Sui Generis (band)

Sui Generis (band)

Sui Generis is one of the most importantfact|date=April 2008 rock (or folk rock) bands in Argentine history, enjoying enormous success and popularity during the first half of the 1970s and a following that lasts to the present throughout South America. Although long since disbanded, Sui Generis reunited in 2000 for a concert in Boca Juniors' stadium in Buenos Aires.

Hello Sui Generis

Sui Generis was formed in 1969 by the merging of two bands: "To Walk Spanish", originally led by Carlos Alberto "Charly" García Moreno and "The Century Indignation", originally led by Carlos Alberto "Nito" Mestre. The newly-formed band's member list consisted of, Charly (piano), Nito (flute), Alberto Rodríguez (drums), Alejandro Correa (bass) (later replaced by Rolando Fortich), Juan Carlos Bellia (guitar) and Carlos Piégari (guitar and vocals).

In its early life, Sui Generis experimented with psychedelic music but would eventually refine and change its sound and is generally now classified as folk-rock. Infamously, at Sui Generis' first big performance, none of the members but Charly and Nito, appeared. Despite the poor showing, they went ahead with the show, García playing the piano, with Nito accompanying on the flute. Amazingly, the audience still loved them. García's simple songs of adolescence contained substantial poetic elements that showed through the limited instrumentation. After this they decided to continue as a duet with Charly composing songs and playing the piano, Nito playing the flute and both at vocals and guitar.

Soon after Sui Generis started to gain fame, García, then 20 years old, had to take a hiatus from the band to fulfill a stint in Argentina's mandatory military service. Unhappy in the service, he pulled outrageous stunts, such as reportedly taking a corpse in a wheelchair for a walk in the sun because "he was too pale." Eventually, García ingested a large dosage of amphetamines and faked a heart attack, in an apparent attempt to cut his military service short. Garcia wound up in the hospital, and it was there that he composed two of the band more famous songs: "Botas Locas" ("Crazy boots"), censored when first released, and "Canción para mi muerte" ("Song for my death"). Garcia was released from the military due to "mental health problems."

In 1972, Sui Generis released its first LP, Vida ("Life"), which became instantly popular, especially among Argentine teenagers. Confesiones de Invierno ("Winter Confessions"), their second LP, was released in 1973. This album showcased higher production values and better studio equipment, and was also a huge commercial success.

Innocence Lost

1974 was a turning point for Sui Generis: Charly was sick of "the piano and the flute" sound, and decided that Sui Generis needed a change. He pursued a more traditional rock sound, with bass and drums, for which purpose he recruited Rinaldo Rafanelli and Juan Rodríguez respectively. The new album was originally titled Instituciones ("Institutions"), but Sui Generis' producer suggested they change the name to Pequeñas Anécdotas sobre las Instituciones ("Little Anecdotes about the Institutions"), reflecting the unstable nature of Argentine social and political institutions at the time. Charly's initial concept was to write a song for every influential traditional institution: the Catholic Church, the government, the family, the judicial system, the police, the Army, and so on. However, two songs, "Juan Represión" ("John Repression") about the police, and "Botas locas" ("Crazy Boots") about the army, were eliminated from the album by the music label, afraid of the growing political violence of the time. Two more had to be partly changed, "Las increíbles aventuras del Señor Tijeras" ("The incredible adventures of Mr. Scissors") and "¿Para quién canto yo entonces?" ("Who am I singing for, then?"), both about censorship itself, while "Música de Fondo para Cualquier Fiesta Animada", about the judiciary system had to be completely rewritten. Even tough Charly achieved a different, more mature sound with Instituciones, the public rejected the change. They preferred the old folk-rock sound, and the album sold poorly.

In these years, Charly met María Rosa Yorio, who later bore his only son, Miguel García. Miguel released a solo album in December, 2005 as Migue García.

Has been: the LP that wasn't

García kept composing songs, and during 1975, he prepared for Sui Generis' "Ha sido" ("Has been") album. The name is a pun on "ácido" (acid), a reference to LSD. Later, Charly would say that the LP definitely referenced LSD, because the songs spoke about going to the sea and looking at the colorful fishes – that is, an acid tripfact|date=April 2008.

In 1975, Sui Generis' members began to have conflicts. "Nito" Mestre wasn't enthusiastic about the new style and project, the new members weren't accepted by the public and Charly was tired of Sui Generis' old style, which the fans and producers wanted. The "Ha sido" LP was never recorded, but some of the songs were included in the band's farewell live album, such as "Bubulina" and "Eiti Leda".

Goodbye, Sui Generis

Finally, on September 5, 1975, Sui Generis said goodbye, in the Luna Park Stadium, with two shows for 20 thousand people, the biggest in the history of Argentine rock at the timefact|date=April 2008. Many years later, Charly said that before the show he was going around the stadium, intimidated by the huge crowd. He claimed to have smoked 24 joints to calm his nerves. "In the 70's, weed was like a religious thing", he later commented. A double LP was released that year, recording the live shows Adiós Sui Generis ("Goodbye Sui Generis").

In 1976, Sui Generis also recorded an LP with Argentine musicians León Gieco and Raúl Porchetto (whose music resembled Gieco's in a softer pop version) as well as María Rosa Yorio. The LP was called "Porsuigieco" (Mix of Raúl Porchetto, Sui Generis, León Gieco)


#Vida (1972)
#Confesiones de invierno (1973)
#Pequeñas anécdotas sobre las instituciones (1974)
#Adiós Sui Generis (1975)
#Adiós Sui Generis, Parte III (1995)
#"Antología de Sui Generis" (1992)
#"Sinfonías para Adolescentes" (2000)
#"Sí" (2001)

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