Legendary Gon Bops Percussion is Here
The Gon Bops legend began in 1954 California when Mexican-American Mariano Bobadilla (born in Guadalajara) – who would go on to become one of the most highly-regarded conga builders in the percussion industry – started designing and building Conga and Bongo drums. A band instrument repairman and professional trumpet player, Bobadilla launched Gon Bops in his father’s old wooden garage in a downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. He chose the name Gon Bops because “Gon” was one of the colloquial expressions of the time, as in, “everything is gone, man” – and “Bops” because his friends nicknamed him Bob, which sounded like “Bop” in the Latino dialect.
Gon Bops enjoyed great early success. The instruments were highly sought after by the top players of the era – giants like Alex Acuna, Mongo Santamaria, Francisco Aguabella, Armando Peraza, Poncho Sanchez, Jose Hernandez and Rich Barrientos – all of whom contributed invaluable R&D input. Gon Bops quickly became the undisputed leader in Latin percussion instruments and remained so throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Mariano remained deeply committed to a hands-on role in production and retained complete control of the design and fabrication of all his products. As a result, Gon Bops instruments were mainstays on the biggest stages around the world, including the massive Woodstock festival in 1969.
Today, Gon Bops remains one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of Latin instruments in the world.