Biography

Los Dug Dug’s are a mexican rock group which started off in the early sixties as a high school band called Xippos Rock, with members Armando Nava and Jorge de la Torre. In 1966 Xippos Rock began a road trip from Durango to Tijuana and half way through the trip, the name was changed to Los Dug Dug’s, an abbreviation of the band’s native city and state. Once the band had arrived at Tijuana they commenced there ascent of Mexican Rock, soon landing a regular gig at Mike’s Bar, where they firmly established their reputation. At this time they also did some gigs across the border in the USA where they picked up the latest sounds to take back to Mexico with them. In this way they brought The Beatles’ music to Mexico, being the first band to play their songs in Mexico. At the same time they became the first band in Mexico to sing their own songs, as well as the songs of other bands in English, thus breaking what had been a rule in Mexican rock up till then.

In 1960 a seven-member rock and roll band known as Xippos Rock was formed by several high school kids in the city of Durango in the state of Durango. The group was led by singers Jorge de la Torre and Jorge Lujan. While making a name for themselves locally, Xippos Rock eventually welcomed Lujan’s cousin, Armando Nava, into the group. They would play in events in local theatres, like Ricardo Castro Theatre (known as Cine Principal back then) and in several parties. The songs they used to play in those early years were covers from Mexican rock bands such as Los Teen Tops and Los Locos del Ritmo.

Armando Nava’s father was a salesperson, who used to sell things in the towns between Durango and Mazatlan. So one day, Xippos Rock used Mr. Nava’s truck to travel to Mazatlan. The lineup consisted of: Jorge de la Torre (vocals), Jorge Lujan (vocals and guitar), Armando Nava (guitar), Roberto Miranda (leader and lead guitar), Sergio Orrante (drums) and Moises Munoz (bass). While in Mazatlan, the band changed its name to Los Dug Dugs, and some of them decided to continue their journey all the way up to Tijuana, while other members (Orrante, Munoz and Miranda) decided to go back to Durango and continue with their regular lives as high school students.

The remaining members continued the trip which, according to De La Torre, was going to last for 5 days (he even said that to his mother). They got a gig in a low-range bar in Tijuana, just in front of the well-known Mike’s Bar. Until one day they got a chance at Mike’s, where they became the main act not only in Tijuana, but in the whole Mexico-California border. The Dug Dugs were the first group to sing covers and original songs in English, creating what would be known as La Onda Chicana, movement that would include bands like Bandido, Three Souls in my Mind (currently known as El Tri), Peace and Love, El Ritual, among others.

After several months of success in Tijuana, the band decided to move to Mexico City, where they started playing at La Pista de Hielo on Insurgentes Av. They started making themselves a name in the biggest city in the world, and even members of other bands would go to their shows and get some ideas for their own, as Alex Lora (from El Tri) has recalled[[1]]. The success in Mexico city was so big that even TV stations asked them to perform and record songs for their shows, specially kids-oriented shows (they recorded Chicotito si, a kids song).

In 1968, Los Dug Dug’s moved to New York City, where they got a record deal and recorded several songs. Even Armando Nava recorded songs with studio musicians. They had problems with the musicians’ union, and also they had money problems, so they decided to go back to Mexico City. Nevertheless, the experience they got in New York was so worth that it granted them a place as the best rock band in the Mexican scene.

Edited by StephenhWilson on 3 Apr 2010, 18:53

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