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Roberto Pettinato: “Charly told me to do his songs in free-jazz-format”

The talented musician, journalist, standapero and writer released his album in physical format with versions of the legendary rocker, in months where he enjoys the radio success of the program “Genio o Idiota”.

Roberto Pettinato

Although the story was extensive and traumatic in some stage, it can finally be admitted to first observation — or, in this case, “audition” — that had a very happy outcome, according to the artistic prestige of its protagonists. From Thursday, March 18, the new imported double vinyl under the title  Pettinato Plays García is now available, a material that should have been generated in the United States, given the problems of local tone existing to respond to an edition with the best possible definition. The carefully numbered edition that appeared by NYC Records, in charge of the process to turn it into a classic 180 gram vinyl, is sold as hot bread with a final price of 8500 pesos and fans exteriorize on the networks their thanks to this long-awaited publication.


Occasionally using his visited Instagram network, in which he often publishes photos with his puppy Drive, to promote the arrival of the album in physical format, the musician who made history in the 80s with the historic group Sumo, today travels the months of DISPO conducting the weekly radio cycle  Genio o Idiota  . Excited by an overflowing response that shook the modorra of FM radio POP 101.5 in August last year with its broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays, the old Uriarte street station had to place it in daily format from Monday to Friday, live appearances where it captivates with the songs chosen for each day or the desopilating crosses he maintains with Tamara and Homer, two of the five children who make up his offspring at the crossroads of millennia.


With very long hair and carrying the vinyl from which he will choose themes to pass on one of the broadcasts, he admits the reasons for his return to ether, very celebrated by all his followers in the spring of decontracturado 2020. “This is a people-motivated return, they asked me every year to return to the radio. They didn't tell me about TV, but specifically about radio, I live excited about the situation because it is a popular net impact format and comes out very natural,” he explains honest and humble, ignoring that a decade ago he revolutionized very silent the early hours of FM 100, become the highest rated program of the modulated frequencies. The renowned saxophonist, who usually holds the concept of “free your mind that your ass will follow you”, now receives the pampering of his listeners who do not spare pyropos or thanks to make clear the true meaning of this shining comeback in the media.


Roberto Pettinato


Turned into the captivating showman who excelled in  Duro de tame, Indomables  or  The Imperial Ant  by various cathodic screens, he now preferred to focus fully on his radio cycle, where he starts unavoidable laughter with his interviews with social characters little focused by other animators. It is not affected by the current pandemic, that which did have to abuse his daughter Tamara, and warns that confinement in its various phases is not a guarantee of radio rating under any reason. “It's not that you put anything there on the radio and people because of what happens sanitarily listen to you, in these difficult months people turn off all their devices and turn them on at certain times, but not because it's a pandemic, don't forget that, in times of World War II, you could listen to Prime Minister Churchill on a station, but there were also radio stations that only passed jazzeros or swing guys like Benny Goodman.”


Very happy and satisfied with the novelty of this vinyl edition of the project with the leader of Serú Girán who came promoting in their networks during the last weeks, he explains that this was a decision of both, arising from a mistake. The winder of the band that commanded Luca Prodan, ignoring the great sonic pearl of  Tango 4 , asked him about the song “Happy and Real”, a song that had also had an emotional second re-reading on the album  Influencia . “I thought it was a Broadway classic and  Charly  told me it was his subject, that even Tony Bennet had told him he was the most powerful ballad of the last three decades,” says descriptive, discovering that this talk was detonating for both to create what was left in the album, material that first saw the light last year on the platforms through the label El Club del Disco. Giving his vivid memories testimonies, the saxophonist in late 2019 wandered anxious with the finished album alongside his then manager Frank Di Pasquale. Profound was his sadness when he quickly found that the Sony Music Argentina label told him that he could not publish it, simply arguing budget reasons after the last national elections.


The eleven songs that make up this special publication include classics such as “Tango en segunda” or “Say No More”, songs that appear in sung and instrumental versions, compilation of reversals that had only two surprise concerts official in the magical club Borges 1975 in December 2019. Argentina, by those weeks, already had a new president and absolute ignorance about a pandemic that would hit all its activities months later. He was accompanied by the oiled trio that followed him in the free-jazz-format show sequence, composed of pianist Andrés Marino, double bass player Hernán Cassiba and drummer Omar Menéndez. Months later, while the cities of our country were just entering DISPO, the good news finally came with the publication on digital platforms of this sensual and seductive artistic encounter, a task where the independent label (Club del Disco) had a central impact. A few days after a new phase of the album —now in physical format—, which brought together the founder of Sui Generis in this special stage with the creator of the old group Pachuco Cadáver, the talented musician, journalist, standapero and writer Roberto Pettinato analyzed with Ser Argentino this album and numerous songs from his intense and adrenaline profession.


Roberto Pettinato


 At the time it was said that Charly García's reversed album in the context of “free-jazz” was recorded during that time in the United States, when you were playing in a public park.  

 Roberto Pettinato : No, I recorded the album here, we were talking to  Charly Garcia , we had agreed in one place and we were listening   Triplícate , Bob Dylan's triple vinyl CD album, which is a project published by Sony Music where he plays with a normal orchestra. So Charly looked at me and said, “You have to do this,” but since I don't have an orchestra, I did it with a jazzy quartet. The idea was to make a series of ballads in the style of John Coltrane, I remember then that I said to him, “Give me the few known themes,” but Charly not only passed me the little-known themes, but gave me an unpublished theme hidden in an I-Pad. Mecha (Iñigo, rocker's couple) told me that Garcia had like twelve I-Pads, mostly broken, then I remember that, in the studio, when he came to record, he said to me: “What a good topic, very good, is it yours? “And I said, “No, it's yours” (laughter). On top of that song had no name, it was really so hidden inside the I-Pad that it didn't even have a title, very strong, then it got “I Pad Church Number Nine”, half as a pun with a George Harrison title.


 What was the editing project at the end of 2019 when they finished it?  

 Roberto Pettinato : The album was going to be on Sony Music, but when we went to see them with my manager (Frank Di Pasquale) they told us they had no budget for that, we were in uncertainty for several months, until the Club del Disco came and appeared on digital platforms. From the beginning the title was confirmed, it was  Pettinato Plays Garcia . We called it that, a little bit in joke like those record names like “Coltrane plays the blues”, “Doe plays Mengano”. The good news of the project came when, after several talks and things sent by cell phone, Charly said, “Well, I'm going to play a song,” so the album was added to the album on top of him a version of “Happy And Real”, which I didn't remember that the  Tango 4  vinyl was closed by 1991. In that version he sang like a crooner from the 50s, there he gave a whole wave Frank Sinatra to the song by being accompanied by a jazzy quartet. In this album you will find all very slow songs, because there we discover the HUGE melodies that Charly has. For example, you come across things like “Total Interference”, which at the time was the last song from the remembered vinyl  Piano Bar , monstrous, other tracks like “Transatlantic Art Deco”, which is inside the music band of  Pubis Angelic, is impressive. I'm very happy about how everything was, beyond the long time it demanded.


 Another thing you agree with Charly is the passion for “symphonic rock” or “progressive” as it was called in the 1970s. What specifically do you have to do with that kind of rock?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  I love progressive rock, as Charly García would say about it: “Progressive rock is going to come back, it's going to be progressive rock” (laughter). Progressive rock seems to me the most interesting thing, that your girl doesn't like it is something else. There are girlfriends who tell you: “Do not put Yes, which is unbearable”, it is difficult, because it is a complex music, very manly, it's men, I clarify because the world of women and the world of men still exist. There are things that are from the world of men, progressive music, football, roast, smoking and chatting to screams, because the world of men continues to exist. I remember that, in stand-up monologues, he said that, at a time I was in the car and played classical music, they thought it was the sound band for the film  Star Wars  (laughter), because they don't care, it's not that they don't know about contemporary music, but there are things that They are more interested in guys and more women, just that.


Roberto Pettinato


 Another of the moments you shared with Charly happened on a birthday that Garcia celebrated in a local in Palermo, part of the talks on the backstage appeared in the film Juan Sebastián de Diego Levy that was presented at the 21st edition of the BAFICI festival in a complex cinema in Belgrano. Were you aware of all that could be seen in the last regular edition of the film sample?  

 Roberto Pettinato : Are you screwing me? I had no idea, I guess it will be that filming in the dressing room about what Velma Café was and now called Lucille, it was in 2018, on Charly's birthday, I remember there was a video camera filming and we were all kidding with him, shortly before Charly came up to play. . At one point I went to Juanse and said, “What a smell of a Bible” (joke about the version of the CD about Vox Dei), there Charly said, “Let's change the subject.” I think it's a great honor to be in the film about the life of Juan Sebastiérrez, Juanse, did you see when people began to rediscover Pappo? Juanse is a monster composing, there is no “rolling stone” style, just as at one point Thelonius Monk grabs “Monk And Soul”, and there with the same chords writes “Round Midnight”. Not that he overcame it, expanded and stretched it, did something superior, so what Juanse and the Mice have done is to stretch the Rolling Stones and give them another wider reading, recovering the pop-songbook of the Rolling Stones. When I see them, I always tell Juanse, “Your best topic is The Acid War,” and he nods with his head very satisfied.


 Another aspect you agree with García is about the final audio of the discs. In the 1980s Charly passed the final audio of the mixing of his discs through a small radiorecorder and, if that equipment was banking it, then on any team it sounded spectacular. You guys did the same with Sumo, didn't you?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  We didn't have to be right or wrong in the head to understand that mechanism, we were as we were and we had the car parked in the corner and all the time we went out from the Panda studio to the car, from the car to the Panda studios, from Panda to the car to put the cassette. The thing is, you had to sound good in the car... because people at the time had cassettes and cars. But people today have phones, they're there, they don't have audio equipment, people in the house don't have audio equipment, they put music on the computer, which also made that be minimized as a more household appliance. I would tell you the music today is... “I put a little bit of music in the house. uacute; sica”, kind like “put the turkey”, before people would take their time, play and listen to music, but today people are “put... play... music” (laughter).


 Charly was always very interested in literature and you, even before the things that happened, you were to write and publish very often. Did you have the need to recover in these pandemic times the captivating book writer who lives within you?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  I always have several projects, but there is a book that I owe a lot of people. A lot of people say to me, “Give it, do it, do it! ”, the book project is the “Horroroscope”, I did it on television and I do it now on the radio, last year during Sundays people called and left their queries. People say to me, “Give it, please, I wrote that! “I mean, make a super bastard book on astrology issues, where he comes out talking about all the bad news, everything ugly about every sign, and that book today I have it there in debt. I was also indebted to the special police novel  would let me kill for you . There are a lot of things, there are also people who talk to me about the music book, and I say, “Well, I'm going to do it now, but don't forget you're facing a vague professional.” I was a guy all my life letting me go by instant talent, but who, deep down, hides a bum who takes all his time, all my life I took some time in my way. Do you know what age I entered Sumo? 27 years old, I was there at 30, you understand? The musicians were 17 years old when they played, 18, were those of Led Zeppelin how old were they? 20 years, 21, remember that the Beatles ended at 27, the musicians were very early, I definitely not.


Roberto Pettinato


 Before releasing this work with Charly García, you had released the album Sumo by Pettinato, released by Sony Music almost five years ago. Is it true that, for that record, you had everything ready and you recorded it in just two days?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  It was actually a single day (laughter), I remember that one afternoon at 18 hours we started the recording at ION Studios, then it was mixed in another day. Already on that second day it wasn't the musicians, it's true, we were really clear what we wanted to do, we had already rehearsed. I copied the idea of the Grateful Dead, who recorded in the round on a carpet, who crap on the idea of “if I play hard on this side my instrument enters through the microphone of the drums” or “the drum hit goes through the microphone on the guitar amplifier.” All that said from the purely technical thing seemed to me all my life a bigger stupidity than a house. Just listen to what we did and I showed it on that album  SPP , it's far one of the best sounding of all national rock. It sounds and says it by those of the music that the records sound to. Just the idea I had was that and I passed it on to the technician, who was the person who mixed it and recorded it. I remember, at one point, I told him: “I took the headphones from the I-Phone and mix it with these, if everything sounds good on the I-Phone, then we put it in the big baffles.” At first the technician didn't believe me, but then he did it and then when he just put it in the big boxes he wanted to die. It sounded spectacular.


 Is there any Sumo member who might feel uncomfortable because you wrote another book about Luca or have recorded an attractive double album playing the songs of that band you founded?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  No, I think not because if they hadn't told me, right? , but not in that sense. Ricardo (Mollo) less than less and with Germán (Daffunchio) I spoke very recently, but did that version run at the time, ratify everything I told you before the media gossip about the important, some later say: “Doe and Mengano are fighting.” With Germán I talk often, he even aired on the radio show last year on a Sunday. We are always in touch with him and remember that I was in Nicaragua's wine bar when they presented their latest album to the media in early 2020. Before that launch, we kept in touch and I remember that I once called him, because I had to take a micro, he was going to wait for me at the stop there in the town of Traslasierras. Honestly there was nothing like that, because I have a familiar concept, I never spoke against Sumo and neither of any member of the group, I found everyone something good, something cool. Books have respect for each one's memory, moreover, if others knew how to write or sit easy to write, surely everyone would tell their part of everything. Let's clarify that I also like to write, too, I have that, I like to write and I love to write rock very much. So the others always say to me, “How come you don't make a rock book? ”, “even if it is one called 'my favorite disks'” (laughs).


 The shows you did at the time of Sumo for Pettinato went very well and filled everywhere, I imagine your satisfaction about it.  

 Roberto Pettinato: See how things come back!... One goes and goes back, one is half in art, half in the media. Ninety percent of media people are in the media, but I'm half on the art side and the other side in the media. I always said, “If tomorrow I run out of work or don't have anything to do, I'll always have what I always was, because I'm a rock journalist, hey! ”. Beyond a rock journalist, I was a musician who played drums and just played the saxophone, well, but I didn't make millions from it, so I started to dedicate myself to something else. I started as a television  driver  and not like most that starts noterly, in the entrance, just was a driver, the program that left at the time Vicentico, I remember that was I called  Rebel without pause , I was going for what today is Public TV, Channel 7 before or, much further back, ATC. The only thing I remember about those  SPP  shows is that they had run the ball of them and all my colleagues wanted to come and play, they all came, Ricardo Mollo, Zorrito Quintero, Willy Crook, Wallas, everyone came and they didn't want to get off stage (laughs), because all musicians like being in a band that sounds like the motherfucker, the musician wonders and likes that, no doubt.


Roberto Pettinato


 A lot of people who weren't at Nito and Charly's farewell back in 75 at Luna Park say he was there. Had that been true, in the show “Adiós Sui Generis” there would have been 80,000 people inside Luna Park, something impossible in any analysis. The other myth is that, in Sumo's last performance, there was a huge crowd in that football stadium where they played for the last time, as if they had seen them not less than 250,000 people, right?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  It's a big lie... I remember walking through the grass with a plastic cup that had whiskey, going so cold dead telling others at the time, “Why are we playing here? ”. I remember looking like that very seriously and I stand on stage, looking at the stands of the Los Andes court, right? Then I looked at the rostrum and there were only a hundred people, above it was on the hill of the ortho and neither heard, applause nor felt. I said, “How can the rise, develop and fall last so fast” (laughter). But in truth I said, “We fell, we're done,” we must not forget about when we did in 1986 the Obras Stadium with the Paralamas opening number. I remember we did the event half and half, because neither of the two groups could fill Works, that was the truth. It's totally true what I say, “neither of us can fill a Works, why don't we get together? ”, then it was really like that, we put on stage later, that way it was smaller Works.


 What happened to you emotionally when you made the book Luca is mine?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  This book had a more cathartic tone in me, I think it was much more to loosen me and talk about what was sung to me ortho, but still there is something that people don't understand. If we're going to pass the book through the media, you're fried, you can't, that's like passing Bucowsky for the media, anyone. Today society is such a mask because it can become offensive and I don't know what, with the tale of the offensive you risk that the artistic will go into danger, if you say tomorrow, “He's a super jealous black,” these guys say they're racist and xenophobic, but I tell you, “We're talking about Othello, from Shakespeare.” You say to me, “Yes, but this work has to be lifted up, because they are making black people look for the ortho and we can't tolerate it,” so, skinny, there comes a time when you're not allowed to talk absolutely anything. I mean, rock books are rock books, they're music books, madness, sex, drugs and rock and roll, you don't know if there was any of that, but, after watching Luismi's miniseries, “sex and drugs” were everywhere. It's something you can't suppress, it's like saying to the drummer Keith Moon: “No, these are other times, generations have changed and everyone evolved, you can't break the drums in public.” So, if we evolve only for an unbearable face, we'd better not do anything. That's why I say, everything has its place, so there is a part of rock books, where one can say anything, that's more, it happens in all literature. In fact, the authors write any barbarity, it really does not give for one to say: “Ah, you can't write that, that's unpublicable”... What!!!!!


 If Luca Prodan was alive at this moment, he would have surprised a lot of people, because there are quite a few people who think you didn't have a good relationship with him, right?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  Well, there were people who crucified me for the media about being on TV and being a “star” elsewhere, you understand?


Roberto Pettinato


 So, according to that critical and ruthless look, you had to sleep in a shoebox to write a book about Luca. Something like that?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  Sure, you had to be very destroyed and live in a shoebox for the others to say “it's authentic.” Like there was something about many, like, “let's hit Roberto where he can hurt the most, that's obvious his relationship with Luca,” and that's how they faced him... Then there's one that says, “Hey, Roberto was a mask for me and Luca wasn't,” of course! , because this guy is mixed with the Roberto Pettinato who was on TV with Gerardo Sofovich with Roberto Pettinato who was with Luca. You came to a time in life where you have to shrink friends and the people you care about, I to those people who think so, who were confused things, like the Pettinato in the yellow suit with the bicycle, with the Pettinato saxophonist Sumo, that's not the people with whom I am interested in debating or listening . They're people who suck an egg on me.


 You used to talk about symphonic rock. Until 2012 the group Yes came very often to Argentina and its keyboardist Rick Wakeman as a soloist, even gave the luxury of doing a free recital near the Palermo Hippodrome for about 25,000 people who did not know him and cheered him standing. By saving the distances, do you think it appropriate that, by the decision of all the original members, Sumo may at some point return to perform on an Argentine stage?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  It seems to me that we could do... it seems to me that it would be very good to go back to do like what you just said about Rick Wakeman, a huge free show, have the municipality pay or cadorna. All do it with Andrea Prodan at the head, apart now we all sing, Ricardo (Mollo) and Germán (Daffunchio) could sing a whole show, Andrea too, and it seems to me that we could do a great free show for the new generations, because the band is and sounds the same, the band sounds the same. Look at the 2007 Quilmes Rock River, it sounded perfect, you know Luca wasn't there, so you're not going to be such an idiot to say “Luca was something else.” “Yeah, skinny, Luca is not, he's not there, we're not going to come out four imitators, that's a sacred convention, the one at the moment is over, you know, we all suffer that he's not here, okay? ”, you know that, it's played for people and the band sounds, perfectly the same.


Roberto Pettinato


 Whenever there is a famous awards ceremony on television people think so much about you, perhaps because they are tired of the stalking of Kazka, Fabbiani or Marley in previous ceremonies. What happens to you when you see her at home or are you there at the usual Martín Fierro party? They usually really are very boring, I remember that the last one you drove was something unforgettable for all the things you generated on stage from driving.  

 Roberto Pettinato:  It is very difficult to drive  Martín Fierro , it is a very difficult thing to do, I understand the complaints you make about the conductions of Guido with Mariana or Marley's. I really prepared for Martín Fierro much more, always told them: “Let me make a monologue”, but they never let me. I thank those who were organizing the  Gardel Awards all my life, because they let me make an opening monologue and it was a success. It was something very short, but that was a success among the musicians, they screwed up with laughter, I remember seeing  Leon Gieco  totally laughing, it was something fun. I was talking for the guy who plays for the neighbors, neighbors hate him, there was like a well-armed monologue. Because for me that was like driving the Oscars, I thought a lot about people like Billy Cristal. At the time the Clarín Awards came out barbarians, in truth they were the ones that did best for me, those were things I did with real taste, maybe I will ever do it again.


 Now you're radio on FM POP 101.5 Monday through Friday, but at some point you'll be back to music playing or recording. Will it happen as I describe it?  

 Roberto Pettinato:  Actually I was a musician who was very lucky with television, for a subject of enormous personality (laughter). But that's right, I'm actually a musician. So, in music I'm always going to do well, because music loves me and I love it. When music doesn't want you... bye, you can study your whole life, but you know that music is a very jealous and very possessive girlfriend. I always said that fame and music are the most possessive girlfriends and bastards, because if you don't give them a ball, they tell the press.


 Photos Roberto Pettinato: Press Club del Disco, Press Department El Trece, Frank Di Pascuale and Gabriel Imparat 

Publication Date: 06/04/2021

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Charly García música Charly García: we are from here
Leon-Gieco Leon Gieco: versatility and struggle



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