Los Mockers

Los Mockers

Los Mockers were a popular 1960s rock band in Latin America that was part of the Uruguayan Invasion. They modeled themselves off of the Rolling Stones and covered many of their songs (in English). The band was formed in 1963 on Montevideo, Uruguay but moved to Argentina in 1966 after winning a contract with EMI Argentina. The original lineup disbanded in 1967.

Band members

*Polo Pereira (guitar, vocals)
*Jorge Fernández (guitar, backing vocals)
*Esteban Hirschfield (organ, backing vocals, harmonica)
*Julio Montero (bass, vocals)
*Beto Freigeda (drums)


1962 - 63 The first line-up was something that looked like a skiffle band and was born at the Zorrilla Institute* in Montevideo**. We must point out the "bass", it was made of a wooden box with its one and only string tied to a broomstick. Afterwards it was replaced by an acoustic contrabass.

1964 The band is called "Teddy Boys" with Jorge Fernandez (home made guitar), Esteban Hirschfeld (piano), Alberto "Beto" Freigedo (drums, better described as a drum and a pair of sticks) and Julio Montero (contrabass). Julio pretended to play while Jorge's dad was making an electric bass for him, but he didn't really worry about it , he managed quite well, he sat down on the contrabass and just made it go round. He tried to take it easy, he was both having fun and learning too. They played some Elvis Presley and Little Richard songs, they had heard the mexican Teen Tops' versions, they also played some latin stuff like "Perfidia" and "La Bamba" and some instrumentals like The Shadows. An old amplifier with a huge loudspeaker without box and a radio to connect guitar constituted the sound equipment for the band. However, a "uniform" was not lacking, they wore some light coloured wool waistcoats with the embroidered initials "T.B.". During that year they happened to discover The Beatles; thus "La Bamba" and The Shadows-type instrumentals became "Twist & Shout" and the Teen Tops'-like versions live together with the first songs in english for some time. The band hadn't a defined style yet, but they were looking for a singer that could fit. They began rehearsing with some applicants and play some dreadful shows, but they really didn't mind, they just wanted to learn. On the last night of 1964, they played at a party but they got fired. In order to leave behind a past so poor in success as well as suitable members, they decided to change their name.

1965 From that time on they called themselves "Los Encadenados" (The Chained Ones) and they really showed it by using chains instead of straps for their guitars. When summer arrived they went to play at the beach clubs in Punta del Este***. Sometimes the only payment they got was just food and lodging, sometimes they got some money, but they could only buy their first true guitars by means of a loan. The only imported guitars that could be found there at that time were the "Hofner" ones, they would keep them all through their career. They also got a little Hammond organ, that looked like a stove and that could play just one note at the same time and was always out of tune. The instruments OF that era used to have the most unbelievable problems, for example drums with authentic skin drumheads that were impossible to tune on the wet nights by the sea. However, little by little they kept on learning and Jorge became so skillful that he was even able to play instrumental songs with the guitar on his back.


By the end of the summer they came back to Montevideo where "beat fever" was beginning to grow. Everyday more new bands appeared and more places for their performances, like "La Cueva" where Los Encadenados continued to play week after week. They made live performances on a TV musical show every Sunday and on one of these shows they happened to meet Polo. Polo was a solo singer (at that time he was called "Rocky") who played some Mexican songs like "La Bamba" on his spanish guitar and some rock'n roll too. He was 17 years old like the rest of Los Encadenados and he could both imitate Trini Lopez and John Lennon. They immediately asked him to join them. Now the band was complete, and it didn't take long till they recorded a kind of rough outline in a radio station featuring their own songs still sung in spanish. By this time the first Rolling Stones' LPs appeared which made Los Encadenados feel a new emotion. Of course, they had liked Beatles but what definitively determined the band's style was that great enthusiasm everybody in the band felt for that kind of music they had never heard before, that wild and primary Rhythm & Blues. The band's greatest aim at that time was to imitate the Rolling Stones as closely as possible, so they decided to rehearse more and more and not to pay attention to their studies. Sometime later songs like "Carol", "Ruta 66", Walking the Dog", as well as "I'm Crying" by The Animals were included in their regular repertoire. They spent that winter playing at clubs and school parties all around the town. Little by little they made their sound stand out among the other local bands.

1966 Summer returned and "Los Encadenados" went to spend another season in the seaside clubs. Once there they would know the complete discography by The Rolling Stones, it seemed that most of the songs had been made for them to create their own versions., like "The Last Time", "Play With Fire" "Satisfaction", etc ........... That way they definitively incorporated the Rhythm & Blues

that excited them so much and gave birth to their first self compositions in English, trying to provide them with their own personal touch. But it was one of those cover version gigs that caught the attention of an EMI Argentina "talent scout" who was in Uruguay on vacation. He offered them a recording contract in Buenos Aires. They thought it was a dream, the neighbouring country's capital city was like "El Dorado"**** for those bands who came from desolate Uruguay, where there were almost no record companies nor recording studios. Besides "Los Shakers", another Uruguayan band who began imitating The Beatles had also been recruited by EMI where in Buenos Aires since last summer. It was a huge challenge. Before leaving Uruguay they rehearsed to death in a small garage in Montevideo, and on their own initiative they recorded two Stones' versions in a radio station.

(*) Zorrilla Institute is a High School
(**) Montevideo is Uruguay capital city
(***) Punta del Este is a very famous beach known all over the world, frequently visited by most of international jet set and artists. It resembles Niza
(****) Soon after their New World (America) discovery, spanish conquerors realized that these lands were highly rich in gold and silver. They thought that there was a city completely built of gold which they called El Dorado (The Golden One). Of course it was just an imaginary city that never existed. So every time we want to regard a place as a kind of golden paradise we use to say that place is "El Dorado".

ALBERTO (BETO) - drums nickname: "The Spiritual One"
ESTEBAN - organ and backing vocals nickname: "The Philosopher One"
JORGE - 1st guitar and backing vocals nickname: "The Nice One"
JULIO - Bass and vocals nickname: "The Quiet One"
JORGE (POLO) - 2nd guitar and vocals nickname: "The Wild One"

Thanks to MARIA GROSSI for this translation.

ee also

Los Shakers

External links

* [http://60spunk.m78.com/mockers.html Los Mockers Info] en icon
* [http://www.losmockers.com Official Web Site] es icon

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