar" Lopez and Robert "Rabbit" Jaramillo founded the group in 1964; the other group members were Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia and Joe "Yo Yo" Jaramillo. The band was originally called "Bobby and the Classics". Barely out of high school, they came from Ramona Gardens and Estrada Courts Housing Projects of East Los Angeles, and were inspired by the African American doo wop groups in their neighborhoods. Frankie "Cannibal Garcia" attended Andrew Jackson high, in East LA. He frequently sang spontaneously while walking around campus. He had a very strong voice. This group toured recorded and performed together for only eighteen months, before they broke up due to personal conflicts.
Their version of "Land of a Thousand Dances" was a cover version of the original Chris Kenner tune, arranged and produced by Max Uballez with Garcia, and engineered by Bruce Morgan. The record reached #30 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1965. The "na, na, na, na..." lyric roll was a mistake performed by Garcia during a performance in which he forgot the lyrics in mid-song and simply improvised. Wilson Pickett recorded the song into a national hit for himself in 1967, also using the "na, na, na, na" lyric.
- Quiñones, Ben (2005-12-28), "Naa Na Na Na Naa: How the West Coast Eastside sound changed rock & roll", L.A. Weekly
- The Musical Beatles Invasion wasn't the only significant Pop event of 1964," XISPAS.com, 2004 (accessed July 27, 2010)
- Gary James, Interview With Richard "Scar" Lopez, ClassicBands.com
- Gustavo Turner, Richard "Scar" Lopez, Founding Member of Pioneering East LA Chicano Rock Combo Cannibal and the Headhunters, Dead at 65, LA Weekly, 19 August 2010
- on Frankie Garcias death