Come On, Let’s Go – named after one of the “La Bamba” singer’s hit records – was announced today by producer Brad Garfield, who said the project is being developed for Broadway. Playwright Richard Montoya (Water & Power, Radio Mambo) will write the book, with Pérez and Hidalgo handling original music and lyrics. The musical will also include Valens’ songs.
Tony Taccone, who recently ended his tenure as artistic director of Berkeley Rep and who first commissioned Tony Kushner’s Angels In America at San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre, will direct.
Producer Garfield, a longtime television director for, among others, CBS Sports, said the new musical will not be a stage version of the 1997 biopic La Bamba (which also included music by Los Lobos). “We are excited to create an original rock musical – a rockumentary that needs to be told about a legendary pioneer,” he said in a statement. “With 100% support from Ritchie’s three siblings who are still alive, our award-winning team is filled with desire, passion and responsibility on keeping Ritchie’s true legacy alive.”
Valens, who rose to fame over just eight months in the 1950s with hits “La Bamba,” “Donna” and “Come On, Let’s Go,” died at 17 in the same 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The crash was memorialized as “the day the music died” in Don McLean’s 1971 hit “American Pie”; Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Pérez is Los Lobos’ guitarist, percussionist and, with Hidalgo, the band’s principal songwriter and lyricist.