Los Dug Dug's

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Los Dug Dug's
Also known asXippos Rock
OriginDurango, Mexico
GenresPsychedelic rock, progressive rock, rock and roll, garage rock, hard rock
Years active1960-present
LabelsRCA, BMG
Websiteraybrazen.webng.com/dugdugs.com
Past membersArmando Nava
Jorge Luján
Alberto Escoto
Jorge de la Torre †
Sergio Orrante
Moisés Muñoz

Los Dug Dug's is a rock group from Durango, Mexico, best known for their work in the 1960s and early 1970s. It was one of the first Mexican bands to adapt The Beatles' influence and are noted as one of the first Mexican Rock bands to write their own songs, as well as cover songs by British and American acts in English, thus breaking what had up to then been an unwritten rule in Mexican rock.[1] The band continues to perform today.

Early years[edit]

In 1960, a seven-member rock 'n' roll band known as Xippos Rock was formed by high school kids in Durango, Mexico. Roberto Miranda was lead guitarist, and Moises Munoz was the bass player. In college, they invited Armando Nava, whom they had frequently seen carrying a guitar on his bike, to join the band. Nava had a cousin, Jorge Luján, who was very close to him, and Nava taught him how to play the guitar. Later, a drummer, Sergio Orrante, joined the band, as did singer Francisco Alcalde. At the very last moment, Jorge De La Torre joined the band as a second singer.

The band did not have electric guitars or drums, so they chose to play using acoustic guitars with homemade pick-ups. For drums, they used a steel chair. Los Dug Dug's played at a local radio station with the chair and acoustic guitars, as well as at local events and theatres, such as Cine Principal. The songs played in the early years were covers from other Mexican rock bands such as Los Teen Tops, Los Locos Del Ritmo and Los Rebeldes del Rock.

Nava's father was a salesperson, and he moved the family to Tijuana.[2] After a year or so, Nava wanted to go back to Durango and try to take Xippos Rock to Tijuana. They started playing in Mazatlan, in Obregon, Sonora, and at the request of Nava's father, their manager, they changed their name to Los Dug Dug's and continued their journey all the way up to Tijuana.[3] After two months in Tijuana, the drummer Orrante decided to go back to Durango and continue with his life as high school student.

Once the band had arrived at Tijuana they commenced their ascent of Mexican Rock. At first they had to play at various bars and strip clubs on both sides of the border.[4] But soon they landed a regular gig at Mike's Bar, where they firmly established their reputation.[5] Los Dug Dugs were the first group to sing covers and original songs in English, creating what would be known as La Onda Chicana, movement that would include bands like Bandido, Three Souls in my Mind (currently known as El Tri), Peace and Love, El Ritual, among others.

From Tijuana to Mexico City[edit]

After several months of success in Tijuana, Nava decided to move to Mexico City, where they started playing at El Harlem Cafe. They then moved to El Trip Cafe and Hullabulloo Cafe. They started making a name for themselves, and even members of other bands would go to their shows and get ideas for their own, as Alex Lora (from El Tri) has recalled. The success in Mexico City was so big that even TV stations asked them to perform and record songs for their shows, specially kids' shows (they recorded "Chicotito si," a kids' song).

In New York City, return to Mexico City, and modern times[edit]

In early 1968, Los Dug Dug's—now consisting of Genaro Garcia as the bass player, Armando Nava playing guitar and keyboard, Jorge de la Torre as lead singer, Gustavo Garayzar as lead guitar, and Alberto Escoto on drums—moved to New York City, where they got to record some original songs at a local recording studio. Even Nava recorded songs as a singer with studio musicians. The band was required to pay a $5,000 fee, in accordance with established rules by the local musician union, which was required of any acts at that time who wished to play larger venues in Manhattan.

The band returned to Mexico, but due to creative differences between Nava and de la Torre, de la Torre left the band. The album they were working on, Lost in My World, finally appeared in 1971. At this time, and with the departure of de la Torre, Los Dug Dug's were essentially no more. The singles "World of Love" and "Eclipse" from the album became Latin American hits, and in 1972, Nava started the group up again as a trio.

While pop groups in Latin America were now singing in English as part of a new trend, the band performed in Spanish on 1972's Smog. For 1974's Cambia Cambia, Los Dug Dug's went with a well-groomed, clean look, bucking yet another trend among popular Latin American acts which leaned toward singing in English and wearing long hair and beards. Despite stylistic innovations, the RCA label under which they were working did not expend great effort with publicity and support for the act, and thus their 1975 release, El Loco, was to be their last work at that time.

Since then, Nava has kept the band going in various incarnations with multiple lineup changes, based out of Mexico City. They most often perform at Nava's club, La Reunion. Their reputation stands today as being largely responsible for Mexican rock music and the first and arguably most popular of their kind.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The band makes a brief appearance in the novel Xico by Mexican author Gustavo Vázquez-Lozano.
  • Their music features prominently in The Grand Tour Colombia Special (Series 3, episodes 2 and 3).
  • Their song "Smog" was featured on the in-game radio for the game Just Cause 4.

Selected discography[edit]

Studio albums
Compilation albums

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Los Dug Dug's: Artist Biography." Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-dug-dugs-mn0001459070/biography
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Los Dug Dug's: Artist Biography." Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-dug-dugs-mn0001459070/biography
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Los Dug Dug's: Artist Biography." Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-dug-dugs-mn0001459070/biography
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Los Dug Dug's: Artist Biography." Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-dug-dugs-mn0001459070/biography
  5. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Los Dug Dug's: Artist Biography." Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/los-dug-dugs-mn0001459070/biography

External links[edit]