Luis Alberto Spinetta

Luis Alberto Spinetta was born in Buenos Aires on January 23, 1950, being the second of three siblings (Ana María, Luis Alberto and Carlos Gustavo). His family had lived since 1940 in the Núñez neighborhood, on the very edge of the Bajo Belgrano neighborhood, just two blocks from the River neighborhood. His house was located on 2853 Arribeños Street, between Congreso and Quesada. In this area he spent his entire childhood and adolescence: he attended primary school at School No. 22 "Remedios de Escalada de San Martín", located at Roosevelt 1510 in the Belgrano neighborhood. And his secondary studies were done at the San Román Institute, a prestigious Catholic school located at Migueletes 2039, in the same neighborhood.


He then studied Fine Arts at the Manuel Belgrano Higher School of Fine Arts, located in Talcahuano between Avenida Santa Fe and Arenales in the Barrio Norte.


Since he was little he received the most varied musical influences. On the one hand, his father, an amateur tango singer, introduced him to Buenos Aires music; and, on the other hand, his uncles, who worked at the Columbia label, put him in contact with the new world rhythms, in the midst of the rock explosion. As a result, he began composing songs even before learning to play an instrument.


In 1964, he participated in the talent contest of the Escala Musical program (Channel 13), and won second place. With the money he earned on that occasion, he bought a copy of the album “Beatles for Sale” by The Beatles, which marked him definitively.


In 1967, he formed the band that later gave life to Almendra; The group made its first presentation in 1969, and immediately became a symbol of national rock. With Almendra, El Flaco released two albums: Almendra I and a double album Almendra II. The first is considered one of the best rock albums in Spanish; and its cover, the work of Spinetta himself, the best in national rock. The band planned a rock opera, but disbanded before its completion due to artistic differences. Contractually tied to the record company, in an act of rebellion, he released Spinettalandia, according to him, an 'anti-disco', and dedicated himself to touring the world for a few months.


Upon his return to the country, he formed Pescado Rabioso. Argentina was then experiencing times of high political and social instability; The popular rejection of the Lanusse dictatorship made him imagine that fish with punk rage and a paradoxical phobia of water. The group released two albums: “DesatormentNOS”, in 1972, and the double album Pescado 2, in 1973. The first, with sounds close to blues, psychedelia and heavy rock, which had just appeared in the world. The second, marked by lyricism and openly poetic-philosophical content that, in addition, contributed a new sound to Latin rock.


In 1973, the band separated due to artistic differences and Spinetta continued with the project alone and released Artaud, for many, the best Argentine rock album, inspired by Rimbaud's poetry.


At the end of that same year, he presented a new band: Invisible, with which he released “Invisible”, “Durazno Sangrando” and “El Jardín de los Presentes”. In the first two albums, with a high existential content, he dedicated himself to exploring Taoism and Jung's psychoanalytic theories; In the latter, the incorporation of Tomás Gubitsch provided a tango-jazz fusion sound that they defined as rock-tango, coinciding with the avant-garde sound that Piazzolla was experiencing. This last formation generated conceptual differences that caused the band to separate.

By the end of 1977, Spinetta had already established himself as one of the pillars of Argentine rock. But his production did not stop, and he continued experimenting with jazz: he solo edited “A 18' del sol”, and published the book “Guitara negra”, of surrealist Spinettean poetry (1978).


In 1980, Almendra returned with six legendary shows at Obras Sanitarias and in the interior of the country. In the United States they released the album “El valle interior” with which they went on tour. In 1981, the band disbanded again. At the same time, with other musicians, the Spinetta Jade project was created, which released “Alma de Diamante” (1980) and “The Children Who Write in the Sky” (1981). With that group, he appeared with Charly García, who was a member of Serú Giran, at the Obras Sanitarias stadium.


In 1982, as a soloist, he released “Kamikaze” to establish his position on the Malvinas War. That same year, “Bajo Belgrano”, Spinetta Jade's third album, was released, and, two years later, “Madre en light years”, which was the band's last.


His solo production continued; and, in 1983, “Mondo di Cromo” appeared. Between 1985 and 1986, he made productions with two other rock icons: Fito Páez and Charly García. With Fito, he edited “La la la”; while the project with Charly, which would be called “How to Get Girls”, failed due to problems between the musicians. “I pray for you,” a rock anthem, was the fruit of that ephemeral meeting. He remained a soloist and released successful albums until 1994, when he formed Los Socios del Desierto with whom he recorded four albums with a purely rock sound and with which he participated in MTV Unplugged, along with prominent musicians, and reviewed his thirty years of productions.


At the beginning of the millennium, in 2001, he released “Silver Sorgo” alone. He performed for the first time at the Teatro Colón in 2002 and experimented with sounds close to electronic. In 2005, he gave a recital at the Casa Rosada. He made his second presentation at the Teatro Colón, in 2006. And he ended the decade with the legendary show “Spinetta y las Bandas Eternas”, at the Vélez Sarsfield stadium before a crowd that experienced his extensive career in all its versions.


On December 23, 2011, the news was announced that El Flaco was suffering from lung cancer. He died on February 8, 2012, in Buenos Aires, surrounded by his children. That same year, the National Library dedicated the exhibition “The Books of Good Memory” to him, where unpublished graphic material was exhibited.


In November 2015, the posthumous album “Spinetta Los Amigo” was released, with recordings from 2011, which established him once again and eternally as the most influential artist in Argentine rock.