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Sapo was an early 1970’s San Francisco-based Latin-rock band now considered one of the seminal and influential bands from the period. The band originally had ten pieces including congas, timbales, drums, two guitars and a four piece horn section. Sapo was formed just as Malo’s song “Suavecito” hit the national top ten charts. Richard Bean, the singer and co-writer of the song, left Malo and formed Sapo with his brother horn player Joe Bean. Richard wrote Sapo’s songs and was the lead singer and timbale player. The band rehearsed four hours a day, five or six days a week in a large garage on South Van Ness Ave. in SF’s Mission District. They attracted manager Bill Dollar and soon landed a national record deal on Bell Records (which later became Arista). Despite excellent songs and musicianship, the resulting album was not able to match Malo’s national success though it was a hit in the Latino community. Richard Bean still performs with Sapo and with Jorge Santana and other members of Malo. A few side notes: Sapo bass player, the late Jose Simon, went on to become a well-known San Francisco comedian. Dan Orsborn, one of the original guitarists and back-up singers, went on to write the score for Michael McClure’s hit SF musical “Gorf” and the music for the cult classic United Artist’s film “Smile” starring Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon and Melanie Griffith.


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  • PapaParleone

    70s chicano sapo!

    23 Dec 2013 Reply
  • cockbeer

    Yes Vatua was a great album. i used to listen to it nonstop as a kid.

    23 Jun 2011 Reply
  • Mashinito

    There was a Catalan rock band called Sapo too. "Vatua" and "Pastanaga" are their albums

    21 Jan 2010 Reply
  • pepe_floyd84

    Sapo is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! one of the best Chicano bands ever

    4 Sep 2008 Reply
  • mjervis

    Seems to be confusing 2 artists here. Hoped for: 60s/70s chicano rock band Sapo; like early Santana with horns - responsible for "Been Had" and "Sapo's Montuno". Got: some rap artist. Sort it out.

    18 Jul 2008 Reply

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