Chicano rock pioneers Los Lobos mark 40 years

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From left, members of the band Los Lobos, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, David Hidalgo holding a guitar, and Steve Berlin pose on April 7, 2004, in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — They are seen as the progenitors of Chicano rock ‘n’ roll, the first band that had the boldness, and some might even say the naiveté, to fuse punk rock with Mexican folk tunes.

But when Los Lobos formed in the hallways of an East L.A. barrio high school, all they wanted to do was play rock ‘n’ roll.

Later, when the group’s members decided to pick up some obscure Mexican instruments, it was just to perform a few songs for their mothers.

When they put their electric guitars and twin reverb amps back in the mix, however, a new sound was born — one that endures into this, the band’s 40th anniversary year; one that also has been credited with opening doors for every crossover Latin fusion band that followed.

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