El Vez

El Vez

El Vez in 2009
Background information
Born 1960
Origin Chula Vista, California, U.S.
Genres Latin rock, rock and roll,[1] punk rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1977–present
Labels Sympathy for the Record Industry
Associated acts The Zeros, Catholic Discipline, Phranc

Robert Lopez (born 1960),[2] better known by his stage name El Vez, is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter and musician,[1] who performs and records original material and covers classic rock songs. Mixing the styles of Elvis Presley and many other American rock artists with his own Latin-American heritage and music, he is known for expressing revolutionary views through the satire and humor in his songs.[3]


Lopez got his start in music playing guitar for the punk band The Zeros. As El Vez, he is known for his high-production-value, frenetic stage show, which features two backup singers/dancers (the Elvettes), numerous on- and off-stage costume changes, and between-song monologues mixing humor and political activism.

Lopez's main persona and style is very similar to Elvis Presley, as his stage name suggests. However, he is not strictly an Elvis impersonator; on his recordings and in his live show, he covers many non-Mexican artists, such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, T. Rex, Queen and the Beatles.[2] Also known as the "Thin Brown Duke",[4] "The Chicano Elvis", or "The Mexican Elvis",[1] he got his start in the Latino punk band The Zeros, and played in Catholic Discipline with the folk singer Phranc.[3]

El Vez was once a contestant on the game show To Tell the Truth and starred in Wes Hurley's cult comedy musical Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel.[5] He was also a contestant on The Weakest Link during an episode featuring Elvis impersonators.


El Vez with the Lovely Elvettes and the Memphis Mariachis performing on stage



El Vez, 2009

Source: IMDb

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 El Rey De Rock 'N' Roll, short film review on the site of the New York Times. Accessed online 31 October 2006
  2. 1 2 "El Vez", St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Thomson Gale 2005–2006. reproduced online at BookRags.com and accessed online 28 April 2007.
  3. 1 2 El Vez Biography, Allmusic. Accessed online 28 April 2007.
  4. Michelle Habell-Pallan, "El Vez(The Time) is 'Taking Care of Business': The Inter/national Appeal of Chicano Popular Music", Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, April 1999, p. 195–210. Abstract accessed online 28 April 2007.
  5. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0530345

See also

Latino punk

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