I've written before about my admiration for lowriders and lowrider culture; but when it comes to chronicling the ranfla lifestyle, the real horse's mouth is Lowrider Magazine. After a humble birth in 1977 San Jose as a one-color mag distributed at area car shows, Lowrider has grown into a publishing institution with over 1.5 million readers worldwide, and spinoff publications like Lowrider Bike, Lowrider Truck, Lowrider Arte and Lowrider Euro.
As luck has it, in my magazine stash I have a copy of that very first issue: Lowrider Magazine #1, January 1977. Return with us now to those thrilling Cheech & Chong days of yesteryear, and enjoy a few hits.
Cover: an anonymous cute muchacha shoots a come-hither glance in an embroidered London Fog coat.
Lovely fender candy. Note the various carbon-dating cues of 1976: gaucho pants, high waist elephant bells, square headlights conversion.
When I look at this ad, I marvel at the amount of work that must have gone into it -- manual paste-up with Zipatone and Letraset, hand lettering. Five years later a new San Jose company named Adobe would revolutionize electronic publishing with software like PageMaker and PhotoShop. Call me a Luddite, but I like this better.
Lowrider cruise to Gilroy, CA, a/k/a "Garlic Capital of America."
Livin' la vida loca. It looks like "Charly" was pretty much in charge here, and the other girls were best advised to accept their second-billing Angelhood. I wonder where they are now; I imagine a few are grandmothers.
STONEDBROWN! That has to be the ultimate 70's band name.
"Santa Barbara Lovelies" gracing the fender of a '75 Malibu SS, next to an ad touting CBs and 8-track players. Awesome.
Two key NorCal lowrider clubs of the era: Thee Individuals, and Las Carruchitas.
"Calecia Biker." Young vato stays on the scene with a gangsta lean. A very early incarnation of the lowrider bike phenomenon - note curb feelers and wide whites.
All your friends in the joint will thank you.
"He's the dude on the corner, the vato chavo lowrider!"
Keepin' it real.
Originally posted here