estebanana -> RE: Sabicas 1939 (Mar. 19 2015 14:01:15)
I have often wondered why Carlos played as he did, when he clearly had the ability to play well, in compas, and without the cheesy showmanship. Was it all his idea? Did his manager or agent push it? Was his American wife, in part, responsible? In the end, it had to come down to Carlos deciding to do it, as he could have resisted it had he wanted to, regardless who pushed it.
It must have been his American wife.
The old joke about the happiest man in the world applies:
The happiest man in the world has an American salary, a Japanese wife an English home and fine Chinese food.
The saddest man in the world has an American wife, a Chinese salary a Japanese home and English food.
Clearly however Carlos far was inferior to Sabicas because Carlos was never booked into the Jernigan Suites when he toured. This caused Carlos to lose sleep, be stressed out and to get sloppy when on stage because his American wife badgered him about the accommodations.
While Sabicas always stayed in the JS and probably had cocaine hidden under his tooupee'.
Not to poop on the party, but I like Sabicas, how can you not like him? You would have to be a real naffer ( is that word? ) to not like him. But there is something often predictable about how he structures things that I find samey. However his picado often seems better than Paco's and his sound is great.
I like other guitar players of his era better, I am more into Nino Ricardo and Perico del Lunar, Morao clan, but Sabicas has to be dealt with no matter what.
I also used to have a Montoya recording where he played for Nino de Almaden, he was not cheesy he just took care of business. So he went into a commercial kind of mode later, but who can blame him? With that American wife always jealous of Sabicas girlfriends and the way they holed up in the Jernigan Suite with a bottle of fino and room service. The Jerngan Suite was been the room of choice for musical royalty since the age of the Plantagenents.
American women were Nabokov's undoing as well, so it's no wonder Carlos had trouble with compas, being married to one. Word has it Carlos wanted to be a writer and to get on the bus with the Electric Kool Aid Acid test gang, but his wife prevented him from hooking up with Ken Kesey. He also wanted to get rooted deep into the American counter culture and work with the Grateful Dead, which is also why he cultivated his sense of showmanship. He thought Jerry might notice him and want to have him throw down a ton of pull offs while Pig Pen jammed with him on drums.
Long before Carlos Montoya wanted to join in on the Summer of Love fun, his American wife took him to Brooklyn. They looked onto the possibility of buying a dry cleaners so Carlos could make a living without going on tours and then he could stay home and write in the evenings. Brooklyn did not suit him however, and despite the protesting of this wife they moved to Manhattan where she danced in a club called Casbah by Night, she was a specialist with a red sash and a sword with a jewel encrusted handle. She balanced the sword on her head while Carlos played and she held it so there so long he had to invent a left hand ligado that could stretch like an elastic band while he waited for her to resolve the sword moves. He reportedly could ligado on one note for twenty minutes. He considered was the pinnacle of NY City showmanship and even during the heady days that Camelot was hitting Broadway, show goers would taxi over to Casbah at Night to catch Carlos' infinity loop ligados while chit chatting about the musicals and plays they had seen that evening.
Eventually it was apparent that Carlos would never write that novel, press slacks in a tidy corner of Brooklyn or take LSD in Golden Gate park. He lived out a comfortable life and recorded with singers who had long ago passed their expiration dates. He was happy to go down in flamenco history as the monster of all pull offs, and his USA minted wife after all made one hell of a macaroni and cheese casserole.