Ram Ayala's son takes control of the annual Ram Jam
Published: April 11, 2012
A year after he told the Current "I'm taking over the Ram Jam thing, there's no doubt about that," Eddie Cruz is doing just that. But don't call it the "new" Ram Jam. "This is a continuation of the rest of them," Cruz told the Current. "We're just carrying on the Ram Jam tradition that has been organized by everybody."
By "everybody," Cruz means himself (co-organizer of the 2005 memorials), Jeff Smith (who, along with Jerry Clayworth, organized the last six editions of the Ram Jams), and undisclosed others behind the 2012 edition.
"Everybody supports," said Cruz. "There's other people organizing this, but, besides [Boneshaker's] Phillip Luna, I'm not at liberty to announce their names."
Whatever. There's always some mystery associated with anything Ram, and this newest chapter is no exception.
When Ram Ayala, owner of Taco Land, was murdered in 2005, his usual birthday parties became festive annual memorials for the half-saint, half-devil now considered a legend in the San Antonio music scene. In its day, Taco Land was frequently the only place many up-and-coming punk bands could perform. But Cruz spent years in litigation with the Ayala side of the family (Ram had children with two different women) over how to manage the Ram estate and legacy. It was that negotiation that kept him from helping organize the shindigs, though he came to begrudge Smith and Clayworth for continuing to do so without him, as became clear a year ago when he said he was "taking over" (see "Ram Ayala's son," July 6, 2011).
After the Cruzes and the Ayalas made peace and Clayworth voluntarily stepped aside, Cruz called Smith. "I asked Jeff if he wanted to be involved and he didn't want to," he said. "But we had a very good conversation." The event will benefit the March of Dimes ("We tried to set up a scholarship for SAC, but we couldn't do it on time," said Cruz) and it will feature San Antonio bands on Friday (Michael Martin & The Infidels, Los #3 Dinners, Snowbyrd, Shit City Dream Girls, Bigwood, Loaded, F is for Fake, the Calbakes, and I Ching Gatos), and a mix of Austin bands on Saturday (Johnny Hootrock, Strange Gun, the Stand Alones, the Beat Dolls, Before Dishonor, all Taco Land veterans), as well as Corpus Christi's the Avenue Rockers, Menard's the Scary Mondelos, and a mix of more locals (Heather Go Psycho, The Perturbed, the Dispicables, Bone Machine, Hardluck Heros, F.A.T.M.D., the South-End Wreckers, Sans Faith, Misery, Sideline Rookies, the Delviews, Good Tippers, and Recluse). Visual artist Leticia Tovar Onofre will also show her paintings on both days.
"I'm very excited because this gives me the opportunity to mix well-established bands with others that are just starting, just like when my father was alive," said Cruz. "Some played at Taco Land, some haven't, but my dad would always give everybody a chance, and we want to continue that."
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