Tonight we decided to have an authentic Argentine rock fest. A few of the guys and I went to the store and bought some serious rock food. There is no rock party without soda, cheese puffs, and pizza, so we got tons of it. Since rock is one of my favorite genres of music, I knew tonight was going to be a blast!

I scoped out the stage and the sound system this morning at breakfast. Our hotel used to be a dinner theater, so they kept the stage as a tribute to the hotel’s history. I knew this would make the best stage for a night of rock. It also happened to have all the musical instrument back stage. We were so lucky to find the equipment, but it was dusty as all heck. I’ve never been opposed to a little spring cleaning, so it took me no time to dust it off and get it ready for our rock fest.

Rock in Argentina started out as voice for the youth of the 1960s who opposed the wars and tyranny of the times. It was music with a message. With this in mind, I wrote a song dedicated to the times. Of course I was too chicken to sing it myself, so I gave the lead vocals to our Argentinean buddy, Mario. He’s a huge fan of Soda Stereo and Divididos, who are uber famous rock band in Argentina, and the song was similar to their styles. I also had to remember that one of the most important parts of Argentinean rock is the Spanish lyrics. That’s what differentiated the rock stars from Argentina and the other popular artists from the United States and the UK. I had Mario check the lyrics for correctness, but he said that rock didn’t have to make sense, it had to move people. So he left all my lyrics alone.

With every rock band, there has to be a rocker look, so Mario brought us a Pelo Magazine from 1972 for inspiration. We found a band called Pappo’s Blues, which is a rock trio from the 1970s. They were influential in the blues/metal movement in Argentina. There’s this picture of them in V-neck, striped shirts, scarves, and wild messy hair. That was the look we wanted, so we dressed the part.

arco_iris_disco_llego_el_cambio_1972

Then the time came to hit the big stage. We laid all the instruments out, we had all the microphones ready, we’d channeled our inner Argentine rocker spirits, and the spotlight was on us. We were ready to be a success! The only problem was . . . none of us knew how to play a single instrument! I was thinking they could play and they were thinking I could play. We were absolutely hopeless at that point. All I could think to do was play chopsticks on the piano while Mario sang. We got booed off the stage and someone threw cheese puffs at us.

I couldn’t be mad at them for giving us the old “Apollo Theater Exit.” We stunk up the joint! But, I will say we couldn’t have been the only rock band in Argentina to get booed off of a stage. Rock in Argentina was underground for a long time when it first started. Bands played in old pizza joints and clubs. So I don’t think we were bad, we were just misunderstood. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Activities:

  1. What is your favorite musical band? Why?
  2. Read about the history of Soda Stereo, one of Argentina’s top bands. http://latinmusic.about.com/od/soda_stereo/a/Soda-Stereo.htm When was the band created? What are the names of the band members?
  3. Listen to Soda Stereo’s hit Música Ligera http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGDb_uFEuiM and follow the lyrics. How is it similar and different from American bands?