El Paso Born Musicians Who Made It Big With National Acts
There are literally THOUSANDS of bands in the world; some make it & some don't. Recently we've seen some El Paso bands start to really make something of themselves. We've seen some celebrities that were born in El Paso that you might NOT have known. Here are some famous musicians that born right here in El Paso.
These are musicians who were born AND raised in El Paso; so these are a couple of musicians who LIVED in El Paso but were born elsewhere. So I want to give a quick mention to:
- Oguer Ocon, the percussionist from Slighty Stoopid, lived in El Paso & according to an Instagram post, a user said he went to elementary school with him in El Paso.
- Stevie Nicks who went to school here from 3rd-7th grade and elementary school as well.
- Al Jourgensen from Ministry was born in Havana, Cuba but has lived in El Paso for a number of years.
- Khalid, is absolutely one of the biggest pop stars in El Paso today; but he was born in Ft Stewart, Georgia before moving to El Paso.
John Moyer: Let's start with an obvious one first. The legendary bassist John Moyer, was born in El Paso on November 30,1973. He even graduated from Coronado High School in the class of 1992. He's been in several different bands during his career including The Union Underground, Adrenaline Mob & Dark Sky Choir. Am I missing one?... oh yeah!
He's been in the band since 2003 & has proven he belongs in the metal echelons with all the greats. He also has his own music school in Austin called John Moyer's Natural Ear Music School. John was nice enough to do an interview with KLAQ a while back & he talked about some of his favorite El Paso memories.
Jim Ward: Another obvious one but a warranted one: Jim Ward, the legendary guitarist from At The Drive-In & Sparta was born September 19, 1976. Even though he made amazing music with fellow musicians Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Cedric Bixlar-Zavala (who went on the form The Mars Volta & with over 6 different side projects), both Omar & Cedric WEREN'T born in El Paso. (Cedric was born in Redwood, California & Omar in Puerto Rico). Jim WAS born in El Paso & would become a huge staple in the El Paso scene. And of course At the Drive-In would score a HUGE hit that would later appear in the Guitar Hero World Tour video game & they would perform it on the Late Show With David Letterman.
and let's not forget about the time Sparta appeared in the movie The Invisible.
Charlie Quintana: The first, but not last, El Paso born drummer on this list, Charlie "Chalo" Quintana was a BEAST in the L.A. punk scene. He got his start playing with The Plugz in 1978.
He would later play with MANY musicians like Izzy Stradlin, Herb Ellis, Cracker, Bob Dylan, Agent Orange, & let's not forget Social Distortion. You can see a list of even MORE stuff Charlie did right here. Tragically he passed away March 13, 2018 at the age of 56. Even though Charlie is no longer with us, let's not forget the memories & great music he left behind..
Jimmy Carl Black: The other drummer on this list, James Carl Inkanish, Jr. (better known as Jimmy Carl Black) was born of Cheyenne ancestry in El Paso, February 1, 1938. He's had a few acting roles in his life including 200 Motels (1971), Panama Red (1976) & Wild Thing (2010). He would also sing & create his own music for his movies.
But he's best known for being the drummer for this man...
That's right. Jimmy was the ORIGINAL drummer for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention in the 60s. He would later be known as "The Indian of the Group" that was coined in the song "Are You Hung Up?". Jimmy would tragically pass away of cancer at the age of 70 years old while staying in Germany. Jimmy helped lay the foundation for art rock in the 60s & for that, we say thank you Mr. Black...
Timothy Bloom: Timothy Bloom is a name that I don't see get talked about but he SHOULD; he's 2 time Grammy Award winning artist/producer. He lived most of his life in Fayetteville, North Carolina but... he was born in El Paso. So who were the artists that helped get him the Grammys & when did he get them? In 2008 & 2010 he worked with two very unknown artists named...
Those are TWO HUGE names in the pop world & he's worked with both of them. AND Timothy has his own music out there. So yes while he hasn't JOINED a band, the fact he worked with not 1 but TWO huge superstars, I think that's warranted a spot here.
Phil Ochs: The 60s was a time where folk music truly had a time shine & El Paso had it's own folk singer that made it big: Phil Ochs. He moved to New York City in 1961 after becoming very moved by folk legends Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger. And for a while, he became so big, he almost became THE biggest folk singer of the 60s, giving Bob Dylan a run for his money.
He would tour around the world until his tragic passing in 1976. Today he's regarded as one of the most underrated folk singers of the day & to this day, there are literally HUNDREDS of artists who covered Phil's songs.
Cesar Soto: Closing our list is non other than the legendary Cesar Soto, the guitarist from Ministry.
Cesar is absolutely a LEGEND on guitar & he's lived here his whole life in El Paso. Cesar is so good, he's been in countless bands & even has his own line of Schecter E-1 guitars. He's currently touring with Ministry who put out their 15th studio album "Moral Hygiene" back in October 2021.
Who will be the next big name from El Paso? We'll see but with so many bands from El Paso getting noticed, I have a feeling it'll happen again soon.