DJ ALEX GUTIERREZ DISCO MIX 1
01 Jan 1970 |

Miami Bands of The 70s

Open House Band  “Heaven”

Open House Band “Heaven”

I must have been 13 years old,my first Junior High School Dance. I managed to
steal a spray of my father’s Pierre Cardin Cologne . My shoes were from Danery’s
Peleteria located right across from Angelita’s Novias and right down the street from
El Palcio del Disco. As I walked into my Jr. High Cafeteria I could see the
equipment on stage set up. The sign composed of many light bulbs was off but I
could see the outline ” Heaven ” before this we were content with taking our
personal 45 rpms to parties. Now we were seeing a live band. The kids packed
into to what seemed at the time as a huge space. Suddenly the stage became alive
with group members ,keyboard sounds, drum rolls, ” Check,one ,two ” said the man
on the microphone. The kids lined up in front of the stage , I had been a DJ at
parties for about 2 months and was telling my friend all the songs I wished they
would play.
The noise was unbearable, as expected I guess with a room full of 11 and 12 year
olds. All the members were on stage now, and a strange silence fell over the
cafeteria. The singer turned to the drummer ,who was holding his sticks over his
head , he tapped them twice and the stage exploded with lights and sound. The
guitar player stepped forward and played the first few riffs of which I instantly
recognized as O.C. Smith’s La La Peace Song. It was a moment that connected
me to music forever.
Heaven was one of the most popular bands at the time along with Mantrap they
dominated every Open House . This powerful duo was a sure thing for any hall that
hired them. If they played ,you found some way of getting there, Tia , Abuelo
anyone!! The group went through various stage of change during the years.
Miami Bands heaven copyheaven

Nelson Correa of Mantrap remembers:

Wafy (Rafael Armenteros) was the lead singer of the band Heaven who originated from Miami High, Early on he had vocal chord problems which prevented him from singing for a period of time.

HEAVEN THEN WENT OUT AND GOT THE SERVICES OF JOE SANTANA WHO HAD SANG WITH PEARLY
QUEEN, WHO SANG THE SONG “MIENTEM” ON THE TREASURE HUNT ALBUM ( PEARLY QUEEN). THEY ALSO ADDED A BLACK
FEMALE SINGER NAMED VERONICA. HER NICKNAME WAS PEACHES.

WHEN WAFY WAS CLEARED TO SING, THE MEMBERS OF HEAVEN ASKED HIM TO SING ALONG WITH JOE TO MAKE SURE
THAT WAFY WOULD NOT EXPERIENCE ANY MORE PROBLEMS. WAFY REFUSED TO SING WITH ANYBODY AND LEFT THE BAND. HE MADE HIS OWN BAND NAMED OUI. HE THEN JOINED FORCES WITH GUITAR PLAYER CHEBI FROM THE ANTIQUES AND THEY DID WELL.HEAVEN THEN MANAGED TO LURE WAFY BACK TO THE BAND WHICH ENDED BEING THE BAND OUI. WAFY FINISHED WITH HEAVEN AND EVENTUALLY CREATED ANOTHER BAND AFTER HEAVEN BROKE UP NAMED “MINT ” Mantrap recently performed one of Wafy’s songs written over 40 years ago Now Avaliable on their New CD ” Timeless

Homer Castro Remembers:

“I was the saxophonist for Heaven in the the 70s the line up was
drums Roly Ortega bass Pedrin Fuster guitar Tony Fernandez
trumpet Mike Prieto trumpet ,trombone rolando BANANA Ortega sax
and flute percussion Homer Castro keyboards Bill Resnick lead
singer Rafael Almenteros Band Manager Antonio Fernandez sr. We
started jammin around 73 the standard places 15s Open Houses
baile cubano etc what great times that I was lucky to be a part
of it,when people tell me today what great parties we had back then, I smile
and think yeah I played at all of them. ”

djalexgutierrez

February 25th, 2015

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