October 16,1988….the day in history that started the Tejano music explosion in Mexico…This is the poster of La Mafia’s first concert in Mexico which was in Nuevo Progresso Nuevo Leon. The group dared to take its music across the border into Mexico during a time when Mexican-American artists were not accepted. That move ultimately opened doors for other artists like Selena and Los Palominos, among others, along the way.
Lichtenberger recalled La Mafia’s first venture south of the border in 1989.
“We played at Terrazas Corona in Matamoros, which is virtually a parking lot,” he said.
“We’ve played a lot of parking lots!” De la Rosa chimed in, laughing.
Crossing the border was a calculated decision.
“I remember a conversation we had in our office,” Lichtenberger said. “We said, ‘The border is right there, why don’t artists go across and play over there? We should try that.”
The decision to start in Matamoros, where prejudice against Mexican-Americans is not as strong as it is in other parts of Mexico, was a stroke of genius. From Matamoros, La Mafia eased its way into the República. Before too long, the group was accepted all over Mexico. Lichtenberger admitted that going into Mexico was no easy task because of the language and cultural barriers.
“We were up front,” he said. “We never pretended to know Spanish perfectly. During interviews, we acknowledged that there are many Mexican-Americans that won’t even admit that they have Mexican blood. But we made it clear that we are proud of our Mexican ancestors and they appreciated our sincerity.”
Lichtenberger said he has a poster from that first concert in Matamoros at his Houston office. “It’s a pride and joy for us,” he said.
Mexico was only the beginning of La Mafia’s international successes. The band branched out further, performing in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Argentina and more.
|LA MAFIA 15 DE COLECCION