Miguel Ríos: “Rock is already classical music”

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Alfredo Valenzuela I Sevilla, (EFE).- “Rock has contributed a lot and is already becoming classical music, because it has a past and, although it also has a present, it has teachers, a school, an academy “, told EFE Miguel Ríos, who will close his “Long time” tour in Seville on the 17th, after his performance this Wednesday in Huelva.

“Rock has contributed to human development; and I’ve been on the side of the story that I wanted to be, when I was a music to be planted, which the industry has always been wary of; in Spain the industry was wary even of ‘Rock and Ríos’, a success was due to the fact that the country was changing and needed a new soundtrack”, said the artist at the age of 78 and shortly before the end of this tour of just over 50 concerts with “The Black Betty Trio”.

“A long time” is a verse by the poet Ángel González, whose friendship Miguel Ríos said that “knowing him was one of the most important things that happened to me in my life”, while of his relationship with poetry , he said, “I made an effort to improve myself in many aspects; I left school at fourteen, a school where you were told that reading was not necessary and that the books were not good”.

sixty years of career

“In this aspect, I am happy to have made myself and to have taken advantage of the readings that I have done to take them into my career; I had the intimate and personal project of admiring people who wrote and having them as spiritual guides”, because in his adolescence no book was ever recommended to him and he had an education which “put you in limbo of all things “.

Singer-songwriter Miguel Ríos during the special program for the 50th anniversary of Hora 25, directed and presented by Aimar Bretos at the Coliseum theater in Madrid. EFE/ Juanjo Martín/File

Today, with a career spanning sixty years – his first recording dates from 1962 – he cannot say whether “A long time” will be his last tour: “I don’t know if he is touring or not, but I would love to do a few shows next year; it’s going to depend on how much energy I have, and I find that every day everything slows down and speeds up, and the tours are very hard and you expend a lot of energy… Now I go concert by concert, like Simeone”.

The concerts on this tour mixed his usual hits in acoustic version with songs from “A long time”, which the singer claims to have had “a twilight album, I talk about old people and what is happening to me now”, J always sang about what was going on in my life at all times, and even though I consider myself more of a singer than a singer-songwriter, there was something I wanted to say that no one wrote “.

Cain’s lineage

This is the case of the song “La estirpe de Caín”, in which he recounts what he himself perceived during the pandemic, “what human behavior was like in these moments of catastrophe in the world; how inequality took hold, how the system repaired the shortcomings of the majority for the benefit of the minority in an insulting way”.

Miguel Rios
The singer and composer Miguel Ríos, with his group The Black Betty Trío, during the concert they offer at the Auditorio de Zaragoza. EFE/JAVIER BELVER/File

Of the passage of “A long time” through Latin America, he pointed out that in Mexico there are more downloads than in Spain and that he always returns “with eyes full of surprises; there it is as if we were arriving at real life, there is another pulsation, like a life without filters, everything is brighter compared to Europe, where everything is more regulated”.

During a tour, “a good atmosphere is priceless”, he said, recognizing himself as “a good group builder” and assuring that this good harmony with his musicians “makes the tour a delicious walk of creative and pleasant people”, as musicians tend to be, they are people who work hard and contribute to success and are not always recognized -on this tour he is accompanied by José Nortes, Luis Prado, Manu Clavijo and Gabriel Lozano-.

Interbreeding and freedom

Doctor ‘honoris causa’ of two universities and Favorite Son of Andalusia, he also claimed to have enjoyed throughout his life other characteristics of rock, which he considered the most influential music of the 20th century, such as crossbreeding – “rock is crossbreeding and that’s why it mixes well with other types of music” – and freedom.

“Freedom in rock comes from not following the pattern of the father, rock is the mass death of the father,” he said after recalling how, at the age of 15 and 16, he depended on the record section of a store in Granada – the “Almacenes Olmedo” which he evokes in several of his songs -, where he discovered Elvis Presley.

“Elvis in 1960 in Granada was something initiatory, like making a huge leap in my emotional education”, describes the singer who, with humor, rejects the name of maestro, a term he attributes to the world of flamenco, and tries to link traveled to Granada with his already launched Rock and Solidarity Foundation, based in the city of the Alhambra.

A few days after finishing his tour and reflecting on his career, Miguel Ríos said he was “quite satisfied with the effort I made; I produced my records and my shows; I never wanted to repeat myself and I innovated everything so as not to disappoint people; When I started, everything was land to be conquered and I never gave anything for the cattle”. EFE

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