Serú Girán

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Serú Girán
Serú Girán 1980.jpg
Serú Girán in 1981.
Charly García (behind), David Lebón (middle),
Pedro Aznar (right), Oscar Moro (left).
Background information
Origin Buenos Aires
Genres Progressive rock, jazz fusion, Symphonic rock
Years active 1978 (1978)–1982 (1982), 1992 (1992)–1993 (1993)
Associated acts Sui Generis
Members Charly García
David Lebón
Pedro Aznar
Oscar Moro

Serú Girán was an Argentine rock supergroup. Formed in 1978, the group consisted of Charly García (keyboards, synthesizers and vocals), David Lebón (guitars and vocals), Pedro Aznar (electric and fretless bass and vocals), and Oscar Moro (drums and percussion). It is considered one of the best in the history of Rock en Español, both musically, and conceptually and staging. It is also renowned for the virtuosity of its musicians.

History[edit]

Serú Girán was born after the separation of the band La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros which Charly García had organized in his early post-Sui Generis. Along with David Lebón, Charly García traveled to Búzios (Brazil) in 1978, with the idea of writing songs for a new album. On their return to Buenos Aires, García met the young and talented bass player Pedro Aznar. They were then joined by Oscar Moro, who was the drummer of La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros and formerly of the legendary group Los Gatos.

"Billy Bond and the Jets" was formed by Charly García, Billy Bond, David Lebón, Pedro Aznar and Oscar Moro. They released a single disc with tracks like "Discoshock", "Toda la Gente", and "Loco, ¿No te sobra una moneda?". Finally Billy Bond dismantled the project, and the rest of its members formed Serú Girán.

The beginnings of the band were difficult. Its first album, Serú Girán (released in 1978), did not have a good reception even though some of its songs (notably "Seminare" and "Eiti Leda") would become public anthems. The first public appearance of the band was in a boat over the Riachuelo. What inspired García to do this was the revolutionary band "Los Jóvenes de Ayer". In its debut, the band was joined by the orchestral collaborations of Daniel Goldberg, who recorded with 24 musicians in USA.

The official presentation of the debut album Serú Girán was held in Estadio Obras Sanitarias on November 3 in 1978 with an orchestra of 24 musicians (string section and wind) and closed circuit television. In the back of the stage, a giant screen showing addressing the musicians on stage. Lebón, Aznar and Moro were dressed in white, while Charly chose a jacket, a black mesh bag and snickers. The beginning of the recital, with the full orchestra playing the powerful intro of the song "Serú Girán", presaged an unforgettable night. However, it did not go well. The audience didn't get the satire behind the song "Discoshock", which is about the disco music in vogue at the time, and was taken aback. Amid a chorus of whistles, the crowd asked the musicians to play "Blues del levante", a song written by García at the end of his Sui Generis tenure. The rest of the concert went to general indifference.

La Grasa de las Capitales (1979)[edit]

Serú Girán released La Grasa de las Capitales a year later in 1979. The word "grasa" means "fat" in Spanish, but in Argentina it is also slang for vulgarity. As such, the title of the album was a criticism of the Argentine society in the 80's. "Viernes 3 A.M." (Friday 3 A.M,) and "Noche de Perros" (Dog's night) are the highest peaks of Serú Girán's second release. "Viernes 3 AM" would be banned from the radios for a time by the dictatorship because it was considered to incite suicide. This album catapulted Serú Girán as one of the most popular bands of Argentina of that time.

The official release of La Grasa de las Capitale held in great number of functions in September and October 1979 in Buenos Aires Auditorium (Ex - Kraft).

Early 1980s: Bicicleta and success[edit]

In 1980, the album Bicicleta ("Bicycle") was released. The album described with delicate and admirable accuracy the Argentine social and political times under the dictatorship. "Canción de Alicia en el país" and "Encuentro con el diablo" are the songs that best described that social reality. To avoid censorship, "Canción de Alicia en el país" painted Argentina's reality using metaphors inspired in the book Alice in Wonderland. Charly García described the feelings of early and middle adults in the songs "A los jóvenes de ayer" and "Mientras miro las nuevas olas".

Bicicleta   which was also the initial name proposed by Charly for the band but was rejected by the rest of the group   was officially launched at the Estadio Obras Sanitarias stadium on June 6 and 7, 1980. For the concerts, the stage was adorned with wheels of bicycles, rabbits and flowers. The scenery made an impact on the attendants and on the media, being Serú Girán the first group that put some thought about the staging. Serú Girán had delegated scenic responsibility to choreographer Renata Schussheim, who was an old friend of Charly. Bicicleta marked the beginning of Serú Girán's great shows.

A month later, in August 1980, Serú performed at the Monterrey Jazz Festival of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In general, the Argentine going to the festival were more related to jazz or rock tango Serú proposed progressive.

That year the concert had two parts: Serú Girán, American guitarist Pat Metheny and George Duke performed in the first half.

The success of the Argentine band in the first half was such that the organizers would offered Serú Girán to play again in the second half along with John McLaughlin, Hermeto Pascoal Egberto Gismonti, and the group Weather Report. García remembers:

"When McLaughlin was playing, people skated and threw paper airplanes. I was dying of Embarrassment! If they did that to McLaughlin, they would throw more stuff at us."

However, his prediction was wrong. The main reason of the public's favorable response may lay in the variety of nuances in the songs, some, with a cadence that invites to dance.

In this festival, Aznar met Jaco Pastorius[1]

On December 30, 1980, the supergroup gave a historic free concert in La Rural, which was organized by the public TV channel ATC as part of its series of concerts "Music forbidden for adults". The concert drew more than 60,000 attendants, making Serú the first Argentine band to have such live audience.

Peperina (1981) and No llores por mí, Argentina (1981)[edit]

The next album Peperina (1981) was marked by the excellent and impeccable compositions such as "Llorando en el espejo", "Esperando Nacer", "Cinema Verité" and "Peperina". The official presentation of the disc was held at Obras Sanitarias on 4, 5 and 6 September 1981. The album cover was designed by Clota Ponieman, with photos picked by him and Charly.

When Aznar decided to leave the band to study at Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts, USA), Serú organized a series of recitals to give him a farewell. Serú Girán's future was uncertain. At beginning of 1982, the disc recorded in these concerts, No Llores por Mí Argentina, was one of the best selling ones in that year. The homonymous title became almost an anthem, and other songs like "En la Vereda del Sol", "Cuánto tiempo más llevará" and "Eiti Leda" made of this record an essential album.

Later this year, the confrontations of García, Lebón and Moro (in particular the first two) on how to replace Aznar and the group's future made the band dissolve.

The comeback: Serú '92[edit]

Many years passed until the comeback of Serú Girán became a reality. García, Moro, Lebón and Aznar reunited to record Serú '92 (1992). With the return of Serú, presentations were made in Rosario Córdoba (in stadium Chateau Carreras), Montevideo (Centenario Stadium) and in Buenos Aires with two performances at the stage of River Plate, the latter to about 160 thousand people in total. The return of Serú marked a record long ago unthinkable: a local band playing at River Plate Stadium.

The death of Oscar Moro[edit]

Drummer Oscar Moro died of a stomach hemorrhage in July 2006.

In late March and early April 2007, Pedro Aznar and David Lebón played a series of concerts together in the ND Ateneo theater. In their fifth show, on April 6, Charly García joined them on stage to play "Seminare". On July 26, 2007, a year after the passing of Moro, a tribute concert was organized in his honor, in which Charly García and Pedro Aznar played "Desarma y sangra", "Encuentro con el Diablo", "Mientras miro las nuevas olas" and "Esperando nacer". On April 30, 2010, Lebón and Aznar were guests during García's show at Luna Park stadium to play "Seminare".

Studio albums[edit]

Year Disc Discography
1978 Serú Girán Music Hall
1979 La Grasa de las Capitales Music Hall
1980 Bicicleta SG Discos
1981 Peperina SG Discos
1992 Serú '92 Sony Music

Live albums[edit]

Year Disc
1981 Yo no quiero volverme tan loco Sony Music
1982 No llores por mí, Argentina SG Discos
1993 En vivo Sony Music

Recopilations[edit]

Year Disc
1995 Oro (Serú Giran)
1996 El álbum
2000 Viernes 3 a.m

Others[edit]

Year Disc Notes
1988 Reunión secreta en TMA improvisación en estudio de grabación (no oficial)

Awards[edit]

They were awarded in the categories:

  • Best live group,
  • Best Compositor (García),
  • Best Keyboardist (García),
  • Best guitarist (Lebón),
  • Best bassist (Aznar),
  • Best drummer (Moro). Disclosure group 1978,
  • Best singer (Lebón) 1980 and 1981,
  • Best song 1978 (Seminare) and 1981 (Peperina) y
  • Best Album 1978 (Serú Girán)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "interview Sandra Commisso for Clarín". Clarin.com. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 

External links[edit]