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Tequila, the band that sparked a “libertarian orgasm” in the rock-hit transition

After the death of Franco, the rock song started in the city squares. There was a desire for freedom. Enjoy, drink and dance. In a Spain that was changing by leaps and bounds, two teenagers arrived fleeing another dictatorship, Argentina, which General Videla had just established after a coup d’état. What ended here began there. Few thought that these two Argentinian kids would change the history of Spanish music and achieve what seemed unthinkable years ago: that rock and roll sounds in the Plaza Mayor… non-stop. This is what came out of one of the most popular songs that Ariel Roth and Alejo Stivel created—along with Spaniards Julián Infante, Felipe Lipes, and Manolo Iglesia—with the band Tequila, which many decades earlier A boy band, became the first Spanish fan phenomenon to lose his gray color. Both Roth and Stivell tell the story of their band in the documentary Tequila, sex, drugs and rock and roll, which is presented at the Zinemaldia San Sebastian Film Festival.

They have been on many stages and festivals, but not in any cinema and from the terrace of the Hotel María Cristina they joke about the luxury that they have not seen in concerts or when they became the biggest stars of the music scene. The late 70s also laugh when asked how much truth there is in the title of the documentary, which repeats the theme of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. “Yes, we are completing the topic, which is not so clear in terms of proportion or order, but we are definitely completing it,” they say amid laughter.

This phrase, although common place, sums up the look of the documentary well, which does not shy away from topics such as drugs and the sexuality of some young men who were considered gods. Its director, Alvaro Longoria, was clear that he had to say it. “When there’s a theme, there’s a reason, and it’s true that the movie is about a rock band and some kids who succeed and find success. It’s not just success, but everything that comes with it, and how hard it is for these kids who were alone, without any protection, and fell into this vortex. And that will have consequences,” says Longoria, who participated in the same competition a few days ago in the fields where he acted as a producer.

The best explanation of what Tequila meant is in the first strip of the documentary, when one of the many testimonies – including singers like Ramoncini or Miguel Rios and industry representatives like Capp – defines them as a “libertarian orgasm” in full transition. A band that defied another cliché that had been perpetuated before, the one that said “you can’t do rock in Spanish”.

The idea for the documentary comes from Longoria, but they get it after some meetings where they discuss what the approach is. In the end, they clearly understand what story they have to tell: “The Untold Story of Tequila.” “It’s not supposed to be a showcase of people talking well about us, but it tells a little truth,” as Ariel Roth defines the piece, and “an exercise in pleasant nostalgia” for Alejo Stivel.

The film has a strong impact on the contrast that journalist Juan Cruz defines in a phrase Stivell remembers from San Sebastian. “Two boys who left the night that was beginning and came to the night that was ending. Inside the tragedy, how ugly and terrible it is to leave your country, to be displaced and all the bad things that happened, there is a point of light and brightness that is the fate of escaping from a terrible situation and entering. to the fabulous situation that was the beginning of freedom. In other words, I think that in a way, fate compensated the bad side with the good side,” he adds.

We were arrogant with a lot of charm and very loving, but we had that point of arrogance that rock and roll has

Alejo Stiveli
Musician and member of Tequila

Ariel Roth remembers the fear she felt in the months before she fled Argentina. They were two children with long hair and with the desire to sabotage, the police stopped them on the street, interrogated them and even arrested them. “Everything in Argentina was done behind closed doors,” he says of the dark times before arriving in “a country and a city where it was the opposite.” Roth arrived shortly before Stivel and remembers how this wine told him that in this country you can walk without fear of a policeman: “One day Ariel did something that made me shudder, which is that we were walking down the street at night and a policeman came out and asked for a light , that he lit a cigarette. In Argentina, if you see a policeman, immediately try to go the other way, because you may end up disappearing. And when he did that, I was scared to death, and he was like, “See? Nothing’s happening.”

They came from “tragedy”, as Alejo Stivell defines it, because they all saw death or disappearance in their families up close, and when they arrived in Spain, they experienced a “flight forward”. “We said, ‘Let’s have fun, have a good time, entertain people’… It was an escapist proposition, to say, ‘Let’s rock and roll in the town square and forget the bad vibes.’ Stivell says of the movement, which has been accused of a certain depoliticization over the years.

One of the successes of the documentary is the use of Cecilia Roth (Ariel’s sister) not only as a narrator, but also as a voice that analyzes the events through the eyes of the present. He is the one who listens to how they treat their fans and analyzes feminism, qualifying the group phenomenon as “subjugation”. “Fans obey their king, it seems scandalous to me, and they don’t care if they swear with you or your friend,” says the actor.

He also appreciates how fame affected them, how it gave them “a point of stardom that was annoying” and turned them into “arrogant people who made a lot of money, which is unthinkable for young people who had everything they wanted: girls, drugs… “. They can’t deny that Cecilia Roth was right, and they admit it with a bit of a mug. “We were arrogant, but cute,” says Ariel Roth, to which her friend adds that they also had “a lot of charm.” “We were arrogant big with charm and very loving, but we had that point of arrogance that rock ‘n’ roll has, which I also think kind of opened the door for us because we went with a ‘come’ attitude. To take everything and somehow people made people believe it.” , that charm convinced us that it was possible to rock and roll in the town square and dance as if the 40-year dictatorship didn’t exist.

Source: El Diario





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