Members from La Máquinaria Norteña had their first television interview and placed themselves in the center of the HLSR rodeo and Tejano music enthusiasts controversy in Houston.
By H. Nelson Goodson
March 12, 2015
Houston, Texas – On Thursday, one of the Mexican genre music groups hired to perform on the Go Tejano Day on Sunday at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) arena has placed themselves in the center of a major controversy over Tejano music and culture. During a first time interview by Houston ABC 13 with Rory Nieto from the Máquinaria Norteña band, he told ABC 13 that Tejanos “had their time, we have our time now” indicating that they have almost sold out their performance along with the Arrolladora Banda El Limón for Sunday’s HLSR concert. Nieto’s band plays Mexican Norteño music and Banda El Limón plays Mexican Banda music, which is totally a different music genre than Tejano music and culture.
Rory, Keith Nieto, Tony Nieto, Sergio Soto and Randy Pérez do say that they are from Texas, but have chosen to play Norteño music and make up the Máquinaria Norteña Mexican style of music. They say that their Norteño music is Texan like they are, but Tejanos and Mexican nationals would definitely disagree with them, because they don’t sound Tejano at all.
In prior years, Tejano bands have been featured at the Go Tejano Day HLSR arena stage and have sold out, but in the last eight years, the bands have been moved out of the main arena stage and placed in small outside tents or areas less attractive to rodeo attendees.
Tejanos, supporters and enthusiasts have staged protests and are demanding for the HLSR organization, which all the executive positions of the non-profit organization are White managed to stop discriminating and add Tejano or Conjunto bands on stage during Go Tejano Day. Mexican and Tejano bands could share the arena stage on Sunday and would generate revenue from everyone attending the rodeo, instead of the HLSR and Máquinaria Norteña attempting to further deepen discriminatory practices by the HLSR.
Nieto and his group failed to recognized Tejano music as a popular genre in Texas, because they have been hired to perform at the HLSR rodeo event and their music is popular today, but come tomorrow they might just fade away as many have done. Tejano music is popular in Texas and will always be, including various styles of Spanish language music genres today.
The Tejano activists and supporters have not attacked or criticized both the Máquinaria Norteña or La Banda Limón for getting hired to perform during Go Tejano Day. What Rory and his band players have overlooked is that the Tejano Day protest on Sunday is against all the White HLSR Rodeo executive committee, the President/CEO of the HLSR and President of the HLSR Board of Directors who have blatantly discriminated Tejanos and their music for the last eight years, but do depend on the 42 percent of the Tejano population in Houston to attend the rodeo and contribute to more than $133M of revenue generated in the 19-day rodeo event.
The ABC 13 interview with Máquinaria Norteña was seen as a biased news segment because the HLSR Tejano protesters were left out of the interview to balance the story. If ABC 13 and Máquinaria Norteña would have only focused on their performance at the Houston rodeo and the interview would not have brought up the protest, ABC 13 and the Norteño band wouldn’t be seen as attempting to divide the Tejano and Mexican Houston community even further.
Which José Vega, one the Tejano HLSR protest organizers for Sunday on his Facebook posted, “We gave ABC 13 till the end of the day today to meet with us and give straight answers on Why they are allowing the HLSR to use them as a tool for their useless propaganda when it comes to our issues against the RODEO and them ignoring our request to resolve this issue… The FCC in Washington will not be to happy when they find out that they are particularly taking part on the Rodeos mission to divide our people… We have nothing against norteno but with us being 42% Latino we deserve more!!” ABC 13 has agreed to meet with Vega and other members of the HLSR protest, according to Vega.
Máquinaria Norteña band criticized the Tejano music movement and the HLSR protest for Sunday on Houston’s ABC 13: http://abc13.co/1Asd93u