We Like It Like That (2015) Movie Script

Okay, that's the lick.
Ah beep-beep,
ah beep-beep,
Bang bang, aah
He said,
"We gonna record this."
Woman: Boogaloo was one
of those phenomenons
that came out of Latinos
born in New York
living side by side
with African-Americans
speaking English
and surviving in this world.
Our survival music
was the boogaloo.
Man: It really was
like a New York experience
because it had that whole
melting-pot aspect to it.
Man: It's not that music
from Havana, Cuba,
that was pure.
It ain't pure no more.
We here.
In this test tube,
you put a little bit
of Cuban guajira,
son montuno, cha-cha-cha,
blues chords,
some R&B vocal stylings,
start shaking it up,
throw it out,
and what do you get?
Latin boogaloo
and Latin soul.
Man: The younger generation
was looking for something
under their bag.
They wasn't gonna go backwards.
They liked what they were
hearing in the streets,
and the boogaloo was there.
We played the way
we thought
we had to play
from the way we grew up.
A lot of us were
self-taught musicians.
We were just like in a rush.
We wanted to get things
out there.
We wanted to create excitement.
Man: It encompassed
for most people in New York
a sense of invention
from the inside out
rather than the outside in.
In my community,
in the projects,
you heard boogaloo.
You heard it 24/7.
Boogaloo is a urban sound.
It's a city sound.
It was a mixture
of street music, okay?
And that's what drove
people crazy in them days.
We used to play jam sessions
in the park,
or jam sessions
behind the school.
And it would be rhythm,
no melodic instruments.
And I remember
they sounded great.
If you would hear the sound
coming from the park,
somebody would tell me,
"Uh, Nicky?
They're playing in--"
"I know, I know,
I hear it, I hear it."
And here
I'm trying to get my timbales
in a-- in a sack cloth.
And hustling
to the park with the other guys.
You know, they can't get us.
We gonna get them.
Every generation
wants their own music.
They don't want
their parents' music.
In fact if their parents
hate the music,
they even like it better.
So, you know, they want--
there's something about they
love hearing their father say,
"Hey, would you shut
that shit off?"
I mean that's--
"Oh, my God, my music!"
I'm second generation
Puerto Rican.
My mother was born here.
So I own New York.
It's not a question
of estoy aqui--
Ay bendito.
No, no, no, no, no.
I walk these streets.
I own this motherfucker.
This is mine.
We needed a personal expression
that was uniquely ours.
Latin music proper
did not do that.
African-American music
as it were could not do that.
Latin boogaloo included me.
The younger generation
adapted it as their own music.
It was English lyrics with
the Latin music of the culture.
Man: Dancin'... turn around,
they're cookin'
And not only
a younger community of Latinos,
a younger community
of African-Americans,
a younger community
of Americans loved this music.
It clicked.
It clicked with the public.
Man: On the weekends
at Colgate Gardens,
Hunts Point Palace,
it was incredible.
I mean, people would stand in
line outside waiting to get in,
they were so attracted
to this music.
Colgate Gardens on a Sunday
at 1:00 in the afternoon.
Don't let anybody tell you.
There was a bunch of people
on the dance floor
and stomping their feet.
Woman: I wasn't even
of legal age to go dancing,
but we did anyways.
We snuck out of the house
and we went dancing.
They were all types
from all walks
and all nationalities
doing the boogaloo dance,
which was just--
"Let's have some fun."
Man: All right.
It's that time again.
Talking about
Groovetime Part One.
All right.
Keep on doing it
Give 'em a little help now,
come on.
All right now, now, now,
now, now, now.
Lemme hear the piano.
Oh, yeah.
My goodness.
Boogaloo now!
Shake it loose, hey!
Lemme hear the horns.
Can you blow it?
All right.
Get it, get it, get it,
get it, don't quit.
One more time.
Male narrator:
Like every other group
that made the journey
in search of a new home,
Latinos came to New York City
to reinvent themselves.
Puerto Ricans reshaped
the city's ethnic landscape
after becoming
American citizens in 1917.
By the end of World War II,
neighborhoods with
a strong Latino presence
were pulsing
throughout the city.
I grew up in El Barrio.
That was East Harlem.
Mom and the neighbors would
be hanging out of the windows
chit-chatting back and forth.
Down the block would be
the local stickball game.
We all played in streets.
We played in the pumps
when it was sweltering hot,
those hot summer days.
There was also music everywhere,
all over the streets.
Man: Everybody had
a window open with music.
Music was always playing.
East 106th street,
you could turn around
and go right
to one of the cars,
which had these wonderful
fenders and we'd go--
We'd be jamming
on the car fenders,
and somebody would yell out
"Hey! Get off my car!"
And then we'd chill.
This was Dragon's Park.
This was the first
notorious gang from East Harlem,
and we hanged out right here
in this park.
The guys used to stand
on the benches here.
We would serenade the girls,
or else we would hang out
drinking a bottle of wine
and what have you.
It was all part of growing up.
When we ever tried to run
from the police,
we ran through these tunnels.
This is how quickly
you can disappear through here!
See what I mean?
I grew up in Red Hook
in south Brooklyn.
I grew up
with all kinds of people,
Jews, Germans, Irish,
Puerto Rican, Blacks.
And I thank God
every day for that.
Growing up in New York City
was very exciting
because there were a lot
of other communities
that we interacted with.
The first one, of course,
living in the projects
would be the black community.
My mother was Black.
My father was Filipino.
He was-- had chinky eyes,
jet-black hair,
and he came from Manila.
Woman: We all hung out together.
We were friends with each other.
We ate in each other's houses.
We cooked each other's food.
They developed a taste
for sofrito and rice and beans,
and we developed a taste for
collard greens and cornbread.
Narrator: As Latinos settled
into the melting pot,
Latin music was making its way
into the mainstream with mambo,
an Afro-Cuban style of music
with jazz influences.
In the 1950s,
the big style was the mambo.
Tito Puente, number one.
Tito Rodriguez.
And Machito.
Those were the big three.
Mambo became very popular
in the early '50s.
When I heard Tito Puente,
I always wanted to see him.
I went to see
all these groups
before I even
thought about playing.
I actually
didn't start playing
until I heard Tito Puente's
"El Rey del Timbal."
Well, here's our Spanish lesson
for tonight.
Soy el rey del timbal.
That means that he is the king
of the timbales.
And that would naturally be
none other than Tito Puente,
and here he is to prove it to us
with some help from the gang!
I was about 8, 9 years old.
I used to love to play
that solo that Tito played.
I used to play it on the lamp,
and I played it
on the washing machine,
whatever Tito played,
I used to play it.
Narrator: While America
embraced the mambo craze,
young Latinos in New York
were still struggling
to find acceptance
in a world that often
treated them like outsiders.
I remember when I--
when I went to school,
they would say to me,
"You don't speak Spanish here.
This is America.
You speak English."
I was called "colon."
I was called "coal-on."
I was called "cologne."
You know, like in...
Of course,
my mother always said "Coln,"
but I thought it was because
she had an accent.
Growing up, I really wasn't
into Latin music.
I got more interested
in what I was listening to
on the radio,
which was doo-wop music.
I just fell in love
with that sound.
Ooh-wah, ooh-wah
Every generation
has a new sound.
When I grew up,
I grew up with doo-wop.
That was our music.
I got very involved
in doo-wop music,
which is just harmonizing
and looking for a place
where you find a great echo,
and that's where you
wanted kind of celebrate.
Follow me.
Oh! Ooh
There you go.
Let's see if you got light.
This is the echo chamber.
I'm gonna tell you what I mean.
When you sing in here,
the acoustics sound
like if you're
in a recording studio
or you're on stage,
so we didn't need music.
And this sort of acted
as a backdrop,
and it goes like this.
When we get married
We'll have
a big celebration
We'll have a ball
Dancing and all
When we get married
Felipe: In the '60s,
the traditional Latin music
didn't match our hips,
it didn't match our rhythm,
it didn't match our asses,
it didn't match our language,
it didn't match
our idiomatic expressions,
it didn't match our relationship
with African-Americans.
The Twist came in, you know,
everybody went Twist crazy.
They had Twist bands
at the Palladium,
the home of the mambo,
you know?
You can do the pachanga.
But one of the main things
is if you didn't know how
to do the mash potato
or you didn't know
how to grind...
No, come on,
give me a break, you know?
Although we--
we liked the Latin music
because it was part
of our culture
and we would always listen
to that when we'd go
to grandma's
and when we had the parties,
I would say the guys my age
during that time
were into Motown,
uh, Marvin Gaye,
the Temptations,
Gladys Knight.
I mean, from doo-wop,
that's where we went.
That was it.
That was the hip music.
It had to be hip.
I don't know.
You're from Brooklyn,
you have to be hip.
Bobby: Young Latinos
who are just teenagers,
they don't have that connection
to the mambo era.
They have the connection
to the radio,
what they're listening to--
rock and roll,
doo-wop, and R&B.
Narrator: As younger Latinos
embraced the popular music
of the day,
the aspiring musicians
among them were trying
to overcome the obstacles
that poverty and racism
put in their way.
This was my high school,
Patrick Henry
Junior High School.
They stopped me from auditioning
to the schools
I really wanted to go to,
School of Performing Arts
or the School of Music and Art.
But yet the other kids who
didn't even have any talent,
because they were
of a different ethnicity
would be recommended
to go there.
This is part of what went on,
but it-- all in all,
you know,
I took the good that was here
and used it to my advantage.
My parents couldn't afford
a piano.
So I had to go people's house,
beg if I could touch
their piano,
sneak into the school.
at St. Cecilia's church,
I made a key,
and I used to sneak in,
and the father caught me
at 2:00 in the morning.
And I said, "Father,
I didn't take anything.
All I wanted to do
was play the piano."
I don't know how it is,
but is there any way
to go downstairs
where that piano used to be?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
it is still there.
Oh, get outta here!
It's still there.
- What?!
We got one,
he said the piano's still there.
It is still there,
but it's locked.
Oh, it's locked.
I can't help it because the--
I think the one who locked it
threw the key away.
Get out of here.
You serious?
The piano doesn't know
what it did for my life.
50 years ago,
I played this piano.
Oh, we're trying to open it.
Nothing is easy.
In the old days,
we wouldn't take this long.
We would have already
kicked that lock off.
Watch your fingers.
That's it.
Oh, wow,
you got keys on here, boy.
All right.
So actually,
when we first sat down
at this piano,
we didn't know anything.
And I would fiddle
with the notes,
play not knowing
what I was doing,
and the first chord
I learned was C Major.
I said, "I wonder what happens
if I take the progression up"?
And I went...
and I said, "Wow."
I said, "That's almost like
a song."
I said, "What if I go up
another time?"
I said, "Man, I could do
something with this.
Let me try to move
my fingers around,
and maybe I could pretend like
I'm really playing the piano."
So what I did was....
And I kept doing that for,
I mean,
days on days end,
just the same three chords.
And I actually fell in love
with these chords.
I just gotta know
If you love me
Thank you,
Father Peter.
All right.
Narrator: By the mid-1960s,
some artists who had started
their careers
playing mambo began expanding
the possibilities
of what Latin music could be,
getting the attention
of younger musicians
still seeking their own sound.
It was a time
when there was a lot
of experimentation
and new things going on
and new sounds,
and things were really,
like, opening up.
Whenever you mix different
cultures together, that happens.
I remember Eddie Palmieri.
That was a monster group.
They were original.
They had-- they had tipico.
They had the old,
but they also had jazz.
They had the new.
It was like a nice fusion.
Uh, it was fascinating.
I was a huge jazz fan,
but I was trying to figure out
where musically I fit.
And somebody said,
"You should, you know,
listen to Cal Tjader."
Cal Tjader was a drummer,
a jazz drummer,
who went to the Palladium
and saw Tito Puente
playing Latin music,
probably with a very jazz feel
'cause Tito loved jazz as well.
And he decided that
he was going to do this.
So he dropped the drums,
started playing vibes,
and I get to hear
this recording.
That bass line.
So, oh! Oh!
Wait-- wait a minute.
And I just--
I flipped. I flipped.
We consciously
tried to do something
that would be different,
that would be different.
See, from the beginning
we said,
"We may not be as good
as Tito Puente,
we may not be as good
as Tito Rodriguez,
but we can be different."
We noticed that when we
would play like a guajira,
there were some people
that were doing some steps
that we hadn't seen before,
you know.
And there was some, like,
soul brothers involved in that.
So one day we went over to talk
to these folks and said,
"Man, you're dancing something
when we're playing the guajira
that-- we haven't ever
quite seen that before,
but it's really interesting.
You know,
what's going on with that?"
And they said it was called
the boogaloo.
And it kind of goes with
the guajira thing, you know?
The only thing
is it has some more
funky notes in it,
you know?
So it's kind of like
a funky guajira.
And I was fascinated by that.
I said, "Whoa, yeah!"
I don't know,
I was always fascinated
when you mix things together.
that's what always got to me.
You know,
that's guajira, right?
But boogaloo has blue notes.
So they go...
It's more funky.
It's got like a--
like a rhythm-and-blues thing
to it, things from jazz.
That's where the Latin
boogaloo started.
You know,
we actually got that rolling.
First boogaloo, I think,
that was ever recorded
was a song called "Looky Looky,"
and it was a real innocent,
little, simple,
stupid little song,
"Looky looky,
I do the boogaloo," whatever.
But it had the combination
of guajira with the blue notes.
Looky looky
How I do the boogaloo
Looky looky...
I really became involved
in what we called
the Latin music back
when I--
when I was able to connect
with a band leader
by the name of Johnny Colon.
Johnny: In 1965
when we got into the studio--
and I was on the piano
doing this.
That's blues.
You hear it?
It makes you almost wanna cry.
that's the blues element.
George Goldner signed us
to Cotique Records.
He'd been in the business
for a long, long time.
He had the ability
to put his finger
on something that he heard
that he thought
was going to be a hit.
Like "Boogaloo Blues,"
when he heard me doing
the riff on the piano.
So that's what I was doing.
He said, "Don't do this.
Stay with..."
Tito: I remember George said,
"You know
if you keep
this little jazzy groove,
and you can add
some English lyrics,
we might have something there."
Johnny's record
was really a game-changer.
He came out with a song
that was just the right beat,
the right--
the right vocal,
the right arrangement,
and he got everybody dancing.
LSD got a hold on me.
I mean we never heard!
It was irreverent.
No one would dare say
anything like that
in classical Latin music.
LSD got a hold on me
LSD got a hold on me...
Felipe: "Boogaloo Blues"
talked more
of the juicer aspects
of our culture.
This was discussing our lives
and our, um, contradictions.
And that's why
we were attracted to it.
Mr. Johnny Colon baby.
Hey, look...
he's history in this Barrio.
Thank you, man.
And as I play
this same tune
That we call the...
Boogaloo blues
With "Boogaloo Blues,"
a revolution in Latin music
was underway.
another band would score
an even bigger
Latin boogaloo hit,
The Joe Cuba Sextet.
We were playing
this black dance.
We were playing Latin music,
and they weren't dancing.
First set,
they weren't dancing.
And halfway through
the second set, I said,
I have an idea for a tune.
Let's see if we can, uh,
get them to dance.
Joe: We were playing
the Palm Gardens, okay?
That became the Cheetah,
and it was an all
Afro-American audience,
not even one Latino.
And Jimmy came and said,
"I got a vamp man.
If you play it,
la gente se van a volver loco.
I told him, "Don't bother me
because we got all these tunes."
He said, "I'll bet you a beer."
And I love beer.
So I said, "Okay, you're on."
And they came out.
And so we started playing,
and all of a sudden man,
the whole audience,
like one, started--
"She freaks. Ahh.
She freaks.
And she freaks
from side to side."
And I said, "Que carajo esto."
Whoa, excuse my language.
"She freaks, ahh,
she freaks, ahh."
So I said, "Let me get out
of here before we get arrested."
So we were going
from there to Asbury Park,
a country club out there.
They had nothing but rich people
out there.
And I don't know if you know
how rich people dance.
They hardly dance.
They don't wanna sweat.
You know, and when they get
on the dance floor,
you gotta play it very,
very slow.
So I came up with a coro
for that vamp.
Beep-beep, ah, beep-beep,
ah, beep-beep-- asi, asi, ah.
Beep-beep, ah.
That was great.
So when I came back to New York,
to the Palm Gardens,
and we started playing the tune,
and I started "beep-beep, ah"
and you heard
out in the audience,
"Oh shit, Joe,
God damn man.
It's 'she freaks, ah.
She freaks, ah.'"
ah, beep-beep."
That's how "Bang-Bang"
was created.
Beep-beep, ah
Man: Oh, sock it to me
Beep-beep, ah
Beep-beep, ah...
There was something wonderful
about being on the dance floor
and everybody's doing,
"Beep-beep, ah, beep-beep."
And it was just fun.
When I heard
on my little transistor radio
Cousin Brucie
playing "Bang Bang,"
that to me meant we arrived.
Daisy: We had to learn
how to dance that.
It was so important
that we actually practiced
dancing "Bang Bang."
If you didn't know how to dance,
that was it.
It was not happening.
You'd groove with it, man.
You went from side
You didn't have to conform
to complicated dance steps,
and you didn't even
have to be in clave.
All you had to do was dance.
While "Bang Bang" popularized
the Latin boogaloo dance,
a new band was set
to create Latin boogaloo's
most iconic song.
The band was doing small jobs.
We got together one day
to do a demo.
We get to the studio,
you know,
we give 'em whatever we had.
It was good, but the guy wanted
something more Americano.
So Tony Pabon,
our king of doo-wop,
he shouted out
a "Ladies and gentlemen."
Tony: I take great pleasure
in introducing to you
Mr. Pete Rodriguez.
Pete: Thank you,
thank you, thank you.
And for my latest
basket of cheers,
here it goes, baby.
Ooh, ahh,
ooh, ahh
That's the fastest recording
I ever made in my life.
Boom, boom, boom,
two sides, we're done.
And "I Like it Like That"
was on there.
Here and now,
let's get this straight
Boogaloo, baby,
I made it great
Because I made it
a Latin beat
You know baby, I'm
That's it.
That's it, baby.
Benny: I remember
we were going to work,
boom "I Like it Like That"
comes on the radio.
Naturally, the five of us
in the car went crazy, man.
"Oh, shit, man, ohh!"
But then,
you know, "I Like it Like That"
grew to tremendous proportions.
Just... big, man,
you know what I mean?
It connected,
just a great groovy sound altogether.
The kids dug it.
Pete Rodriguez
hit a grand slam home run
all time with a boogaloo called
"I Like it Like That."
Yea-a-ah, baby
I like it like that
Gotta believe me
when I tell you
I said
I like it like that...
With "I Like it Like That,"
the boogaloo explosion
was in full swing.
A string of new artists
were beginning
to make a name for themselves.
One of those artists
was Joe Bataan.
Gang life and prison time
had derailed
his musical ambitions.
Now he was determined
to make it.
But first,
he needed to find a band.
There was a teacher
by the name of Mr. Seabrook
who allowed me to go
into the auditorium
where I had been rehearsing
for about 6 months.
Seemed like the auditorium
belonged to me after a while.
It got so tough and rough
in there
that people would come in there,
and we would chase them out.
Whether we had to chase them out
with knives or chains or bats
or whatever it is,
that auditorium
belonged to Joe Bataan
and the fellas.
So I walked
into that auditorium,
and there were a bunch of guys,
young kids in there rehearsing.
And that never happened
because they didn't ask
my permission,
even though the place
didn't belong to me.
So I went up to the piano,
and I took the knife,
and I stuck it into the piano, boom.
And they looked at me
like I was crazy,
but no one said anything,
and I said, "You know what?
I'm the leader of this band."
And that's how we did things
back then, you know?
You are
My sunshi-i-i-ne
Lovely as you a-a-a-re
I'm so glad
I found you-u-u
You are
My lucky sta-a-r
Of course, I would write
a lot of songs like that,
but that particular day,
George Pagan,
who sang all the songs--
I was just a piano player.
And I was tinkling around,
he said,
"Why don't we try something
like the boogaloo
like a lot of the other bands
are doing?"
I said, "Yeah, okay."
So I started doing
these chords like this,
and I just kept hitting
these two chords,
and everybody started,
you know, filling in.
The conga came in
and the bass player.
And then we got Georgie, said,
"Look make up some words
and sing along."
So we got a rhythm
and we started to play...
So he started to sing,
and he had a heavy accent,
and actually, the guys were
looking at him, and they said,
"Why don't you try
something different, you know?"
So he got upset.
He said, "Look,
you guys know so much,
why don't you do it yourself?"
I think he was referring to me.
And actually I said, "Okay."
So at that time,
I could write about anything.
So I looked at a group of words
that I had on the piano seat.
And I said, "Okay, watch,
I'm gonna show you how I do it."
And I looked at it,
and I said...
She came from nowhere
To caravan
Lovely lady in motion
And then I said, "Let me try it
in the boogaloo tempo,"
and I started to change
the beat and I said...
And then some of the guys
started saying,
"She smokes!
She smokes!
Ha, ha, she smokes!
Ha, she smokes!
Ha, ha, she smokes!"
And then I started to put it
together and I said,
"Okay, let's do it."
So the whole band got together,
and we started playing...
And put in a couple of breaks.
And of course,
the rest was history.
The boogaloo was born
in our backyard.
She smokes, ha ha
She smokes, ha ha,
she smokes...
Bobby: When I heard him play
"Gypsy Woman,"
it really blew my mind
because he bridged the gap
between Latin music
and soul music.
She cam from nowhere
To watch this caravan
Gypsy woman...
I saw the reaction
from the crowd, and I said,
"Wow, this is really
gonna be big."
When I heard him sing
that "Gypsy Woman" song
and the vamp
that they had going, I said,
"Wow, I like it."
It was something
that you could build on,
and I saw it,
and I felt it.
His lyrics just talked
to my soul,
you know,
they became a voice for me.
It was-- it was the
poetry that I was exposed to.
I don't drive
Beautiful cars...
You wanna know what was really
happening in the Barrio?
to what Joe Bataan says.
Don't just listen to the music,
listen to his lyrics.
'Cause Joe Bataan
sings for real.
For real.
I met a lot of people
that were in the Vietnam War
who were fortunate enough
to come back.
They've always said,
"The mere fact
that we could listen
to the boogaloo
would, for that moment,
separate us from the reality
of people dying around us.
You were sort of in the thick
of social change in America,
and Latin boogaloo
is not immune to that at all.
Felipe: We didn't have a Puerto
Rican civil rights movement.
We didn't have a spokesperson.
We had to make a decision.
That decision came
with this break
with history via boogaloo.
In a lot of our songs,
we started to project
the message.
Man: I'm gonna scream,
ain't gonna worry...
We're being affected
by the civil rights,
for the first time,
we're beginning to say
to ourselves,
"Why are we taking this stuff?"
Black people don't take it.
Why are we taking it?
The times are changing
in the USA, y'all
We took control.
We took matters
into our own hands,
and the music
was part of that.
Joe: We were awaking,
we were a big sleeping giant
that America was-- was--
was starting to see.
Tune in, turn on, drop out,
question authority,
don't trust anyone over 30.
We weren't living in a vacuum.
That filtered down to us.
And that's what we did.
It was a whole cultural shift.
It was kind of like
a breaking with tradition.
You know,
you're making a statement.
When boogaloo came around,
the music conveyed
a message that says,
"You don't have
to be dressed up
to enjoy or be a part
of our music.
Aurora: All of a sudden,
you had miniskirts
and go-go boots.
When I started,
the big bands all wore uniforms.
The people are in jeans.
The people are wearing
comfortable clothing.
It's kind of like saying,
"Go to the beach
with a suit and a tie on."
Johnny: I hung on
as long as I could
because I'm a fuddy-duddy
that way.
But even I had
to submit to that.
Drugs played a big part,
and played to the demise
of a lot people also.
Of course, there was always
dope and heroin.
Pete: Drugs were very heavy
at that time.
I know a few musicians that went
down with the drugs, you know?
A lot of people were into acid,
into smoking pot.
Joey: Oh, forget about it.
Drugs was all over the place.
You walk into the toilet,
and there'd be 3 or 4 guys
who were smoking a joint,
"Hey, wanna blow?"
Whoa, what's going on here, man?
Can I take a piss or what?
The classy drug at the time
was cocaine,
cocaine where you would
where you would sniff it,
not smoke it, but sniff it.
And we all played around
with that.
You know,
it was part of the scene,
it was part of like
staying awake
and being able to do three
or four gigs.
I remember once playing
for a connected guy, I guess.
I went to get paid
and he put a couple ounces
of cocaine on the table,
said, "Here, here's your pay."
I said, "Excuse me?"
I said, "No,
I want George Washington,
Andrew Jackson, you know,
green stuff, you know?"
And then I heard a machine gun
go click-click.
I said, "Okay, I'll take that."
You know?
A lot of these boogaloo bands
and bands in general
were taken advantage of.
was getting hustled then.
I sold a quarter of a million
records in three weeks.
So I said, "George,
what's going on?"
He said, "Oh, Joey,
don't worry about it, here.
Take this car."
He gave me a 1965, I think,
Lincoln hard-top convertible.
And he gave me a check
for $400 or something.
And I said, "Oh, wow,
I'm making it, man.
I'm making money."
Meanwhile, this guy made
a million dollars on me.
We were young.
We were having a ball.
We were crazy,
and we were very stupid.
We signed
the dumbest contracts,
had a lot of girlfriends,
a lot of running around,
a lot of partying, you know,
but we weren't really too smart
about business decisions.
George Goldner
was a very personable guy.
He could relate to anybody
and talk to anybody
and pick your brain,
but he would also pick
your pocket.
Man: Morris Levy,
when you walked in his office,
there was a big thing like this
written in script:
"I'll make you famous,
but I won't make you rich."
Every record company tells
the artist,
"You'll make
your money playing."
Excuse the language?
That's baloney.
Narrator: Bad contracts
and missing royalties
were not the only problems mounting
against the young bands made
popular by Latin boogaloo.
A lot of these,
what I would call,
the Latin music elders
are being kind of pushed off
the record charts
and out of ballroom gigs
by these young upstart
boogaloo bands.
I think part of their beef
was economic
because they are now competing
with this younger generation
of musicians.
There was also this belief
that boogaloo
and Latin soul
wasn't real Latin music.
These are timbales.
This is a cowbell.
This is a cha-cha bell.
Okay, this is a cymbal,
and this is the paila.
And when you play a mambo,
it's very exciting,
and it goes like this.
That's a mambo.
Now, the boogaloo
is like a cha-cha.
It's slower,
but it's also very exciting.
Gypsy woman!
I was getting
all the jobs in New York.
So was Johnny Colon.
So was Ricardo Rey.
It was like them against us,
old-school and new-school.
Some of the big band leaders,
the mambo kings,
the guys that were doing
music that I love,
it was taking away
from their bread and butter.
I think that's the bottom line.
The Joe Bataans,
the Joe Cuba, the Ritchie Ray,
the Joey Pastrana,
they were working for,
like, 1/3 of what Machito
or Tito Puente would charge.
So the promoters,
what do you think
they're gonna do?
They're gonna hire
these young guys
to bring in the crowds,
and they'd be able
to bring in 3 bands
for the price of Tito Puente.
At first I remember Tito Puente
and all them people,
they laughed at us.
They would ridicule us.
I mean, Latinos can get
very emotional about things.
So there was a lot of people
who were just against
this new thing
that's adulterating the music.
"We're from the old school.
This is what's the right thing."
You had these young kids
learning music.
There were no music schools
for Latin music at the time.
We had to learn it
in the street.
And instead of saying,
"Wow, look at all this thirst
and passion for knowledge,
let's teach them,"
well, they didn't do that.
What there was,
they created a resentment.
They created a wall.
They created this feeling
of us against them.
"We're the real musicians.
We're the schooled musicians.
They're not."
Narrator: For Fania artist
Larry Harlow,
a Jewish piano player
from Brooklyn
who had spent three years
in Cuba studying music,
playing Latin boogaloo
was not what he wanted to do.
I myself, me, Larry Harlow,
Judio maravilloso,
was a purist,
was a Cuban son montuno,
guaguanco kind of guy.
And I really wanted to play
really down-home,
hard Cuban music
in New York City.
Jerry Masucci,
who was a purist
but yet a record-company owner,
said, "Listen,
I want you to do some boogaloo
on your next album."
So I did it.
I really didn't like it,
it's not--
it's not a good sampling
of my work.
Narrator: Like Larry Harlow,
many of the musicians
who had first resisted boogaloo
were eventually persuaded
to try it.
All of the older,
established band leaders
had to adapt to it,
'cause they all did it
whether they liked it or not.
And I was always wondering,
well, okay,
is that gonna sabotage
And Eddie Palmieri?
And Tito Puente?
You know,
will they bow to the boogaloo?
Eddie was not happy
about boogaloo at all.
But business is business.
His record company said,
"Hey, Eddie, man,
you gotta give me a boogaloo."
So what happened?
He does one.
And when he does it,
he makes the best boogaloo ever.
"Ay Que Rico"
put every boogaloo to shame,
and here's a guy
who didn't like boogaloo.
Imagine if he would've liked it.
I was practicing at one point
at one of the recording studios.
Tito Puente
was recording next door,
and he walked by,
and he stops, and he says,
"What's that you're
playing there?"
I said, "Something you wouldn't
be interested in.
"It's boogaloo,
and it's for Joe Bataan."
"Oh, really?
Play it again."
So I play it, and he said,
"You know what?
I'm recording this song."
He grabs the music right off
the piano and storms off.
And I said, "But, Tito,
that's for--
that's a boogaloo song
I'm writing for Joe Bataan."
He said, "Fuck Joe Bataan,
I'm recording this."
I knew it was love
There wasn't a doubt...
When I first heard it,
I was like, "Wow,
Tito Puente
recording one of my songs,
you know, making an arrangement
of one of my songs.
This is, uh--
Joe Bataan would have been good.
But this is the king
doing this," so.
Narrator: One veteran musician's
efforts at boogaloo
and Latin soul stood
out as being innovative
and undeniably funky.
Ray Barretto
did some magnificent work.
He was always gonna
try to accommodate
what the market needed.
Ray Barretto's "Acid,"
I mean, it's just an incredible,
phenomenal album.
You know, every cut,
doesn't matter
what the style is, is killer.
Ray was always
socially conscious,
when he does that song
"I'm black, I'm white, I'm red,"
that's his way
of telling everybody,
"This is who I am
as a Nuyorican
whether you like it or not."
I know I'm black
and I'm white
And I'm red
Yeah, the blood of mankind
flows through me
What else could you say
about Ray Barretto?
He would change his style
just like that.
At one point he's playing mambo,
charanga music, jazz.
Ray Barretto was one of
the top band leaders of any era.
Narrator: While veteran
musicians adapted
to the boogaloo craze,
the newer bands
made famous by the style
also performed
and recorded
more traditional Latin music,
reintroducing the sounds
to young audiences.
We mixed the music
back and forth.
We were not
just a boogaloo band.
You could not play boogaloo
all night.
So you played two, three,
four boogaloos in a set,
and the rest of the tunes
were mambos
and cha-chas and guajiras
and boleros.
There's always a transition
when you got
a new generation coming up,
and they always still retain
something of the past
but reinterpret it
in a different way.
The music was loud,
but just like rock,
it's about saying kind of like,
"Eff you, man."
AF These young bands,
they were so off clave,
they were out of tune,
but they were doing it.
They were playing it,
and they were playing it
with an energy
and a passion
that went beyond
the cosmetic mistakes.
We came from, "Heck,
I wanna do this
because it feels good to me,
it sounds good to me,
and somebody else
might like it."
let's put the truth out there
because a lot of people
are not around anymore
that were there
or people that were around
during the impact
of the boogaloo
on Latin music
don't wanna mention it.
When the boogaloo came along,
it actually saved Latin music.
Boogaloo changed my identity.
It awakened something inside me.
I'm not listening
to Motown anymore.
I'm listening
to Cotique records.
I would never
have joined the tradition
if I didn't
have Latin boogaloo.
Once I heard the samples,
I wanted to hear more.
So Latin boogaloo
was the primordial stuff
out which we became
much more loving
and much more appreciative
of our Latin music.
Had it not been
for Latin boogaloo,
Latin music would have died.
Sandra: There was a shift
in consciousness happening.
We're going from rejecting
who we are and our identity,
and trying to assimilate
to then accepting who we are
and embracing
all the various elements
of our identity and saying,
"Hey, we love who we are.
We love our music.
We love our community."
Narrator: By the early 1970s,
as a sense of empowerment
and cultural pride spread
among Latinos in New York,
the concept of salsa,
a Spanish-dominated,
urbanized mix
of traditional Afro-Cuban
and Puerto Rican music
took hold.
Many of the bands
that became famous
during the boogaloo era
began to fade quickly.
The question of what happened
to them
and the boogaloo sound
has remained up for debate.
Everybody that I've talked to
talks about how, um,
the powers that be
in the recording industry
basically conspired
to squash that movement.
It was a threat.
This looked like
a game-changer for a minute.
If somebody comes up
with something new
that threatens the foundation
of everything
that someone has going,
they're gonna try to kill 'em.
They're gonna try
to choke them off.
They decided to do away with it.
They completely destroyed it.
From one day to another,
it was gone.
Top bandleaders
were losing money
to these teenagers
who would be happy
to walk away with
15, 20 dollars.
Something had to be done.
Certain companies
actually paid
the radio DJs
to stop playing boogaloo music.
Certain interests
in the business
needed to have control.
What they decided to do
is form a syndicate
that would do promotions
and not hire
the so-called boogaloo bands.
They wanted to just get
these young guys out of the way,
yours truly included.
Boogaloo hit so hard
that the status quo
was terrified of it.
They could not control it.
They couldn't control niggers, basically.
The conspiracy
was basically this--
"How dare you English speakers,
you niggers,
come in here with that music?"
In effect,
it was a blacklist
both in clubs
and on the radio.
What really killed boogaloo
was they had--
they had that big hit
by Johnny Colon, you know,
"Boogaloo Blues,"
which was--
you know, it was like the song
of the '60s, you know?
And then they had
"I Like it Like That,"
by Pete Rodriguez,
they had "Bang Bang."
And then what did they have?
They didn't have any more hits.
That's what killed boogaloo.
There were three big hits.
I think, you know,
to a certain extent,
it ran its course,
and even till today,
there's a lot of people
who remember and recognize it,
and it made a big impression,
but it kind of ran its course.
It was just
a little bastardization
of old--
of old Cuban music
and mixed with
a little rock and roll.
If you' were gonna play
Latin music,
play Latin music, you know.
The first chance
I had to get away from it,
I did, and it died
a horrible death.
Boogaloo was gonna die
out at some point,
but, you know,
was it kind of,
perhaps pushed out the door
a little bit?
Yeah I would buy that, too,
I could see that.
Johnny: Then you have
the new migration.
Colombians coming in,
you have Dominicans coming in,
you have South
and Central Americans,
you have Mexicans coming in.
The one thing that's cohesive
is salsa.
All the rhythms
that were coming from Cuba
and the Caribbean
and Puerto Rico,
they put them all
under the word "salsa,"
which, commercially,
it was okay,
you know,
to sell records,
especially in new places
like South America,
because otherwise,
they'd have to say,
"This is a cha-cha,
this is a son montuno,
a guajira, mambo, rumba, conga,"
blah, blah, blah.
So they made it simple,
the way they did in jazz.
"Oh, yeah, this is jazz."
One word.
Fania became a force
in terms of the salsa
to be reckoned with,
and although at the beginning,
they were recording people
like Joe Bataan,
Ralphie Pagan,
where they were making really,
really big money
afterwards was with the salsa.
Man: Ladies and gentlemen
here they are,
the world's greatest
Latin musicians,
the Fania All-Stars, yeah!
Fania ends up taking over
so many other labels
and swallowing up you know,
Tico, Cotique, probably Allegre.
I mean, at this point,
what label did Fania
not buy out at some point?
You know, it gave them
a lot of undue control
over what styles
could be recorded.
When you have
that kind of monopolization,
it tends to I think
kind of narrow the spectrum
of what comes out.
Richie: Masucci became
like the Godfather.
He was a guy with vision,
and he had a business mind
to grow and really move up,
and he really did a lot
with the whole thing.
Latino people embraced,
embraced the salsa movement.
They just said,
"This is us!"
Fania very early learned
that they could actually
buy time on the radio stations.
So when they bought time,
they were putting in the artists
that they invested the most in.
And those were
the salsa artists.
The purists took over.
And they brought back
the tipica Latin sound,
and they kept it that way.
I was disappointed, yeah.
I would have liked to see
the boogaloo continue.
I felt sad, and a lot of people
felt sad about it
because we thought
it was going to develop
into something bigger
and better,
because the more
the musicians played,
the better they got.
The boogaloo was assassinated.
The boogaloo should have gone
to the next
most logical progression
of the music,
whatever that
would have turned into.
And it didn't.
Though some artists succeeded
in making the transition
from boogaloo to salsa,
many eventually dropped
out of the music business.
The Joe Cuba Sextet,
his group stops recording
by the early 1970s.
Pete Rodriguez,
I mean, incredible force,
one of the top three boogaloo
bands of the era,
by 1972 records his last album, disappears,
I mean, no one knows
what's happened to this guy
for three decades now.
Pete: It's very,
very flattering to know
that people still remember me.
Probably a lot of them
think I'm gone
because it's been so long
since they heard from me.
But, uh, I'm still here.
I didn't hang around much longer
after the boogaloo.
I mean, I love the music,
but I like to listen to it now.
I worked for a big
pharmaceutical company.
I was a logistics manager
for them.
And I retired
after 30 years' service.
That's really,
uh, my life now.
I spend it here with my wife and
my kids
and my grandchildren
and my great-grandchildren.
In 1974,
Richie Ray had an experience.
I had a spiritual awakening.
I'm a pastor
of a church full-time.
I've been involved
in starting a lot of churches.
I worked
at Spotford Juvenile Center.
I was a juvenile counselor
for 25 years.
I'm retired.
I became very good
as a counselor
and working with the kids.
I was able
to exchange my stories
and my lifestyle
and the things
that I went through
that made a difference.
I started a music school
called The East Harlem
Music School.
I wanted to share that--
that music,
that feeling, the joy.
I loved it as much as playing.
Maybe it I loved it even more
in a different way.
Right across the street.
We rented out
the entire building.
From early in the morning,
we would have training programs,
kids coming after school,
and we would have adults
coming at night
till 10:00 at night.
On Saturdays from 9:00
in the morning
to 6:00 in the evening,
this school
was packed with kids.
We had a little kid
that attended our music school,
came from these houses.
He wanted to register,
and he was 7.
So we said, "You can't register.
You gotta be 8."
He said, "Oh, couldn't I?"
I said, "No."
And he said, "Well,
how about if I just hang around
and watch you guys
and help you out until I'm 8?"
I said, "That'll be okay."
His name is Marc Anthony.
And so he was one of
our little music student kids
who went on to be successful.
But he came from these houses,
and we used to walk him
when we closed the school down
at 10:00 at night
because they were little kids.
So we used to walk both he
and his sister,
my late wife and I,
would walk them right here
to the home
and deliver them to mom.
So this is where he was from.
Narrator: In 1994,
Tito Nieves,
another of Colon's former students,
scored a big hit with a cover
of "I Like it Like That."
Like Nieves, many artists
have found success
with Latin-pop fusion,
a style that originated
with boogaloo.
In recent years, DJs seeking
dance floor inspiration
discovered the original
Latin boogaloo recordings
and shared them
with a new generation of fans.
All right, so I was playing,
like, funk and soul,
and I was like,
"All right, well,
let me push it a little further
and find some Latin funk."
That combination
of New York, gritty,
hardcore funk, you know,
mixed with--
with gorgeous,
brilliant Latin music.
And the result is-- is surefire.
Like, you can't miss.
Spanglish lyrics
and American rhythms
with Latin rhythms
makes me crazy.
When I spin in parties
and I play Latin boogaloo,
everybody goes,
"Wow, this is amazing."
Many people thinking, wow,
this, this is from now?
No, no,
this is from the '60s.
Once you start feeling those
polyrhythms in your spirit,
you start buggin' out like,
I really think that a lot of
the interest in boogaloo today
would not exist if there
hadn't been
this intense interest
by DJs beginning about,
I'd say, maybe 10,
15 years ago.
I mean, really just in
the last 5 to 10 years,
the amount of compilations
and anthologies
that have really looked
at boogaloo music
both in the U.S.
and outside of it has--
you can clearly see
this incredible rise
in the interest in it.
So it's gone from sort of being
this very local
kind of New York style
to suddenly,
you have boogaloo experts
in Europe, you know, in Japan.
In the last 10 years or so,
the whole thing
has opened up with Europe
and the whole world,
and we've traveled
to a whole bunch of places.
And I'm amazed!
Like, I mean, I go to Germany,
and this guy shows up,
doesn't speak English
or Spanish.
He only speaks German,
and he's got a pile like that
of LPs that he wanted me
to sign 'em, you know?
And I'm like, oh, my God.
God has blessed me to start
playing around the world,
I support my family,
my grandkids.
And I'm just so gratified
to be alive.
BM I never thought boogaloo
would be back,
and now I'm thrilled
to death because I see--
I see Joe Bataan working
all over the place.
I see the DJs
playing boogaloo music.
I just got a call
from Switzerland
asking me to do an album
of boogaloo music
for a record company out there.
They feel it in London.
They feel it in Australia.
They feel it in Japan.
You have just
in the last few years
new boogaloo bands being formed.
Like here in Los Angeles,
you have the Boogaloo Assassins.
There's this group in New York
called Spanglish Fly
that's doing the same thing.
It's called Latin boogaloo,
a rhythmic mix of R&B,
soul, jazz,
born in Spanish Harlem,
and now this music is making
a comeback big-time.
And look who's here
with us today,
two men credited with
helping propel
the Latin boogaloo sound
during its start,
Johnny Colon,
your ordinary guy Joe Bataan.
To their right DJ Turmix.
To what do you credit
the return of boogaloo music?
I think that, uh,
it's probably that the--
the boogaloo
has always been around.
It never really went away.
Torres: There's a big event
that will be held
this week in Central Park.
The three of you
are together right?
Joe: We're all three together.
It's history.
We expect the whole Barrio
to come down.
How's everybody feeling
out there tonight?
We got two serious,
serious New York artists
about to lay down
some real New York music
on this stage tonight.
There is nowhere
I would rather be
on this planet right now
than right here in Central Park
about to hear two legends
of El Barrio.
Well, without further ado,
let me turn it over to the pros.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Johnny Coln
and the Johnny Coln Orchestra.
Come on now!
Memories, huh?
That was the groove.
Yeah, baby.
I could remember that time
When I thought
the world was mine
And as we played
this same tune
Which we called
"The Boogaloo Blues"
The crowd bursts out
with cheers
They sad yeah,
this is weird
All except that one girl
Who cried and cried and man,
it was outta this world
And I said baby,
why do you feel so blue?
Don't you like my boogaloo?
And she said LSD's
gotta hold on me
And I said what?
LSD's gotta hold on me
But what you mean, girl?
One, two, three,
I feel so free
I'll give you the world
Diamond rings
Mink coats
A penthouse
And mo-o-o-re
All one love
But just feel free
Mmm, feel free
Mm, you got to feel free
Mm, feel free
...I feel so free
Let's hear it
for Johnny Coln!
Keep moving,
keep grooving.
DJ Turmix is gonna
keep you guys steppin',
and we're gonna set the stage
for Joe Bataan.
This day is the day
the Lord has made.
It's for all
of us to come together.
Don't you see the magic
that's here in this place today?
- It's giving us a chance
to come back
and put it back on the map.
Put a show together, man!
It's not too late.
Let's put a show together.
Let's put a show together.
So I say let's
all put our hands together
leave the past,
and let's move palante!
She smokes, ha ha,
she smokes, ha ha
She came from nowhere
To watch this caravan
Gypsy woman
She came from sunlight
to moonlight
To see the gypsy in motion
Gypsy woman
With lips of red...
With hips that sway
in the night
That paralyze her
with love
She was my gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
Was my gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
Ha, hey!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
She dances around
and around
To a guitar melody
And from the fire,
her face all aglow
And, whoa,
how she enchanted me
And, whoa,
how I long to hold her dear
And whisper in her hear
You are my gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
You are my gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey!
Gypsy woman
Gypsy woman
Here we go!
Are you ready?!
I said party
I said party
Said party
Come on, jump! Jump!
Jump! Jump!
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!
Jump! Jump!
Here we go!
Whoo! Whoo!
She's my
She's my, my
Gypsy woman
Say blah, blah, blah.
Bobby: I truly thought that
when the boogaloo era ended,
I would never hear it again.
Good music
will always be good music.
It will stand the test of time.
We travel all over the world,
and we do our Latin concerts,
our salsa concerts, okay?
But wherever we go,
they always ask
for our boogaloos.
At this point in my life,
I don't think boogaloo
will ever die.
Whether you liked it or not,
you have to give it
its blessing in time
because it raised the bar
for what was gonna be known
as Latin music.
In order for us to emerge
in the future
whole, consistent, healthy,
we have to develop
new forms.
Latin boogaloo
is that new form
that allowed me to be
who I am today.
A total being.
Good God!
New York Soul, y'all!
Ray, que pasa, man?
Ray: Oh, everything's
everything, babe.
This is the sound of soul
The New York kind of soul
It's a funky beat
Right from
the New York Street
Yeah, yeah
Good God!
Come on!
Ray, que pasa, baby?
Oh, same old, same old.
Let's take the Afro thing
And add a Latin swing
It's more than
rock and roll
This is
the New York soul, y'all
Hey, hey, hey
We got some New York soul
And with a funky beat
Hey, hey, hey
Right from
the New York streets
We got some New York soul
Yeah, yeah
Hey, hey, hey
The Afro thing
We got some New York soul
And the Latin swing
Hey, hey, hey
More than rock and roll
We got some New York soul
And, baby,
don't you know?
Hey, hey, hey
We got some New York soul
New York soul
Hey, hey, hey
We got some New York soul
New York soul
Hey, hey, hey
Come on, baby
We got some New York soul
New York soul
Hey, hey. hey
Hey, hey, hey
We got
some New York soul
I feel a funky beat
Hey, hey, hey
Right from the streets
We got
some New York soul...