No one would ever have thought that these two names would appear in the same sentence. However, they have been the talking point for the past week in Honduras, and yet they have touched millions in very, very, very different ways.
Let’s start with the positive of the two. Gustavo Cerati. Cerati was the lead singer and songwriter of Soda Stereo, an Argentine rock group that appealed to millions all over Latin America, singing songs about/against dictatorships in the 1980s and 90s when they rose to fame. Kind of a bohemian, rebellion’ish type of band that millions identified with. Personally I take a passing interest in Latin American rock. A prefer British rock. Just a preference thing I suppose, but not to say that I think Latin American rock is bad or anything. I always associated Mana as the kind of U2 of Latin America. I’d studied their lyrics while learning Spanish in Spain all those years ago and the earlier music I still enjoy, even though to many they come across as a bit commercial (Pamela and I also professed our love for each other at a Mana concert at the Villa Olímpica Stadium back in November 2011). I have said many times that Mana are the U2 of Latin America, but many Hondurans deny this vehemently by saying that Soda Stereo take that title with ease. They also claim that they are much better too. I’d never heard of them before I came here. My Spanish housemate Nacho said pretty much the same about their success in Spain; nothing much. So their popularity struck me by surprise. They were pulling in crowds of 100,000. Massive I’d say.
Last week, Gustavo Cerati died (on the same day as Joan Rivers, strangely enough), four years after falling into a coma in Venezuela while on stage. He died aged 55, with two kids that survive him. The band were together from 1982 until 1997, but then regrouped 10 years later after Cerati had considerable success as a solo artist. While saying they were the U2 of Latin America, they seemed more like the Gallagher brothers, in constant battle with each other. Cerati was also of English/Irish descent through his mum. I can comprehend with that. He was also very inspired by the Police and the Cure. Something in our water, I guess
Pamela and her sister were in tears when they heard. He touched many people’s hearts for the better that I feel that I really must include a song of his. RIP Cerati. I never knew you when you were alive. But you were a talent and you go down in legendary status.
I feel tired. So I will tackle the Mario Zelaya story tomorrow.