Al Hurricane Jr. to perform


April 24, 2019

Courtesy photo

Al Hurricane Jr. will perform Saturday night at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

Al Hurricane Jr., son of the "Godfather of New Mexico music," returns to perform in Tucumcari for the first time in at least a decade Saturday night at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the New Mexico Music Showcase, set for May 31 to June 1 at the Tucumcari Convention Center. Al Hurricane Jr. wanted to perform at the showcase itself, organizer Jerry Lopez said, but another commitment prevented him from doing so.

Lopez said the last time Al Hurricane Jr. performed in Tucumcari was with his legendary father during the Mother Road Rally "about 10 to 15 years ago." Before that, Al Jr. performed during a private party at a double wedding in Tucumcari.

Al Hurricane Jr., 59, said in a phone interview he'll bring a nine-piece band to Tucumcari for a four-hour show.

"It's the usual show they're used to seeing," he said. "The only thing missing is my father. Everything my father taught me, (the audience) will get to see. They can expect a good night of a variety of music."

One notable gig by his father occurred in nearby Santa Rosa in 2017, weeks before he died of cancer. Al Hurricane refused to don his usual eye patch (he'd lost an eye in an auto accident in the 1950s) and his black wig. He also didn't color his mustache.

"He had on his glasses, and people could see he had on his glass eye," Al Jr. recalled. "He didn't wear his wig; he put on a baseball cap. People were looking at him; they didn't think it was him. Then he began to sing, and they recognized his voice. People felt really down-to-earth he'd done that. That was the only gig he'd ever done that."

Al Jr. said he still misses his father "terribly," especially when he's doing more singing.

"I have a few guys who do some of the singing to help me through the night," he said. "I feel the three to four hours the next day; my voice is really tired. It's one of those things have to adjust to, and I'm adjusting."

Al Jr. said his dying father had insisted he continue with music.

"He made it very clear to me: 'You're not going to stop singing,'" Al Jr. recalled. "I told him it won't be the same without him. He said, 'It'll be OK, son. It'll be all right.' He was a great father as well as a performer."

Advance tickets of $25 are available at Farmers Insurance, Main St. Boutique/Plateau or the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce. If tickets at the door are available, they will be $30. Those attending must by 21 years old with a valid ID. Doors open at 7 p.m., with show starting at 8.


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