hot July night and Los Rauncheros was headlining a biker rally outside of
Houston, Texas. The band took the stage and cranked out its first set of classic
rock, instrumental surf, blues, and classic country, punctuated by tunes penned
by the band – a genre Los Rauncheros calls Country Surf Garage. Picture Dick
Dale sitting in for Keith Richards while the Stones play an Albert King song in
a Mexican border town.
During the first set, the riding clubs and other bikers sized up the band,
including one such club in the recesses of the outdoor pavilion that housed the
stage. The club members were shrouded in darkness – all that could be seen was
the orange glow of seven cigarette embers.
as the band was finishing the first set, the “P-Magnet” approached Bill “Queso”
Towns, Los Rauncheros’ lead singer. The P-Magnet was a bare-chested colossus
festooned in overalls, Redwing boots, and the club’s tan vest. Mustached, the
P-magnet sported a pink fur chapeau reminiscent of a topper the cat in the hat
might have worn. Engaging in simultaneous teeth gritting, Queso and the rest of
the band worried what the P-Magnet might want. “Can Crazy Bob sit in with you
dudes?” the P-Magnet asked. Hey, what the P-Magnet wants, the P-Magnet gets.
After a quick hand motion, Crazy Bob – wearing the club’s tan vest and cut off
jeans – emerged from the darkness and hopped on stage so quickly you almost
would not notice he was missing his left leg below the knee. Bill “Beto”
Burdette lent Crazy Bob his guitar and the jam began. Afterward the band fist
bumped with Crazy Bob and he again disappeared into the darkness.
band continued with the second set and, halfway through, the P-Magnet returned
to the stage – what now? Suddenly, the P-Magnet handed Crazy Bob’s prosthetic
leg (worn Nike still attached) to Scott Breitenwischer. What does this mean? How
does one act when offered another man’s leg? Scott put down his bass and grabbed
the leg. As he did, ice cubes spilled out of the top of the substitute limb and
the answer was clear, the band was to drink a stoutly-mixed cocktail from the
leg. First, Scott drank, then Queso, then guitarist Doug Walla, drummer Tom
Conley, and finally Beto. As the leg was returned to the P-Magnet the band knew
it would never receive higher acclaim for its music.
At every show, whether gigging in Helsinki, Finland, opening for Molly Hatchet,
or playing in Houston at a favorite haunt like Dan Electros or Last Concert Cafe, a
new chapter in Los Rauncheros’ biography is written. Come check out the band and
write yourself in as a character for the Los Rauncheros archives.