Punk Rock originated in Peru with Los Saicos in 1964!

band portrait

I have always loved Punk Rock. I remember back in High School in the early ’80s and I think it might been my classmate and friend Chris who listened to The Clash and opened my eyes to the new sound. I was listening to everything at the time. I have always been open to all music and have had a love for all types of music. I could listen to some Hank Williams Jr. or Randy Travis one minute with my then boyfriend and then would listen to some Ratt or Scorpions out cruising with  my friend Sheila, then would head home to listen to some Michael Jackson or other pop bands. But I do remember listening to The Clash and thinking, this is different and I LIKE IT! I soon developed my taste for punk as I started checking out The Ramones, Sex Pistols and so much more. I of course thought Punk originated in UK or maybe even New York….. but guess what….. I was wrong…

I recently was asked to view a documentary on Los Saicos from Lima, Peru. I am 100% Peruvian, born in the States but my parents were proud Peruvians born in Lima. I couldn’t believe there was this documentary about a band from Peru who were playing Punk Rock over a decade before Punk Rock was even considered a genre.

I watched it and it was awesome! Definitely, when you first listen to Demolicion,  you know that that is the original Punk band! Take a listen to the song here:


What is even better is the story about how the singer didn’t know how to sing so he just screamed everything. The video is up on Youtube and is really great to watch. Even though, Los Saicos were only around for a couple years, I am glad to see that they are finally getting the recognition of their success.  What a great story!  I just may have to pour myself some Peruvian Pisco Sours and make some Causa to celebrate my Peruvian heritage as I blast some Los Saicos! Check out the following video on Los Saicos here:


In addition, in 2011 a documentary “Saicomania” was released in Miraflores, Lima, Peru and was even showcased in San Francisco. Now, I am on a mission to find a Los Saicos vinyl! If only my father were alive today to share his stories. The even played at a couple places where my father frequented, just to think he might have know them. My father always loved music and I can only imagine the stories he could share.  They had reunited a couple years back and have even played a couple shows.   You can even get the music of Los Saicos on Itunes here.

~ Marisol

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  1. Punk DID NOT start with Los Saicos…LOL.
    It’s been a debunked myth for years.
    Their sound is surf-rock, which you can roughly say is PROTO punk. And NO ONE outside of Peru especially in the 70’s when the Ramones, The Clash or the Sex Pistol were just starting out forming their own bands would EVER have heard of them.
    Their records never got out to the world at that time. They stayed in Peru.
    Only local people in Peru between 1964 – 66 even heard that ONE SONG, Demo which is surf rock.

  2. There are some early tracks, one song each from The Sonics, The Standells and Iggy Pop’s first band The Iguanas out of Michigan early 60’s (BEFORE LOS SAICOS) and of course the Kingsmen ALL had that sound before ’64. That raspy vocal with that beat you hear in Demolicion.

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