Trini's, California 1960s Trini Lopez restaurant menu art
Trini's, California 1960s trini Lopex restaurant menu

Trini's, California 1970s

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Trinidad Lopez III, known as Trini, left a burgeoning musical career in his native Texas to drive to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to try out as the new lead singer of The Crickets, the late Buddy Holly’s band. (Buddy Holly and two others died in a plane crash in 1959)

His auditions didn’t work out and, needing to earn more money to support his parents back in Dallas, he booked solo shows. It was the heart of the Swinging Sixties and at PJ’s nightclub in Beverly Hills, LA’s first discotheque, he was discovered by Frank Sinatra.

He went on to be signed to Sinatra’s Reprise Records and became one of the most popular entertainers of that era and an honorary member of the Rat Pack.

His multiple chart hits included If I Had A Hammer, Lemon Tree and his own distinctive version of the Mexican song La Bamba.

His popularity spread to Europe where he shared a bill with the Beatles at the Olympic Theatre in Paris. It was just before the Beatles debut in America in 1964 and the French newspaper L’Impartial wrote in a review’ Bravo Trini Lopez…Who Are the Beatles?’

As well as being a singer, Trini was an accomplished guitarist. His Mexican-born musician father had bought him his first guitar from a pawn shop for $12 and taught his son to play.

In 1964 the Gibson company asked Trini to create a guitar. He ended up designing two: the Trini Lopez Standard, a rock and roll model based on the Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow body, and the Lopez Deluxe, a variation of a Gibson jazz guitar designed by Barney Kessel.

According to the documentary My Name is Lopez, Trini was the first artist to mix folk songs with the-then nascent genre of rock and roll and traditional Latin American rhythms.

However, his ethnicity caused him to face discrimination. One of his first all-white bands woke him up one morning to tell Trini he could no longer work with them.

Although he was advised to anglicize his name to get ahead in his music career, he admirably refused to do so. “I’m proud to be a Mexicano,’ he said. He was later able to buy his parents, who picked beets, tomatoes and potatoes to earn a living, their own house and a Cadillac Fleetwood.

This marvelous menu cover comes from the chain of eponymous Mexican-American restaurants Trini owned in the 1970s. We believe this particular restaurant was located in Anaheim.

He had a sense of humor. When talking about his restaurants with Hugh Hefner on the show Playboy After Dark, Trini said:’ I’m very proud of this venture because my restaurants are so authentic, you can’t even drink the water there.’

Trini, who never married or had children, died in 2020 at the age of 83 in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, California, from complications of Covid-19. 

Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson archival inks. Custom printed with border for matting and framing.

Each order includes a print of the interior menu.

All printed in USA.

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