The official history of punk rock has traditionally pointed exclusively toward New York and London as the birth places of this music genre during the late ’70s. Now some revisionists dare to claim that punk rock actually existed a decade before that in Lima, Peru, of all places.
It just wasn’t called “punk” and it didn’t garner the same amount of media buzz, but all the ingredients that define punk music were already evident in the recordings of a mostly forgotten Peruvian band called Los Saicos, in 1965! In an era when the few bands playing rock in Latin America were almost exclusively doing translated covers of cheesy Anglo songs, Los Saicos were ahead of their time, playing with an irreverent attitude that became standard decades later, but was totally unheard of back then.
Héctor Chávez directed Saicomania, a documentary feature film that aims to restore the place in history of Los Saicos as the authentic punk rock pioneers. The film premiered in Peru just weeks ago and is now starting to play in select cities around the world. The U.S. premiere will happen in San Francisco, CA, at A.T.A. (Artists’ Television Access), and will have renowned Latin old-school vinyl collector Sonido Franko spinning his selection of rare 45s. Hopefully more dates in more cities will be announced soon.
Get your punk 101 on with Saicomania, the Los Saicos documentary. Watch the trailer below.