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Friday, July 13, 2012


Editor's Note:

In response to comments posted by Robert Zapata and a very enlightening telephone conversation with Mr Zapata I have edited some of the text of this post. Comments & corrections are always welcome as I want to get the story right. Many thanks to Robert Zapata for bringing the truth to light.

For more information please visit Mr Zapata's site found here:

Let me begin by saying that this compact disc, Cannibal & The Headhunters "A New Beginning" in not the Cannibal & The Headhunters that you may know or remember. None of the original four members of the band appear on this release nor did any of them have anything to do with it. It is however, still, Cannibal & The Hearhunters, a reformed band led by Headhunter's drummer Robert Zapata and performing and recording in the memory of Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia who was the leader & charismatic performer of the original band. This is the way Frankie would have wanted it.

The original Cannibal & the Headhunters did not disband in 1967 as authors and critics would have you believe. Richard Lopez and the Jaramillo brothers (members of the original group) were replaced by George Ochoa and Eddie Serrano.  In 1969 Cannibal recruited sixteen year old Robert Zapata (drummer & singer) when Cannibal changed the format from strictly a vocal group to a band structure consisting of musicians and singers. Cannibal had always wanted his own band and now he had one.

Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia never gave up his vocal group background but as he grew older his musical style evolved into more of the rhythm and blues and rock & roll genres. After all, music went through a lot of changes in the late 1960's  and Frankie wanted to leave his mark.

In 1968 Tommy Lozano joined the band for a short time and singer David Castaneda was added to the band.

In 1983, for personal reasons, Frankie stopped performing with the band and turned the it over to Eddie Serrano & Robert Zapata and the group continued to perform under the name Cannibal & The Headhunters. Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia passed away in 1996.

Eddie Serrano died in a motorcycle accident in August 1998 and  Robert Zapata became sole leader and manager of the band.

In the late 1990's there was a renewed interest in the Eastside Sound generated by articles, books and websites (a major inspiration for my website). Yo Yo and Rabbit Jaramillo and Scar Lopez reformed and started performing again as Cannibal & The Headhunters. Now there were two groups out there performing under the same name and whether critics like it or not Robert Zapata and his band members continued in the tradition and memory of the music that Frankie had laid down.

In May of 2000 Joe "Yo Yo" Jaramillo passed away leaving only Rabbit & Scar to carry on. They recruited the multi-talented Greg Esparza to sing lead vocals.

In April 2006 the Robert Zapata led "Cannibal" group released a compact disc called "A New Beginning" He recruited black singers to be the up front vocalists. Cannibal & The Headhunters were a true legendary Eastside band  and although many beieve that any band without at least one of its original members should not use the original name I am of the opinion that in this case that they are wrong.  Robert & his band carry on the memory of Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia and for that they should be commended.

After recording and touring with this band Zapata replaced the black singers with Charlie Munoz as their lead. The band continues to perform as Cannibal & The Headhunters..

Here is the April 3, 2006 release of Cannibal & The Headhunters "A New Beginning" released by the independent Pomegranite label.

Their version of "Land Of 1000 Dances" does lack Frankie's spectacular vocal and charm but the song is a definite Eastside anthem and you will enjoy hearing it. The cover version of "Help Me Rhonda" is totally out of place here but was a rushed addition to the CD. Covers of "Sh-Boom", "I'll Be Around" and the"Buzz Buzz Buzz Medley" are very good and continue Frankie's vocal group influence. There is one track not to be missed. "Fly Away" is a sweet soul stunner and worth the price of purchase. Please seek out this CD and listen for yourself.

The music and memory of Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia should never be forgotten and thanks to Mr Robert Zapata it never will.

Soley for historical and educational purposes.


  1. The person that wrote the article above does not know the History of cannibal and the headhunters just one person opinion I have been the drummer for the Band for 44 years now and nobody can tell me what went on in the Band with Frankie. he wanted his own band and that's what he got his own Band. this is Frankie Garcia's Band members change but I have all way's been the drummer for this Band most people know this and the ignorant one's don't so if anybody wants to know the truth talk to me Robert Zapata I know the story.I know that Frankie Garcia would be proud of the Band today he loved music and so do we Frankie Garcia lives on in this Band.

  2. I want to thank you for putting our CD on your website you help us sale more for got to show the in side of the CD that shows Frankie & Eddie in a picture THIS ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF FRANKIE GARCIA AND EDDIE SERRANO GET IT RIGHT NEXT TIME SO IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT GET TI KNOW THE HISTORY.


  3. I wish to thank Robert Zapata for his comments & corrections. The post has been edited in hopes of getting the story right.

  4. hey east LA guy Frankie Garcia did not Break up the Group all he did is change the Back round singers and got new Back round singers that's when Eddie Serrano join Frankie in the Group. this is Frankie wish to keep the Band going and I think that Frankie would be proud. don't forget that I am the drummer who has been here for 44 years now don't you think that this means something I understand your point but nevertheless I'm doing this for Framkie people always put Frankie in the Back seat I want to put him in the front seat that's where he be longs.if you would like to talk please give me a call at 323-333-5817.PEACE OUT.ROBERT ZAPATA.