Nineteen odd years ago I was in Mexico with Graham and a crew from UK Channel 4. We were about half way through our adventure when we drove through the outskirts of Puebla and stopped for supplies. We also bought a cassette of an album called Guitarra Negra (the black guitar) by a bloke called Alfredo Zitarrosa. It became the soundtrack for our Mexican adventure, and when—a few days before we left the country—I was in Mexico city buying presents for the folk back home, and saw a copy on CD, I cought it, and have it still.
Now, therein lies a tale. Back in Puebla when we first got the cassette, Gina our interpreter told us the tragic tale of the singer. Apparently was a Uruguayan singer-songwriter, poet and journalist. He specialized in Uruguayan and Argentinean folk genres such as zamba and milonga, and he became a chief figure in the nueva canción movement in his country and I remember Gina telling me in her delightfully sexy broken English, that Zitarrosa had been murdered “by those fukking peegs” because of his political activities, and that is the story that I have repeated whenever the subject has come up, for the last nineteen years. It added an extra poignancy to the brooding melancholy of his glorious voice, and the sweeping but sparse arrangements consisting of two acoustic guitars, each recorded at different ends of the stereo spectrum. Plus an occasional (and ever so slightly out of tune) string quartet. Whenever I hear the music, I think of the beautiful vistas of the Puebla desert with Popocatepetl brooding angrily against the smokey horizon.
Now, I am sure that I looked up the story of Alfredo on t’internet, and I am sure I remember that it confirmed Gina’s story. Now, fast forward to this morning. I was having a jolly exchange of emails with our very own Alan Dearling about music that I thought he would like and I mentioned Zitarrosa. But, because I am a lazy sod, I decided to cut and paste the story of his death from Wikipedia.
And guess what?
I couldn’t find it. All the websites I could find merely bemoaned his untimely death. And eventually found an Argentine website which contained an obituary of the singer from back in the day. Using Google Translate, I discovered that it read: “According to the doctor Zitarrosa suffered Sunday a massive small intestine infarction of venous origin that managed to recover despite being operated on and died today due to intestinal cause peritonitis.”
The story turns out to have been tragic, but not nearly as tragic as what I thought had happened. So, we are left with the following conclusions:
1 I got it wrong all along
2 I believed Gina’s story and false memory syndrome did the rest
3 Someone, somewhere is playing silly buggers and rewriting history (presumably for political reasons)
4 Somehow I have been hopping from universe to universe on some sort of quantum level
5 None of the above
6 All of the above
I have absolutely no idea which of those is the correct answer. But it provides a nice little mystery for the start of the week.
And now, here is the news:
Frank Zappa Interview Oct 10, 1967 The Bitter End
FAIRPORT CONVENTION NEWS
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: London Community Gospe...
ERIC BURDON RETURNS TO MONTEREY
THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
Gonzo Magazine #239
THE ALL AROUND THE WORLD ISSUE
Kev eulogises about New Zealand’s Miss Peach and the Travelling Bones, who are one of the best bands I have heard all year, John writes about the new sounds of the Summer of Love’s 50th Anniversary, Alan remembers the Isle of Wight Festivals at the cusp of the 60s and 70s, and Richard attends the Deke Leonard memorial concert, while Jon burbles about The Beatles.
And listen up Kiddies: It’s all free!
And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney, Strange Fruit, Canterbury Sans Frontieres and Friday Night Progressive. We also have columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, Mr Biffo, Neil Nixon and the irrepressible Corinna. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons outside zoos (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have escaped from captivity, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
This issue features:
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Goldie, Neil Young, Phil Collins, Libertines, Woodstock, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Skunk Anansie scholarship, Wilko Johnson, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Canterbury Sans Frontieres, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Anita Pallenberg, Charles P (Chuck) Thacker, Rosalie Sorrels, Corneliu Stroe, Adam West, Norris "Norro" Wilson, Sam Beazley, Mary Hopkin, Steve Howe, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, Tony Klinger, Alan Dearling, Isle of Wight Festivals, Dave Houghton, Circus Zyair, John Brodie-Good, Summer of Love, Owsley "Bear" Stanley, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Todd Rundgren, David Crosby, Kev Rowland, Miss Peach and the Travellin' Bones, Richard Foreman, Deke Leonard, Tim Burness, Tyrannosorceress, 8Kids, Art Fristoe Trio, Barrows, Beasto Blanco, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Martin Springett, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Elvis, Derek and Clive
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 238 (Hawkwind)
Issue 237 (Hawkwind)
Issue 236 (Manchester)
Issue 235 (Jon Anderson)
Issue 234 (Al Atkins)
Issue 233 (Richard Strange)
Issue 232 (Roy Weard)
Issue 231 (Allan Holdsworth)
Issue 230 (Curtis Womack)
Issue 229 (Larry Wallis)
Issue 228 (Space Pharoahs)
Issue 227 (Chuck Berry)
Issue 225-6 (The Rites of Spring)
Issue 224 (Hibernal)
Issue 223 (Beatles)
Issue 222 (Cruise to the Edge)
Issue 221 (Deke Leonard)
Issue 220 (Larry Wallis)
Issue 219 (Martin Stone)
Issue 218 (Mark Reiser tribute)
All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The more the merrier really.
* The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at email@example.com. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...
* The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.co.uk
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!
* Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 57 who - together with a Jack Russell called Archie, an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, and two half grown kittens, one totally coincidentally named after one of the Manson Family, purely because she squeaks, puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention Archie and the Cats?