Pot Zenda – Single (1970)

pot zenda - capa

Today’s post will have minor text info, quite because our friends from A Estos Hombres Tristes already made a small dossier about the artist, sadly, there’s no information about him on the net, too, let’s check it!

Let’s go to their history:

Argentina. We’ll have to go back in time, more specifically the late 50’s. Taking advantage of the explosion of Rock and Roll captained by Elvis Presley and its clones, RCA Argentina decided to start a fierce commercial strategy, beyond comparison of what was being made so far. With biweekly public concerts, dozens of Lp’s, frequent television shows and whole manufacture of new young idols, La Nueva Ola was born like that. Their Castellano versions of great American classics foresaw the pop mass consumption of these artists. Were part of this first cast, names like Chico Novarro, Palito Ortega, Violeta Rivas, Johnny Tedesco, Nicky Jones, amongst many others.

El Club del Clan
El Club del Clan

With the imminent success of the show, RCA and Channel 13 (El Trece) signed a contract to broadcast a weekly musical program, geared to a young audience, called El Club del Clan. It was aired for the first time on November 10, 1962. Starring a group of ‘friends’ where each artist represented a stereotypical character that corresponded to a musical genre, like Romantic, Tango, Twist, Bolero, Cumbia. A large second cast was formed this time and between them, there was a young Perico Gómez. The only Afro-American in the Clan used to wear a galley hat and always singed the Cumbia (solo or with duets); during the program, the protagonists talked about everyday situations and humorous sketches happened amid the presentations.

There’s a curious fact about it, because the same thing occurred in Brazil a bit later, on 1965, Jovem Guarda started its broadcast and with the same commercial musical proposal, launched artists like Roberto and Erasmo Carlos, Wanderléa and a whole bunch of teen idols that suddenly had TV programs, singles, albums, line clothes, action figures and a myriad of products for sale!

Jovem Guarda
Jovem Guarda

After one year on air, with more than three albums released, its national audience reached inedited peaks: scenes of collective hysteria were common in fashionable clubs, vying for the presence of his characters and certain profit. In 1964 the program already showed some attrition, and with the attendance of some participants to another channel (and program), the Club was canceled at the end of the year. The definitive entry of Beatlemania worldwide and in Argentina, helped the program losing ground amongst its fans eager for another product to consume.

In the late ’60s, Alfredo Aldo Céspedes, would change its name and style once again. The harmless and smiling Perico Gómez gives place to a more serious and mature Pot Zenda. Regarding this time, his name appears in the list of acknowledgments on the first Almendra Lp, he also collaborated with the band during the recordings. On its short career, he recorded three singles in diverse labels, participated in the Argentine version of Hair and after 1973 moved to Venezuela. There, he played throughout the country and died in an automobile accident in March 1988. His remains were then, taken to Buenos Aires where it received a grave. (RIP)

Club Clan Promos
Club Clan Promos

Let’s go to our album:

One year after changing its name, Pot Zenda entered at T.N.T. studios, in early 1970, accompanied by Edelmiro Molinari to record his first single, since the Club Clan era. Once again, Mandioca label is responsible for all production and distribution, the two songs appeared on the famous compilation Pidamos Peras a Mandioca released on the same year. He also participated in November at the Barrock festival.

With some horn attacks on the arrangements, Basta de Llorar, has its rock-soul pace with a great vocal performance and Edelmiro’s solos showing up; this uptempo song caught me in surprise, the silly beat/garage tender (so common at the time) evolves into a psychedelic bomb! Vuelvo a Sonreir takes us back to the Clan era, with mellow lyrics this romantic chanson got some orchestral tinges too.

As a bonus, I’ve added Heloisa. I have finally discovered where the song came from, a band called Totem from Uruguay, these chicos will appear soon here. Hea Teekond!

Tracks Include:

A1 Basta de Llorar

B1 Vuelvo a Sonreir

Bonus: Heloisa

Label – Mandioca MS-013

All songs and lyrics by: Alfredo Céspedes (Pot Zenda)

Companies

  • Recorded At: Estudios T.N.T.

Credits

  • Producer: Edelmiro Molinari
Club Clan Reunited
Club Clan Reunited

Almendra – First Singles (1968-1969)

almendra cópia

Today’s post will be a little extensive and will continue in future entries, through our ‘IM’ galaxy. Almendra deserves it. This is a first explanation essay, peace!

The holy triad of Argentine Rock, is composed by three groups, the first ones: Manal, a power-trio of blues psych-rock with great influence from CreamLos Gatos, Castellano Rock founders, with a pop beat olla, and finally, Almendra, certainly the most inventive and poetic, of the three, they released only two albums by RCA Argentina, until their end in 1971. Among them, a skinny leader: Luis Alberto Spinetta (January 23, 1950 – February 8, 2012), known as ‘El Flaco’, was a singer, guitarist, poet, composer, considered one of the greatest artists from his country.

His instrumental affluence, lyrical and poetic works, got his recognition throughout Latin America and also worldwide. He’s considered one of the godfathers from Argentine Rock, leading Almendra, Pescado Rabioso, Invisible, and many other bands, apart from his wide solo career. In his lyrics, there’s the influence of writers, philosophers, psychologists, artists such as Rimbaud, Van Gogh, Lü Dongbin, Jung, Freud, Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze, Artaud y Castañeda, as also, native cultures.

Almendra & Chicos
Almendra & Chicos

Almendra was a quartet. Before its first historical record, released in late 1969, Los Chicos, in his early year, launched over 5 single records in Argentina. Today on the ‘IM’, we’ll have the first part of the series: two singles, a left out and a B-Side:

1) Tema de Pototo (Luis Alberto Spinetta, Edelmiro Molinari) //////////////////////////// El Mundo Entre Las Manos (Luis Alberto Spinetta, Rodolfo García) [RCA Vik 31Z-1368] *

2) Hoy Todo el Hielo En La Ciudad (Luis Alberto Spinetta) ////////////////////////// Campos Verdes (Luis Alberto Spinetta, E. Del Guercio) [RCA Vik 31Z-1413] **

3) Gabinetes Espaciales (Luis Alberto Spinetta) /////////////////////////////////////// Compilation LP ‘Mis Conjuntos Preferidos’ [RCA Vik 3836] ***

4) Final (Luis Alberto Spinetta, E. Del Guercio) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// B-Side from [RCA Vik 31Z-1565] ****

Let’s go to their history:

Almendra had his first precedent in 1965, from the English rock bands Los Larkins and Los Sbirros, both from Bajo Belgrano a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Los Larkins was led by Rodolfo García, future drummer of Almendra, muchacho four years older than ‘El Flaco’ Spinetta and neighbors from the same neighborhood.

Color Humano
Color Humano

Spinetta: ‘Everything started on the 15th birthday of my sister. One of the guests was a pianist and played in a group called Los Larkins, they rehearsed very close to home, where Rodolfo played drums. One day I went to one of the tests with the suspicious eyes from my parents, they knew it was a definite step for me; when I entered and saw all those electric instruments, guitars unlike the Spanish or creole, I completely freaked out! From there I got this sound that is an emblem for me: bass, drums, and guitar.’

The other band that would give birth to Almendra, was Los Sbirros, composed by students from the same school that Spinetta, and was led by Edelmiro Molinari, who excelled at the dominion of electric guitar and Emilio del Guercio, future bassist. Spinetta started in Los Larkins, but played at any given time in both groups. Little by little they were merged in late 1966 and formed a quintet composed by Spinetta (voice), Rodolfo García (drums), Emilio del Guercio (bass), Edelmiro Molinari (guitar) y Santiago “Chago” Novoa (keyboards), they were 16, 17 years old on average and the foundations of what would be Almendra was ready.

Rehearsing
Rehearsing

In early 1967, Roldolfo García was drafted into military service. This fact made the band entered a one-year hiatus, more precisely the year that La Balsa, music from Los Gatos, composed by Lito Nebbia and Tanguito, explodes in the charts, achieving tremendous national success. It was the first original rock sung in Spanish and marks the beginning of a new musical style known in Argentina as Rock Nacional.

1967, 1968 and 1969 were years of great cultural transformations in Argentina and the world, placing the youth as a distinct social, revolutionary group: The Summer of Love that marked the birth of Hippie movement, the assassination of Che Guevara in Bolivia, the French May, the Prague Spring and domestically El Cordobazzo.

Live
Live

On this context, germinate the trends that Spinetta and other young Argentines both crave: take the vanguards of tango and folklore in order to give a sort of rock with local climate, sung in Castellano. The feat was a cultural rupture of enormous proportions, the esthetic standards of the time did not accept this unattended manifestation, especially in Spanish. On March 1968, García was discharged from military service and the group began rehearsing daily. Novoa, keyboardist, simply stopped going to rehearsals and the quintet turns into a quartet:

Luis Alberto Spinetta (leading voice and guitar)

Rodolfo García (drums and vocals)

Emilio del Guercio (bass and vocals)

Edelmiro Molinari (leading guitar and vocals)

Almendra Poster
Almendra Poster

In mid-1968, Ricardo Kleiman, the producer on the radio program La Noche en Modart’, which had enormous popularity with the youth from those years, went to see a band rehearsal, they played an own song with English titles, Where are You Going Mary Sue?. Kleiman was impressed and offer them a single record on RCA with Rodolfo Alchurrón as artistic director. The single was recorded somewhere in August, released on September 20, 1968, and set out for sale at the beginning of 1969.

Tracks include: Tema de Pototo, side A /// El Mundo Entre Las Manos, side B *

Tema de Pototo (Para Saber Cómo es la Soledad):

The first theme edited by the band was composed by Luis Alberto Spinetta to a college fellow who believed to have died on a trip to Bariloche (!). When he received the telegram denying the good news, the verses suggested: ‘La soledad es un amigo que no está / Es su palabra que no ha de llegar igual’. Years later the young prick called Mario D’Alessandro became the band’s official dentist! The theme has an orchestral accompaniment directed by Alchurrón composed of strings and woodwinds.

almendra 3 cópia

Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad:

The group releases another single record Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad, side a /// Campos Verdes, side b **, yet in 1968, and it’s from this one that the band begins to be noticed and established commercially.

Spinetta: ‘The Almendra singles are a work in itself, at the margin of the albums. The first two had consequences outside the band. On December 68′ came the second, which included Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad. There is here a poetic dimension that puts us at a distance of every beat wave, so common to the epoch; we passed by a minor key chorus and followed an epic escalation, with a baroque-pop feel!’

The myth of a dystopian frozen Buenos Aires comes in tune with ‘El Eternauta’ the great sci-fi story by Oesterheld. There is no hell or deluge, in the end, only the eternal ice that covers the sky across the days. Even at noon, there’s no sun.

These years also held two video clips, one of the first ones made ​​in Argentina.

Muertos de Mentira
Muertos de Mentira

The band’s debut on live stages, occurs at the disco Matoko’s in Mar del Plata, at Constitución avenue, a downtown nightlife balneary, where they played throughout the summer. For another magazine/publication of the time, Spinetta declared:

‘Ended the time of repeating what others do, translations, all of these vain things. We have to sing what is ours, what is authentic, from within.’

On January 2, 1969, they fix Gabinetes Espaciales ***  at TNT studios. The band wanted the track as A-side, future single, but RCA Argentina, eyeing the huge commercial success of a romantic rewriting made ​​by Leonardo Favio, re-launched as Para Saber Como es La Soledad, released the band’s third single record with a repeated song: Tema de Pototo, side A /// Final, side B ****

Final, the pretended ending for Almendra (first) Lp, was cut from the final tracklist due to time limitations. It enters here as a tuneful simple ballad B side!

Musica Joven
Musica Joven

Let’s go to our highlights:

Our choices may not be always based on greatest hits, however, it is undeniable the quality and importance for Tema de Pototo, a #1 hit, tremendously arranged, with a hippy aura. It should always be a choice in someone’s lists, a delightful 100% psychedelic! But today, the ‘IM’‘ highlights are for:

Campos Verdes and Gabinetes Espaciales.

Lastly, there isn’t a lot of photos from the band, especially with high quality available on the internet, however, there’s an incredibly rare book, with drawings, text and rare photos, released in 1970/71, that you can luckily check it.

Góð Ferð!!

Afterwards
Afterward (RIP, Flaco)