Coyote Music Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
Contact: Wiley Koepp 512.740.7210
July 17, 2015 - San Antonio, TX In the 1970s, no band was more mystical on the local hard-rock and progressive-rock scene than Heyoka. In its heyday, the band was legendary. Its back story was a combination of American Indian folklore and peyote dreams. That Heyoka opened for Rush at Randy's Rodeo fueled the reputation of the teenagers who normally played nightclubs such as the old Warehouse Club by the airport or Bill Angelini's downtown bar Ball It on Main Avenue. Heyoka reunites live Saturday at the Aztec Theatre for the CD release of The Spirit of Revelation, a compilation of remastered tracks. Showtime is 8 p.m. Also on the bill: Remanon and Cathouse.
The band was born in Val Mora’s parents’ Inspiration Hills garage. Mora was Heyoka’s original bass player, though Pat Hood handled that role in its glory days. At first, it was only Chicano stoner kids Mora, Armando “Dito” (Dito B Garcia) on guitar and drummer Homer Guerra, barely good enough for an eighth-grade dance with songs such as Grand Funk’s “I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home.” Heyoka’s classic lineup included guitarists Dennis Bonnet and David Alcocer and only drummer Gerardo Ramirez and Michael Grothues on vocals.
“Just the other day, Gerardo was, like, ‘It seems like everybody wants us to keep going,’” Mora said. “We’re surprised at the attention. It must be the music. It’s just those times. Some people have actually come up to me and said, ‘Man, I made babies in the parking lot at your gigs, dude!’”
Who: Heyoka, with Remanon and Cathouse opening the show.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Aztec Theatre, 104 N. St. Mary’s St.
Tickets: $18-$22, 210-812-4355, theaztectheatre.com/heyoka
Saturday’s reunion is bittersweet. Lead singer Michael Paul Grothues — whose tour de force Trilogy: Restrictions, Passage and Revelation qualified as profound for trippy metal — died in March 2012. Hood is suffering from serious health issues related to diabetes. J.T. Martin handles lead vocals and flute now.
“There was expression in a loftier sort of way,” Mora said about the band’s lyrics and its name, which meant “the revealing spirit.” “That’s where we were coming from, indigenous culture.” Mora said the spirit is still willing. “We stand around looking at each other, ‘Man, you’re old,’” he said with a laugh. “Still, there’s that same thing when we see each other, what we felt. That’s not old. That’s timeless. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s what’s sacred and eternal in all of us."