By Lisa Mogan

The classically charming, historical restaurant, who’s dining room has welcomed some of Hollywood’s classiest and best, is celebrating their 7th season of their speaker series, “Dinner With”. Wednesday, December 10th, they will be hosting “Dinner With Trini Lopez”, also adoringly known as “Mr. La Bamba”. This special occasion will give Trini a chance to address dinner guests as well as answer questions from diners in attendance. This is going to be an incredible opportunity to get to know America’s first Latin Pop Star whose life in music and movies included a 37 year friendship with Frank Sinatra as well as other artists like Buddy Holly, Johnny Carson and Fats Domino (just to name a few). His life in music and movies is still going strong, and this instantly likable “star” has a magnanimous way that makes everyone else in the room feel equally important and interesting. When I asked Trini what he would be willing to talk about during the Q & A, he said to tell my readers, to “feel free” to ask him anything. Mr. La Bamba is a man very comfortable in his own skin who is as dynamic and engaging as ever. But be aware- he means what he says. He is truly an open book and will answer ANY of your questions.

This incredibly down to earth gentleman has much credited to his name. His background as a singer, movie and television personality, producer of Gibson Guitars and a noted ambassador for the United States of America should lead to interesting questions.

Trini is most noted for his hit rock and roll singles, “If I Had a Hammer” “Lemon Tree” and of course “La Bamba”. Other hits include “America”, “Michael” and Kansas City”. He has over 70 albums to his credit.


Trini was featured in such movies as Dirty Dozen starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas and many more. Trini shared with me, “You know Frank (Sinatra) called me away from that movie or I would have had a bigger part.” He explained, “I had been in Europe for over 6 months and we were only about half way through. Frank said, ‘Trini, I think you should leave the movie. The public is fickle. If you are out of the public eye for too long, they’ll forget.’ So I left. It took me three lawyers, but I left.” Trini also starred with his friend and adviser in Marriage on the Rocks. He was also featured on the popular TV series, Adam 12.

Having lived in his home in Palm Springs since 1967, he has been awarded a star on the Palm Springs “Walk of Stars” as well as the Las Vegas Walk. He has produced two guitars for Gibson, the standard and the deluxe model, “Trini Lopez”, guitars that are widely used in the industry by lead guitarists everywhere. You can see him with that original guitar in his newly released video, “Fly Like an Eagle”, where the artist shows where his true heart and soul live, delivering a beautiful, soulful and vivacious rendition of the classic rock single.

Trini has been seen on occasion performing locally, most recently at The Purple Room in support of the charity organization, “Well of the Desert”. He has just recorded an album entitled, “Triple Play”. Trini swaps recordings on the album with fellow music great Maurice Williams (formerly of the Zodiacs, and original artist of the song “Stay” later recorded by the Four Seasons), and David Somerville (formerly of the Diamonds who recorded “Little Darlin'”). He is contemplating an offer for a year long world tour, but isn’t sure he wants to leave his beautiful Palm Springs home for that long. Meanwhile, PBS is in the writing process for a special entitled, “Trini Lopez and Friends”, a show that is bound to capture an amazing life surrounded by beautiful, talented friends.

So there you go! There are plenty of conversation starters inside this short article, and much more I would never have the room to write. This is an exceptional opportunity to get first hand reflections from a first class entertainer.

The cost of the Melvyn’s “Dinner With” is 65.00 prepaid. Reservations are required. Tax and tip are included in the 3-course meal. Call Brian Ellis at 760 325-2323.

Future “Dinners With” include appearances by Hal Linden, Jack Jones, Kaye Ballard and Tab Hunter.

Melvyn’s is located at the Historic Ingleside Inn at 200 West Ramon in Palm Springs.