Thursday, July 30, 2020

Interview with Pere Gené (Lone Star) by David Kiss.

Lone Star

Today I have risen happily, to be able to interview one of the forerunners of rock and roll, rock and jazz rock in Spanish, within the country called Spain, my region of Catalonia and more being from Barcelona, ​​it is an honor to have Pere Gené in front of me, founder and anima of the Lone Star group.

To get into the matter, Lone Star was the first rock group to record a song in English, also pioneers in recording a jazz album, being the first electric band to play at the Palau de la Música, where they had always played classical music orchestras. , all this that I tell you happened in the decade of the 60s.

He continued in the 70s, he was more focused on jazz, rock and some progressives, 80s, he continued with "Viejo Lobo" until today, releasing a solo album like Pere Gené, following the legacy of his band. Lone Star together with Eric Burdon brought 120,000 people into a left-wing political festival.

Lone Star influenced the new generations of rock lovers in general in the 70s, we talk about Los Rebeldes, Loquillo, Leño and even Ultimo De La Fila.

Pere Gené is a living legend of Spanish rock, if he had been born in England or in the United States he would be mythologized in the annals of world rock, but being born in a country where musicians do not tend to be valued as such, is really a real shame .

If your musical tastes start at Animals, Golden Earring, Led Zeppelin or even Deep Purple first timers, discover Lone Star, they are not wasted.

-Hello Pere, it is a pleasure to have you in this exclusive interview for Bathoryzine, an online magazine where I personally try to make the musician's life known a bit from the beginning, since many readers are unaware of the group and it is always interesting to discover rock bands.

-What do you remember musically in your childhood, when you decided to study piano?

The fact of studying music is part of me. I suppose it was something vocational. My parents went to the opera regularly and it is the music that was heard at home but I don't think it had any influence.


-Your youth study basically at the Conservatorio del Liceo in Barcelona, ​​why?

I study music and piano at the Conservatory because it was the best place to do it.

-We are talking about the 50's, a time when our country had a strong and marked dictatorship, vetoing any music that came from outside ..

In the 50s everything was banned and censored. Music, movies, books, etc. There was folk music, some Cuban and some Italian. Zarzuela and classical, of course. Nothing else.

-The Rock n´Roll is very strong in the whole world, you finish your piano studies, leaving for England ...


I was going for a concert. I finish the Music career, the piano one, I do three courses of virtuosity, harmony, counterpoint, etc.

I start giving concerts at La Casa Del Medico, theaters, radios, etc. I also do chamber music concerts with a violinist. Totally I'm going to be a concert player! (laughs)

But parallel to the music career I do Business. I come into contact as part of AIESEC, an association of student exchange from different countries, I am going to do a stage in England.

What happens is that I went for three months and spent a year there ... (laughs), among many other things, I discover, live and experience the birth of new music totally unknown to me! The rock and Roll!

-Do you remember the concerts you saw in that city? (laughs) I imagine that even in the biggest dreams, you could imagine what you lived there (laughs)


The Ventures, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Coming from where I came from and with my Bach and Chopin books under my arm, a real slap.

I got together with a band of Teddy boys because that way I could see the concerts in the garages and theaters totally free and because all the aunts wanted to flirt with us. You didn't eat a cake here and you wouldn't stop there !!

Everything was new to me and the change was brutal. I remember a street where everything was churches of different religions. And I only knew the Catholic. (Laugh

-Did you turn rocker? (Laughs) You return to Barcelona and?


When I returned to Spain I already came with the idea of ​​setting up a rock group and composing my own songs. It was hard to convince others that he was no longer going to be a concert player, that now he wanted to sing, to play the guitar! They said he was crazy! (laughs) My family and my closest friends couldn't understand it !! (laughs)


-How do you recruit your companions to form Lone Star.

The only musicians I knew were fellow students from the Lyceum and I went there, of course they had no idea about rock and roll.

-You didn't want to have a name that started without the typical Los ... The ... (laughs)

The Lone Star thing was because he didn't want the "Los" thing, because the Lone Star could be pronounced well and because he was from the south. It was also the name of an Indian doll that we had as a pet.´

-Sheets for The voice of your master, which I think was later Emi ..

We signed for La Voz de su Amo yes but reluctantly, what I wanted was to make my own songs and there was no way. They had to be what they called international successes. I told them, ok! At the moment, but with one condition, I want to make the lyrics, the arrangements will be of the group and will not have to do with the originals. We are not going to copy, we are not going to do covers or versions !! (laughs).


-We are talking about the early 60s, Santi singer of Los Mustang told me several anecdotes, they recorded everything live in the studio on a single track, when the second track to record was Ostia! (Laughs) ..

We had four tracks. If you wanted to put piano it had to be voice and piano in one.

-I have always thought that versioning the groups you liked was like learning how to develop your career as an artist, I am not talking about interpreter, but about being an Artist, creating your songs and your compositions ...

-You become number 1 in Venezuela ...

So what happened? That we had the first bombing. The house of the rising sun was number one in Venezuela and then in all of South America.


-I also declare Eric Burdon that your version "The House of the Rising Sun" was the best they had done ...

At Emi, they freaked out !!! (laughs) So much so that they organized an event in a hotel in Barcelona with the Animals and Lone Star.
-The Animals, Ike & Tina Turner, Rolling Stones, you always covered who have been great bands in the history of rock! ... (laughs)

-From going to record a series of ep, s versioning other groups, you get to start recording a Jazz Rock album, I think the first one that was recorded in Spain ...


Then followed Understanding, Rio endless, Etc. Here I already planted myself. I went to speak with the director of Emi and I told him that I wanted to make my music.

-In 68 you compose a mythical theme in your career "Mi Calle", you park the image of the costumes, to dress very much like Jim Morrison of The Doors, (laughs) right?


Our clothing and our music respond to the influences that we have at every moment! (Laughs).

Emi is delighted with us because the records are sold!

Tightening the screws further I get them to record a whole jazz record.

We started with a half and half LP and from there it was all own production and composition.

All this happens as you well comment in 68, a crucial year for our career, we recorded “Mi calle” and through the General Directorate of Popular Culture we gave a jazz and rock recital at the Beatriz theater in Madrid with all tickets sold a week before. From there they put us in Festivals in Spain. We will be a couple of years repeating this same concert throughout the country.

-Your guitarist Joan Miró helped that change ...

  It is evident that the contribution in the group of Joan Miró was crucial. Apart from his guitar-vibraphone split he was a complete musician. He carried and carries the blues in his blood, his guitar sounded like an orchestra. A genius!!.


--Alex Sanchéz (guitarist who accompanied Radio Futura) another of your guitarists, who was in two stages, I imagine that it would also help that progression ...

Alex deserves a separate chapter. His contribution is essential in this section of Lone Star, exceptional guitarist, intuitive, very expressive in his playing.


- "Lyla" was also a great hit ...

After “Mi Calle” we chained hits “Lyla”, our best-selling single; ”Quiero Besar Otra Vez Tus Labios”, "La Trilogia" that received the SGAE award for the best song etc.


-Your musical projection was brutal, compositions, starting with primitive rock, jazz rock, progressive, hard rock ... it was a natural progression, a highly creative era ...

All those successes served to keep EMI happy as the group developed other more rocky and advanced ideas on the LPs, like Spring 70.



-You recorded "Adelante", this personally is the one I like the most, a hard rock theme, sucked with balls, reminds me of "Radar Love" by Golden Earring ...

Everyone agrees that Lone Star is better live than on disc. And I say: oh yeah? Well, we will do a live show with our team in a studio and full of people.

This is how Adelante was born, the group's best-selling and most successful album.

Everything in one go, all new songs, with the sound of the band live !!! (laughs) And the technicians getting ready !!! (laughs)


- "Follow us", "Horizonte", "Viejo Lobo", follow in the wake of Hard Rock ...

Then in a totally rocky line forgetting old Lylas compositions and other herbs will come It is long the way, Follow us, Horizonte, Viejo Lobo ... Each of these works would deserve a long comment but I do not want to expand or become heavy . Just listen to the records.


-They say that you have always surrounded yourself with great guitarists in your artistic career! (Laughs)

- I imagine that from the year 82, after "Old Wolf", you take another route that is not working for the band as such ...

After "Viejo Lobo" I decide to end the group, I leave the pavilion very high. The album has good reviews and I'm leaving.

Rock is going down, synthesizers are starting to come out, I, who have been going for 35 years without stopping, start to get tired and I don't want to repeat myself. I see life differently and I want to do other things.

I enter the world of advertising. I am an account executive and on the other hand I start to compose jingles.

-You have success composing music for commercials ...

Yes! Fontvella's success opens doors for me to do a lot of jingles.


-I have a personal opinion of the record career of Lone Star, while other groups and singers of the time have been finding the records easily, in reissues or even second-hand, your records have always been, as most difficult to find, are these According to me in that appreciation of mine ?, I tell you because I have been 32 years working in a record store ...

The records have been difficult to find because they have belonged to independent labels that have disappeared over time. Without forgetting the Diresa affair that left us lying without collecting royalties, without masters, without anything.

The change from Emi to independent labels was because we were already fed up with the little promotion they gave us. Practically everything I did, the last one organized a concert on the John Fiztgerald Kennedy aircraft carrier, the record company presents itself there with some posters that were not ours !!


-You have your son working on the legacy of Lone Star, reissuing records, the web, etc ... Can I imagine that it is a great help?

What of my son Jordi is a totally his initiative. At the time he decided to claim Lone Star, edit his vinyl records, etc….


-They say you have virtue, surround yourself with great guitarists! (Laughs).

Yes, I have always had great guitarists and great musicians by my side, without their help I could not have come to fruition.


-You have assiduous collaboration with David Palau, a great guitarist, with maestro Kitflus at the keys, you record a new album

My last experience with Boomerang has been totally satisfactory. I wanted to make a good record. Without other pretensions. And I did it.

Thanks once again to musicians like David Palau and Kitflus, above all, who got involved in the album in a brutal way. And there are the results, but the world of music has changed, it is no longer like before. Promotion? radio? Tv? The doors are closed, but at this point in my life, it doesn't matter to me.

I have got what I wanted! : To make a great album, with total freedom, without the pressure of any record company, in the studios and with the musicians that I have wanted.

Complete happiness!

We have done some concerts, apart from the presentation at Luz de Gas, and we have had a really good time.

-One of your greatest achievements is reuniting Lone Star with Eric Burdon 120000 people in a great concert !! Did you have nerves that day? Can you explain how you lived that moment?

Yes, the concert of La festa del PSUC with Eric Burdon was the most massive concert I have ever done. Nerves? I never have nerves when I go on stage, because I am sure of what I am going to do. I get more nervous when there is a power failure or a guitar string breaks. The concert was perfect.


-Many bands were disappearing throughout your most fruitful career, Smash, Los Canarios, Maquina !, Iceberg ... I speak of rock bands in their extensive ramifications, do you know the reason?

I do not know why the bands disappear, I suppose because of disagreements between them or because in life everything has a beginning and an end.


 -I would like your honest opinion, do you think that the rock history of Spain has had you a little forgotten? As if I had not recognized your long and long history?

I totally disagree with those who think that Lone Star has not been given the attention they deserved.

We were always against the current, even anticipating in many cases American or English groups. Topics such as "Pájaro De Fuego" or the version of "Ol 'Man River", to name a few, were at the time totally innovative and avant-garde worldwide.

Considering the music Lone Star has made, I think justice has been done.

There was a time when David Cassidy's asshole sold more records than Ray Charles !!! (laughs). So what? (More laughter).



-To finish Pere, I always talk about influences and personal musical tastes ...

-Do you remember your first record bought in a store? at what age?

I don't remember my first album because I bought many. Elvis, Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, Stones, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone.etc.

-First concert you attended as an audience

The first major concert was at Emerson Lake and Palmer.

-Unforgettable concert as a public?

Unforgettable concerts, Tonny Bennet, Diana Krall, Supertramp, James Brown, Aerosmith, Prince.

-A group that you are ashamed to admit that you like in public (laughs)

The groups and musicians that I like are very good !!!. It is impossible to be ashamed !!!. (Laughs)

"Mi calle"


Lone Star

(EMI-La Voz de su Amo, 1966)

Un conjunto con antología

(EMI-Regal, recopilatorio, 1967)

Vuelve el rock

(EMI-La Voz de su Amo, 1968)

Lone Star en jazz

(EMI-La Voz de su Amo, 1968)

Spring ’70

(EMI-Odeón, 1970)

Es largo el camino

(Unic, 1972)

¡Adelante! Rock en vivo

(Unic, 1973)

Lone Star (El disco de las sombras)

(EMI, recopilatorio, 1973)


(Diplo, 1976)


(Phonics, 1977)

Oveja negra

(Discos Mercurio, 1979)

Viejo lobo

(Avui, 1982)

Hacia el futuro

(AZ Records, 1996)

Concierto Teatro Infanta Beatriz, Madrid 1968

(Capital Sound Studios-Lone Star, 2010)

Interview by David Kiss,

No comments:

Post a Comment