Rockers don’t wear Dockers, Mr. E.
When guitarist Sergio Estrada and the band Relax Max take the House of Blues stage January 9 with fellow rockers the 6ONE9 band and Madman and Arena, he expects to see a lot of his friends in the audience. And, he says, there’s always some of his fellow school teachers who show up.
- Friday, January 9, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
By day, Estrada is a mild-mannered 53-year-old. He teaches at Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona, and has since 2000. He works the 12-to-14-year-old age group. “I teach video production, I’m the yearbook teacher, and I’m the bilingual coordinator.”
When asked if any of his students know much about Estrada’s alter ego as a hard-rocking guitarist in such local groups as Monsters of Rock, he tells the Reader, “They know I’m in a band, but they think it’s a wedding band or something like that. To them, I’m still Mr. Estrada.”
He also hosts an after-school club that meets on campus for jam sessions in one of his video studios. “I’ve got a stack of amplifiers in there and some drums.” Taylor Guitars in El Cajon donated five electric guitars to the cause. “It’s a funny thing: some of the students Googled me and came in with pictures of me onstage. ‘Wow,’ they say. ‘Pretty cool.’” Some students learned they share an interest in ancient rock music with their teacher.
“They recognize AC/DC and Led Zeppelin and classic rock bands like that. Their parents are the source.” It follows that some of their parents are also fans of Estrada’s bands. When students finally come to understand the reach of Mr. Estrada’s gold-top Les Paul guitar, does his currency as a teacher increase in the classroom? Yes. “I’m not that guy in Dockers pants or a suit and tie.” Estrada has a certain cool factor, he explains, “but at the same time, when it’s time to drop the hammer, I drop the hammer.”