Los Mockers (LP na 206) El Cocodrilo
Chronological History From The Beginningtranslated by Maria Grossi
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 one and only string tied to a broomstick. Afterwards it was replaced by an acoustic contrabass.
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 worried 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 Richards' songs, they had heard the mexican Teen Tops' versions, they also played some latin stuff like "Perfidia" and "La Bamba" and some instrumentals like "Shadows". An old amplifier with a huge loudspeaker without box and a radio to connect guitar constituted the sound equipment for the band. However, "uniform" was not missing, they wore some light coloured wool waistcoats with the embroidered "T.B." initials. During that year they happened to know about 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 some singer that could fit. They began rehearsing with some applicants and play some dreadful shows, but they really didn't care about it, they just wanted to learn. On 1964 last night, they played at a party but they got fired . In order to leave behind such a past so poor in success as well as suitable members, they decided to change their name.
From that time on they called themselves "Los Encadenados" (The Chained Ones) and they really showed it by hanging their guitars on with chains instead of fasteners. When summer reached 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 only could buy their first true guitars by means of a loan. The only imported guitars that could be find there at that time were the "Hofner" ones, they would keep them all through their career. They also got some 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. That era instruments used to have the most unbelievable problems, for example drums with its 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 able even to play instrumentals songs with the guitar on his back.
Montevideo gets hip
By the end of the summer they came back to Montevideo where "beat fever" was beginning to grow up. Everyday arose more new bands and more places for their performances, like "La Cueva" where Los Encadenados kept on playing week after week. They've got 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 ( by 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 completed, 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 it appeared the first Rolling Stones' LP's which made Los Encadenados feel an unknown emotion. Of course, they had liked Beatles but what definitively determined the band 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. Band's greatest target at that time was to imitate the Rolling Stones as close 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 Los 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.
Summer came back and "Los Encadenados" went to spend another summer seasons 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 Rhythm & Blues that so much excited them and gave birth to their first own compositions in english, trying to provide them with their own personal touch. But it was those versions gigs what paid the attention of one EMI Argentina "hunter of talents" who was in Uruguay on vacations. He offered them a recording contract in Bs. As. They thought it was a dream, the neighbour country's main city was like "El Dorado"**** for those bands who came from the deserted Uruguay, where there were almost nor record companies neither recording studios. Besides "Los Shakers", another uruguayan band who began imitating The Beatles had also been recruited by EMI where in Bs. As. since last summer. It was a huge challenge. Before leaving Uruguay they rehearsed till death in a small garage in Montevideo, and they recorded by their own initiative 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". Roberto (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"
Back to Linernotes Index