NEW TIMES: How did you like playing at the Morro Bay Harbor festival?
FITO: Oh, it was wonderful. It was a great experience. We've been playing the Central Coast area. We played the Avila Beach Blues Festival, we played the farmers festival in Paso Robles, and we have played Pozo a couple of times. It's good to keep our presence and our fan base. The Morro Bay Harbor Festival was great.
NEW TIMES: How was playing the Harbor Festival different from playing at Woodstock?
FITO: All these festivals have a little bit of Woodstock in them. The spirit, the people dancing and having a good time, a little weed being smoked here and there, all that is just like being at Woodstock. Woodstock is important because it was the biggest and it was a natural phenomenon that all the sudden half a million people were there. You know they were not expecting that. All the other festivals that we play have the same spirit, just not the same size.
NEW TIMES: Did you know the harbor festival supported 33 nonprofits and one is an orphanage in Mexico?
FITO: That's wonderful, I knew they were raising money but I didn't know for whom. I am from Mexico and that makes me feel even better that they’re helping poor Mexicans.
NEW TIMES: How old were you when you first started playing the drums?
FITO: I was 13 years old. I started playing professionally when I was 16. I had records by the time I was 17. By the time I was 19 years old I was already in the US and I was playing with the greatest boogie band ever; Canned Heat. By the time I was 20 I was playing at Woodstock. It’s been quite an adventure and I’m extremely grateful to have the life I have.
NEW TIMES: What did you say when they asked you about joining Canned Heat?
FITO: I said I was born to play with Canned Heat. We were all there because of rhythm and blues. We didn’t care about success and we didn’t care about getting rich or anything like that. We wanted to play compelling music. We wanted to play our version of all this great music played by the old Black masters and add a little rock and roll to it and that’s what we did. We not only added rock and roll to blues. We were probably the first blues/rock band ever. We also managed to put blues- oriented music on the top ten worldwide.