“You can take the boy out of Oakland but you can’t take Oakland out of the boy.”
That line from band leader and founder Emilio Castillo is crucial to understanding how, against all odds, an Oakland CA. band took the world by storm. Also crucial, 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA June 2018, which drops March 26, 2020. As much cultural artifact as album, it plays out the Tower of Power history in story and song.
Who better to tell the story than Emilio Castillo himself?
Castillo was only 17 years old when he met Stephen "Doc" Kupka and started to assemble the band that would become Tower of Power. “I had no vision at all, I just loved playing soul music. My idols were a tight little local band called The Spyders and they had gigged in Sacramento. I thought, ‘Man, if I could just get to Sacramento that would be it.’ That's literally how small my vision was at the time.”