Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Stark Spotlight: Thee Midniters
Thee Midniters may have been just another influential, but largely forgotten early rock band; that is, if they hadn't been social pioneers.
Coming out East L.A. in the 1960's, Thee Midniters blended gritty Motown sounds with the chaos emanating from those freaky English guys like the Stones and The Who. The difference with Thee Midniters is that they were not only Chicano, but they were more than happy to tell you about it. After building a deep and multi-racial fan base around L.A., the band broke nationally with a cover of Wilson Pickett's "The Land of 100 Dances" and then solidified their presence with an instrumental called "Whittier Boulevard." And while frontman Willie Garcia (a.k.a. Little Willia G) was happy to move asses with dance numbers, he and the band unapologetically fronted their Chicano heritgage with tracks like "Chicano Power." Thee Midniters brought a Latin presence to rock and roll years before Carlos Santana brought out those same three licks that he's still beating down today. Armed with great songs and raw power, Thee Midniters used their popularity to celebrate their heritage; they did so at a time when most bands just wanted blast the ills of society or get wasted. Check out their 2006 compilation "In Thee Midnite Hour," available on eMusic and Amazon.
~Tim Emmerick, Stark Contributing Writer