Dominga, one of the main participants of By My Side, loves mariachi music. When I first interviewed her, she told me she would love to have mariachi playing for her when she would pass away, so that nobody would cry. Dominga has terminal Aids and it was clear to me that mariachi music had to be part of the soundtrack of By My Side.
At the end of last year, I started looking for a band. It was not easy to find Mariachi, who truly innovate and do not cover the same old songs. One day, I found Los Toros in Los Angeles. I listened to their album and I really liked what I heard. There was something about them. They had opened once for heavy metal legends Faith No More and were not afraid to mix different styles of music and play them Mariachi style. Los Toros are cool, young and incredibly talented.
I called their frontman Carlos Parra and told him about Dominga and the documentary. He was really enthusiastic about the project and sent me two songs he wrote: “Amigo Mariachi” and “No se lo que me hiciste”. Jackie French, the co-producer and editor of By My Side, and I tried them out. They fit right away with Dominga’s story.
That was six months ago. Carlos and I talked on the phone and communicated via email but we had never met until Friday July 13, 2012. I went to see Los Toros perform in the restaurant El Teixate in Santa Monica. They put on a beautiful show.
But the best part of the night was to meet Carlos and his friends. We met thanks to Dominga, who was so far away in Managua when I walked into the Mexican restaurant 3 blocks away from the beach in fancy Santa Monica. I could finally give Carlos and the Mariachi a copy of the film. I now hope that Dominga will somehow be able to meet them. This film has been such an incredible experience, that it might this unlikely encounter might actually happen one day.