For the preferred few with the raw intensity and reckless abandon of hungry warriors out to conquer the musical world lucky enough to be part of Cold War or Illumination, the journey was both inspiring and rewarding. They found a deep and soul filled satisfaction of knowing that they were part of something great that will never be forgotten.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Cold War (1971/1974) was a musical group in the Miami 70's Open House era formed and created by a talented and gifted young guitarist, Richard (Kephas) Gonzalez. As early as young age of 12, with a lot of hard work and many endless nights, Richard practiced to be the best guitarist that he could possibly be............. He did not fail. Soon after, Richard had ideas of forming the next great band. He had the will and determination necessary to take the next step and form his music group of the future. Along with Richard's childhood friend Justo Sierra (the band's manager), their plan was put in motion.
(Kephas) Richard Gonzalez
From the start Richard Gonzalez (Kephas) looked to form "the super group" and revolutionize the music industry as we all knew it. Richard wanted a special and unique sound that came from the heart and he would settle for nothing less, it was a long and demanding chore but it was one that he was willing to take on, in his heart and soul, he had to. From day one the search for the young untested future Superstars was on, whatever instrument it was, he had to have the "unique" sound apart from the many other bands, that was the way it was as many who tried and failed to join the band found out.
Alex and Eli
For the preferred few with the raw intensity and reckless abandon of hungry warriors out to conquer the musical world lucky enough to be part of Cold War, the journey was both inspiring and rewarding, they found a deep and soul filled satisfaction of knowing that they were part of something great that will never be forgotten. Richard himself, a top of the line guitar player and performer would at any moment stun an always amazed crowd with his signature behind the back guitar playing, as well as with picking his guitar with his teeth while sprawled on his back on stage. All of this of course without remarkably missing a beat.
Albert Acosta ( El Jack )
One of the band's maverick traits before performing anywhere was to meditate for one minute before they started to play, this allowed them to be at the next level of the group's soulful preparation. That did not sit well with some in the crowd, but as always the audience was about to be stunned and surprised with the music explosion of their lives, the boos and hisses turned into cheers and applause as the band would proceeded to kick major music booty each and every time.
The band was offered a recording deal with M&M Records and Justo Sierra, the band's manager at the time declined to accept the same recording studio's terms that many of the other local bands were offered (like Coke and the Antiques). These terms would have given the studio all of the earnings and netted the band nothing but publicity in return, thus killing the deal and hopes for the band's musical legacy.
Manager Justo Sierra
Cold War was very active at their illustrious peak as they played anywhere and everywhere. The band played Open Houses, strip malls, Cruise Ships, Tele-Marathons, Night Clubs, Proms, Hoe downs, Weddings, Schools, Radio Stations, Bar Mitzvahs, 15th Birthday Galas, many outdoor beach concerts, and countless Television appearances in all of Miami's local stations. Cold War also sponsored very popular Weekly Dances in which they organized, produced and promoted in their own Dance hall in the heart of Hialeah.
Cold War shared the stage with many stars of the stage, including the likes of Johnnie Ventura, Fajardo y sus Estrellas, and many other top of the line performers. One of the Bands favorite gigs was playing weekends on the roof top by the pool of the Surfcomber Hotel in Miami Beach to overflowing and delighted crowds. Cold War was highly sought out and regarded by many in the industry as the best band in the south.
Cold War consisted of band leader Richard Gonzalez (Kephas)on lead guitar and vocals, Alberto Acosta on bass and rhythm guitar, Phillip Alvarado, Ito Sargent (from Blue Haze) and Albert Banos on drums, Hector Perez on bass, Alex Sanchez on keyboards, Jose Roque and Wolf on congas and Evelio "Eli" Perez(from Blue Haze) on lead vocals.
The journey however took a detour with the beginning of the disco era with Richard wanting to play a "more meaningful music", thus causing a major rift with some of the band members who wanted to play the more wildly popular top 40 disco dance selections, possibly putting a stop to Richard's vision of soulful originality. Not long after, one fateful night playing an Open House with the Antiques, the insults and disagreements continued, a meeting was called and Richard was voted out of the group. Jimmy Feliciano replaced Richard as it's lead guitarist and Albert Banos took control of the group and changed it's format to the new disco sounds for the new times. But this union did not last long as the band could not get it's act together and did not get any other gigs causing the collapse and end of Cold War.