RENEGADE

Country USA

Style Glam/Hard Rock

Renegade is an American rock n’ roll band composed of Luis Cardenas, Kenny Marquez and Tony De La Rosa. Although each member hails from the United States, the band is widely recognized as being the first Hispanic or “Chicano rock” band to gain acceptance in the United States. Throughout Latin America, the band is referred to as Los Renegados. Renegade has been referred to by Ritmo Beat Magazine as Chicano rock-gods.

Renegade was formed by Luis Cardenas in Whittier, California, and were unusual in being ethnic Hispanics playing rock music. Building a local following and subsequently winning a record contract, the band released the albums “Rock n’ Roll Crazy”, “Renegade II – On The Run”, “Nuns On Wheels” and “Renegade Live”. The band sold well in Mexico, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and locally in California, but did not enjoy the same level of success throughout the United States as they did internationally. In the United States, the band was widely viewed as teen idols, appearing in Tiger Beat, 16 Magazine, BOP Magazine and television programs, such as “Dance Fever”, which often overshadowed their musical prowess. The band was successful enough in the United States, to headline music festivals with bands such as 38 Special, Foreigner, Journey and Night Ranger. Renegade toured throughout the world in their own Learjet, and was popular enough in the late 1980s to be asked by Kenny Rogers to appear on the Texas-New Mexico Border with Lionel Richie and Lee Greenwood to support Rogers’ Hands Across America effort. Renegade was the Saturday night headline attraction for the Los Angeles Street Scene Festival in both 1985 and 1986, with audiences of 150,000 in attendance. In 1990, the band was featured in a 98-minute television special aired on MTV International, entitled “Renegade MTV Special.”  Cardenas reprises his original “Let It Out” drum solo during the MTV Special, finally committing his masterful performance to a visual experience. The band was honored in August 2001 at a David Hasselhoff hosted event at the Conga Room, in Los Angeles for record sales in excess of 30 million units worldwide.

Renegade’s original record label wanted the band members to change their names to more “Americanized” names, but Richards supported their refusal, ultimately prevailing. Richards opted to go the opposite direction and promoted the band’s ethnicity, persuading then Warner / Electra / Atlantic Distribution (WEA) head Nesuhi Ertegün to release the band’s single, Girls, Girls, Girls in Latin-America. The single shot to the top of the charts effectively forcing a worldwide release of the band’s first album, Rock N’ Roll Crazy!. Los Renegados, as the band is known throughout Latin-America, became a household name based on a combination of the band’s teen idol appearance and the fact they were Latin.

In 2000 Cardenas was once again with Renegade and the band was hopeful of regaining past glories. Renegade headlined a performance at the Los Angeles Staples Center for Infinity Broadcasting shortly after the September 11 attacks to raise funds for victims. In 2002, the band announced another charity concert at the Hollywood House of Blues to benefit the Music Cares effort to put music back into schools. Despite a high ticket price (all going to the charity) the show sold out in a matter of minutes and was turned into a video production. Renegade invited a number of their industry friends, such as Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly, Blues Image and Alice Cooper) and Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) to join them. Pinera performs his signature songs (Ride Capatin Ride, Ina Gada Da Vida) with Renegade backing him up. Cardenas performs his version of the legendary drum solo from Ina Gadda Da Vida.

Renegade’s past successes, caused Ritmo Beat Magazine to refer to them as the first Latin rock band, hailing them as Chicano rock-gods. Transcending a generation, children ten years of age and younger can be heard screaming “Los Renegados” as the band makes its way through East Los Angeles in the annual Cinco De Mayo parade. The members remain tight knit today. According to Allied Artists Music Group, the band continues to write and record music and may announce yet another world tour. The DVD Renegade Live @ The House of Blues, that contains some older material, brand new material and a jam session with guitarist Mike Pinera, was released in the United States in September 2009.

– Rock ‘N’ Roll Crazy! [1983]

 

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