I already talked about the cigar and its things. Here goes another. The old man is one of those people who can construct an invariable truth from someone's opinion. It is enough that it is issued at the right time and place, and he is in the right mood to welcome it eternally. When that happens, forget it. The facts could hit him in the face, the issuer himself could retract his opinion, that it would be too late if he came to process it in order.
One of these truths that was put together was that Fito Páez was a man 15 years ahead of his time. eye! It's not 20 or 10! It's 15! Let not the evaluators of early types be confused. Where did you get it from? I don't know. It would be necessary to review the culture sections of the 1987 newspapers, and see if something similar was said on the occasion of Rosario's first concert in Havana, or trace the more than 5,000 attendees of Karl Marx (among whom was my father). and see if anyone remembers saying that in the hallway or in the men's room. The truth is that if you corner him and ask him to define Fito as an artist, I risk my life that he will drop the catchphrase “A man 15 years ahead of his time”.
This album was not so unknown to me when I first heard it. I had already met 11 and 6 and Ground Wire in two live works: Euphoria (WarnerMusic, 1996) and troubadours (CBS, 1986), respectively, the first by the Argentine musician himself, the second by his Cuban colleague Santiago Feliú, with whom he also shared the stage there. They are two piano songs, which have a different sound from the rest. The overall sound of the album is more that of Tachycardia or Narcissus and Quasimodo, and the change in the sequence of tracks is noticeable, as if the fourth and sixth were traveling as stowaways. That never bothered me much, probably because they were already familiar to me, which meant that they were left out of the process of discovery and appropriation. Consequently, they do not come to mind when I think of Giros (Emi, 1985), as if they were not part of it.
11 and 6 is, as Páez himself has stated, his Yesterday. When I sit down with the guitar on the sofa, first I tune it and, immediately afterwards, as part of that same ritual, I quickly play two songs that, after having played them for so long, by dint of knowing each one of its curves, each one of their moles, they have already become the mold that tells me how my viola should sound. One is little daytime serenade, of the genius of San Antonio accommodated in Havana, and the other 11 and 6. It is the typical subject that its authors come to abhor. I could no longer say, convinced, that I like it, or perhaps that I don't like it. It is there, it is part of the body. When have you seen someone say "how I like my foot!" or “how bored I am of my hands!”? You don't think in those terms about your own structure. Well, the same thing happens to me with the story of the boys who met by chance in a cafe.
I could never learn Ground Wire with the guitar, and then in the parks he sang it a cappella. He began with his eyes open: “If you are between going back and not going back…”. Later I thought I was at the Obras stadium. He reopened them in the last stanza (which is the same as the beginning, but with more sweat, more voluptuousness, more blood on his face), after having shouted fervently: "If you're blinded by power...!" During the course of the performance, I was always afraid that my friends, callous barbarians, precious nerds sacrilegious, for fuck's sake, they'll leave me alone making a fool of myself and take the bottle away.
Giros It's another song that I had already recorded before copying Fito's discography, although in a less conventional way. I had seen a novice Páez on some afternoon variety show, more hair and glasses than people, hidden behind the keyboards on the left side of an Argentine television set from the '80s, interpreting it. I was very young, but I suppose that I would already have the fiber half soft, ready enough for the accident of seduction, because the image and the music produced that atonal fascination, still, that occurs when we only observe the strange, a few minutes before of the trial. At that moment the mouth of the eyes opens, dismounts in astonishment, and the brain is not processing, it just receives, sprawled, until the show ends. The impact is so strong that it cannot do both at the same time.
It must be among the songs I've listened to the most in my life, and it still doesn't bore me. If I think quickly of others like this, they occur to me Promises about the bidet, Charlie or Bacalao con panof the Irakere. They are works that have anticorrosive, antifungal and blanket, they could be stored in the most humid corner, or remain outdoors for years, that neither rust nor verdigris enters there. This is a great record, from Cabo de San Antonio to Punta de Maisí, but after the opening, none of the remaining eight pieces reaches the same level (not even I come to offer my heart, which is an endearing theme, despite all the efforts that Cuban pandemic television is making to turn it into a cell phone ringtone). Is that Giros, the theme, has the delicacy, the city lordship of tango, but also the gaucho toughness of pampero folklore. He is everything that Fito was at that moment: a provincial getting used to the slight vibration of the subway in his heels.
It cannot be said that this record sounds good, nor that it has an exquisite production, as happened with most of what Fito did in the '90s. For example, Daniel Wirtz's drums sound dry, muffled, as if they were afraid of sounding, and they also added this strange effect, looking for impact, which unbalances the performance, making it seem that the only thing that sounds is the box. I do love the timbre of the album though. I think if it sounded good it wouldn't be the same. Is personal. My link with that doorbell goes beyond its technical qualities. This is the Fito that I prefer. That of the '80s, that of the return of democracy to Argentina; despite what they meant The love after Love or beat circus (for his career and for half the Spanish-speaking world), and for having dispatched me Opens with serial killer phlegm. This Fito, who is a bit more of a poet, who said in 1987 “Rays of sun, at the time of the sun”.
Every time I listen to the album I think of the old man, and that perhaps, for once in my life, I have to pay attention to him. Not because the Argentine has broken some paradigm, nor he has found the secret of Coca Cola 15 years earlier, but because in 1985, about to turn 22, he had reached this stage of lyrical maturity: “A bandoneon sounds. It seems like the other guy's but it's me, I keep walking the same, whistling a rusty tango ”. That is Fito Páez's relationship with time.