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Kenny Marquez is a noted guitarist, who gained fame in the 1980s as a member of the rock band Renegade.

As one of the members of the multi-million selling rocker quartet, Renegade, Kenny Marquez is known for his outrageous banter and behavior that helps the band distinguish itself with their signature sound and cutting-edge presentation. Within the latin community, Renegade and its members have been referred to as "Chicano Rock Gods.

Early Years

Marquez was born in East LA at USC Medical Centermarker. His mother was a product of the radical 60s and 70s. Involved in the protests and boycotts of the day, Marquez often saw his mother on TV, participating in sit-ins and playing her guitar. Marquez's mother taught him how to play "House of the Rising Sun" on the guitar at the age of six or seven.

While attending Jr. High, Marquez enrolled in Guitar class to see what he could gain. Playing everything from hard rock tunes to John Denver's "Lady," Kenny Marquez got noticed for his talents as a musician. He notes, "People called me the human jukebox at school. I could play anything. I've had that ability as long as I can remember."

Marquez appeared regularly in school theatrical productions (He loves "Annie Get Your Gun"), and was often featured as a soloist at concerts and plays. Although the high school he attended was considered a "rough one," Marquez credits the music as a way to stay out of trouble and create a persona for himself. "I'd bring my guitar to school with me everyday," he says. "But I was popular with ALL the various cliques in school because I could play anything." Marquez tasted his first band experience during his sophomore year. "I played with a band whose guitar player hung with an older kid by the name of Michael Anthony who went on to play in Van Halen. Tony Cogiano gave Kenny tips on playing lead guitar and by the time he was in his teens, the band was playing The Whiskeymarker and Gazzarri's and at the same time, gaining limited experience in the recording studio.

Becoming a Member of Renegade

Content, but not really advancing his career or skills at any great speed, a High School pal brought Kenny a cassette of a band he was playing with and asked if he'd like to come to the rehearsal studio to meet the band. "We jammed all night and I thought it went pretty well," remembers Kenny. "After we finished and I was packing up my Marshall amp, the band's producer suggested that I leave the amp and come back in a few days to jam a little more. I didn't really know these guys, but something between myself, the drummer and the producer meshed. So I agreed and before long, it was official and I was a Renegade."

Soon Renegade drummer/vocalist Luis Cardenas and Kenny were coming up with songs on the spot. "It was very cool and strange at the same time, "says Marquez. "It was like our minds were in the same place and I felt like I had known Luis my entire life." Along with band members Danny David Flores and Tony De La Rosa, Renegade was coming together quite nicely.

Within a month the guitarist who had introduced Marquez to Renegade had left to pursue other interests, so for the time being, the signature Renegade double lead guitar licks fell to Marquez. "It was a turning point in my life," he says. "I began to practice my butt off, day and night. I'd watch guitar players and sit for hours with my axe, rolling my fingers and working on licks blind folded. I became almost militaristic in my routine."

Renegade Today

The band attribute their multi-million success to the fact that egos have never gotten in the way of Renegade's vision. "We feed off each other. It's a very healthy and creative working environment." And regarding Marquez' signature energetic on-stage performances, he adds, "I'm very hyper when we play. But I'm hyper when I'm sitting around watching TV. I'm just one of those guys with a lot of bottled-up energy."


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