ruben guevara

full name: Ruben Ladron de Guevara.





frank zappa: apostrophe (')
   (1974, lp, usa, discreet)


zappa / mothers: roxy & elsewhere
   (1974, 2lp, usa, discreet)


frank zappa: zoot allures
   (1976, lp, usa, warner brothers)





     from: fzfreak (

at the end of up in smoke, cheech says - "...we're gonna be bigger than ruben and the jets, man..."

      from: stucohomes (
that's the real ruben de guevara and robert camarena playing the mexican horn players in cheech and chong's band.

      from: ruben funkahuatl guevara (
robert "frog" camarena was not in "up in smoke" with me. the short trumpet player (juan?) was a dishwasher then head chef at the rainbow bar & grill next to the roxy on sunset. the other guy was an extra.

     from: charles ulrich (
from an fz interview by rob rietman, wzmf, milwaukee, 5/10/73:

here's what happened. the guy who used to be the piano player in the mothers at the time we did the fillmore album, a guy named bob harris, went to school with a mexican gentleman who was then known as ben guevara. he called himself ben because he was in the minority at that time, and so he was getting along better with the anglos at the school. but his real name is ruben ladron de guevara. and harris brought him over to the house one night, and i got to talking with him and found out he'd been singing rhythm and blues for about ten or fifteen years, used to work at el monte legion stadium. and, let's see, he was billed at that time as aztec watts. that was his stage name. and he was also on shindig, and did a bunch of other things.

but i suggested to him at that time that he form a group and call it ruben and the jets, and i would help him organize the thing. and so i was still in the wheelchair at that time. i wasn't touring and i had some time to help him with the project development on the group. so about three or four days a week, after he had rounded up some personnel for it, i went down and rehearsed with 'em, helped 'em put their material together, and after i thought that they were sort of self-sufficient, left 'em alone and let 'em develop their own songs, and learn the oldies that they liked to play, and then proceeded to record four demos and take them around to various record companies to see if anyone was interested in financing the rest of the album. and they were turned down by every company except mercury. and the reason mercury picked them up is 'cause there was a man there named denny rosencrantz, who just loved 1950s rhythm & blues, and he thought they were great. he signed them up, and i finished off the album, and that's that, you know.
it had nothing to do with mercury finding a guy in order to fob off a second ruben and the jets album. i'd always thought that it would be nice to have a real ruben and the jets group so that we could tour with them.
and we have done a couple of tours on the west coast with that group, and it's a pretty nice contrast.

     from: patrick neve (
this resume came to me from ruben funkahuatl guevara ( via charles ulrich (  it's way more complete than the scope of this page could hope to cover.  thanks, ruben!

     from: skip heller (
ruben just did a record that brought together east la bands with tiajuana bands.  it's called mexamerica and is quite good.

     from: "ruben guevara" (
just wanted to clarify frank's story on our meeting. i first met frank at the shrine auditorium in 1969? for the debut of crusing with ruben & the jets album with the mothers.
i went backstage to thank him for creating great doo wop in the middle of the acid rock craze. i then told him my name was "ruben". he looked me straight in the eye and said "that's a grand name". i said, "thanks, keep up the good work", and left.
in january, 1971, i ran into an old friend, bob harris, whom i had met in the late 60's through another friend, john beck, lead singer of the leaves. bob and i never went to school together as frank say's. bob had just come off the road with frank. i gave myself the nickname of ben for personal reasons. it had nothing to do about not fitting in with anglos.  

i told bob that i had recently written and staged a rock cantata (who are the people?) that involved dance and theater. he said i should meet frank. he called him and we went to his home in laurel canyon that same night. frank remembered our initial meeting at the shrine then we talked about music: bartok and stravinsky to little richard and the penguins as he pulled out his private 45's collection. we listened and sang along with his/my favorites until 5am. then he asked me if i'd like to form a real ruben & the jets, record and tour.
i was relunctant at first since i had burned out on forming and leading bands. i was on a film composition career track. i told him, "too many detours in rock". then, i realized this was an important opportunity and decided to build my own roads with his blessings.
thanks for the good work.



1961 apollo brothers - my beloved one/riot in the quad (single)

1973 ruben and the jets- for real!

1973 ruben & the jets- con safos (1997 cd reissue)

1976 ruben guevara- the star spangled banner/america the beautiful (single)

1976 viva el chicano! their very best (liner notes)

1983 various- history of latino rock: 1956-1965 (compilation producer)

1983 thee midniters- best of thee midniters (compilation producer)

1983 various- los angelinos: the eastside renaissance (compilation producer)

1995 various- tales from the rhino 2

1997 reconquista!: the latin rock invasion (producer)

1998 various- ay califas! raza rock of the 70s & 80s (compilation producer)

2001 various- mexamerica (compilation co-producer)

2001 various- doo wop box III

19?? various- rhino royale




1978 cheech and chong's up in smoke  (as tom, 2nd trumpet)

1985 gotcha!  (as chicken)

1987 born in east l.a.  (as miguel)


frank zappa  / musicians timeline



 c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l   m 
 n   o   p   q   r   s   t   u   v   w   x   y   z
soundtracks various artists