“You will see me fly through the City of Fury, where no one knows about me and I am part of everyone”
Gustavo Adrián Cerati Clark was born on August 11, 1959 in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barracas, the first-born son of his parents: Juan José Cerati, an engineer and accountant by profession, and Lilian Clark. He was of Italian ancestry on his father's side and Irish on his mother's side.
His childhood was spent in the family home in the Villa Ortuzar neighborhood, on 1219 Heredia Street. According to his mother, since he was little Gustavo interacted a lot with people and brightened up family and school parties: “With a little wooden guitar or a broomstick, cheered up every birthday.”
At the age of twelve, he formed his first band in elementary school, the San Roque Institute, located at 1160 Plaza Street, also in the Villa Ortuzar neighborhood. Gustavo practiced with broomsticks with other classmates, who highlighted his skills to his friends; At that time, he formed the groups ET, and later, Koala.
He used to draw and create sketches in his free time, where he invented two superheroes: Superbrain, similar to Superman, and Argos, a man similar to Tarzan. In his adolescence he continued with music and formed two simultaneous bands, Savage and Vozarrón. The first was made up of two British singers, and they used to perform in a cabaret, in front of Parque Centenario. He also joined the trio called “Triciclo” with which he made versions and improvisations of popular songs of that time, there he began to demonstrate his skills as a guitarist.
In 1982, he played with Zeta Bosio in the band “The Morgan”, in Punta del Este (Uruguay), where they began to strengthen stronger ties of friendship, since they had known each other before as colleagues in the Advertising degree they were studying. at the University of Salvador. One day Cerati proposed to Bosio to put together a band with his own songs that were not sung in English but in Spanish, although influenced by the aesthetics of The Cure and The Police. The first assumed the role of singer and guitarist while the second took charge of the bass and backing vocals; They only needed a drummer. Later, thanks to the intervention of Laura, Cerati's sister, who told them about the drummer Charly Alberti, the band called Soda Stereo was completed, in reference to their “music with bubbles.”
In 1983, they were invited to play on the television program “Música total” on Channel 9. At that time Cerati was working as a medical representative at the Boehringer Laboratory (Buenos Aires), and the program coincided with his work schedule, so he asked for the day off due to illness to attend. After appearing on television, he would be seen by his bosses, which led to his dismissal.
After testing other possible members, Cerati, Bosio and Alberti decided to stay only as a trio. For a few months they played in alternative venues, but in 1984 they recorded their first album, simply titled “Soda Stereo” and a year later they began to give increasingly massive concerts that consolidated them on the national stage.
Starting in 1983, in the midst of the recovery of democracy, the country experienced a climate of openness in every sense that allowed the band led by Cerati to achieve stardom with “Nothing Personal”, their second album.
With a careful aesthetic that made history, influenced by one of Cerati's first girlfriends, Anastasia Chomyszyn, plagued by messy hair, heavy makeup and multicolored clothes, the Soda were the first Argentine group that bet and won the conquest of the Ibero-American market.
In February 1987, Soda performed at the XXVIII International Song Festival of Viña del Mar. This event was significant for them after unleashing the so-called "sodamania", with a crowd of fans who greeted them loudly and followed them everywhere. . An unprecedented event with a rock group in Spanish. In addition, it established them as one of the most important bands of the genre. Since then, they have maintained a successful rise internationally. After the publications of Doble vida (1988) and the EP Languis (1989), which brought with it a grueling 2-year tour, Cerati had become a Latin idol.
To get away from that “label” a bit, Cerati took refuge in the national rock bands that he listened to in his adolescence such as Pescado Rabioso, Vox Dei and Color Humano, resulting in “Canción animal” (1990) that consolidated the success of Soda. Stereo before the public and the press; cataloged as the band's best album, and one of the most emblematic of rock in Spanish. According to Rolling Stone magazine: “it is the first record in which Gustavo Cerati begins to see himself as an heir to the Argentine rock of the 70s.”
At that moment of greatest popularity, the members of Soda Stereo began to question their future, after breaking several records such as filling the Gran Rex Theater, the Vélez Stadium and gathering 250,000 people on Avenida 9 de Julio. Faced with this maelstrom of successes, Cerati considered: “One possibility would be to dedicate ourselves again and again to surpassing our own records, as if it were a sport. But to what extent can you do that without killing the music we love?” Soda Stereo established itself, but its members became emotionally and artistically exhausted, so in 1997, 15 years after being born and with seven albums as a legacy, the trio announced their separation.
Cerati, who by then had already divorced his Chilean wife, Cecilia Amenábar, and had two children, began a personal search that was reflected in electronic music projects and later in the albums “Amarillo”, “Bocanada” and “Siempre es hoy ”.
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In 2002, after surprising with applauded symphonic versions of his rock songs at the Teatro Colón, he returned to the ring with the album “AhíVamos”, in which he demonstrated that his talent as a singer-songwriter was still intact.
The Sodas never ruled out a reunion, and they made it happen in 2007, with the long-awaited and emotional tour “You Will See Me Back,” which sold out a million tickets in 22 concerts in Latin America and the United States.
In 2009, Cerati presented “Fuerza natural”, his last album, and began an international tour that took him to Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, where on May 16, 2010 he was surprised by a stroke. The diagnosis announced by the doctors who treated him left little room for optimism: "Extensive infarction in the left cerebral hemisphere and secondary brain stem damage."
The musician was brought to Buenos Aires two weeks later to be admitted for four months at the Fleni Clinic, specialized in neurological care, and in October 2010, he was taken to the ALCLA, a less complex hospital due to the slim chances of his recovery. . Cerati was never able to leave the coma or stop being assisted by an artificial respirator.
Since then, his state of health was managed in the most complete secrecy; because his family decided to take care until the last moment of the dignity of an artist whose work will be immortal.
In 2011, his latest album received three Grammy Awards in the United States and the Gardel de Oro Award in Argentina.
During the last four years Cerati did not register any signs of recovery, which even led Charly Alberti, his former Soda Stéreo partner, to warn that the family "should now let him go", that is, stop medical treatments.
He died on September 4, 2014, after suffering cardiac arrest.
His music and his work remained an immortal record. Among several of the tributes to the band, is the Soda Stereo corner, on Dr. Victorino Street in Plaza 1501, in the Belgrano neighborhood, which was inaugurated in 2017 by the other members of the band.