Polo Pereira (v,g)
*Interveiw with Esteban
*Interview with the band
*Translation of the liner notes
Montevideo in the wild '60's
By mid '60's rock'n roll stopped frightening our grandparents. In Uruguay like in the rest of the world existed bands that Were coming into beat with the cool innocence of the first years. Los Mockers, that quintet born at the Zoriilla lnstitute * were not the first ones to come into these rhythms but they were the first ones that fed the desire and mysticism of creating a native rock'n roll. From their beginnings when they were called Los Encadenados till their premature success in Buenos Aires, passing through their supposed rivalry with the Fattoruso brothers' Los Shakers , this band leads us to the very origins of uruguayan rock. Nowadays with the issue of "Los Mockers, Montevideo in the wild '60's" cassette we rediscovered three decades later one of the most complete bands of these lands. The following is an interview with Esteban Hirschfeld, Los Mockers organist and also composer, that to ok place in Madrid. It tries to bring back the richness and passion of that era Montevideo.
P-There is a kind of "revival" orientated to '70's music here. However we have not rescued too many '60's bands like Los Mockers. Do you think that Los Mockers keep on being a "damned" bimd in the uruguayan rock'n roll context?
E.H. - Yes I do, the same happened at that time. We've never been a popular band. Besides we were a kind of "long hair outsiders" that were taken to jail as if they were criminals just that kind of foolish things. The majority ofyouth listened to and attended to cumbia parties, so gigs always featured a cumbia combo, a tango orchestra and a beat band. Rock'n roll was a minor trend, although a very revolting one. Just think of this, ifyou went out to the streets with the long hair we used to wear you were taking the risk to be called "fag " or what was even worst to be caught by police. We've been taken to jail several times.
P- Going back to that 60's rocker Montevideo, how was the supposcd rivalry with the Fattoruso brothers' Los Shakers?
E.H. - As a matter of fact it was a very friendly one. It was all about
publicity, like the well-known Rivalry existing between The Beatles and
me Rolling Stones. In our case it happened to be that we both worked with
the same label, and we also went to Buenos Aires almost by the same time.
We really admired them, they were the voice of our generation. They had
been the flrst ones to get it and of course they were by far too much popular
than us. On the other hand, we must point out that there were several musical
collaborations between us , for instance there is an organ solo played
by Hugo on our first album. That invitation was later repaid by Los Shakers,
in fact one of the reversal vocals that can be heard on their 3rd album
"La Conferencia Secreta del Toto's Bar" is mine, believe it or not lt's
me speaking german (laughs). I mean we were friends and the name that was
chosen for that famous gig was just a matter of publicity.
P- What kind of people were Los Mockers? E.H. - Oh, we were good guys, all of us, we were just l8 and 19 years old, we had just come out from our parents' house, we knew nothing about the ways of world and we had no vices. Our school bands had been successful due to lots of rehearsing, a good ear for music and a little bit of luck. Our image had nothing to do with that of the british bands whose excesses, orgies and scandals became so infamous. Our life was a hard one. When we were in Buenos Aires living in an old boarding-house we were so poor that sometimes we didn't have money even for buying cigarettes.
P- Uruguayan bands seem to be afraid of crossing the Rio de h Plata**, however you seemed to be quite sure that you would find the success you were looking for in Buenos Aries.
E.H.- It was almost the only thing we can do, so we didn't spoil that chance. We had spent several years playing at clubs and parties all around Montevideo. Naturally that was a very different time. One summer some hunter of talents from an argentinian record company, who was on vacations in Punta del Este saw one of our shows and recruited us for recording in Buenos Aires, we thought that it was like going to London. We stayed in Buenos Aires for one year, and we spent six of that twelve months there waiting for our turn to enter the studio.
P-What has happened with Los Mockers' members? Jorge, the guitarist , stayed in Buenos Aires and he Still lives there. Julio, the bassist, decided to travel around the world. He lived in Africa and he married an Indian Chief's daughter, then he moved to the Islas Canarias and we call up each other from time to time I've got no news about Polo since he left the band. Finally Beto, the drummer, died on a motorcycle accident soon after we split. By 1970 I decided to go to Germany then I came to Spain and I have been living here for the last l7 years. I've been very active within local musical scene, I've played with the very know band Gabinete Caligari and I also have been producing and writing for other bands. I've been on stage for such a long time that now I think it's high time to let the new emerging bands to gain their own places. Some critic published in an spanish magazine said that if would have been born in USA you would be one of the main bands to pick up Stones' influences.
E.H.- I think that although we weren't born in USA we have been one of The bands that picked up Stones' influences more Enthusiastically. In fact, our illusion was to imitate them as close as possible, and that was not a shame, on the contrary we were proud of it. P-Do you think it nomal that such m intemational acknowledged band like Los Mockers be ignored in their own country?
E.H.- Yes I think it noma l. Bands are like disposable products. It's logical, once the band has split people lose interest in knowing about it. It always happens, there are lots of great bands from Uruguay or New Zealand that we both don't know.
P- Doesn't it make you feel some resentment against Uruguay?
E.H.- No, not at all. And this is because at that time we played all that we could, when we couldn't play anymore we just gave it up.
P- Do you think Los Mockers will ever be revived in Uruguay?
E.H.- Oh that depends on good willing people who could be interested
in searching our country's musical past. I'm frequently asked if I would
like I.Los Mockers be acknowledged and regarded as a band who has grown
old with dignity, and what's more important whose music is still worthy
to be heard. Source:
This interveiw origially appeared on "El Pais" ; the most important
Translated by Maria Grossi
LOS MOCKERS “HI ROLLINGS”
- Why do uruguayan bands succeed in Buenos Aires?
- JULIO: It’s quite difficult to find an answer,. Maybe it is because in Montevideo there are no good recording studios and we all try to make our songs sound like the ones coming from London and USA, but alive. I think that this may be connected with uruguayan bands' success.
- BETO: It's true. We rehearse each song a thousand times. It could be said that rehearsing is our main activity. We must get the same sound effects but while they have sophisticated electronic equipment we only have our guitars
- Are there any places for beat music in Montevideo?
- JORGE: There are two places like the Buenos Aires' "La Cueva". The most important one is called "Rambla" . Everybody interested in beat music used to meet there every night ( we still do it sometimes). Many of the members of uruguayan bands now famous in Buenos Aires gave their first shows there. These "caves" have somehow encouraged the liking to beat music.
- CARLOS: Another important reason that make uruguayan musicians choose this kind of music is that montevidean radios broadcast good beat music and almost all dj's are very young.
- What kind of beat style is the one you have chosen?
- BETO: There's no doubt, it is the Rolling Stones' one. Since our beginnings - and even before - we used to play their songs.
- JORGE: We like it so much that almost all our own songs follow the lead of their style. This doesn't mean that we don't like another bands like the Beatles, Bee Gees or Procol Harum, It's just that we prefer Mick Jagger he think he is one of our kind.
- Isn't it lack of personality?
- CARLOS: No, I don't think so. The last two songs we recorded for Disc Jockey label "Botella de Vino" ("Bottle of Wine") and "El Mundo al Revés" ("The Inside Out World") show that we can also play other styles.
- JULIO: Our style resembles the Rolling Stones' one, there are other bands that resemble The Beatles or The Yardbirds. I think there is nothing wrong in it.
- Anyway, they will have a part in an argentinian/mexican film production, together with Marcela López Rey and Jorge Barreiro in a few days, and this will happen not as a result of their rolling liking , this will just happen because these four guys have really committed themselves with good quality music and they just do what must be done.
translated by Maria Grossi
Rare Chilian issue cover
Now their first album with bonus tracks (including demo and TV live
) is reissued on Get Hip .
By the time when they released 2nd album, the beat scene changed, the album was reflected pychedelia and bubble gum. After the band broken up Polo joined Los Walkers.
2nd album (not reissued)
Special thanks to Maria Grossi and Marcelo Cross
To know more about them read translation of the linernotes