This iconic band’s 36-year history includes three Grammy wins, music for La Bamba and Desperado, and sharing stages with the likes of Bob Dylan and U2, but what most people don’t know is that Los Lobos actually has its roots in the L.A. punk scene. “At the time we had done as much as we could to survive, but we found ourselves doing things we really didn’t want to do, like playing Mexican restaurants,” recalls multi-instrumental lyricist Louie Pérez. “When punk started to happen, I was attracted to the idea of taking music back and I found myself making the trip across the L.A. River to check out these bands. We thought, ‘If this is happening, there might be a place for us.’ We had this hybrid of Mexican folk music and rock ‘n’ roll, and we were accepted into that whole scene.” Los Lobos’ punk persistence led to collaborations with producer T-Bone Burnett on early works like How Will the World Survive?, which Rolling Stone ranked as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Critical praise turned into international stardom in 1987 when “La Bamba” became one of the few Spanish-language songs to top the Hot 100. Though they wouldn’t top the pop charts again, Los Lobos grew into elder statesmen and bicultural ambassadors of the L.A. music scene. While they plan to record a new album later this year, the band will first tear up the road with another barn-burning tour.
Los Lobos at California Theatre, 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino, (909) 885-5152, www.theatricalarts.com, Wed., April 29. Doors open at 8PM; $35-$65.