Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I'd heard the Righteous Brothers' original and the Mitch Ryder cover of "Little Latin Lupe Lu". I dug them both, a lot. But they didn't have that certain oomf the song begged for. Then, this was roughly the late seventies, I went to see the Zeros. I saw them a lot back then, in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A great band. One of the things that I really dug about them, and is telling in any band, was their choice of covers, and one song that they covered was "Little Latin Lupe Lu". With the required oomf. The first time I heard them play it, man, if I could bottle that feeling of requited rock 'n' roll yearning, at that moment, finally hearing a rauceous version...well, you know the feeling. At least I hope you do.

The Zeros, at the time, had two, maybe three 45s out, all originals. They would go on to release three LPs, two of which were recorded years later (but every bit as vital). Among them were a handful of covers, the Seeds ("Pushin' Too Hard"), Standells (Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White"), Bobby Freeman ("The Swim"), Bo Diddley ("Roadrunner"), the Dolls ("Chatterbox"), and the Sonics ("Strychnine"), but alas, no "Little Latin Lupe Lu". It was put out on a Sympathy For the Recordy Industry 45 in '92, but it's scarce as hell and I've yet to hear it. There's a few live versions of them doing it roughly fifteen years ago on YouTube, but they don't do their cover justice. You have to hear it live, or at least loud. 

Here's the two "Lupe Lu"s, and, as an idea of what the Zeros sounded like, two unrelated cuts from '77 and '78. Check out that difference, with roughly just a year between them.  Now, listen to "Wild Weekend" and imagine that band doing "Litle Latin Lupe Lu". It was that good.

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Little Latin Lupe Lu mp3 at Bruce Ellithorpe (?)
The Righteous Brothers - Little Latin Lupe Lu mp3 at Russ Strathdee (?)
The Zeros - Main Street Brat mp3 at Che Underground 1977
The Zeros - Wild Weekend mp3 at Che Underground 1978

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