At the Instituto Psicopedagógico of Puerto Rico in 1966

The Stokes in 1966

There are two short stories behind that photo . First of all (not one of the stories), the photo was taken by my dear father Antonio Alicea around May 1966. He is still with us at age 90 (next month 91) and living in Puerto Rico. The reason I remember it being May is that this is the photo we gave Casa Margarida, a prominent musical instrument store then (if not THE one) who asked us for a photo of the band to display in their store counters, just like they did for many other bands that had done business with them. I signed it with the name of the band (The Stokes), and the date I wrote on it was "May 1966". I remember it well..

The other story goes as follows and it involves our Great Friend of All Time CHARLIE GOLUN...!

But before, look at that impressive (at the time) array of musical equipment, especially the three Fender Super Reverb amps. For a youthful band like that (ages 14-16) in 1966, it was impressive. Now notice the VOX bass amplifier. As you all know, VOX (vacuum tube type) amps were used by The Beatles. So which band then would not want to have one? . Well, we wanted one and we bought one at Casa Margarida. Except that this one (the one in the photo) was... drum roll... a TRANSISTOR one! One of VOX's first forays into transistor amps (away from the old fashioned and well tested vacuum tube amps)... It had its problems.

During a recording session of our album with Glorivee "Nace Una Flor", this VOX amplifier begins to receive, right there in the recording studio, RADIO WAVES from a local AM or FM radio station and as such begins to interfere with the recording which needless to say, requires absolute silence but for the instruments that will be recorded!

Charlie Golun, who was there with us, and in his usual jovial style of always being happy, says to us "you guys have bought the MOST EXPENSIVE Transistor Radio in the World!" WE ALL LAUGHED except the 14 year old bass player who didn't find the joke so funny! You should have seen his face!?