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The history of Flamenco

History of flamenco 12

In parallel to the previous one, once the cycle of the Opera Flamenca ended during the 50s, the flamenco festivals appear. The festival started in Sevilla with El Potaje de Utrera in 1957, Mairena de Alcor in 1962, El Gazpacho de Morón in 1963, and La Caracolá de Lebrija in 1966. In the notes on the bottom, we gather what Antonio Mairena 1 , one of forerunners of the festivals, and El Turronero 2 , one of its regular artists in the 70s, commented about the festivals in different interviews.

 1 "I promoted the festivals and helped them as much as possible since its birth, because I realized that in the tablaos, the baile subordinate the cante, and the cante was deafening and suffocating. [...] In my opinion, the festivals had a positive side, well, thanks to them, one sings to listen and one plays to sing, something that one could not do in the tablaos, and in the festivals, the artists find an aid to live." García Ulecia, Alberto, op.cit.

 2 Juan Toro, Interview to El Turronero 1998. www.deflamenco.com

 Nevertheless, yout period of the explosion was in 70s and the beginning of the 80s, the period in which there were no festivals where your name did not appear on the posters.

 Well, yes, on a popular level, it was just like you say. But later, in solitude, on a personal level, I did not have time to savour the success. I did not have peace. I sang and sand all the time. Sometimes I even thought that they would take me crazy, because after finishing a festival and going on a road, I used to tell the driver to stop the car, and I started to review or improve some verses. All of this in the middle of the night, in the open air in the countryside. I lived very quickly and very fictitiously.

And what happens with all that fortune Manuel earned in those moments? How come later these adversities came and there were no resources?

 I read one, I don’t know where, that the money that was earned easily, disappears easily. And that’s the way it is. When I asked Pulpón 80 thousand pesetas for a festival, he told me that it was not possible and that even Mairena or Fasforito were not earning that much. I was very frightened in front of the audience, because the critics trashed me a lot and that obsessed me and produced me much insecurity because I was young. So, I told my agent that I wanted to charge 80 thousand pesetas, which was indeed a lot of money 25 or 30 years ago. In 70s, I got up with 20 thousand duros in my pocket and no matter how much I spent, when I went to bed,  I had another 20 thousand. Which one does not even appreciates. You think yourself rich and that it would never end. 

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