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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pepe Smith

Joseph William Smith (drummer-singer-songwriter), known as Joey Smith, and more popularly as Pepe Smith, is the acknowledged founder of original Filipino rock music, or "Pinoy Rock".

Born to an American serviceman father and a Filipina mother at Subic Bay Naval Base, he grew up in the Kamuning district of Quezon City, with his maternal grandmother from the age of three. He formed his first rock 'n' roll band at the age of eleven.

A member of the nationalistic and the seminal Philippine rock group, the Juan dela Cruz Band. Along with fellow legendary musicians, Wally Gonzales and Mike Hanopol. "Juan dela Cruz" is the recognized term for the "everyman" in Philippine society. The Juan dela Cruz Band initiated the rock music revolution in the Philippines, veering away from covers of foreign hit songs and focusing on original songwriting. The trio has always been credited of spearheading the Pinoy Rock genre in the Philippine music industry.

Albums (Juan dela Cruz Band)

  • Up In Arms (1972)
  • Himig Natin (1973)
  • Maskara
  • Super Session
  • Kahit Anong Mangyari (1981)


  • Spent six months in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His band, the Surfer, was contacted to play for American soldiers.
  • Jailed for six month for alleged drug possession in 1993. One of his constant jail visitors in Quezon City Jail was Apa Ongping. After his release for lack of evidence, Smith held a concert inside the jail.
  • At 11 he had his first band, composed of his friends and neighbors in Kamuning, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
  • Released in 2005 his very first solo album titled Idiosyncrasies, on Alpha Records. The 14-track album was three-years in the making; he started recording the album in 2002. The album was released simultaneously with the Juan Dela Cruz's three-CD collection from rival Vicor Records.
  • Despite having an American father, he has never set foot in the USA. It's his dream to visit America. His band, during their peak, only toured United Kingdom and Asi, but never made it in America.
  • In 1994, survived a car accident that damaged his signature jaw.
  • One of very few Filipino performers who did opening acts during the July 4, 1966 historic and controversial first and only concert of the Beatles in Philippines. His admiration to the Beatles further strengthened his love for music.
  • First album with Juan Dela Cruz band is "Up in Arms" which was released in 1972. All songs in the album were in English. It was not until the following year that "Ang Himig Natin" (Our Sound) started the Filipino rock revolution. The band's last hit was "Kahit Anong Mangyari" in 1981.
  • He and his band, Juan Dela Cruz, was part of the first open field rock festival in the Philippines which was held in Antipolo in 1970.
  • Of Filipino-American descent.
  • Born to an American father and Filipina mother in Subic Base (once an American base), he grew up at Kamuning with her maternal grandmother at age 3.
  • Acknowleged as the Father of Filipino rock.
  • One of his main hobbies is collecting toy planes. His childhood dream is to become a pilot.
  • A member of the nationalistic and the seminal Philippine rock band, Juan Dela Cruz. Juan Dela Cruz is often regarded as the most common personal name in the Philippines, an equivalent to John Smith in UK and other English-speaking countries.
  • With Wally Gonzales, Mike Hanopol and the late Edmund "Bosyo" Fortuno in Juan Dela Cruz, they came up with seminal Filipino rock hit, "Ang Himig Natin" in 1972. Smith composed the song in 20 minutes while inside a comfort room of Araneta Coliseum where the band was having a concert.

Personal Quotes

If I am not into rock and roll... What I am, executive or executed?