Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made a living off making sensational accusations and remarks. For better or worse, he has been a media darling who's done his best over the past 20 years to prove that there's no such thing as bad press (not that we don't try).
On Monday, April 23, I blogged about Latin singer José "El Pelón" Ávila's CD release party, originally scheduled to take place Tuesday night at the restaurant/music hall La Casa del Mariachi.
As our dear friend Sheriff Joe has reminded us on many occasions, you don't have to go far to find traces of Mexico around the Valley.
One of those places is the restaurant/music hall, La Casa Del Mariachi...The hall is also frequented by banda and norteño groups regularly on weekends and Tuesday nights. On Tuesday, April 24, former Phoenician and corridista crooner, José "El Pelón" Ávila will be on hand to celebrate the release of his fifth studio album, which if the flier is any indication, should be a raging good time.
Ávila thanked me for the coverage privately over a Facebook message, saying, "Hi, Just wanet 2 Thank u my boi for the report your welcome to go 2 my party cd release." He shared the article several times on his Facebook page and went so far as to publicly thank me on his personal page in a sweet blurb that has since been removed.
Then at 6:58 p.m. I received this message:
Mr Sandoval I Have I Bigggg Problem My Show Has Been Cansel Because Of The Note You Made With Out My Permission For The Purpose You Talk In The Note About Mr Arpaio Now I am Loading Money My Manager It's Very Upset And Want To Talk To His Lawyer.
The conversation switched to Spanish and clearly something was being lost in translation. Ávila went on to explain to me that the management at La Casa del Mariachi cut him from the lineup because of my story. According to Ávila, mentioning Arpaio's name causes people to avoid places like La Casa del Mariachi, and I had written him without his permission.
I spent the remainder of the night trying to clarify the situation with Ávila and explaining to him that given his stature as a public figure I didn't need permission to write about him. I also explained to him that I did not quote him at all in the blog post. I offered Ávila a chance to give us a statement clarifying any misrepresentation he felt the story may have contained, but he declined.
Instead he turned to Facebook, lighting up his page with posts saying that because of the New Times article written without his permission, Tuesday night's show was canceled. As of this writing, La Casa Del Mariachi had not returned several calls for further details regarding Ávila's absence from the lineup. However, the company's website showed that the show did, in fact, go on sans Ávila.
The rotund big man, whose nickname stands for "baldy" or "the bald one," reached out to the news program "Primer Impacto" ("First Impact") on the Spanish-language broadcast station Univision.
In a 30-second clip that aired yesterday about 4:30 p.m., anchorwoman Bárbara Bermudo had this to say about "El Pelón's" canceled Arizona appearance:
El Pelón Ávila's presentation in Arizona has been canceled. The singer was planning on launching his new album at a nightclub in that state, but everything blew up when he gave an interview that implied that Joe Arpaio, the chief of police [sic], needed only visit any Hispanic nightclub in Arizona to arrest undocumented Mexicans.
Ávila's 4,500-plus fans on Facebook have jumped all over the errant report, calling Monday's article irresponsible and racist. I've attached a Spanish transcription at the end of this blog post to help my Spanish-speaking brethren put the original piece in context.
As we wait to hear back from La Casa Del Mariachi, it's difficult to determine whether the long arm of Sheriff Joe really is powerful enough to get a guy tossed off of an event's lineup at the very mention of his name or whether the sheriff's penchant for making inflammatory remarks for the sake of publicity has rubbed off on an opportunistic musician. Either way, Joe's influence is indelible.
A medida que nuestro querido amigo el Sheriff Joe nos ha recordado en tantas ocasiones, que uno no tiene que ir muy lejos para encontrar huellas de México aquí en el Valle.
Uno de esos lugares es el restaurante/salón de música, La Casa Del Mariachi, en Phoenix. Como el nombre lo indica, este lugar ameniza sonidos de mariachis de primera, el género de la música tradicional mexicana que hace un llamamiento a una gran variedad de guitarras, violines, trompetas y algunos de los mejores trapos que hayas visto.
El salón también es frecuentado por bandas y grupos norteños regularmente los fines de semana y los Martes por la noche. Este Martes, 24 de Abril, el ex cantante de Phoenix el corridista, José "El Pelón" Ávila estará listo para celebrar el lanzamiento de su quinto álbum de estudio, que si el volante sirve como indicación, este noche será un gran reventón.
Ávila es reconocido por su forma única de interpretar los corridos y baladas. Mientras que los narcocorridos o las baladas de drogas, se centran en el tráfico de drogas y balaceras , Ávila incorpora su fe en la santería en una especie de fusión de polka con latidos lo cual él llama, santocorridos. El hombre robusto fumador de puro, es un firme creyente en la religión Afrocaribeña.
Canciones como "La Clika Del Elegua", cuenta la historia de un personaje que viaja a Cuba, donde recibe su "santo" y, posteriormente, mejora su vida.
Miguel El Renegado, Macizo Cotorreo y DJ Clavo serán parte del espectáculo. El show generalmente se pone en marcha alrededor de las 6 pm, así que si usted se encuentra sin nada que hacer mañana por la noche, póngase algo agradable y atienda un pedazo de México más allá de su comida.