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In 1993, my parents saved up enough money to buy a massive Kenwood home entertainment system complete with gigantic speakers and a five-CD player.
I remember the exact year because the first CD I ever bought was “Promises and Lies” by UB40 — don’t judge.
My second CD was “Art Laboe’s Memories of El Monte: The Roots of L.A.’s Rock And Roll.” That one quickly became scratched and scuffed because of how much I played the collection of oldies but goodies mixed in with 1970s R&B stars like Earth, Wind & Fire and the Intruders.
As the songs played again and again on the Kenwood or the knockoff Walkman my parents eventually bought me, I’d stare at the “Memories of El Monte” cover.