01 Jan 1970 |

Miami Bands of The 70s

” Coke” Miami Bands of the 70s

” Coke” Miami Bands of the 70s

If you were Cuban and living in Miami during the 70s it was almost required
that you had this album, as a matter of fact if you went into your closet or
garage right now you would probably find a faded ,dusty copy of this
record.The sound was SANTANA,Mandrill, Barrabas meets a bunch of Cubans in
Miami who listened to probably everything under the sun. We could all
immediately identify , it was us ,the sons and daughters of Cuban Exiles on
vinyl. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the most recent incarnation of this band at a few of Miami’s latest open house revivals. I was fortunate that Joe Rubio shared some of the band’s history for my site.


Thanks to Joe Rubio for his contribution.

In 1972 an unknown group of musicians from Miami Senior High were invited to
participate in a “Battle of the Bands” event at Miami Dinner Key Auditorium. The results took everyone by surprise when little Known “Coke” were selected as co-winners of these event and a trophy presented to them by Puerto Rico’s Diva Mirta Silva at a special Open House event at the famous “Salon Sophia.” The garage band formerly known as “Instant Garage” was in route to shape what it is now known as the “Miami Sound.” With a blend of Latin Rock Originals and cover tunes, Los Coke ruled the Open-house and Quince scene in Miami from 1973 through 1975.It all started in late 1972 when “Coke” teamed up with an unknown song writer “Frank Asencio” to unleash what became the #5 Album on Bill Board’s Music Chart in 1973 “Coke”, which featured hits such as “Sabor A Mi”,”Que Seria de Mi”, Nuestro Amor and everyone’s favorite, “Na Na” and “Bang Bang” they were all being played at radio stations not only in Miami, but in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Puerto Rico as well. The group’s members; Frank Batista ( Lead Vocals ), Paul Garcia (Lead Guitar), Ariel Hernandez (Bass Guitar), Ruben Perez (Drums), Joe “Tito” Rubio (Keyboards/vocals), Victor Rodriguez & Cesar Godinez (Trumpets) and Peter Fernandez on Lead vocal never imagine the
popularity they would achieve from their hard work and dedication to their music.Los “Coke” as they were referred to by the Latin Scene in Miami, went on to play concerts with top recording Artists, Nelson Ned, Sophie, Alberto Vazquez, Jose
Jose, Angelica Maria and Rolando La Serie.
“Coke” in 1974 Received “El Chin” de Plata for Best Musical Group and went on to appear with Cuban Diva “Blanquita Amaro” on her musical show at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium and who presented us with the “Rosendo Rosell” achievement award. In late 1974 Los Coke were so popular that it caught the eye of the “Coca-Cola bottling company” who was not amused about the “Coke” name being used by the Miami group and demanded that the name “Coke” be removed from all Marketing and Live presentations. The group had no choice at the time but to change its name to “OPUS.” As Opus, the group welcomed former “Antiques” lead singer andrecording artist (Va Callendo una Lagrima) FrankBatista and UM Saxophonist Chester Rosas-Guyon. Opus went on to record two Albums with such hits as “Beware” and “Marta. Opus continued their success in the Miami Open House scene and Private functions in Miami.
In 1975 Opus went on to perform in South Florida’s Night Clubs; Flying Machine,
The Button, The Playpen, the 747 and other Big Daddy’s clubs throughout Florida.
The members of Coke/Opus, Paul Garcia, Ruben Perez, Ariel Hernandez, Victor
Rodriguez, Cesar Godinez, Frank Batista, and Chester Rosas-Guyon went on into
other careers. Joe “Tito” Rubio and Peter Fernandez became members of the
“Antiques” and collaborated on the album “Antiques Experience” with their hit song “Cuando Vuelva a tu Lado.”
Peter Fernandez went on to join recording Artist “Lizette” ,Anexo 3 and local Miamigroup “Ecstasy” and later on made a career as a Solo Artist, with the Cruise ship industry. Joe “Tito” Rubio in 1978 went on to join Miami’s local popular group “Mantrap” and a prestigious career with the Miami Police Department. Joe in 2001 played with a local Miami band “Playback” performing as opening act for “Jefferson Starship” at a Dania Beach Concert. Joe currently have collaborated with his long time friend Nelson Correa & Mantrap on their CD “Lost Memories,” as well as doing a cameo appearance with the “Warlocks”


March 18th, 2015

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