Once a rocker, always a rocker


Amanda Lira

On Thurs., Oct. 31, Mr. Roger Rios reminisces about his rocker days and playing guitar with The Mosleys, a surf garage band he was a member of during his teenage years. “It was a joke to us because we weren’t trying to make it big,” Rios said. “We turned down three record deals and many gigs.”

Moises Martinez Cortez, Writer/Community Editor

Freshman/Junior English teacher, Roger Rios, was once part of The Mosleys, a 90s Orange County garage-rock band.

Although he was a member of several musical groups, his involvement in The Mosleys was the lengthiest lasting from the mid 90s until 2005. Rios’ band days began long before his teaching career in high school.

“At first it wasn’t like we had shows.” Rios said, “ We were total dorks in a garage with a recorder.”

Fellow English teacher Kelly Stratford worked with Mr. Rios for years and was not aware about his band history. Although she had no idea about it, she was not shocked by the news.

“I’m definitely not surprised because we’ve talked about poetry and writing before, so I know he has a very artistic approach to life,” Stratford said.

Rios went on to join The Mosleys with fellow classmate and fashion icon Paul Frank, who was known as Bunny Mosley in the band. Although the teacher played the maracas on certain occasions, his niche in the band was as the rhythm guitarist.

The band’s musical influences ranged from artists like Dave and the Deke Combo to surf bands like The Milkshakes, which played a substantial role in the band’s garage surf-rock sound.

The Mosleys’ style was part of an underground rock band scene in which bands were known for their unorthodox attire and fashion statements. Bands performed dressed as mummies and even astronauts. The Mosleys had their own unique style as well.

“We looked like sixties fratboys with our Mr. Rogers-style cardigans,” Rios said. “We were sixties-style pimpin’.”

Other wardrobe features for the band included color-coordinated clothes and even Rico Suave wigs. The members of the band each had their own stage name as well. Rios was known as the one and only T Rex Mosley.

The Orange County band toured from San Diego to Los Angeles performing at renowned places such as The Hollywood Palladium and The Majestic Ventura Theatre. Some of the band’s gigs were much lesser known.

“We once played at a Turkish Wedding for about 50 people,” Rios said. “Wherever there was an amp, we were there.”

Being in The Mosleys, Rios encountered an array of musical personalities. Some included celebrities like Gwen Stefani and bands like Divo and Grammy-winning duo, The White Stripes.  He remembers hearing the Stripes play for the first time.

“I remember thinking God this is horrible. She can’t even play those drums and he’s weird,” Rios stated,  “but we all slowly would drift back in because their sound was kind of kooky, but we liked it.”

As the years carried on The Mosleys began playing with less frequency. Lead singer Paul Frank started having work issues after being fired from his own company and drummer Palmsley Mosley toured with other bands like The Aquabats. Rios ended up taking a separate path of his own as well.

“We just took a break and never got back together,” Rios said. “Life happened.”

Rios admitted his goal for The Mosleys was never to get famous, but to enjoy the music.

“We turned down record deals. We turned down really good shows because we didn’t like promoters, and we thought it was funny,” Rios stated.

Rios also revealed that his band experience changed the way he taught his students. It helped him relate to students on a more personal level.

“It made being a teenager more accessible,” Rios said. “We’re so busy as adults trying to tell you guys what the real world is like, that it helps me take myself less seriously.”

Those who do know Mr. Rios know about his musical past. Student Ricardo Vargas has the teacher for his fourth period class and likes him even better knowing he was in The Mosleys.

“I think it’s freaking amazing that he was in a band,” Vargas said.

Although The Mosleys never had sold out tours or made it to national fame, it always remains a huge part of Rios’ life and showed him the meaning of being a rockstar.