Confessions of a Radical Chicano Doo-Wop Singer By Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, 376 pgs.

Sep 26, 2018

Rubén Guevara’s musical-artistic career has been something like a cross between Laurie Anderson’s performance art and Rudy Ray Moore’s willingness to try anything that might allow him to make a living in show business. He appeared on the ’60s teen pop/rock/R&B showcase Shindig, was part of the L.A. punk scene—all of the East L.A punk bands from that era that I’ve heard of make an appearance in the book—and he has devoted much of his creative energy to the Chicano cultural and political struggles.

His memoir documents in detail the shows he’s performed in, what the shows consisted of, and who was on the bill. On the one hand, it’s not always the most compelling reading. On the other hand, every so often, there’s going be someone who wants to know all of those details of a specific show, and they will freak with joy that this book exists.

It’s also a memoir of his life, which includes a lot of interesting L.A. history, and a lot of passages in which, as The Hound In Winter, he looks back on his life as a ladies’ man, not uncommon for a memoirist in his ’70s, but, at times, it’s like what I assume it’s like to read about former FBI Director James Comey’s childhood: That’s not why we’re reading this book, sir.

As I’ve written about another University of California Press release, the book is expensive, so have a library order it. –Jim Woster (University of California Press,