Santiago Durango

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Santiago Durango (born 1957) is a Colombian guitarist remembered for his work with the 1980s punk rock groups Naked Raygun and Big Black. Mostly retired from music as of the early 2000s, he works as an attorney.

Life and career[edit]

Durango was the son of a Colombian doctor. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois in the US when he was ten years old.[1]

Jeff Pezzati and Santiago Durango

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Durango was an original member of Naked Raygun, one of Chicago's first punk rock bands. Raygun fan Steve Albini was forming a band called Big Black and asked both Durango and Raygun lead singer Jeff Pezzati to join. Durango remained a member until the group broke up in 1987. Critic Mark Deming[2] describes Santiago as an ideal guitar foil for Albini; "his muscular guitar sound was the ideal match of Albini's jagged, metallic tone."

After Big Black ended, Durango attended law school. During that time he formed a new band called Arsenal with bassist Malachi Ritscher. Together they released the Manipulator EP on Touch and Go Records in 1988. In 1990, Durango teamed up with Pierre Kezdy of Naked Raygun on bass to record and release a second Arsenal EP entitled Factory Smog Is A Sign Of Progress.

After law school, in his first case he helped recover Cynthia Plastercaster's bronze casts of the genitalia of various rock and roll artists, including that of Jimi Hendrix. He handled some litigation for Chicago's Touch and Go Records. As of 2003,[3] Durango was an appellate defender in Ottawa, Illinois, USA.

Durango's first wife was singer Cath Carroll. His second wife was children's book author Julia Durango; They are divorced and have two sons, Kyle and Ryan.


  1. ^ Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991. Little, Brown and Company, 2001. ISBN 0-316-78753-1
  2. ^
  3. ^ Illinois Criminal Law Digest, March 2003. URL retrieved 13 August 2009.