The Chicano "Izzy" from Chuco
I feel blessed to have so many people share their thoughts and feelings about Como Mi Padrino. I’ve even had people ask why Mamá was not a bigger part of the book. And I must admit, it does come off very much as a story where EZTLI is the hero of the book. But let’s not forget that it was Mamá who made sacrifices to find a hobby that was meaningful to Miguelito. She also sacrificed her piece of mind trying to keep her hijo on the right track. It was her hard-earned money that funded this dream, and despite being on a budget, she found a way to get Miguelito the guitar he so desperately wanted. And it wasn’t so much about getting Miguelito what he wanted, because that’s not how Chicano families roll. The guitar that Miguelito so desperately wanted, was also the key to what Mamá so desperately needed to save her mijito….
Thinking about Miguelito's journey led me to think about the love and support I received from my Mamá and my brother Adán. I haven’t mentioned them much until now. So I wanna be sure to give them their roses. Much like in the story Como Mi Padrino, my own Mamá gifted me a starter guitar on one of my birthdays. I carried that thing around with me everywhere I went. One time, one of my homies thought it was a good idea to use it as a baseball bat to hit a cheeseburger. Needless to say, I would never suggest doing that. It took about 2 bottles of super glue to fix it, but I think we did a pretty good job because it's still holding strong to this day. This first acoustic guitar Mamá gave me was the first instrument that made me feel like I was on my way to becoming a true musician.
The instrument that solidified my standing as a musician and singer-songwriter was the one that was given to me by my brother Adán. I had been working at a tattoo shop that was next door to an Easy Cash Pawn and I had been growing increasingly fond of the idea of moving to Austin Texas to be a singer-songwriter. Imagine a shorter, much more attractive, Chicano Mark Whalberg from the movie Rock Star. That was me. I wanted to move away from being a frontman for a post-hardcore band so I could play more subdued acoustic sets. Of course, I didn’t own an acoustic guitar that was good enough to play shows, and that’s where Adán came in. Not only did he buy me an acoustic guitar, he asked me to go out to Austin and live with him rent-free for 6 months so I could start my solo music career in the capital city. At the time it seemed opportunity had met preparation because, within a month of getting that guitar, I was packing my things and moving to Austin with him. I still remember the day we left like it was yesterday. As we backed out of the driveway of our childhood home in his 98’ Ford Ranger. The crisp fall air was cool with precipitation, and with the early day's sun blinding us with its beauty, we were off. Off On an adventure that he was all too familiar with, and what was to be the beginning of my journey as I left the only home I’d ever known.