“Olé Olé Olé Olé! Gauchos, gauchos..” is how the UCSB chant goes.
For most people, gauchos are known as cowboys in Argentina. For a few others, it’s a connection to a small Californian paradise, also known as the mascot for the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
It’s now been 10 years since I left that beautiful college campus, and last weekend as I re-visited the town of Santa Barbara for our alumni reunion, I couldn’t help but draw some very clear connections between the life I live today and the life I lived a decade ago.
For the past 5 years I have had the fortune to travel with Rebelution as their tour DJ, and more recently their assistant tour manager. I have been across the country, and even across oceans helping them spread their message of good vibes and gratitude. A message that I believe was instilled in every founding member before the band Rebelution was even created.
While attending UCSB, it is common for most students to live in a small beach town called Isla Vista. Almost 2 square miles comprised of mostly UCSB students, it is a unique place to live because 99% of your neighbors are your fellow UCSB Gauchos. It’s a strange hybrid paradise where dorm life meets beachside community.
When the weekends arrived during my time living in Isla Vista, Gauchos never hesitated to celebrate our good fortune. Every weekend copious parties rotated between various groups of friends, and the main street of Del Playa never had a shortage of ragers. I can still hear people saying “On Friday night the Marley house is hosting Rebelution, the dolphin house is getting 3 kegs, and the snow club house is having a dubstep party.” We used to say that no one needed Greek life to have a rich social life in Isla Vista, because everyone knew how to be gracious hosts.
So you might see how this culture of gracious hosting starts to connect some of Rebelution’s core values to the Gaucho way of life. Gauchos were great at welcoming large groups of friends into their homes with open arms. Not to mention bountiful booze and dank weed haha! While the main requirements for entry into any house party were just good vibes and gratitude.
And for me, these are the same requirements for entry into a Rebelution show: good vibes and gratitude. For anyone that has also been to a Rebelution show I think you know that we do our best to welcome everyone with those same open arms, complimented with great live music.
So whether you have spent time in Santa Barbara or not, I hope everyone who reads this can connect with their inner Gaucho as often as they can. What a beautiful world it would be if we were all more gracious hosts.