Los Rayos Gamma
|Los Rayos Gamma|
|Former members||Eddie López†
Efraín López Neris
- Jacobo Morales: actor, writer, director, comedian
- Silverio Pérez: musician, comedian, entrepreneur, host
- Sunshine Logroño: comedian, actor, host, singer, producer
Despite sporadic breaks in their tenure, the group has enjoyed constant success, having had several Puerto Rican television shows, and performing often around the island during their career.
Los Rayos Gamma began in the late 1960s as a project from journalist and writer Eddie López. After finding out he suffered from cancer, he thought of a political parody where he could lampoon the current events of Puerto Rican politics, blaming all their wrongdoings and the parody itself on gamma rays (a pun on his current therapy against his illness).
He then contacted friends Horacio Olivo, Silverio Pérez and Jacobo Morales to help him with the project. Morales had the idea of taking Eddie's written parodies and blending them with previously censored TV scripts to produce a political parody stage show. The initial title of the project was El Efecto de los Rayos Gamma sobre Eddie López (The effect of gamma rays on Eddie López) which was a take on the title of Paul Zindel's play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. The title was then shortened simply to Los Rayos Gamma.
The show enjoyed great success from 1968 to 1971. That year, López died from his illness and comedian Efraín López Neris was hired to replace him. However, at every show an empty chair would be left on stage as a tribute to López. Shortly after, López Neris was also replaced with comedian Sunshine Logroño.
After that, the group decided to take an indefinite break. In the late 1970s, however, Pérez contacted his friends to regroup. Enjoying the same level of success, they even had several programs on Puerto Rican television.
The group has continued their shows around the island, while each member also pursues his individual endeavors. They roughly reconvene every two years, usually previous to an election year.
The "classical" line-up of Los Rayos Gamma features them all dressed in black (as to not allude to any political party in Puerto Rico, or more precisely, their insignia's colors). It features Silverio Pérez on guitar, Horacio Olivo in bongos and minor percussion, and Jacobo Morales using percussion only occasionally. A running gag among the group is that Morales can only sing by following visual cues (usually from Olivo, who is a strong percussionist and even dances onstage when propped) as to stay in rhythm; salsa singer Rubén Blades (who has sung onstage with the group in various occasions) joked about this by calling Morales "the black hole of clave". In reality, Morales can keep rhythm using clave sticks, or sing, but not do both at the same time. At the same time, Morales -for some unexplained reason, his partners claim- comes across as a very convincing tango singer.
Logroño, on the other hand, besides using the group's common black uniform, may also feature distinctive props, usually those alluding to his own comedic characters (for example, Vitin Alicea's beret), depending on a song's lyrics. He may play guitar, minor percussion, or other instruments, again, depending on each song.
The group's augmented lineup usually features a full orchestra, complete with horn section and chorus singers. It is frequently directed by keyboardist José "Cuqui" Rodríguez, who was also the musical director of many of Logroño's comedy programs.
On August 15, 2008, the group performed in the first of a series of reunion presentations in the Centro de Bellas Artes de San Juan. This was one of their "farewell" tour's presentations and included Vico C as special guest.
On November 19, 2011, the group (without Horacio Olivo, who did appear in a comedic interview caught on video -he was recuperating from open heart surgery) performed in yet another series of presentations at the Centro de Bellas Artes de San Juan, this time billed as "Enfortuñados."
On July 24th, 2016 original member Horacio Olivo died at 83 after health complications.
- Mariela Fullana Acosta (2008-08-15). "Satirizan con "El Filósofo"" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-17.