Juan Dela Cruz Band

The Juan de la Cruz Band was a Filipino rock band formed in 1968. In December 1970, the band was featured in the first open field rock festival in the Philippines, the Antipolo Rock Festival. The band's popularity gained momentum in September 1971 when it backed up the production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Then in December of the same year, the band garnered its crowning glory when again, for the first time in the Philippines, a rock group on its own, backed by a full symphony orchestra (the National Philharmonic) was presented in concert at the CCP. The band originally had six members: Wally Gonzales (guitars and vocals), Rene Segueco (organ and vocals), Clifford Ho (bass and vocal), Romy Santos (wind instruments), Bobot Guerrero (drums), and Sandy Tagarro (lead vocals). Sandy Tagarro left the band before the band's first album "Up in Arms" was released. Wally Gonzales, in an interview later credited Edmund "Bosyo" Fortuno of having coined the band's name though Bosyo's collaboration with the band was not until 1981 with Juan Dela Cruz Band's 6th Album in which he was the drummer along with Joey "Pepe" Smith. The original Juan Dela Cruz Band, consisting of Wally Gonzalez (guitar/vocals), Sandy Tagarro (bass guitar/vocals), Edmund Fortuno (drums), Bing Labrador (keyboards), and Alex Cruz (saxophones & flute), was formed in 1968. (Source: PinoyClassicRock.com) They performed at the Antipolo Rock Festival (the Filipino equivalent to the Woodstock festival of 1969) and was subsequently tapped as the featured rock band in tandem with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Redentor Romero) for the Philippine production of the rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Consequent to his dramatic part as the Judas character in the rock opera production, Sandy Tagarro vacated his instrumentalist role in the group and was replaced by Clifford Ho as bassist.