INTERVIEW

The Premiers

Featuring: Billy Cardenas, Lawrence Perez John Perez & George Delgado
Time: 2:43 minutes
Excerpt:"Billy said, "No, nothing's going to happen. Just play like you're going to play at a wedding, and that's, because that's what you do. You play, OK?" And he says, "Well, you come out with us if you think it's so easy," and actually, Billy went out with us. - George Delgado"
full transcript

Billy Cardenas: There was a song called "Farmer John" by Don and Dewey.  Don and Dewey had played it up-tempo, they kind of played it up-tempo, which is a little fast, but at that time there was a big hit called "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, and I said, "Well," thinking in my head, I says, "maybe I could slow that song down to a 'Louie Louie' beat and put 'Farmer John' on top of it," and you got a combination of "La Bamba," and you have a little bit of "Louie Louie" in it.  So that's what we did.

Lawrence Perez: I really didn't care for it, really, 'cause it wasn't in my style, but I went ahead and, went ahead and did the best we could, you know.

John Perez: Well, the beat from "Farmer John" came from the "Louie Louie," and I put my own thing in it, the different beats.  Instead of being straight, I like accented. It goes to the up, it goes (sings rhythmic figure), and then I put my own beat in between there.

George Delgado: And when we had "Farmer John," it just started climbing the charts, you know, and it suddenly just became popular.

Cardenas: They're young kids, 15, 16 years old, and the first thing that happened was we got to St. Louis, number one, we didn't need all the equipment we had with us so we shipped it back. But the thing about it is that the first night in front of 40,000 people, they froze on me.  They wouldn't go on stage.

Delgado: I don't know if we were just like, just overly nervous, or just trying to, trying to make (inaudible).  Maybe we could start tomorrow, you know!  But we got a little bit stage, stage fright... Billy said, "No, nothing's going to happen.  Just play like you're going to play at a wedding, and that's, because that's what you do.  You play, OK?" And he says, "Well, you come out with us if you think it's so easy," and actually, Billy went out with us.

Cardenas: They turned around to me and says, "Let's see you do it!"  That same old thing that you get in the neighborhood, "If you do it, I'll do it," you know, that type of thing.  So I said, "Well, all right I guess so."  So we got on stage, and I did the song "Walking the Dog," which was real big at that time. It was a simple song.  I'm not a vocalist, and I worked with them.  And from there on, they became so professional you couldn't believe, you know.  And we, we got a big ovation that day.  It makes me feel good.