So, how long have you been doing
Ive been singing with bands
and several different vocal
groups since around 1989. We
actually didnt start Vicky
Tafoya and The Big Beat until
around 2000 or 2001.
How did you get started ?
I started sing around the age of
8 or 9. When I was 10 years old
in the sixth grade, my teacher
said enter the choirs
talent show, so I did. So come
time of the show, I was very
nervous (it was my first time on
stage). I had my mother on the
side of the stage and she told me
to go out there and kick some ass!!
I went out on stage and it was
great. I got 2 standing ovations!
Did you grow up in a
musical family ?
. Sort of a have a
sister who used to sing in the
sixties, and I have another
sister who sings Spanish songs.
Boleros and such.
Do you remember the first
record you bought or the one that
made you think «Woahhh, thats
what I want to do !»
When I was young, I never bought
any records. They were all handed
down to me from my mom to my
sisters. They were mostly Oldies
compilations with groups like The
Ronettes, Beach Boys, Chuck
Berry, Count Basie, Ella
Fitzgerald and so on
the one group who influenced me
most was probably Frankie Lymon
and The Teenagers. Also Dion and
The Belmonts and all the Doo Wop
groups. The vocals were just so
clean and pretty, I just love it!!
What are your influences
as a singer ?
Musically, I am very inspired by
the music of the 1940s and
1950s, its the
absolute best. I think I would
drop dead if I couldnt
listen to it or sing it! The
beauty of a romantic love song,
or the beauty of a sad or torch
song. The joy of an uptempo Rock
n Roll song. I really,
really enjoy all the songs Ive
chosen to do. Its very
important to me musically to
deliver these songs as best as I
can, to pay respect to all this
in terms of songwriting?
As a songwriter, Rock n
Roll has and always will inspire
to write, along with the good,
bad, and silly adventures on my
about your band, where do they
come from, were they in other
bands before ?
My lead guitarist Ramiro was in a
group called The Rhythm Shakers
from Santa ana California. Ive
known him since we were kids. Hes
such a fantastic surf guitarist
I dont know why hes
still in the band ! I really
appreciate him lending his
talents to the band and hanging
around for so long. Thanks Ging!
My rhythm guitar player (and
husband) Vince, used to be in a
Phsychobilly/ Rock/ Punk group
called Los Infernos. Our drummer
Robert also plays in a band by
the name of Truly Lover Trio, in
the Los Angeles area. Mike, our
sax guy is going to UCLA and
studying to become a music
teacher, and Christian our bass
player plays in a few other bands
including Howlin Al and the
Sharps, and Devil Doll.
Do you remember the first
show you played ?
Yes. It was the first DooWop
Society of Southern California
show. I was in an all girl vocal
group called The Honeydrips. I
was a little nervous. We only did
a few songs, but it felt great!
Dont you think that
things change. and there is more
women on the "roots scene"
than we could see 15 years ago ?
It seems like there are more
women out there doing their thing
on the scene and its great. Ive
done shows with Carrie Lee and I
think she is an awesome front
lady for her band, shes
great. Its just great to be
a part of it!!
About your albums, how
many are they?
The very first Big Beat CD we
recorded was a demo we did in a
friends living room. We only made
around a few and sold them all
very quickly (I think I might
have ONE copy). Our Official
CD is Meet the Beat
and is out on El Toro
As for other things Ive
recorded, I worked with Big Sandy
on a few songs on his Dedicated
to You CD. Im on a
Collectible Records Christmas
compilation, and I worked with
Royal Crown Revue on a song for a
Christmas compilation called
Maybe this Christmas Tree.
We recorded that great old
standard Baby, its cold
outside. Eddie Nichols and
I have an Acapella doowop group
with Matt Mazzola and Jimmy
Jimelli, and we call ourselves
The Redondos. We are in the
middle of putting out a CD, so
look for a release from us
hopefully very soon!!
they done live in studio?
The Demo was done live, but
Meet the Beat was
done in a little studio over a
few months. I think it came out
all right, but I would have much
rather have done the recording
live. Thats the way it
shouldve be done, but thats
a whole other story.
What is the most
memorable gigs you played and/or
went to ?
The most memorable shows Ive
ever been to were the Classis New
York Doo Wop Shows back in 1989-90.
I saw The Cadillacs, The Tokens,
The Duprees, and Lee Andrews and
the Hearts, among others. While
waiting in the lobby for the
doors to open so we could be
seated, we used to sing in the
halls. I went up to Tony De
Lauro, the MC of the show, and
asked him how I could get on the
show. His reaction was Yeah,
maybe next time kid.
Someway or another I received a
call from a gentleman named Bruce
who asked me if I wanted to a
tribute to Frankie Lymon and The
Teenagers. I couldnt
believe it! ME, in The Classic
New York Doo Wop show! I WAS SO
EXCITED. The line-up was The
Flamingos, The Spaniels, The
Capris, The Dixie Cups, The
Calvanes, and Vicky Tafoya with
The Storytellers doing a tribute
to Frankie Lymom. I was even
advertised on the radio. It was
one of the most wonderful moments
in my life to have been on stage
with some of the best! Ill
never forget it. I had my own
dressing room ! Before he brought
me out on stage, Tony De Lauro
told the whole story about this
kid who asked him how she could
get to sing in the show, and we
opened with the Frankie Lymon
It was awesome !
When can we expect a new
As of right now, Im trying
to finish my original material so
we can put out a full length CD.
A last word ?
Thank you all from France and
this magazine and the whole scene
there in France! Viva Rock n
Roll! It will never die! To you,
from me, with a love song, Vicky
about Vicky Tafoya :