THE BLUETONES

Here's what Marc Gonzales had to say about The Bluetones:
Back in the Sixties, The Bluetones put on quite a show.  Their keyboard player was Richard Velasquez who was part of the North Denver group of musicians and played a few gigs with Windfall.  Dave Raines (later of Beast) was their lead singer and Charlie Vigil played guitar.  Their big break and highlight of their careers was opening up for the Rolling Stones at the Denver Coliseum.  This was their reward for winning the Battle of the Bands that year.  I remember the show well.  I think it was November 29, 1965 and when Dave Raines jumped off the stage the crowd roared.  He was the ultimate showman.  I think the jump had to be about 12 feet and I'm not sure how he didnít break his ankles. 


Charlie Vigil

Years later when I was playing with Charlie Vigil, he told me how excited they were when they got to meet the Stones in their dressing room before the show.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were rolling up tube socks and stuffing them in their skin tight pants to Charlie's wide eyed amazement.  Jagger said "All the rockers do it mate.  You should try it.  The birds will love you."  I'm not sure if Charlie ever tried it, but I wouldn't be surprised.  Charlie was a wonderful sweet guy, not much of a guitar player but he had one of those great strong voices for songs such as Try a Little Tenderness, or Three Dog Nightís Joy to the World.  I played in two bands with Charlie.  First, around 1969 in a group called Genesis with the Cordova brothers; Gil and Bino, Eddie Gallegos on lead guitar, Nick Garcia on drums, and Charlie on rhythm and vocals, and later on in a group called Offspring in 1970 with Dave Kintzele on lead guitar.  

Charlie's cousin, Job Vigil, was our bus driver although he was a very talented musician on his own, later playing with me in Cheeks.  Charlie married a New Jersey girl; Linda Genovese.  She was the granddaughter of Vito Genovese, the famous Godfather that the book and movie of the same name were written about.  We used to joke with Charlie that he better never cross his wife.  Of course Charlie was such a sweet guy, after they divorced there was never an issue.  Charlie's kidneys were bad and he had to have a transplant and eventually died from it.  We really miss him. 


As mentioned in the article at the top of this page, Richard Velasquez was a member of The Bluetones.  He later went on to play in Soul Explosion.  Below is a photo of the members of Soul Explosion taken by staff photographer Bill Wunsch of The Denver Post on July 30, 1970.  It appeared in the August 5th newspaper.

Marc Gonzales: "The Soul Explosion was the premier Rhythm & Blues Band in the late 60s and used to play at The Bowl which was a large nightclub on Broadway just south of Downtown Denver.  The club was wall to wall people and the dance floor always filled.  The band featured Bobby Dee on vocals, Lee Shipman played Sax, with Richard Velasquez playing Hammond B-3 organ with his left hand and blowing a trumpet with his right hand.  This filled out the horn section.  Richard had played with Dave Raines and the Blue Tones prior to going to the Soul Explosion.  Lee Shipman went on to open an electronic and instrument repair shop called MER; Musicians Electronic Repair.  For years to come all the Denver musicians would take their equipment to him for repair.  Monet was on guitar, I believe his father was a well known jazz drummer in Denver.  Frizzie was on drums, an excellent drummer who I believe played with Jerry Corbetta back in the day.  Frizzie had a sad ending as he was shot to death by a club owner on East Colfax a few years later.  The bass player is not in the photo, originally Gil Cordova was the bass player for the Soul Explosion, but was later replaced by John Carrion.  This band was truly the best around during their time and it was sad to see them break up."

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