With authorization from the Grijalbo publishing house we publish a fragment of the first chapter of the book Some time ago. The life of Gustavo Ceratiof the journalist Sergio Marchiwho makes a biography of the leader of Soda Stereo based on interviews with those close to himand those that he himself did during his career to the author of In the city of fury.
In the heat of the encores Gustavo Cerati He caught the smile and the upward movement of his head. Carlos Santana that invited him to do one more solo lap in the monumental show that had been set up in El Campín in Bogotá, Colombia. “That night Gustavo broke it,” says Adrián Taverna, sound engineer for Gustavo’s entire career and one of his greatest friends.
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Santana is inherently generous but he is not a man who is demagogic: if he asked for another round, it was because he really wanted it. He enjoyed it more than Gustavo himself, serious, focused and working hard.
I couldn’t fail: I didn’t want to fail. And she didn’t do it. Did she enjoy it? Hmmm, it’s hard to put a spin on that experience inside her head, because she was afraid that the emotion would ruin her solo. After all, it was a jam around “Exodus”, a song by Bob Marleyto which one of Santana’s singers inserted some verses from “Get Up, Stand Up” so that people would sing.
But that night the audience was more hooked on Santana and Gustavo’s solos together. The Colombians made no distinction between the two: they adored both without qualms and were fascinated by the union of two universal guitarists. Sandro Pujía, illuminator of soda Stereo and a good part of Cerati’s solo career coincided with Adrián: “What Gustavo played that night was something incredible.”
On March 15, 1996, it rained furiously on Bogota and the natural forces seemed to concentrate even more on El Campin and the 35 thousand people who resisted the storm.
Santana He had arrived early for the sound check and decided to stay at the stadium because the traffic that day was atrocious: it would be tiring to get to and from the hotel.
Taverna was also one of the first to be present; She stayed waiting for the arrival of soda Stereo for sound check and received the blessings that Carlos Santana he used to teach. “The guy greeted us all,” says Adrián, “and behind him came the manager lighting bunches of incense that gave off such a strong smell that it was unbearable in the open air; You went to Santana’s dressing room and you found an altar: his God at that time was Haile Selassie. He was out there with his Hindu cap “I already greeted everyone.”
-That God Give you his blessings, brother – he smiled at everyone who crossed his yogic gaze.
Someone reported that the soda Stereo and Santana He said into the air, knowing that someone was going to hear him: “I want to invite Gustavo to play.” He didn’t say Soda Stereo, Gustavo said, as if he knew him from the neighborhood. “It seems like it came with data,” reflects Taverna, who took the hot torch and responded on his behalf: “Wow, he’s going to love it! Gustavo has admired you since he was a child and hurried his steps to go tell you.
-Gus, Santana wants you to come up and play with him tonight. Now he’s coming to see you.
-I can not believe you! –Cerati’s face lit up.
Although it had been a long time since I had listened to his music, to Gustavo It was a heavenly invitation: the first recital of his life was the one he gave Santana in the “Gasómetro”, the historic and missing stadium of the football club San Lorenzoin the neighborhood Boedo. It was October 16, 1973; with some older friends, who except one did not belong to the circle of the San Roque school, He made a pilgrimage full of excitement to the concert.
At that time, the musicians of rock international did not reach the Argentina. Santana’s arrival ignited the enthusiasm of music lovers and four performances were held, an enormity for the time: the first two, with very expensive tickets, at the Metro cinema/theater; the third, a little cheaper, in the Luna Park the next day, and the last one at the San Lorenzo court at popular prices, which was the maximum that Gustavo and his friends’ pockets could stretch to.
He greatly enjoyed the whole experience of going to a first rock show and he left the stadium as if excited, on fire from Santana’s fiery music, with his hormones boiling. And now, twenty-three years later, it was Santana himself who wanted to play with him. For Cerati it was a boost because the tour of soda Stereo It was a complete success, and in fact they had just recorded a lying album unplugged (acoustic) for MTV, but the group was in an accelerated process of disintegration and the bad vibe was as palpable as a wall. They spoke to each other as necessary and mostly through intermediaries.
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“Gustavo went crazy with the invitation,” says Taverna; We listened to Santana a lot in the early days. He was in a state between happy and scared, and was wondering what topic I could play with him.”
“I believe that Santana invited Gustavo to play at the request of the show promoter,” suggests Colombian businessman Julio Correal, a friend of Cerati. But the thing seemed to come from a long time ago. Apparently in 1989, Carlos Santana received a CD from Soda Stereo from the hands of the Argentine Rudy Pensawhose instrument store on 48th Street in the city of NY has become a kind of Mecca for musicians from all latitudes. And furthermore, Santana was one of the first to receive the sponsorship (and instruments) of PRS guitars (Paul Reed Smith). It was Pensa himself who He sold one to Cerati.