I was born at noon and fifteen on July 28, 1953, in São Paulo, at Pro Matre (Bela Vista neighborhood). Leo, with a Scorpio ascendant and the Moon alone and lacking in Pisces. I was raised in Santo Amaro (which I call Santo Amaro da Pollution – the antithesis of Santo Amaro da Purificação by Caetano, Bethânia and her talented family). I lived in a good house with modern architecture for the time – but no snob – my parents were always low-profile, very hardworking. Dr. Gelson, a surgeon, and Dona Hebe, a librarian and translator, were strict parents, especially with their only son.
I have two sisters, Ana Cristina, older than me by a year and two months, a Physical Education teacher, and Heloisa, younger than me by nine, a doctor. I studied in the primary school at Alberto Conte, in Santo Amaro, and the gym in the legendary Vocational of Brooklyn.
With the AI-5, there was an intervention at the school, and my mother preferred that I go to Roosevelt, in Liberdade, finish the gym and do high school. In the second year of high school, I was asked by the principal to leave because I was very delinquent. Egg wars, fights, disorders happened every day…
Really, except in elementary school, when I got high marks (evidently, D. Hebe was doing the lessons together), I was never a brilliant student because I was too clown in all classes. He was a teacher, he was always laughing out loud and being kicked out of the classroom, always a lot of clown, but in the end I did well studying a year in a month.
At the piano, I was a terrible student, I never went from Inventions to two voices by Bach, which I love. In Santo Amaro, I had Dona Joanita as a private teacher and then, already living in Jardim Paulista, I had two other teachers, Helio and Gorga, all hardworking, but it was useless – I was dispersive and undisciplined.
Once, I took out a difficult piece by Handel, Harmonious Blacksmith, just listening to the vinyl with the Wanda Landowska harpsichord, and went, as a joke, to pretend that I had studied with the score. Dona Joanita noticed that when I changed the page, I continued to play, without turning the page. Ready. I was unmasked in the act – I remember it fondly. I spent the holidays in Santos, Praia Grande, Campos do Jordão, but mainly in Araraquara, with my dear grandmother Iracema and my grandfather Luiz, lawyer at IAPI.
It was a happy childhood, with lots of ice cream, movies, flying a kite and playing ball (half wooden leg) – it was good with a roller cart. My father had a decisive role in my musical formation, playing his Brazilian guitar (he played very well, in a traditional regional language, with sambas, sambas-song, chorinhos). He was also the one who always took records home, from bossa nova to the Beatles, constantly tuned in to the news. We were not among the first in the neighborhood to have a Hi Fi – a stereo phonograph, the last word …
At six years old I was playing a cavaquinho, a Christmas present, and later a mandolin. Then I was sent by my parents to study piano, around six years old, when they bought a Kastner cabinet, very good by the way, manufactured by Pianofatura Paulista, with a German machine, which would later be called Fritz Dobbert … it always sounded inside my head, as if there was a radio always on. Maybe that’s why I never (and still can’t) listen to many records. Boy, I was listening to music and thinking how good it must be that hidden figure, the COMPOSER, the one who plays the music, who generates the initial signal, the foundation …
Of course, some records have been exhaustively listened to throughout my life, and I would list them here: the vinyl Chega de Saudade, by João Gilberto, with Bim Bom on the other side, is the absolute champion; Edu Lobo with Samba Trio, Baden Powell and many others from the label Elenco de Aloysio de Oliveira; Elis and Tom (in fact Tom is my absolute King), very Taiguara, very Chico, Caetano, Gil, very Milton, Lô Borges and the wonderful movement of Minas. Of the internationals, Glenn Miller, Ray Charles, Beatles, Stones, Santana, Steppenwolf, The Who, Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Clapton, Faces with Rod Stewart, Gentle Giant, Hendrix, Vangelis solo and in his Aphrodide´s Child and the Italian progressive group Le Orme are the ones I remember most. The 60’s were very rich, it is impossible not to be here being unfair to something …
Studying at Roosevelt, where I used to go by tram, I took Pamplona, I went to Paulista, between the big houses, crossed the Paraiso dos Árabes and the shoe stores, and went down to Vergueiro to Liberdade.
It didn’t even exist on the 23rd of May, where there was a valley with a stream in the middle – it had the Söhnksen and Brahma chocolate factory, exhaling its malt smell.
Dos anos 60, lembro-me dos festivais e sua sensação maravilhosa do novo. Meu tio Cyro Lima Arantes trabalhava na TV Record, junto ao Marcos Lázaro, e sempre pintavam convites para os Finos da Bossa, Jovem Guarda, etc. Fui um rapaz de sorte, vi com meus próprios olhos o surgimento de toda uma geração de ouro da MPB, todos novinhos, universitários tímidos no palco, sem saber bem o que fazer com a fama – que lindo – quanta diferença se a gente comparar com os ídolos de hoje, empresários milionários com sua eficiência específica, previsível, e muitas vezes corruptora, com a ascensão do jabá. Acho que ocorreu uma mudança na cultura de massa, em direção ao funcional, à esperteza marqueteira, onde tudo parece compartimentado e bem comportado. Enfim, cada tempo é de um jeito – e naquela época havia muita utopia no ar – as pessoas estavam juntas pensando diferente – hoje cada um está na sua, mas todo mundo pensa igual.
I remember well the Day-After of the festival where Caetano (Alegria Alegria, a total revelation), Chico (Roda Viva), Vandré (Fired) sang, O Cantador with Elis, Sergio Ricardo and his wonderful attitude of non-conformity, Gil and Os Mutants with Sunday in the Park, etc.
At school, in fact, throughout Brazil, discussions and differences of opinion placed Popular Music as the great space for existential debate. In those turbulently beautiful years, I became a teenager, and I set up my first set with the school staff.
So, I got to know Chicão, Pudim, Michelin, Kadú (Moliterno) and Capê. Polissonante did not actually pass much of the rehearsals and some presentations at Tennis Club and at the Military Circle, where it was great to play. We used to make fun of the electric bus for Aclimação, dropping bags of marbles on the floor, and in the rehearsals of the set I shone because I took everything by ear at the time, I was the youngest in the class, the girls enjoyed my baby face (full of pimples, for about 6 years of unforgettable anguish).
At Aclimação, I met the people of Lee Jackson (formerly Amebha), who would become a storehouse for executives from the world of records – Marcos Maynard, Claudio Condé, Sergio Lopes, Maluly, Marco Bissi.
We would cross paths much later on CBS, Polygram, etc. In the meantime, I debuted as a musician playing with Jorge Mautner, for having friends with the geniuses Diogenes Burani, drummer, and Rodolfo Grani, bassist, who were part of Jorge’s band, along with Tico Terpins (from Joelho de Porco) and the wonderful Carneiro, Nelson Jacobina, of whom I have fond memories (and who is related to the unique Maysa, which I think is a privilege that explains his fascination).
I was introduced to this class by Solano Ribeiro, my cousin, and with the support of maestro-magician Rogério Duprat, who was always my supporter. I tried for a while to do advertising jingles, at Pauta, at Sonotec (where I remember personally watching the horrible fire at the Joelma Building) and later at Vice-Versa, by friends Luis Arruda Botelho, Sá and Guarabyra. With the end of the scientific year, I was exiled in Bandeirantes, I paid to take entrance exam for Architecture – in fact, at the suggestion of my mother, after all it was a famous course more because of Chico, Maranhão, and the musical atmosphere that surrounded it. Of course I didn’t pass, my specialty at the time was billiards, practiced assiduously in the old Praça João Mendes.
I was in second season at Bandeirantes needing 8.5 Physics, 7.5 Chemistry and 9.5 Mathematics, with the infamous Cattony – my annual average was 0.5 !!! A shame … In class, everyone was a mature man, and I was a late, lost kid.
In the second season, in an oral exam, Cattony looked at me, finished the exam and said: I will not give 10 because I only give this grade to Leibnitz. It was 9.8 and I graduated shaving, but I was convinced that everything could. In Cursinho, Anglo, I was arrested by the moral turmoil of the Vestibular (for having failed on the first attempt) and I worked brilliantly in that sausage factory – all the courses are a kind of brainwashing church. I ended up at Mackenzie and the much-dreamed FAU, from USP.
I opted for FAU, and I really liked the school, I made a lot of friends, and I really liked the musical gatherings at Bicalho’s house, which lived near USP. I think the course was too good for me …
In the second year, I was distant again, with my mind on another call, I didn’t pass the first semester in several basic subjects. I met Claudio Lucci, a brilliant guitarist, and with him I went to look for an old friend, Diógenes, the best drummer I’ve seen in my entire life. We then formed Moto Perpétuo, a hybrid progressive band (the fashion at the time) with MPB, mainly from Minas Gerais, influenced by Clube da Esquina.
This identification with the miners made me almost a bastard son of this movement, such was the importance, especially Lô Borges, and, of course, Milton in my way of composing.
Procurei um empresário que estava fazendo sucesso na época, o Moracy do Val, que administrava os Secos e Molhados, recém-estourados na mídia. Nessa época, fiz a amizade com o Juracy Almeida, que era secretário do Moracy e se tornou meu irmãozinho que me acompanha até hoje nas peripécias – acho até que ele seria mais apropriado do que eu pra contar essa história.
Moto soon recorded the first album, somewhat precarious, with the production of Pena Smith, a legendary talent, working miracles in Sonima’s studio (in São Paulo), with only eight channels. Gerson Tatini, bass, Egydio Conde, guitarist, joined the band, and we went into a house in Brás to rehearse. My colleagues, always fighting with me because of my haste to accept making the precious album in a studio with few channels and in very different conditions from those they had heard about Yes, etc.
One day Gerson said to me: You don’t listen to records, you know? He was the most radical in this format to conform to a time, and I replied, rude and unfair. I don’t listen to records because I was born to make records, you know?
In Iacanga, the festival of Águas Claras, we went to be a laughing stock of the boales crowd that shouted: Toca Rock !!. There, The Rosary, Our Daily Sound, etc. were performed. I never liked the eschatological side of the Hippie movement – the stench, the filth in the bathrooms, the communal food, the crickets in abundance, in an already empty and nostalgic movement.
I soon realized the stupidity of the crowds, the falsity of the tribute that each season forces us to pay… That cry Toca Rock !! it became emblematic for me. Each period would take its toll, be it on the hair and clothes, the pretentious bands, the political discourse, later the beatings of the disco, of the dust spreading, until the efficient pragmatism of Axés, rodeos, Dance Music with its DJs , MCs and Promoters, everything sounds as if the world has curralized mass culture. Also, what good is that culture?
Everything causes me disgust, I am a card out of the deck, from Iacanga to today I look at the world with strangeness and I am very proud of it. I soon saw that I was not fit to fit into that, but anyway, I had the burden of that band and its problems to carry. It was short-lived. At the end of 75 I decided to follow my destiny as a popular singer and went to look for Som Livre, on Rua Augusta, in front of the current Columbia. At the time, Elton John’s piano ballads were in fashion, I was in luck.
Otávio Augusto, Guto Graça Mello and João Araújo decided to launch me as the theme of the 7 o’clock soap opera (Anjo Mau), and then my story would really start.
I owe everything to this opportunity, which then paved the way for my first LP, in mid-1976. Not that My world and Nothing else burst out of hand. It took a while to play on the radio. I remember that at the beginning I only played at dawn, on the old Radio Excelsior, but it was a thrill to hear me on the same old radio under the pillow (where so many games by Santos de Pelé were followed in adolescence, with an unforgettable narration by Fiori Gigliotti ). Meu mundo e Nada Mais, composed in 69, came to play 530 times in the soap opera, which I told, watching with my grandmother Iracema, who at the time lived in Lar Santanna. It was a massacre, I became an instant success …
At the time there was another composer, from Rio Grande do Sul, very good by the way, called Hermes Aquino, who sang Cloud Passenger – a beautiful and original song that was also a huge success – and we were very confused, people thinking I was gaucho, etc. Hence, also, the craze, especially among the gauchos, to call me Guilhermes – I think it’s a mixture of Guilherme and Hermes …
It was funny to be recognized on the street: Look at that guy from Anjo Mau !!! I didn’t know what that was, it came from a university milieu diametrically opposed to the popular one. Once, I went to sing at the Silvio Santos Calouros Show, where Zé Fernandes gave me 4.5 (the maximum was 5), and the whole of Brazil commented on that…
He gave 4.5 because the letter said there were only leftovers left and that made him cacophonous with which he found remains… Great discovery !! Then, I asked him if he didn’t know this feature of modernist poetry… Silvio interrupted saying: No, no, in this picture the singer cannot speak….
I said I respected Zé Fernandes for being a pianist of tangos, which I liked… He was surprised that I recognized him as an artist… At the end of the program, there was a battalion of fans wanting to grab me, I ran out through Praça Marechal Deodoro, the fans screaming in the back, was the most ridiculous thing on my part …
I really think that I was only accepted so quickly because Elton John’s ballads were the media’s hot spot. There is a curiosity here – Elton released in that same year 76 the song Candle in the wind, which would come back later, on the death of Diana, at the same time that My world and nothing else would be recorded, to be again theme of the Evil Angel. Coincidences … However, as an influence Elton was not as important as you think because I was already trained in my head and composed like that for many years.
My world and nothing else had been composed in 1969, when I was 16 years old… I would say that he and I were contemporaries, with the small difference that he was born on a certain island, and I in a certain tropical country… Of course he liked it and I like his talent, and I took advantage of the obvious similarities. The first thing I bought with the little money of success was a red Beetle, and soon I married Márcia, a colleague at FAU, and we went to live in Vila Mariana. We had a daughter, Marietta, born in 1980, who today and always is my friend and confidante.
Already consolidated as a singer and composer, I started to cross paths with several people in the middle, the most remembered being Okky de Souza, from Pop magazine, who now works at Veja, and is always an old new friend, and André Midani, from Warner , whom I learned to like, too, despite being controversial – many people have various opinions about the powerful. André was very important for national Pop, with his questions, and mainly with his investments in the youth area. In his booklet he prayed that a great artist must have a great drama …
I went to find a drama in my relationship with my parents … Want something more prosaic – who has no problem with a mother? I think this is silly today, but it has to do, it has… If you stop to think about what mythification is if not something morbid? It is the dramas that sell … Many songs were born from this concept.
Duly delighted with Warner’s innovative proposal, I left Som Livre, much to the despair and anger of João Araújo and those people who had revealed myself to the public, with such commitment and hopes… In fact, today I can evaluate the affection they had for me at Som Livre, I think that if I knew how to negotiate, I would have been more mature at the time, I could have been much happier in my choices …
But I think that television was looking for another type of idol, one that brought together talents I didn’t have (like that of an actor), and in that Fábio Jr was a great revelation – at that time of my departure he was off to a great success, and I plunged into my first, deep hibernation. Anyway, Midani had the merit of investing in me for five years, without any result – the so-called second disk syndrome, in my case, was the third, fourth and fifth.
I was scheduled to belong to Cast do Liminha, who struggled but couldn’t get the pop broth out of me. The only song that really stayed from that period was Ecstasy. The record company, focused on the pop proposal, with Frenéticas and A Cor do Som in front of it, could not get me to sell, there was something wrong.
In the second half of the 80s, Elis called me, asking for music, and I shivered at the base… I proposed to hit her, and two weeks later I came up with Learning to Play, which was promptly recorded and burst… I was saved, in a moment delicate in that Warner was dismissing me. Elis also recorded Só Deus é Quem Sabe, a beautiful bolero, and I am very grateful for César Camargo Mariano, who gave me the greatest strength with his talent and sensitivity.
Elis was very attentive. There was always a justified retinue of fascinated people around him, but little by little I realized that with me the attention was special. At a dinner at Bar Lagoa, Rio, she wrote on a paper napkin that she would rather be away from this senseless world, with you, and passed me under the table. I was in a panic, I didn’t know what to do.
My marriage to Márcia was a little rocky, it was rocking… I remember, at the time, wandering around Vila Mariana, aimlessly. Something was about to happen, I needed to separate, but everything scared me. With Elis I remember a trip by Toyota Bandeirante through Rio-Santos with a stop in Ubatuba. Elis was traveling with Marisa Fossa, her vocalist and confidante friend at that time. At night, at Praia das Toninhas, I had a chat with her, and wept for the thrill of meeting her, even from afar, very, very well.
She was very needy, me too, and we soon had a warm friendship. I was able to keep up with her depressed frustration when Herbie Hancock did not fulfill his proposal to produce it in the USA … I think that was his big challenge – to be an international star (more than deserved, but never really accomplished).
With time I ended up getting away from her, I only received a card at the end of 1991, made by Elifas Andreatto, just before she left this crazy world. Her departure was very painful for those who knew her. Where would Elis be today? What would she be doing? Singing better than anyone, I would certainly be innovating, breaking…
In 81, I was scheduled to be released from the label’s cast when Guti Carvalho took me to his label, in the same WEA. We launched Deixa Chover in January 1981, it was Beth Faria’s theme in Baila Comigo. In the same studio session, with my friend Fernando Adour in the inspired production, we recorded Planeta Água, a song that would soon enter the MPB Shell 81 festival, in the second semester.
I don’t even need to tell you what happened, with the second consecrating place that put me much more in evidence than if I had won the obvious first place.
I remember Luiza pregnant with Gabriel, my second son, part of Gang 90 and Absurdettes, at the launch of the song Perdidos na Selva, also mine – in partnership with the brilliant Julio Barroso. Why was this authorship never credited to me?
As it was not allowed to compete with two at the Festival (I already had Planeta Água), I told Julio to sign the edition contract alone – the idea was much more of him than mine, nor did I warm it up. The case is that the music became a classic, and afterwards, with the death of Julio and his sister, dear Denise, it would be annoying for me to claim authorship, but it is recorded here… The interaction with Julio Barroso and his gang was very important to me. beneficial, with its pop culture, I was airy and happy in the songs.
My next album, 82, Lance Legal, was an instant radio pop. I had Lance Legal, The best will start, Prelude, Every May, Green light, but I still couldn’t manage to sell what was expected this time, I wanted to leave WEA and found Heleno de Oliveira’s understanding. We had bet that if we didn’t even sell 30,000 copies, I should look for another way …
I went back to Sigla, more to correct my pending issues with João Araujo, whom I always liked a lot. I made an irregular record there, Ligação, containing the hit Pedacinhos, Graffitti, Grávida and others. I went to live with Luiza in Alto da Lapa and there I made several songs for children’s specials, such as Pirlimpimpim (Beautiful Blue Balloon), Plunct Plact Zum (Playing for Life – unforgettable in the voice of Maria Bethânia) and Pirlimpimpim 2, all in partnership with the late Paulo Leminski, a very talented Curitiba poet.
I was inspired for the children’s market, having already two baby children – Marietta and Gabriel, and already ordering the third, Pedro. At that time, I made songs with Nelsinho, for the films Menino do Rio and Garota Dourada – for the latter, I did the soundtrack and participated, singing, at Noites Cariocas. Also Marina and Ritchie appear in the film.
With the mysterious death of Julio Barroso, in 84, Luiza and I were very upset and decided to move to Rio, looking for a more airy mood, which was also a good thing for my music. Subsequently, he would be hired by CBS, now Sony, and that, surely, was a game changer … Until then, he had played selling records.
At CBS, I was accompanied by artistic director Marcos Maynard, who was always my fan (and vice versa) and who wanted me in the cast. Those were the glory years of national Pop, including here the groups RPM, Metrô, Radio Táxi, Baby, Pepeu, Ritchie, and even the classic Djavan, and I entered like a knife in the butter of national Pop.
Red eyes was made in New York after Júlio Barroso. Cheia de Charme was made on the beaches of Rio, watching the cariocas, even the mothers, the married women, the grandmothers, all of them always charming in their neglect of good plaza… A series of airy songs, full of sea and sun, such as Seagulls, Ocean, they were leaving …
In the second work for CBS, Calor, I was able to deepen the partnership with Nelsinho, now my neighbor at Posto 6. On a night of torrential rain, I made a melody that I think was very special, and went, wearing boxer shorts, barefoot, running to his apartment, for him to hear. A few days later, Coisas do Brasil was made. This work would be produced by an American, Ronnie Foster, who had made the legendary album Luz do Djavan. It was a huge success, it was the new English bossa ball, with Matt Bianco, Everything But the Girl and Sade Adu on the charts.
In 86, living in Rio, and especially in Copacabana, I was able to live a fertile and explosive phase of popularity. Fertility was also manifested with the arrival of the fourth son, Tiago, the only carioca, who was born in 86, having as his baptism godfather Nelsinho Motta, always affectionate with me and Luiza.
The years 85 and 87 were very good for national pop rock, it was the new era of mega shows like Rock in Rio and Hollywood Rock. Years of the revelation of Cazuza and the Baron, Paralamas, Legião, Lulu, etc. Outsider assumed, I always realized that success was fragile, especially mine, not aligned with movements and patotas, non-carioca from the South Zone, not guitarist, not rocker, or as Belchior says, without important relatives and coming from the countryside . The criticism’s disdain was also very much due to my disdain for the media. I’ve never been a good diplomat, socially I’m a bit of a wild animal…
But around that time, they started not to ignore me anymore, they had to give their arm to cheer. The spaces started to get generous … I remember very moved that even Tom Jobim, once, called me in a corner at Chico Buarque’s house (it was a Copyright meeting) to say he liked Coisas do Brasil, so I could go on this wave of bossa, which was natural, and which he blessed … Who would forget a word from Tom? The following year, I composed with Nelsinho Marina no Ar, a simple tribute to the singer. I just did the song, the lyrics were my delusional partner’s idea. But I endorsed it right away, Marina has always been the most talented, beautiful and unique thing.
I recorded the next album in California, with Ronnie Foster back in production, in August 87. Another song from this vintage was Um dia, a farewell, which was part of the Mandala track, by Max Pierre, talented A & R that was emerging. It was very successful, despite being only piano, strings and voice, an innovation in the radio format.
The next CD was Romances Modernos, under excellent production by Max Pierre, a very good album, with tracks like Muito Diferente, Vôo (S. Conrado), Bom Humor and Raça de Heroes (theme of the soap opera Que Rei Sou Eu?).
I had been playing well on the radio for about 3 years. And the concern and the question already beat: How long can such a cycle last? Success cycles seemed clear to me now. We entered the 90s, of Collor, sertanejos, axés, dance music, etc. I immersed myself in relative anonymity, doing my work as before, but without the same space in the media.
I remember having received Chitão and Xororó in the dressing room, in 87, at the Ginásio do Guarani, in Campinas, they were researching how to make pop, in terms of sound and light, it was a whole new technique for them… And how learned …
Now, I was alone, again. But who cared? They, sertanejos, axés, dances, all had the whole rope. How to react? I decided to have patience for longevity, on the advice of a master, Jorge Ben Jor, who on a flight from the air bridge explained to me how MPB works – very little before the burst of W Brasil.
I made an album called Pão, irregular, but with some beautiful songs, like the title track, reflective, about the children and my new moment as a father. There was also the track Babel, a foray into Dance Music. I was criticized at the time, for the excess of electronic keyboards. I was really in a transition phase.
By that time I was well placed in Show Business, filling Palace, Canecão, Olympia, all seasons. We did a double live album, Meu mundo e Tudo mais, but it didn’t sound very well finished, although the show was exciting.
The show in question was directed by Jorge Fernando, I think it was one of the best I did … That year, I went to EMI Odeon, which had a respectful Cast. It was a time of change in the media, what had prevailed until then was past, now there was the reality of a multifaceted media, mainly with the entry of MTV, a channel with a lower reach, in terms of broadcast, but deep reach, in terms of image formation. The clips became serious…
At Odeon, I myself produced the album Crescente, one of the best in my opinion, with the participation of Barão Vermelho and Luis Sergio Carlini on the track Taça de Veneno, and Sergio Dias on several guitars. The work was exquisitely recorded and mixed at the Mosh studio, under the supervision of friend Oswaldo Mallagutti. Even the matrix cutting was done in New York, at Masterdisk. There was also the song Under the Effect of a Look, the theme of the soap opera Vamp, a beautiful song that burst. Other important tracks were Sonho Latino and Ready for Love, another partnership with Nelsinho Motta. For the release of the CD, a clip was produced under the direction of Flavio Colker, which was very beautiful, until he competed for the first MTV Awards.
Through Roberto Augusto’s hands, I went back to Sony, in 1993, to record the CD Castelos, which had the songs Lágrima de uma mulher, The practical side of love, A little more, What’s good, Someone, and version of the masterpiece The Secret Life of Plants, by Stevie Wonder, which became The Secret Spirit of a Life, with the precious participation of Gilberto Gil. I was very pleased to produce it, because I had my face in every detail.
It was at that time that I separated from Luiza and returned to live in São Paulo. It was a difficult restart, with many consequences on my music, which was very reflective and a little sad. São Paulo was no longer the city I had lived in before I got married …
I was then asked to sign with Polygram, where Marcos Maynard was in the presidency. The first record at Polygram was a project that I had latent for some time, of versions of fundamental songs for me, all from the late 60’s and early 70’s, like Bridge over Troubled Water, Killing me Softy, The Poor side of Town , Its too late, Traces, Youre a Lady (Im a Man) and others.
The arrangements would be by English conductor Graham Preskett, who had made the CD for Maria from Maria Bethânia with songs by Roberto Carlos for Polygram. This production, in charge of the old friend Guto Graça Mello, was made in London, with the participation of the string section of the Royal Phyllarmonic, and was exquisite, with mixes in Los Angeles, by Moog Canazio. It was a good product, which was well received, although it escaped my usual line of composer.
The following work was Other Colors, a return to pop with songs like Time to break the heart, Mark of a star, A kind of brother (which was the theme of the soap opera Salsa e Merengue), Feelings will stay, and a partnership with Nando Reis – In your hands.
I was produced again by Ronnie Foster, in California, and I stayed 75 days in Woodland Hills. This work was also marked as my debut as an amateur videomaker, when I shot and co-directed, along with Rubens Velloso, the clip of Brand of a Star, for MTV, with the participation of the wonderful Beth Prado. Another clip made by me for this CD was Meteoros, set in Pernambuco and at the Capricórnio Observatory, in Campinas.
In 1997, I was invited to make an acoustic album, for Globo-Polydor, with a sound and acoustic review of my main hits, including two unpublished ones, Mágica em Mim and When love spoke louder. It resulted in a good CD, without electronic keyboards, only with piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, some metals, strings and vocals.
This work also marked the debut of my new studio, at Itaim-Bibi, in São Paulo, for the first time a place prepared for more professional recordings. Before him, all CDs were only structured at home, but entirely made in rental studios, depending on the allocation of funds, the taste of producers and subject to pre-established schedules.
The proposal now was that in this place I could develop, not only my career CDs, but also other formats of music, instrumental, film and theater tracks (which I would love to do) and, sporadically, advertising. I know that one day I will produce other artists too.
The existence of a small but adequate infrastructure would allow me to record exquisitely not only with keyboards, but also with a Concert Steinway with Optical Midi, in addition to being able to record any acoustic instruments.
In 1998 Paola was born, my youngest daughter, who I would later raise in Bahia… But I couldn’t even imagine the adventures that were going to happen…
I released a new CD in 99 by Playarte, and once again I could see the anomalous atmosphere of popular music of the 90s, taken by opportunistic marketers, with little chance for melodic songs, even more being new. At this stage, it seems that the attitude would be in the foreground, the content being completely superfluous.
It’s the law of Marketing: no matter what is being sold, it matters how it is sold. Hence, the profusion of caricatures is explained, because the caricature sells. Of course, the harmonic / melodic creation continues to exist, but without the slightest repercussion in the mainstream media, unless it is embedded, for example, in a major cinematographic launch … Popular consumption geared towards class D that ascended to class C gave tonic to the market, be it biscuit, cigarette, soda, car, restaurant, music, radio and TV programming, everything. Popular products grew precipitously when a mass of ex-excluded people integrated into the economy, and the old middle class was crushed, sandwiched between the upper layers of the elite that does not come out from above and the lower layers of a very powerful and newly arrived populace,
Time of delusional corruption in the media, of niches protected in popular music, such as pagodas, axés, sertanejos, teeming in the mobilized peripheries, in funk, rap, hip hop, forró, and the middle class, now without conscious identity and without the old motivation of ideological resistance, had no other way but to adhere to the dictates of the people. Without the power of the dominant class A and without the representativeness and power of mass consumption of the people, the middle class started to like what was offered to them in the media.
At the same time, there was widespread adherence (on the part of the middle class that managed to resist) to imported products and services, after the opening of the market, in the 90s. The so-called national similar product was abandoned and went bankrupt, only the popular product, without competition globalized, remained. It is not for me to judge here where this is all good or where this is all bad – I think that Brazilian democracy may have started, at last, and reached the retail shelves. There are new, irreversible, and excellent things for Brazil – the definitive integration of the black population into the consumer market, the consolidation of forró, calypso paraense, reggae from Maranhão, the maracatu pop from the Pernambuco scene, the Belo pop scene Horizon, etc …
In the so-called MPB, and in pop, which in the 80s were typical of the middle class, many are re-recording, doing re-readings, versions, trying to survive in a hostile environment. The picture is predominantly fearful and conservative in the great music scene, the safe mediocre is preferred over the bold with risks. There are those who dare, but have no illusions with the mainstream media, especially with TV …
It is a good thing that in other times it was possible to do a lot of cool and creative things for the people, but I believe that this can come back, because everything is cyclical, fashion needs novelty, and novelty needs fashion. With the evolution of market research and the constant gauging of the majority’s preference, a conservative society is created, which does not want change and discards concerns.
Between an art film, like O Piano, and a grimacing beating session, with Jean Claude Van Damme, the people will always vote for the second option. And the cultural industry becomes a slave to its scientific branch of power, market research. And he doesn’t write more history, he hardly generates more transformative content.
A marvel like Alegria, Alegria, with Caetano changing history, and a success like Construção – with Chico and his genius creation first in all the radio stations – were only generated because there were brave people infiltrating the power of the media, and sponsors who bet in the new, in the different. And if that time was like that, today it is worshiped as important, and its idols remain as unattainable and incomparable myths.
If today Caetano enjoys an unquestionable prestige, it is because one day he went over the obvious, in his ripped speech at the festival in Tuca, with Gal singing Proibido Proibir under boos, and he had space for his speech. Could it be that the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were what they were because the world was more amateur, less professional?
On the other hand, the thinking media is migrating to a more interactive sector, the Network, where we all expect (and are already seeing) greater transparency, absorbing all the best professionals in good cultural journalism with more dignified salaries and more freedom of expression, and mainly with more information exchange. Time does not stop.
Already, the melodies, harmonies and restless lyrics of our rich popular music will be playing on the CD players of that same populace, from the moment that this populace thinks that his disco is monotonous, when these obscenely clever formulas tire… Is it?
When the people touch (and for that it does not take long) that many of their idols only worshiped the ego, the personal enrichment, the common fame without the least concern with content, that they invested all their fabulous profits in countless and immense cattle farms with which they contributed directly to the deforestation of Brazil’s forests and savannahs, invested in mansions in Florida, without the slightest commitment to their community or the environment, which built their millionaire weight rooms and became spotted monsters and Artificial… Maybe they have become disposable and are being discarded…
For now, for this newcomer to consumption, fashion is still getting rich, famous, being beautiful, sensual, but in a little while, for a simple matter of natural evolution, or even simply because of the changing fashion, the people also you will want to be cultured and articulate… Is it?
Let me go back to my microcosm… In order not to be amazed and stunned, and especially so as not to lose the pleasure of making music, I decided to go all out in the field of instrumental themes, rescuing old projects shelved since the time of Architecture College and this ahead in new and very personal sound adventures.
Perhaps by releasing my sound from the lyrics, from the language barrier, from my voice, from the image, I will be able to broaden the horizons for my deeper music …
The true artist exists to challenge, offering to a lazy world the uncertainty of the new, even if for a few. Each makes their choices.
In July 2000, I released a CD of piano solos, New Classical Piano Solos, with delicate and intense themes. This CD was entirely conceived and executed in my little studio in São Paulo, for almost eight years, and later released by my label Verde Vertente Audio, with distribution from Sony Music.
The fact that Sony was interested in the distribution of this work was a great incentive for me, as it is an atypical product, totally personal and ethical, in a market of a large rotten media, corrupt and delivered to the rats and cockroaches that co-operate with a scheme closed to the public. novelty. Steinway & Sons endorsement was also a must, because it opened up new possibilities and gave me a very important recognition. An old dream of mine came true, since ever since I met the people at Steinway, in 88, when I bought my grand piano, I cherished the idea of having this partnership.
Always, on my trips to New York, I would visit Steinway Hall, a wonderful classic-style room, right on 57th Street, in the same building as The Economist, a chic spot for anyone who is passionate about pianos and real music.
On one of these visits, I was invited to a party that marked the centenary of the birth of Wladimir Horowitz, one of the greatest piano legends of all time. What I saw and heard marked a lot for me. A very elegant night, with snow, limousines, long dresses, tuxedos, cheeses and wines and great pianists gathered, playing impeccable pieces, talking about the master, and listening to Horowitz’s testimonies, where he talked about his preferences as composers and performers, citing – to my special emotion – our Guiomar Novaes.
I cried a lot that night. Not that I thought I was one of them, but there I felt at home, I don’t know why. From then on, I started to dream of having my gala night, one day. When I sent my instrumental CD for the appreciation of the Steinway Council, I was asked to join the Roster of Steinway Artists, which was my biggest emotion in my entire career. On that occasion I also got welcomed for my project of playing at Steinway Hall, and left there with weak legs… I did a mini concert, for a select audience, on July 18th, 2000.
I was able to count on musicians from the Juilliard School – which has an Office of Career Placement – a kind of music agency agency -, which allowed me to scale an excellent formation of 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 orchestral bass, 1 flute , 1 oboe and a clarinet.
The experience was worth it, even for the hard work the scores gave me … But it was impeccable and this little ensemble sounded wonderfully. We made a cocktail for a few good guests, and there, a dream had come true. This dream was an integral part of the project, as if it were one of the themes …
Concert held, I was invited by Nelson Motta and his faithful squire Maria Duha to participate in the Brazil Fest – a show at Damrosch Park, in the acoustic shell of Lincoln Center, on Sunday, August 27, 2000, 6 pm. This is a show that every year takes more than 10,000 people outdoors, mostly Americans, and in which a lot of good people have always participated, ending the all-important Lincoln Center Summer Festival. Our special guest was Emilio Santiago, a sweet person, a great professional.
We sang Coisas do Brasil together (which, by the way, was the theme song in English for the show – Things of Brazil), and I was able to learn two masterpieces that Nelsinho, the artistic director, had put on the script – Samba do Avião and Canta Brasil, which they were wonderful with Steve Sandberg’s excellent band – bass, drums, guitar, percussion and Steve on the keyboard. My previous experience with the people at the Juilliard School also told a lot at that time, because Nelsinho wanted to do a chic show, from sophisticated and cultured Brazil, the Brazil of Ary Barroso, from Tom, Vinicius, Bonfá, from Bossa Nova. Invited by the orchestra, the atmosphere was perfect, and the show was truly memorable. The year 2000, for me, was won.
The move to Bahia and the new plans:
But the big news of the year 2000 was my total migration to a new Brazil, the Northeast, Bahia. In 99, following the installation of a carmaker (Ford) in the Northeast, secularly discriminated against by the diabolical lobbies of São Paulo and Rio (who always tried to boycott the development of a new model, especially in the Northeast), I literally freaked out.
Throughout my career, I have been defending for some 20 years that Brazil would have a new perspective when it emancipated the Northeast and let it grow. Brazil needs to spread prosperity, it needs to be homogeneous. One day it would be fashionable to be Northeastern.
This promised never to happen, depending on the powerful command of FIESP, the vicious businessmen in São Paulo and the governmental corporatism of the very old Rio feuds. The incipient and hilarious Northeastern politics has always given rise to a southern ridicule, taking away any chance of the states of the Northeast to have a real representation in national life.
But this has changed, or it has been changing gradually, for the simple reason that nothing stands still… I stopped to think about it, and saw that this blockade was not directed only against the Northeast. São Paulo isolates Rio, Rio isolates São Paulo, both try to isolate the Northeast, Minas and Midwest, in the same way that Bahia and Pernambuco do not beak, same as Pará and Amazonas, and that Rio Grande is isolated by alone, because one finds Uruguay lost in the Federation, suddenly everything seemed to me a huge and gratuitous nonsense …
Because I was free and discovered that I had to face that I was a citizen of a country, and not of a province that I thought was my country … I realized at that time that I lived in São Paulo due to the will of my great-grandparents, in a remote era because for them São Paulo had one day represented a perspective of work and progress.
But and now? Why did I have to follow a family tradition, just for provincialism or convenience? I don’t have a steady job, I don’t depend on a job at any firm in São Paulo. I have no farms, cattle, industry or commerce, I have nothing. I only have dreams, and I found fertile ground.
I love São Paulo, too, and I will always be a bastion of paulistanidade embedded in Bahia, with my way of being paulista, productive and accelerated. In Bahia, I not only found shelter for myself, but sheltered among themselves. It is not that the Bahian is hospitable to tourists and immigrants. The Bahian is welcoming to his own brothers, they are hospitable to each other, on a daily basis, it seems that there is an instinctive social pact, and that delighted me.
At the end of the year 99, the mayor of Camaçari, José Tude, one of the most approved in Brazil – now re-elected in the first round, a sweet and wise person, with his charming and highly cultured Yara, a totally respectable and good couple, and he loved the idea of a Pousada / Estúdio with an environmentalist line, to be implanted on the edge of Camaçari – north coast of Salvador.
I then started to elaborate this project, together with the adviser Rita, and resulted in the concession of a 32,000 m2 plot of land, on the banks of the Jacuípe River, inserted in an important APA, in the Capivara Valley, at the mouth of the two Rivers – Capivara and Jacuípe , between Arembepe and Praia do Forte.
At that location, at km 30 of Estrada do Coco, an area of sandbank, mangrove and rainforest, it would implement a 16-room inn, combined with two music recording studios, a pub, a giant vegetable garden, a bird aviary and our largest ambition – an environmental culture school, focused on the study of horticulture and the breeding of crustaceans, molluscs, plants, fish and birds from the Mangrove.
My idea was to institute the ecological scout in this region so peculiar of natural resources and that now comes with everything for a massive industrial and tourist development – and I want to be in that place, at this moment.
Everything I like and know how to do, in one place: caring for 150 children in need in a simple and lovely village, partnership with the community, caring for crabs, shrimps, vegetables, bromeliads and orchids, recording music, receiving people , raising children – especially my daughter, Paola, who would go on another life dream …
At the Carnival of 2000, with the rapid progress of the project, I decided to move to Bahia, along with all my dreams, and rented a simple but lovely house in Vilas do Atlântico, in the municipality of Lauro de Freitas, halfway through the Project. We formed a foundation, the Planeta Água Institute for Educational and Environmental Research, to manage this social / ecological proposal, which is no joke.
I wanted to implement a serious job, where the biggest commitment would be with the hoe, with the simple and hardworking man, with the plants and animals of Brazil, with music and poetry, with the values of a new Era. I intend to bring here the biggest names in Brazilian and world Pop and all fans will be especially welcome at the inn.
Last year, I said: For the fans, I have to say the following: next year, wait for many other news, because I will not deliver the points anytime soon. Well, here it goes: now, as promised, I resume my normal activities.
After the excellent experience with Sony launching my instrumental, I received an irrefutable invitation, to make a CD / DVD of 25 years of career, live, to be released by the same Sony, which so many times honored me, regardless of success, kind of thing rare nowadays …
The invitation came from Ronaldo Vianna, artistic director of the label, the same Ronaldo who participated in the production of my only CD for EMI, a disc, which he now coordinates with Bruno, and the new acquisition of the legendary Liminha, the great phase of Pop at Sony, with a lot of freedom, competence and creativity, as it should be.
We combined a production to be done by Marcelo Sussekind, a great musician at the service of the best productions, a very special person, and a great professional, with a sound known to the best ears, hyper starring with gold and platinum records …
After Mariozinho Rocha, with his sensitivity and opportunity, gave me the chance to return to the soap operas, with the inclusion of the track Pronto para Amar on the new track of Novela das 8, Porto dos Milagres, being the subject of the excellent Taís Araújo, an actress from full of hands, super beautiful and talented, having a very special role in the plot, I was very motivated to review my career, of so many relevant soap opera themes, and to start this production.
Another unprecedented song was included, It will stay for me, also a beautiful ballad in my style. In fact, these “reviews” with 12, 14 successful songs and two new ones would be a recurring plague in the phonographic market. The unpublished, a space granted as alms to the composer, would always be being wasted, because the focus was on the consecrated, obvious ones. This was not the first or the last time … The “Maioridade” – years before – it was the same thing … And the “Intimaidade” – years later, another “mirage”. Later on, I would regret this waste, this illusion of a false opportunity to score a new one. Successful slots should be taken over in full, without false news …
In addition, the album was a more pop review of my trajectory, with a superb band, composed by Radiotaxis Wander Taffo (guitar hero), Lee Marcucci (kicking bass) and Gel Fernandes (killer drums), plus the additions by Rubem di Souza ( very talented mineiraço of pop wanderings with Jota Quest, Skank, Sideral) on vintage keyboards, the legendary Rick Ferreira on guitars, guitars and Steel Guitars, and my old friend Lino Simão on flutes and saxes.
Several musical options were adopted by the group, in a legitimate team work, such as the inclusion of Lágrima de uma Mulher in a very Police version, a funky review of Take Care, and, for me the best of all, Loucas Horas, in a modern arrangement, with a killer footprint, showing to be a very current track.
In parallel to the CD that was recorded, a material for a DVD was filmed, in charge of TeleImage / Casablanca, with the masterful direction of friend Magrão, a master who used 9 cameras inside that same Mars Theater, where the Capital Inicial and Ira! they had done excellent jobs. I was very happy, especially with the 15 days of exhaustive rehearsals, with a complete band and team, to have an exquisite execution.
On the day of the recording, I slapped the visuals, using a hair trimmer, and made a mistake in the size of the machine, again (I had already made the same mistake in the release of the Classics disc, cutting off what little I have left of capillary coverage almost to zero). Desperate, I called my daughter Marietta, who advised me to go to the Galeria de 24 de Maio, and find a hat, or cap, that would give a palatable view of how I am now …
I ended up finding this gray cap with which I appear on the album cover, something Elton John, in short, is what I could improvise … I think I’m in good company with the lack of hair. As Ronaldo Vianna said on the day of the Show, that hair you had in the past is the only thing you can no longer count on today.
I think he wanted to give me strength … But he did, because I never felt so good. I put on a red skateboarder shoe, matching it so well with a Versace outfit, just by chance…
The piano sound of this album is a blast, total nonsense, we brought Steinway specially, from Bahia, and we got the best piano sound I’ve ever heard, including from the masters of Pop, I think the band feels the same about to your performances. The atmosphere of this work was one of unity and competence that I take off my hat…
The DVD was very special, too, with scenes recorded in the places that were important to me, in my training. Do not lose that record. A very special person in the accomplishment of this work was my manager at the time, Junior Valadão, from Agencia Produtora, who did all the midfield so that I had this DVD and this CD by Sony, with mutual humility, and a lot of friendship, a lot of competence.
Others that will always be unforgettable are the Range of programs, Alexandre da Luz, Delson from the stage, Malanga at the rear, people and professionals that I cry just thinking that there are… Zé Carratu from the stage, a sensitive artist.
In the audience, so many dear people, from the fan club, Edson, Ricardo, my daughter Marietta and her mother, the very special Marcia, friend Carlini appeared, old Juraci and Silvia, my mother Hebe clapping, my sisters Ana and Heloisa, Paola dancing on stage at the rehearsal, so many others so friendly and supportive that I thought, at the time, that I could even die in peace. But as life goes on inexorably, and the creation of novelties does not stop, in 2003 I thought it would be very important to generate a new CD of unpublished ones, since some years ago I had fallen into the trap of a problematic market, which keeps repeating such great successes forever, in live formulas, collections, etc …
The DVD with Sony had been very justified, as it was a new medium, with images of an excellent show, an exceptional band… But I needed to take a turn and come up with new songs, lyrics, arrangements, that would advance my career composer, even at the risk of not playing, not selling, these industry talks.
The fact is that many records, over the nearly 30 years of their trajectory, flopped, or being more Brazilian, ran aground. As I recall, Moto Perpétuo, Night Watch, Face and Courage, Heart of São Paulo, Bread, Castles, Other Colors, Guilherme Arantes (from Playarte) composes an enviable gallery of great failures.
However, not always a record that did not correspond in sales is necessarily a failure, since there is always a song there that stays or that comes to have a mysterious history of gradual, cumulative rise, and one day it turns out that that with time has turned success … Within this universe of these records, I would highlight some examples: Tomorrow, Masquerade, Ecstasy, The night, Tear of a woman, Time to break the heart.
Today, everyone knows, it is a common word that the promotion budget is what determines whether a disc will pump or not. A composer makes songs like the cicada sings on the tree, how the beaver makes his dykes, how João de Barro makes his home, how birds make their nests, even without knowing what it is for. Sometimes, it’s no use at all. What we cannot do is give in to pessimism, and not generate anything new just because the reality is cruel and will not play on the radio. Damn this armed scheme of cowardice and the predictability of success …
In fact, what is really successful is violence, in all its forms. The violence of predictability and the predictability of violence …
So thinking, I finished the CD that was in progress, with the new ones that I had been gathering in this Bahian harvest, I finished the band – Flávio Anchieta on bass, Duda Lazzarini on drums, Alexandre Blanc on guitars, plus Silvio De Pieri on us sax and flutes.
The lyrics, matured in the mystical walks of Villas, by Jacuipe, between coconut trees and starry nights, reflect the moment of 50 years, in the visions of love and the world. Odes to nature, a critical look at widespread violence and brutalization, and especially the rescue of innocence that has never gone away …
This is the theme of the song Casulo, which ended up included in the Agora is that they are them, soap opera of August 2003. Due to a fulminating passion in the 2002 carnival, I rescued a song recorded by Tim Maia in the 70s, Nosso Adeus , written by Paulinho Zdanowski and Beto Cajueiro, an extra enjoyment.
And there is also Moonlight of mysterious love, version of Aprés un Rève, by Gabriel Faurè, who is one of my favorite composers, director of the Paris Conservatory in the 19th century, professor of Debussy and Ravel… In this new phase, I had a valuable partnership with a Keyboard Promotions, by Márcio Gouveia and Glória Cabral, new entrepreneurs who gave a boost to the launch, distributed by Som Livre. João Araújo was very receptive, and the work was very good.
We did Bem Brasil, Domingão do Faustão, Altas Horas by Serginho Groisman, Raul Gil and several other TV shows. The shows, motivated by a new team, a new band, with Décio Crispim on bass, Fausto Batista on drums, Alexandre Blanc on guitar, Silvio de Pieri on sax and flute, Mila Schiavo on percussion, plus the vocals of Analu Guerra and Eduardo Costa, were successful at Canecão, Via Funchal, Teatro Guararapes (Recife), Palácio das Artes (BH), at Concha Acústica do Castro Alves (Salvador), at Copacabana Beach, among other places of the great circuit.
In the technical team, quality was privileged, with the important participation of Duda Salino (lighting), Élson (sound) and the competent production of Lia Cunha. It was an important resumption, since several noble spaces were revisited, with an updated repertoire. In 2004, with the new studio in Jacuípe being operational, new songs, with renewed inspiration for the magical place, with a new sound, are on the way.
The Pousada is being built slowly, but safely and without partners, with its own resources, with no risks or draconian mortgages. As the financing for Desenbahia ended up not going out, I went ahead with the project, after all it took me 4 years of planning, projects, licenses.
Perhaps the most important license was a Term of Commitment to CRA – Center for Environmental Resources, an organ of the State of Bahia that regulates the implementation of projects in APAs (areas of environmental protection). With that, I started a series of replanting of specimens of the mangrove and restinga flora, which will result in the recovery of the riverside land, where the Instituto School is located. In the first month of the approval of the PRAD (Plan for the Recovery of Degraded Areas), we carried out a replanting of rhizophoras from Maragogipe, provided by the NGO Vovó do Mangue, and transported and replanted by a detachment from the 2nd Military Region (Army).
The School of the Institute is being the stage of an adult literacy project, in partnership with the Associação do Vale Dourado, with SEMARH, APA Management Council of Capivara and Guarajuba, with SENAI, SEBRAE, SESI, Camaçari City Hall. There is also a Handicraft class, with ladies from the region, during the afternoons.
And, little by little, things were taking shape … Time is the master of reason.
In 2006, I finished the production of a new album called Lótus, opening the studio in Jacuípe. At first a small narrow studio, in which I still had the old semi-digital structure of ADATS. I bought an ALESIS HD 24, and then another one, which integrated with Cybermix for automation, I was able to mix still on the MACKIE table. It was a painful rite of passage, from the old analog to the new digital world. With the arrival of Pedro, from Spain and England, and with an audio course in Rio, we started the modernization of the studio, buying a G4 and the first set of PROTOOLS.
Gabriel also lived with me, and soon afterwards Tiago arrived to do biology in Bahia. Gabriel ended up graduating in Administration. I am very proud of my children. With Paola coming, the house was complete, and I had the kids with me. Later Marietta would also come with the band Rockers Control, and it worked as a link for people to start arriving at the studio. In those years the studio / inn grew a lot, following all the trees I planted. Returning to the album Lótus, he gathered a little pop, bossa, rock, and the highlight was the song Blue Moon Forever, which played well on Nova Brasil FM.
On this record he had two partnerships with Nelsinho, celebrating the 50 years of bossa nova. Badly negotiated by the businessman, the album ended up being released in conjunction with a DVD of hits, plus a rehash of old hits, which I found hard to swallow. The result was a weak receptivity, but I continued to do shows to survive, and to keep the structure going, waiting for a better time in the future. Several people came to record albums at Coaxo do Sapo, which was established as a phonographic label, with the help of Pedro and Marietta, opening many contacts with new and old generations, in short the dream was on its way.
Márcia, a woman’s dream, that I met through a professor at the Institute, Douglas, became a sweet partner for all times, “completing the neurotransmitters of love” giving me a lot of peace, affection, and inspiration.
In 2012 we would travel to Stonington, Connecticut, to get the oldest dream of my life: a harpsichord harpsichord (double Flemish)
It was the most enchanting trip of my life.
I saw in Marcia the love I always sought, deep and true.
This would be a symbol of my love for music, a landmark where I established that the world would not defeat my dream.
I would not become an appliance, a jukebox of great hits from the past …
From the past I really wanted Scarlatti, Rameu, Handel, Couperin, and the sublime JS Bach …
Then, in the intervals of many concerts and trips, I was able to compose a new repertoire all set in Jacuípe. The first song that came out of this new crop, was a song for Maria Bethânia, which I found at an airport and we talked about Playing for Living, my greatest success as a composer, the most performed of both of our careers, and that I owed a new one. hit for the queen bee. I ran home and did “Você em Mim”, a mature love song, plausible for someone who had already lived a lot. This type of song is not very common in the market, which always favors youth as a time of love. This was an important insight because it would guide several future songs, where the passage of time, far from being a burden to carry is a privilege, and the personal collection of memory is the most precious asset that not even a homicidal thief can steal from us. That would become lyrics…
Then I composed a jazzy reggae-fusion, which would later be called “Cruzeiro do Sul” rescuing my Djavanesque side, mixing Stevie Wonder with Natiruts, in a very nice result. But the years went by and I couldn’t get a break from travel and shows, so it wasn’t possible to verticalize a production in the ideal way. It was also not much of interest to businessmen and concert clients that I stop, especially to produce unpublished material. Finally, in a trivial consultation with the ophthalmologist, I discovered that I had a cataract, in a serious stage needing to operate immediately. This operation called vitrectomy would also aim to clear the vitreous humor, liquid that fills the eyeball. In fact, I wasn’t seeing anything. The incredible thing is that, I don’t know if by analogy or metaphor, after the operation my perspective on life changed completely… I remember that, still on the operating table, sedated like a Michael Jackson (but without Dr. Murray), I saw my hope by a thread, in the miraculous hands of doctors and I even wrote an ode in honor of such brave people. For the first time in my life, I realized the precariousness of our dreams, and the strength of the inner being… Needless to say, I left that place with a fulminating way to transform life now, with all the urgency that that vision suggested to me. It was October 2012, and I planned a record that would be a game changer. I talked with the band, and with the team, and at the end of the year I gave the long-awaited stop to compose at once, the old way, dispensing shows and travel, to immerse myself in the studio and on my piano in an emotional and integral way. That attitude is difficult today, for all artists. This is because the concert market absorbs the whole year, and the lack of a phonographic system similar to everything we experienced in the 70s and 80s, makes artists’ lives a hell of airports, with their speakers announcing flights, airplane seats built for dwarfs, social networks absorbing every thought in pills without the slightest consistency … This is the reality that permeates the creative hole of current music … In the time of Gershwin, Kurt Weill, Coltrane, all the stars of Jazz, from Bossa, and even Rock, went to the studios, where tobacco prevailed in transgressive clouds, and stayed there for months rehearsing and creating the wonderful music of the 20th century. Today, everyone is right, tobacco is banned, everyone is spotted, connected,
human conditionAnd it was with this in mind that the Human Condition was born, a CD by a vintage artist, who sought to rescue the old vintage sound, with vintage musicians, without much fear of looking outdated.
This album yielded an extraordinary repercussion, with beautiful articles in the cultural section, in Rolling Stone and several other magazines and in the network’s journalism. Received with enthusiasm, it gave me a new meaning in criticism, and was elected one of the best records of the year 2013, staying there for the decade, for sure, as one of the most cutting and lasting. The link with the new generation of music was consolidated, it helped a lot. Four tracks “became” in the “Adult-Contemporary” segment of FMs, which did not happen even in the pristine eras of the “majors” in the height of the 80s., In my career, I soon became one of the three most important – although the independent scheme does not allow us the marketing breakdowns of other times, of another reality. The election of the best of the year at Rolling Stone and the award for best record, in the Multishow Trophy – here competing with Caetano (Abraçaço) and with the brilliant Metá Metá – they gave a tone of justice, taking me to an unprecedented level of critical success. This had never happened. Nelson Motta also paid me a touching tribute on Globo, on the occasion of my 60 years. Several TV programs, some of which were extraordinarily popular, brought me back to the general public, and I was once again recognized on the street, something that has happened much more discreetly for some time, due to the obvious changes in the look, with the advancing age … One of the factors that was also important was a realignment in the area of Shows, with great achievements in spaces that were “lost” for a long time, as occurred at Sesc, in several units, at Virada Cultural, and over the subsequent years, around large houses and auditoriums with a guaranteed seating capacity. With the same band on the album: Carlini, Blanc, Gabriel “Frejat” Martini and Willie Verdaguer, and the vocals of Marietta and Luciana Oliveira, we kept this unit several times, with a vast repertoire, more and more commemorative, as we approached the anniversary of 4 decades of career …
With that round date on the horizon, I started thinking about a “package” that would rescue everything at once, that would tie this trajectory, and I went to look for old Sony, to investigate the possibility of compiling a commemorative box that would gather all the CDs. the beginning presented itself as being a Herculean task, since I had gone through many phonographic labels: Som Livre, Warner, CBS / Sony, EMI Odeon, Polygram / Universal, Playarte, and finally our Coaxo do Sapo… But the idea was – promptly welcomed with enthusiasm by Bruno Baptista and Hugo Nunes. To begin with, we needed to win a stage of negotiations and formal authorizations from the phonogram holders. Then came the collection of vast audio material and graphic content. All of this took a year and a half of work, until Pedro and I could finish the delivery to Sony for the making of the 40 year old box. By strictly authorial criteria, the “Classics” of 1994 was left out, since the songs, international mega-hits, are all aliens in my repertoire, and I consider myself primarily a composer. I am not an “interpreter”, and I never set out to be. We had to choose only one “live”, so as not to result in dull redundancy in revisiting the “hits”, and I personally chose the 2001 DVD, with Wander Taffo, Gel, Lee, Rick and Rubinho, at the Mars theater, a disc impeccable with Sussekind production – this could not be left out. We also managed to rescue Ronda Noturna as a master, which would break the 39-year fast of this record in digital (it only existed in the bookstores, on vinyl). The collaboration and commitment of the record companies were precious, but we had to go to great lengths to rescue audios – since a lot, in the transition from analog to digital, was reprocessed with compressors, flattened, or re-equalized, with frequency enhancements and suppressions. But we got the original raw material, which was a painstaking piece of work. The fan club Lance Legal (the famous Fanzine of Varginha -MG) personified by the friend Edson, was fundamental, especially in the collection of graphic materials. We decided to compile a CD only of Compacts and Rarities, gathering the dispersed tracks that were not included in the regular career records. With the box almost ready. already going to the factory, I decided to brighten this box with a libretto, telling all the stories of the records, with minutiae and incredible details, with which the fans could delight… giving names, facts, dates, places, everything that happened in the making of the discs… At the time of finalizing, I preferred to write a manuscript, in the form of a note book, which took a lot of work and yielded 72 pages of calligraphy, which hurt my poor, unaccustomed right hand. to use the pen, even more the digital pen !!!! But there was a jewel in this box, Sony, excited, thrilled … Because my box could now come out with a “something more” especially attractive to fans and collectors!
At the same time, I felt that there is permanently an important gap in the phonographic market, which is the publication of the stories behind the songs, stories of life and creation, not always collected by the industry. The industry tried to commercialize “success”, in the form of a strictly phonographic product, often restricting itself to “highlights”, those 14, 20, at most 30 “hits” that received the extremely suspicious stamp of “success” (eminently related to marketing, and therefore highly questionable, because 100% circumstantial …) forgetting to record the “making-off” of human lives, battles, sufferings and joys, which are behind the music itself.
Except in certain cases of bumpy lives, emblematic symbol legends of political, sexual movements, or landmarks for the transformation of customs in the world, as a rule, lives full of scandals or vicissitudes, often with tragic deaths that help the construction of the “myths”, the phonographic industry did not care to value what was lived, while building a public collection of marketable materials.
In fact, not even ourselves, while fighting in the day-to-day battle, do we take care to document our personal legend.
However, in this new era of Networks, selfies and posts, this becomes a significant revolution: and people today believe that they are living a personal legend, and they are not at all wrong! But for us, anti-diluvians from the era of notebooks, sheet music, acetates and vinyls, AM radio, auditorium programs, this problem was more serious.
Of course, the great bastions listed by the Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity, such as Bob Marley, the Beatles, Piaf, Billy Holliday, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Hendrix or Janis, the Beatles, the Stones, etc … frequent this nobleman widely. pantheon, in bookstores, on newsstands, in audio, video, cinema, have their lives and adventures scrutinized by the meticulous curiosity of the public. But there is almost always a “spicy” component of momentous facts that serve as a sales hook… Lives that are very “normal” do not historically matter. Someone keeps looking at, for example, the life of J, S. Bach? Now, Bach was a boxer in his personal life, very discreet and very cool. But his life interests me a hundred times more than that of a Salieri, or any other enfant-terrible more than any easy figure of mondanité in the ephemeral Côrtes do Sucesso… In Brazil, we have several exponents widely documented, with a lot of honor and justice by the way, like Tom, Vinícius, Elis, Bethânia, Novos Bahianos, Caetano, Gil, Milton, and even Cazuza, to whose work and memory his hardworking mother Lucinha is very devoted … In most cases, it is the artist’s own family that takes care of the collection and makes it available for the perpetuation of his legend. But I notice that many of my idols, whose saga has been under-dimensioned within the times and circumstances in which they lived, remain obscured in the dust of the road and of history. It is the case of Taiguara, Johnny Alf, or in the case of international music, my beloved band Captain Beyond … there are so many, it is difficult to list here.
I started to get distressed, because I can, I have conditions and technical knowledge, I have the ideal space, a prodigious memory where everything I lived is vivinho-da-silva, not always in color, but even in black and white, in sepia, remains in high definition!
Waiting for 50 years would be waiting too long – who knows what, in my madness, I will be doing or wanting, in another ten years…
And there is another: originality. I couldn’t miss this component! Nobody did that, at least that way …
This way of telling their own stories could be absolutely transgressive, almost subversive, since the re-visitor look would not be the look of the director, a broadcaster, a producer, or conductive interviewers with their questions structured in their vision and in its internal objective, forcing bars, asking the usual obvious questions, mainly shining and leading the scene. Nothing like that. What people would most like to know is my privileged point of view about my life. My craze. My way of widening my eyes, of conducting defective thinking too: the truth, perfection is always slightly defective! Nobody knows more about these stories than I do. Even for conventional footage, with a director conducting, I would have to tell everything tim-tim by tim-tim… So why not tell the spectator like that, just for him, and not for a crowd, for a crowd, for an audience on a DVD. Here is another question… I am asked why I don’t make a 40 year old DVD…. And I ask myself: for what? For who ? To pass by the bar, the pizzeria, the pub, to the sound of cutlery and glasses, with the aroma of wood burning basil? But what about the interlocutor’s attention no longer exists?
Better than a book, it would be a musical biography on video, singing and playing, always privileging music, since the language I chose to talk to the world is music. So when people ask me why I don’t write a book, I think to myself: good or bad, anyone who has stories can write your book, but what about the sounds? Are they left out ?: Do they give space for personal curiosities? Self-voyeurism? Would the sounds be irrelevant because the record companies have the best of them? What better is this, if everything was so circumstantial?
And I really think that the big corporations are migrating to that side, eager to grab the “meaning” of those lives, whose works they managed to remain… Voilà! This is the gold mine!
I realized that what the record companies, the broadcasters, the newspaper companies, have about me (about us, since that goes for everyone …) is completely ridiculous and miserable, close to what I have inside us, and I’m not inclined to take my content with me to oblivion.
I know that I will live a long time, and even more now, that I have dropped the “straw marigold” once and for all….
One day I dreamed that I had died. With the utmost modesty and sincere modesty in my dream, they talked about me in Jornal Nacional, and in the end, after “Boa Noite” in the presenter’s low voice, the scene closed and froze at Maracanãzinho, in that hairy “close”, Earth, Water Planet … and the dates of birth and death were written on the screen. Then the commercial came in.
Life that goes on… .I woke up, sweating at dawn… Is that what will stay with me?