Lady Gaga and Cheap Trick Go Mariachi for Cinco de Mayo

By , Contributor

Is it any surprise that mariachi is trending right now, given the fact that Cinco de Mayo is ahora? Lady Gaga celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday at La Cita, a Los Angeles Mexican restaurant last month with mojitos and a mariachi band who did a rendition of her "Born This Way" hit.

The lethal blonde -- who was dressed like Barbie's "Solo in the Spotlight" complete with slinky black dress and beehive -- was so thrilled she leaped up on the tiny stage and joined in. Not only that, she has added a south of the border flavor to her recent shows, unleashing a new song called "Americano" during her performance at the Estadio Tres de Marzo in Guadalajara, Mexico on Tuesday. May 3, 2011.

The song will see the light of day on her forthcoming album Born This Way due out on May 23. She describes the tune in her recent Vogue interview as being a "big mariachi techno house record, where I am singing about immigration law and gay marriage and all sorts of things that have to do with disenfranchised communities in America." And no, it is nothing like Madonna doing Evita.

And neither is Cheap Trick's mariachi version of their heart-stopping anthem "Surrender." The iconic band was approached by Hornitos Tequila to be part of their national mash-up competition to entice bands to submit the best mariachi version of either a classic or current hit for which Hornitos was able to obtain rights: "Surrender"; Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks"; The Romantic's "What I Like About You"; Passion Pit's "Little Secrets"; and the granddaddy of all garage rock songs, The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie."

The winner of the contest will get a $10,000 prize and coverage in Billboard. Much to Hornitos' delight, Cheap Trick wanted to be a part of the promotion and agreed to film a video for them in Phoenix last week.

"Robin Zander was super excited about the concept when he got into the set and made his way over to the mariachi band who had been practicing 'Surrender' for more than two hours before the band got there," explained a spokesman for Hornitos. Everyone knows how daunting Rick Nielsen can be, so it's no surprise that the mariachis were a bit apprehensive playing with him.

"Yeah, the mariachis were a bit apprehensive to step on Cheap Trick's toes, so they hung back a bit," continued Braun. "Rick, Robin and Tom made them feel comfortable and encouraged them to get in the limelight and sing along with them."

It worked so well, that Cheap Trick told their manager that they're thinking about taking this show on the round and performing "Surrender" mariachi-style at their upcoming gigs.  But you can decide for yourself

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Jaan Uhelszki was one of the founding editors at Detroit’s legendary Creem magazine. Since that time, her work has appeared in USA Today, Uncut, Rolling Stone, Spin, NME, Relix, and Guitar World. She is the only journalist to have ever performed in full makeup with Kiss. Luckily she only had to put…

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