$20 – General Admission Pre-Sale Entrance for ONE guest.
JORGE GONZALEZ – LA VOZ DE LOS PRISIONEROS
Thursday, April 3 from 9pm-2am
The Conga Room
800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Jorge Gonzalez was the lead singer for Los Prisioneros, a Chilean 1980’s music band. A band he formed in 1983 with Claudio Narea and Miguel Tapia in San Miguel, Santiago, Chile. The original band members changed and by 1990 the band was composed of new members. who eventually by 1992, disbanded. The band later reformed once more from 2001 to 2006 . Los Prisioneros is considered one of THE influential Latin American bands of the 1980’s music scene, a blend of punk, new wave and rock. Leading to the eventual rock-en-español sound of the 1990’s.
Throughout it all, Jorge Gonzalez has always claimed to be an everyday man. In Spanish, taken directly from website Last FM, followed immediately by translation:
Según [Jorge] González contó a la revista Mundo Dinners Club: «Sólo contamos lo que cualquiera siente. Hay gente que reclama contra la sociedad capitalista no porque se haya leído a Marx sino porque simplemente no le alcanza la plata para comprar todo lo que la televisión le enseña que debiera tener para ser feliz.» González no cree que sus canciones estén sustentadas por una base ideológica, sino que un a vez hechas aparece el trasfondo. No creen que sean tan contestatarios, porque eso significaría, por ejemplo, tener un conflicto generacional con sus padres. «Yo no tengo problemas con ellos y nunca me fui de la casa, dijo. Decir que somos contestatarios suena muy publicitario. No otros no reclamamos contra una persona contra el sistema como tal.
Según [Carlos] Fonseca: “Ellos tenían otra visión de la música: querían ser exitosos, y en todos lados. Por eso no circunscribían las letras a Chile. Ahora, con el tiempo, uno se da cuenta de que pese a eso la gente convirtió esas canciones en una herramienta de lucha contra la dictadura. Por eso Jorge se incomoda cuando le preguntan sobre esto, porque él nunca sintió haciendo canciones de protesta”.
Según la revista Mundo Diners Club La voz de los ’80 son canciones de adolescentes de crítica pero soñadora, en Pateando Piedras se dieron cuenta de que el mundo era así y no podían cambiarla. La cultura de la basura fue el primer álbum político de la banda, en Corazones Jorge perdió la crítica de los álbum predecesores, salvo en “Corazones rojos”, una burla al machismo Y “Noche en la ciudad (Fiesta!)”, una crítica a la moral.
According to Jorge Gonzalez when he told the magazine, Mundo Dinners Club: We simply tell what we all feel. Some people complain against capitalist society not because they have read Marx but because they simply can not afford the money to buy all that the television teaches that should have to be happy. Gonzalez does not believe that his songs are supported by a ideological basis, but on a background made to appear. He does not believe they are so rebellious, because that would mean, for example, have a generational conflict with their parents. I have no problems with them and I never left the house, he said. To say that we are protesters sounds way too commercial. We do not complain against a person, [rather]against the system as such.
According to Carlos Fonseca: “They had another vision of [their] music: they wanted to be successful, and everywhere. That is why they did not limit the lyrics to Chile. Now, over time, you realize that despite that, for the young people of Chile these songs became a tool of struggle against dictatorship. So Jorge is uncomfortable when asked about this, because he never felt he was composing protest songs. ”
According to the magazine Mundo Dinners Club the “La Voz de los 80”, were songs of social criticism from an adolescent’s point of view, as well dreamy. In their album, “Pateando Piedras”, they realized that the world is a certain way and they could not change it. The album, “La Cultura de la Basura”, was the first political album of the band, in Jorge’s album, “Corazones”, he lost his social criticism of the predecessor albums. Except for the album’s two singles, “Corazones Rojos”, which is a mockery of machismo and “Fiesta!”, a critique on morality.
The below YouTube link of Chilean TV channel, Canal 13, is Part 1 of 6 of TV series, Biografias hosted by Ivan Valenzuela. This TV series attempts to presents biographies in a humanistic light in order to understand the artist. The show’s headers summarize the biography of Jorge Gonzalez: “Voz de una generacion – Genio musical: inconsecuente y contradictorio – Arte: drogas y rock – Un artista prisionero de su genero – Jorge Gonzalez, su biografia” Voice of a Generation – Musical Genius: Inconsistent and Contradictory – Art: Drugs and Rock – A prisoner artist of his genre – Jorge Gonzalez, his biography.
Below is a brief translation of the entire program (all 6 YouTube segments) covering highlights of Jorge Gonzalez’s life.
Jorge Humberto Gonzalez Rios was born December 6, 1964. Before reaching 18 years of age, he was able to coin his a rage and anguish over the economic state of Chile in the 1980’s: an environment of soup kitchens, high unemployment, poverty and dictatorship. This was the origins of the voice of the 80’s (la voz de los 80s). A voice that voiced what the entire community of Chile wanted to hear proclaimed against the injustices and hardships that they lived. For Jorge though, it was just his way of expressing how he saw the world.
After Jorge entered the university, he met Carlos Fonseca who then became the manager of the band, leading to their first recording and record towards the end of 1983. Jorge though, was the director of the recording, it’s layout and final presentation. By 1985 they did their first tour. The band had a varied following…not only intellectuals, and artists but all of young Chile as well. Once more, their songs were the articulations that many felt and wanted to voice but did not dare back in Chile, in the 1980’s. Francisco Straub (ingeniero sonido) – “Es un tremendo titulo, yo soy la voz de todos estos 10 anos. en el fondo … ahora lo choro es que el titulo no estaba basio -habia letras habias cosas para decir ‘yo soy la voz de este rato, yo soy el que tiene que hablar ahora’….era la voz de los 80.” Francisco Straub (Sound Engineer) says: “The bottom line, it is a tremendous [self] title, “I am the voice of all those ten years….now, what is cool is that this title was an an empty title, there were lyrics and things to say “I am the voice of this time, I am the one who had to speak now….he was the voice of the 80’s”.
In 1986 Jorge marries into high society – in a formal religious ceremony weighted with contradictions: all the things that he had protested against in his music, the things he had wanted to destroy, he was marrying into…. he was formal in a formal setting and doing all the things, representative of the things he had ceremoniously wanted to criticized via his music, the establishment and status quo. Three days after his marriage ceremony, the second album – Pateando Piedras ….sold 5 platinum records. By the end of 1987 his marriage was heading towards divorce. Yet, these were strong years for the band from 1985 thru 1991.
It is by 1992 that he launches his solo career – and quoting him in 1993 in his response to Don Francisco: [Gonzalez] “Creo que yo mantego una relacion de contradiction en todo lo que yo hago – hay una cosa que tiene que ver con la creacion y paradoja -que siempre van de la mano”. “I believe I maintain relationships of contradiction in all that I do – there is one thing has to do with [it], creation and paradox always go hand in hand”
Freddy Stock (author of Gonzalez biography “Corazones Rojos”) “lo que lo hizo grande a Jorge como compositor es su talento para reflejar – ideas proprias en canciones y tambien para reflejar momentos y criticas sociales en canciones. entonces en ese sentido su carrera como solista no obediencia a la sinceridad que el trauma en sus canciones“. What made Jorge great as a composer was his talent to reflect – his own ideas into songs and also to reflect upon social moments, [commentary], criticism into songs. So in that sense his solo career did not obey to the sincerity that traumatized his songs. Eventually, this type of production [happy go lucky] did not bring him success. Either in his first solo album, “El Futuro Se Fue” released in 1994 or his 1999 release “Mi Destino: Confesiones de una estrella de rock”. Between 1995-1997 he moved to New York city. He had slowly as well, begun a life of addiction during a dry creative period in his life till in 1999 release. Julio Osses (author of Exijo ser un heroe) “el rasgo que probablemente diferencia a Jorge de gente común y coriente es que es capaz de converte su vida en su obra.…” Probably the feature that differentiates Jorge from ordinary people is that he is able to convert his life in his work of art…
Tahia Gomez (friend of Jorge, fellow artist) “por que el es la voz de muchos… muchos que no saben que necesitan esa voz que hablen por ellos. Que manifiesten por ellos lo que ellos no saben que quieren manifestar – la triste y antiqua historia del artista que lleva el peso – ese peso collectivo de expresar la necesidad collectiva, la frustration collectiva, la rabia collectiva que no es la rabia personal de Jorge que que es más allá que el – no la puede evitar jamás.” Because he is the voice of [the]many … [the]many who do not know they need that voice to speak for them. That manifest for them what they do not know they want to express. [It is] the sad and old story of the artist who carries the weight – that collective weight of expressing necessity, the collective frustration. A collective anger that is not personal rage of Jorge, rather that is beyond him – one that he may never avoid.