Miami Bands of The 70s – Mantrap and Coke Reunite, But What About The Antiques?

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez on August 11, 2010

This is the story of the return of the Open House in Miami. I’m sure there are undoubtedly other versions of this story because I haven’t been the only one yearning to see the Miami bands of the 70’s reunite again. So if you have a different twist to my story – or completely different story as to how this came about – I’d love to hear from you. Share it by entering it in the comments section below for all to enjoy.

- This is how the story goes according to my recollection… Click the play button on the video below to get the full story.

Remember to leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you. C’mon… don’t be shy now.

On April 25th of 2009, there was an Alumni High School Dance at Immaculate/La Salle High School (Miami.) The featured band was “Spill The Wine” with a special appearance by “Blast From The Past” — Frank Batista (former Antiques & Coke) and Luis Serrano (former Miami Sound Machine.)

Everybody was having a good time and enjoying the evening since there were no chaperons this time. I went armed with my digital camera and took plenty of pictures, but there was one picture in particular that has to do with my story.

This is what happened–

In this picture is Arturo Blanco (Peewee), Manny Salas and Frank Batista — Three of the original members of the Antiques.

Arturo Blanco, Manny Salas and Frank Batista

Arturo Blanco, Manny Salas and Frank Batista

The Antiques was one of the most predominant bands of that era. They are the band EVERYBODY remembers. There were many good bands, but the Antiques touched our hearts in a special way. Maybe it was the sound of the Hammond organ or maybe it was their light show. I can’t really put a finger on it – I just know they did.

When I published the picture on this blog (MusicMiami.org) I included an inset – in the lower left corner – of the studio picture of the original Antiques, and on lower right corner, an inset of the LP “Sincerely Antiques” and I wrote the following about this picture;

The Antiques– “This picture is worth a million bucks to me because it takes me back to the time I was about 15 years old. I would go to great lengths to see these guys play. They were The Antiques and they made a profound impression on many of us who grew up in Miami during the early 70’s. Some of their hits include “Va Cayendo Una Lagrima” and “Dias Como Hoy” composed by Armando Manzanero.

The Antiques were the first group of Cuban American youths in US history to have a 1st place hit in the Latin Music Charts and quickly became teen idols. If I have my way, one day soon we’ll get to see these guys reunite for a special event and take us back one more time to those years we remember all to well.

Pulling off something like this won’t be easy. Some of the band members have moved away and others have career commitments, etc. But I find it really hard not to think about the possibility. If you’d like to see this happen too, please leave your comment at the bottom of this blog post. I would love to hear what you think and gather some ammunition to fire these guys up. — — I’m counting on you!”

Next thing I know Nelson Correa is writing to me saying he too would love to see some of the bands reunite and he might start this whole thing. Well, as they say in the movies… The rest is history.

– Just a few months later the buzz starts about Mantrap reuniting and before we knew it – on December 11, 2009 – Mantrap made a come back and rocked the house at Club Renaissance.

The club was packed with excited fans, anxious to relive the Miami Open House experience once again. I had never seen before the line at the door at Club Renaissance so long than that December night. What’s most admirable is that I thought this would be a one-time thing, but it hasn’t stopped since.

They debuted a new CD titled “Lost Memories” which is superb. Jackie Molinares and Miguelito Martin are enchanting performers and a pleasure to watch along with the rest of the band.

As if that wasn’t enough, now the band Coke – or Los Coke as we called them back in the day – have reunited and are performing together with Mantrap in the most anticipated event of this year.

This my friends, is THE Open House of The Year.

The Miami Open House of The Year!So I want to give credit where credit is due, and thank Nelson Correa for starting this whole thing again and allowing us a second go-around at a Miami Open House experience. Who would of thought we’d be dancing to Mantrap and Coke live at an Open House again?

So if Mantrap pulled this off – and now Coke is back too – I’d like to think anything is possible… And if anything is possible I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to believe The Antiques could also reunite and perform with Coke and Mantrap at the next Open House.

– I think most would agree we could call it the Miami Open House of THE Century – and have it take place at The Electrician Hall or some venue that can hold close to 1,000 people.

Folks, if you’d like to see this happen make your voices heard. Leave your comments below and tell The Antiques it’s time. We’ve heard all the reasons why it can’t happen, but I think it’s time to talk about the possibility.

Here me out Antiques—Your Miami fan base will support you 100% and we will all be eternally grateful. It will give you guys an opportunity once again to appreciate the impact you had on the Cuban-American youths at that moment in time in the history of this city.

The band Coke reunited - or Los Coke as we knew them.

The band Coke reunited - or Los Coke as we knew them.

If you haven’t watched the video at the top of this page, scroll up now and click the play button. The video tells the story in full color and ends with the band Coke and lead singer Frank Batista at a practice session rehearsing for the August 14, 2010 Open House. Enjoy!

Frank Prieto

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily April 2, 2014 at 9:40 am

I live those years in Hialeah and yes many of the Open Houses took place in The Electrician, McCallister (across from Bayside, but torn down), Jai Alai, this last for Spanish music like Johnny Ventura. I am sorry to read that in 2009 there was a reunion and I never heard about it and miss it. There was also the bands names like Clouds and Carlos Olivera y Los Sobrinos del Juez. YES please I would like to see a comeback one more time, we are not getting any younger but it would be priceless to see them doing a reunion.
Not many people understand our generations of Cuban Americans from the 1970′s, many of us were brought to the USA as young as 2-10 years old, because we were going to become children of the State of Cuba by communist leaders who wanted to strip our parents of their rights of our up bringing. But our parents desperately for us not to lose our heritage they talked constantly about Cuba and soon coming back to stay. Off course it have passed more than 45 years and still here in the USA that gave us a second homeland and be free. I think many of us to kind of get away many started all this bands and create our music, which we still fondly remember. Thanks for the Open Houses and the Miami Bands. Please reunite so we could relive our teenage years.
Lily

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