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Today is Cinco de Mayo, which marks the anniversary of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle Of Puebla on May 5th in 1862. Over the years the anniversary became cause for merriment and festivities in the Mexican-American communities in the South-Western United States and a time to celebrate their native culture and heritage. Just as heavy metal and hard rock would be greatly lacking without the tales of epic battles of yore, so too would it would it be diminished without the contributions of many a Mexican-American musician. Mexican-Americans have actually been an important part of what we think of as “American music” all the way back to the dawn of rock n’roll with Ritchie Valens, through the ‘60s with Carlos Santana, punk rock with The Plugz and The Zeros and up to the present day with pop artists like Selena Gomez. Given the long history of hard rock and heavy metal music in California, it’s no wonder that some of metal’s biggest names are of Mexican descent given the state’s large Hispanic population (not to mention that fact that until 1848 it was actually part of Mexico). From Jane’s Addiction to Rage Against The Machine to Metallica, Mexican-Americans are a vital part of the heavy metal community as are the millions of metal fans in Mexico itself, as well as points south. In honor of this year’s Cinco de Mayo we tip our brims to some of the most legendary Mexican-American musicians in hard rock and heavy metal history and say “Gracias” for their awesome musical contributions.
See Jane’s Addiction guitar great Dave Navarro clown around backstage with Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers.