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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Manic Hispanic is 'Back in Brown' After Mourning the Death of its Legendary Founders

Call Manic Hispanic one of the most subversive bands ever to emerge from Orange County, and its members just might laugh off the suggestion.

The group’s origin story started with a half-serious conversation in 1992, after all, between founding members Steve Soto and Mike “Gabby” Gaborno when both worked at the Doctor Dream Records warehouse in Orange. The pair mused about what forming a Freddy Fender cover band would sound like in shared reverence of the beloved Tex-Mex balladeer.

By that time, Soto established himself on O.C.’s punk scene as a member of Agent Orange and the Adolescents; Gaborno chiseled his onstage charisma as lead singer of the Cadillac Tramps. Like star players on a super team, they culled musicians from other bands to form Manic Hispanic, a project that didn’t spoof Chicano crooners but punk rock classics, instead.

Read more on my latest TimesOC feature article:

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