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He Cried and So Did His Mom!
By Dick Stewart, The Lance Monthly
(more articles from this author)
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TIJERAS CANYON, NM: On Saturday, February 26, we did an afternoon gig at Molly's Class Action Suite in Tijeras Canyon, New Mexico to a packed house which was nice. What makes this performance special is not how we played or anything like that, but giving joy to a seven- year-old boy and his mom and dad.

I know the family well. They're all "canales" to me. (Literally, "blood brothers and sisters" which we New Mexicans say to indicate a very special closeness in friendship.)

Right away, the little boy was taken back with our surf guitar rock instrumentals and he asked if he could perform with us.

"I don't play anything but I'd like to pretend I do," he said to me. I whispered into Canalito's (little brother's) ear and told him to come on board.

Throughout The Knights' performance, Carnalito played his imaginary guitar with great passion and it was infectious to us. He made us get with the program and we did, vehemently. The Knights' sole purpose was to express what was in this little boy's heart.

Right from the start, the crowd stopped chatting with each other and focused its attention on Carnalito and The Knights. The two-hundred plus in the audience became all-embracing and proved it with frequent standing ovations throughout the afternoon.

Toward the end of the affair, I made a final sales pitch over the mike about our latest CD and then presented one to Carnalito for being the star of the day. Everyone gave him a warm applause as he proudly strutted back to his mom and dad's table.

And then to everyone's surprise, Carnalito began to sob with happiness and his mom joined in. We were all very touched by this and I saw many trying to hold back their tears. At the gig's conclusion, the little boy's dad came to me and said, "Dick. You have touched my son's heart and for that you'll be my 'carnal para siempre' (forever)!"

I was speechless! What could I say? I've been performing since 1961 with The Knights and other groups, but nothing like this has ever happened to me. It's just too priceless.

By Dick Stewart (lead guitarist of the Knights and writer/editor of "The Lance Monthly.")

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