First fact for the day: According to a bunch of studies cited on Wikipedia, up to 62.5% of the population of Argentina has some degree of Italian descent.
Second fact for the day: Picking and choosing fruits and vegetables is an art form I’ll never, ever, master.
Johny Tedesco was (is) a real singer. He started his career singing mostly Spanish adaptations of Elvis Presley songs and other American hits, which might explain the very peculiar phonetic choices that were made for his stage name. And yes: the very intricate sweaters became his trademark, even getting some people to call him “The Sweater King”.
While some of his peers from El Club del Clan managed to transform their careers and keep themselves somewhat “current” (pivoting to tango or even politics), Johny Tedesco’s name would always be associated with certain corniness of the pre-Beatles local pop music scene.
Previously, we learned about Estela’s enthusiasm for the the TV show that will start airing that same night. We’ll now let her expand on it a little bit:
Perico (Parakeet) Gómez was the stage name for one of the “tropical style” singers of the show. I always wondered about that nickname. Was that how his family called him? Was it given by the producers? Did he find it amusing?
We can see him here on a short number taken from the 1964 Club del Clan movie.
A Colombian immigrant at the somewhat early stages in the popularization of Cumbia in Argentina (and all of South America), he played a role that now seems to be a little forgotten. Interestingly enough, what seems to have been even more forgotten are his later musical endeavors. Changing his name to Pot Zenda, he was probably the only member of the show to successfully involve himself with the more “credible” and art infused local rock scene of late 60s and early 70s.
He recorded on the first Almendra album (now considered a “fundational” record) and later recorded some singles of his own.
As a curiosity, there’s this song, written for him (in english!) by Luis Alberto Spinetta (one of the most important musicians in the country, probably meaning to Argentina something similar to what Bob Dylan means to the USA, if that helps understand things a little bit).
A couple of years after that, he moved to Venezuela, where he kept playing music. There’s this video of a TV presentation from that period where he starts singing on a somewhat french, café-concert style. I think there’s a very special charisma to it.
He died on a car accident on Venezuela in 1988. I wonder if and how he’s remembered over there.
In case you were wondering, yes, that was a real TV show. It’s title can be translated as “The Clan’s Club”, and it makes as little sense in Spanish as it does in English.
I guess it had a certain ring to it that felt youthful and modern (words that, around those days, were starting to mean “english”). It might not be necessary to to explain this, but just in case: in Argentina, the word “Clan” doesn’t have the connotations it has in the USA.
Next week we’ll learn more about Argentinean TV in the 60’s: everybody’s favorite topic!
So, it starts here. I once heard someone mention something in passing and I thought there was a story somewhere there. Then I spent years trying to figure out exactly what that story was.
Earlier this year I was working an office job. I’d usually bike to the office (downhill) and walk back home (uphill). It was a 30 minute walk that I’d sometimes break by stopping at a café where I’ll try to draw or write, with mixed results. One of those days I sat down with my americano and a semi-disappointing chocolate chip cookie and wrote the whole outline for this comic in about 25 minutes.
Since then, I’ve quit that job and moved out of that apartment, but I do still get disappointed when I have a not-so-great cookie and I’ve kept the outline for this comic pretty much the same.
See you next Wednesday!