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Oye cómo va Design: Nelson Ponce

As in a 45 rpm record

Side A (Chinichopo)

The group had been rehearsing for months but, due to a major oversight, of the eight pieces that had been assembled, only two were closed, so even though they sounded as good as they could, they were not ready. But as fate would have it, there was a big party in the neighborhood.

The authorities, who listened to them during the rehearsals, asked them to please entertain. They said no, the authorities that they would take into account the people's desire to dance, they said no. The authorities said there was no way to repay, they said they were not ready. The authorities that there would be a way to repay, they that they were not ready; the authorities that we have already heard them and they sound better than Los Van Van..., and the guys felt the pride swell in their chests.

They grabbed their gear, set up everything on the central stage, set out to liven up the party, and they did it. Only with a truly ingenious solution: every time they were about to finish one of those songs without closing, the director shouted to the güiro player, located at that time very close to the power cables: "Chinichopo, tumba el chucho! breaker in seconds. The orchestra would stop and after the classic: "Well, well, well!", they would start again with another piece. They say that it was one of the best parties in Palmarito de Cauto, in the municipality of Mella, Santiago de Cuba.

Cara B (Los del Jobo)

The musicians, who were mostly from El Jobo, in Tumba Siete, had played in as many small towns as possible, but had not been lucky enough to have audio, not even terrible audio. So seeing the Segundo Frente town square ready for a couple of thousand listeners thrilled every member of the group.

Traveling, in these towns, is not something that happens on P2, nor on the 29 or the A95. Nah, here you travel in Filfe's tractor, Conejo's guagua, on foot or on some beast, generally quiet; not always.

The truth is that once the audio was set up and the musicians were about to begin the ritual of tuning those instruments for at least 30 minutes, the director realized that there were problems in the troupe. He went to where the microphones were already installed, lightly felt with the tip of his fingers the perfect squeak of the Shure behind the six kilos of audio. He got a little scared, but more so when he said: "One, one!", and that sound seemed to reach Alto Songo. "Hey! Hey!" he stammered in fright and, coming to his senses, said to the thousands already listening: "Hey Juancito! We brought you here to take care of the beast... and look where Apolinar's mare is going".

As much as he tried to hide it, the anecdote haunts him so much that today I am writing it down. It must be one of the funniest misunderstandings in the history of music and, if not, just ask Alfredo Thomson, whom I heard laughing for 15 minutes in Pablo Milanés' studio, the day Eduardo Sosa was telling it to Emilio Vega and Tony Pinelli.

Rogelio Ramos Domínguez Writer of verses and songs. Full-time journalist and especially father of Claudia Ramos. More posts

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