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Sello: Vampisoul


Antonio Gónzalez Batista was born in the Gràcia neighborhood around 1926. The son of a real gypsy who made a living by going down to sell fish in Barcelona (hence the nickname “El Pescaílla”, although he preferred “El Pescadilla”). ) and whom he accompanied since he was a child in his need. At night he would do it too - much more willingly, I imagine - when he sang and played guitar at El Tablao de la Pava.

From very early on he will show his talent. He quickly learns the rules of the game and soon word of mouth flies all over Barcelona. In the late 40s, Antonio González is already the prince of the rumba. His sense of rhythm begins to have the perfect cadence, sparkling and free. A rhythm that springs from tradition and will be perfected by the Cuban airs: the son, the mambo, the guaguancó, the cha-cha ...

The infinite dexterity in striking the cadence of the rhythmic beat becomes mastery. He spreads his lyrical bitterness with concise and tight brushstrokes: bongos here, rhythmic clapping there, precise guitar there… And the voice. Naked The proud, distinguished, tormented tone. Subtle breaks, runaway crescendos.

At the dawn of the 50s, the long-standing artistic partnership of Lola Flores and Manolo Caracol broke down, cracked by another breakdown, that of their personal relationship. Lola is determined to rule her destiny. She begins to forge her legend and after a few love affairs she ends up with Gerardo Coque, Atlético de Madrid footballer and co-entrepreneur with her from her show. Infatuated with young Antonio as soon as she saw him in Madrid, she managed to get him to sign a contract with them. It will be a matter of time: the flirtations behind the scenes, the complicit cuddles, the furtive glances, the art of seduction, soon produce their effects. Although Antonio does not have and will never have Lola's ambition and, both professionally and emotionally, he first delegates a command that, by tradition and by time, should be governed by him.

The story runs its course. The myth of Lola is already enormous, a gigantic monster that devours everything she finds in her path: men, audience, songs, herself. Antonio decides to be props rather than lead actor. Practically turned into a mere guitarist outside the door, a companion to the myth, the father of his children, discreet but solid support, he becomes more and more self-contained. Movies, tours, TV shows, his place always in the background. And very occasionally her outburst of genius: a song on one of her albums, a discreet piece of paper on the screen, two or three rumbas in the middle of her show, some increasingly spaced single or EP .

Like the uncrowned king of a kingdom without territory, he decides to spend the last twenty years of his life secluded in his own exile: family, memories, friends, past glory, some revelry in "El Lerele" that may very well last several days. In a genre mistakenly regarded as a revelry, as a mere amiable tributary of something more substantial, it has always been counterproductive to opt for silence. Even more so when said commotion has almost always been the natural procedure to make itself heard. Only a few - coincidentally the greatest - would opt for silence as the only complete way to make themselves heard. Antonio González Batista would choose that path throughout his life. Also on November 12, 1999, at the end of the century, discreetly and in silence, he exited the forum.

Ximo Bonet



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