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BADEN POWELL │ History of the first Brazilian music concert in Spain (05/17/1981)

► It was the year 1981 and Spain was beginning to breathe...

The bitter memories of a time lived were beginning to be left behind, where the education received, one's thoughts, personal relationships and any artistic and/or cultural initiative were always a function of that stale political, social and economic situation in which the Of my generation we were born, we grew up and we suffered.

Those years of repression and lack of freedoms imposed on us the irreversible punishment of depriving ourselves of natural emotions, situations and any of those new and modern experiences, in line with and parallel to our age.

In all areas of life, our generation lost so much and so much...

And of course, among so much loss, music was not going to be an exception.

During all that long time, the best international artists scheduled their tours, systematically ignoring and ignoring our country.

The harsh reality is that we were on the sidelines of any concert by musicians who at that time were in their best moment and who toured the rest of Europe on routine tours, presenting their work and/or promoting their latest vinyls.

This was the case of Baden Powell .

For personal reasons, he left Brazil and went into self-exile in France, taking up residence in Paris.

Despite physically living just a few kilometers from our border, he never came to Spain until the political situation changed.

We were in the beginning of the 80's and a fresh air of openness, modernism and the beginning of freedoms, began to enter Spain and with it, unknown and never experienced emotions.

We had to start learning and living with all those sensations quickly.

Our priority and immediate objective was to recover (if that were possible) in a frantic way, all that lost time, since as Bob Dylan sang: "The times they're a-changing" │ "The times are changing."

It was confirmed. In the official Summer Concert program of the Villa, on May 17, 1981 at the Conde Duque de Madrid Barracks, Baden Powell .

The enclosure is actually a quadrangular military building with a large patio, to which for that occasion, a large awning/tent had been provisionally installed as a Circus.

The Conde Duque Barracks is part of the set of Cultural Centers of the Madrid City Council.

It wasn't the best place, nor the best acoustics, but we were all aware that it was a historic event...!

Carlos Benítez, Carlos Anglada & Ramón Benítez

Tickets were not numbered, nor could they be purchased in advance by any means other than strict direct sales at the box office on the day of the event.

By this I mean that you had to go a little early to be able to buy them and then save a second row to get a good seat.

I was accompanied by two of my most Out of Tune friends, the brothers Carlos and Ramón Benítez (photo above from the day of the Concert).

It was quite early, there were still more than three hours left, and there were already people waiting.

A boy who was right in front of me in line caught my attention, carrying a huge radio-cassette device, the largest I had ever seen.

We talked about Bossa Nova, about how lucky we were to be there.

When I asked him about the radio-cassette, he told me that he intended to record the entire concert on tape... What a good idea...!

For my part, I carried my Canon AT-1 reflex camera with all the lenses. In this case, the film chosen was Kodak │ 36-photo reel │ Black and white.

It was as if we both wanted to immortalize and transfer those moments to some physical medium, which like any feeling in life, because it is the first, it is always the most special and unrepeatable.

Well, the dreamed moment has arrived...

Baden Powell in Madrid (05/17/1981)
Baden Powell in Madrid (05/17/1981)

In an atmosphere of anxiety and great expectation, Baden Powell appeared walking slowly across the stage, accompanied only by his violão.

He was very thin, wearing a white social shirt and black pants.

As if pushed by an automatic spring, we all stood up, giving him a long and great ovation.

We gave those spontaneous, nervous and electric initial applause to the Brazilian musician whom we had heard a thousand times on imported records.

That virtuoso Brazilian vinyl guitarist at 33 1/3 rpm. that played on the " violão " (guitar) those prodigious and impossible harmonies that seemed from another planet...

Finally, after so long, in that magical moment, we had the great Baden Powell just a few meters away.

As a first impression, I remember that Baden Powell seemed older to me.

Instinctively and unconsciously he had memorized the image of the young Brazilian musician on the album covers, without glasses, without a mustache, and a few years younger.

I had not thought that genetically time passes the same for everyone. and I had imagined him immortal.

Baden Powell in Madrid │ Veranos de la Villa (05/17/1981)
Baden Powell in Madrid (05/17/1981)

The Concert had two very different parts:

Baden began playing classical, baroque, very elaborate songs. The most focused, erudite and technical Baden Powell was there.

The second part was closer to us: " Garota de Ipanema", "Desafinado" , " Samba de umanota só" , " O pato" , " Tristeza" , " Samba da Benção" , " Samba da minha Terra" , etc. ....

"Samba da Benção" │ Samba of the Blessing (Baden Powell & Vinícius de Moraes)

It is better to be happy than to be sad, joy is the best thing that exists

It's like having a light in your heart.

To make a Samba with beauty, a little sadness is necessary.

Making Samba is not a game, whoever composes or plays like that is as if they were not doing anything,

A good Samba is a form of prayer.

Because Samba is sadness that fluctuates in balance,

Sadness always has hope, that of one day stopping being sad...

Put a little love in the cadence and you will see that no one surpasses the beauty of Samba,

Because Samba was born in Bahia (BA) and if today he is white in poetry,

He is black (and very much so) at heart.

Vinícius de Moraes for example, the " Capitão do Mato " as he himself said,

He was the blackest white man in Brazil, from the direct line of " Xangó ", " Saravá " (Hail)...!

Returning to the Concert, I remember as an especially exciting moment, when Baden Powell changed the lyrics of his song " Samba Triste":

"Sem você meu amor eu não sou ninguém" by "Sem você meu Poeta eu não sou ninguém" , in loving and heartfelt memory of his great friend Vinícius de Moraes, who died just a few months before in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ) .

Baden Powell in Madrid (05/17/1981)
Baden Powell in Madrid (05/17/1981)

After several " bonuses ", Baden Powell greeted us with his inseparable violão from the edge of the stage under a heavy rain of applause, smiling and promising to return to Madrid.

Reality had once again surpassed fiction and our imagination of "what the Baden Powell Concert would be like" had fallen short, very short.

Those almost two hours of excellent music by the first Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) artist to visit Spain after several decades, are still unforgettable today.

Our collective happiness certified that moment.

► Euphoric, I approached the boy I had met at the entrance:

- "Hello, have you recorded it"...?

- "All"...! he answered.

- "Hey, could you make me a copy of the tape"...?

- " Okay, call me on this phone number and in a few days I'll give it to you"...

- " Thank you, I will also make copies of the photos for you, I will call you for sure"...

- "Okay, we'll stay like this."

We bid farewell cordially, aware of the moment we experienced.

A couple of weeks passed and I called his house, asking about him.

On the other end of the phone was his mother, who in a dull voice asked me who I was:

- "Madam..., you don't know me. I am a friend who met your son a few days ago at the Baden Powell Concert, a Brazilian musician, and I agreed to call him to pick up a copy of the audio tape that he recorded "... - "My son was in a traffic accident last weekend and died..., but you can come home whenever you want, to see if we can find the recording."

The next day I went to his house, we entered his room.

And there was the cassette tape on his study table.

It was the original tape, a TDK Super Avilyn Chrome C-90 minute.

TDK SA-C90 │ Baden Powell Concert Recording
TDK SA- C90 │ Baden Powell Concert Recording

- "Here, take it..., he would have wanted to give it to you, he was crazy about this music...

I had some copies of the photos I had taken in an envelope, and I gave them to his mother:

- "Madam, I leave these photos here, the last time I spoke with him, I agreed that I would bring them to you..., goodbye and thank you very much...!

► I can never be too grateful for the generosity and fortitude of his family in those tragic and sad moments...

Fate had uprooted the seed of a future friendship.

More than 40 years have passed, and I still have not forgotten his excitement and his emotion visible in the shine of his eyes (perhaps also a reflection of mine) at the end of the Concert.

Thanks to your initiative, I have the best possible memory:

The complete and exclusive recording of the First MPB Concert in Spain and by the way, despite being recorded with the ambient microphones of that enormous radio-cassette, the quality for the time is fantastic, impeccable.

Its recording is actually a historical piece.

Thank you Pepe Tejada, "Saravá"...!
Thank you Pepe Tejada, "Saravá"...!

This editorial of BOSSA NOVA CLUBE It is dedicated with special affection to PEPE TEJADA , without a doubt a great "Desafinad"....!

Baden Powell (1937 ~ 2000) kept his promise and played again in Madrid a few years later, and by the whim of fate, he did so in exactly the same place.

This time, apart from his violão, his sons Marcel and Philippe accompanied him.

It was in 1996, but that's another story...

PS ► This post was originally published on www, on 09/08/2009

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