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Home Culture Miguel Ríos celebrates his 80th birthday with an emotional concert in his native Granada | Culture

Miguel Ríos celebrates his 80th birthday with an emotional concert in his native Granada | Culture

by News Room
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Miguel Ríos launched Everything at lungs in 1984. At exactly 40 years old and with more than 20 years of career, the Granada rocker sang that it was “difficult for him to keep me on this journey.” This Friday he turned 80 and on Saturday he took the stage once again. The singing Everything at lungs and made it clear that the journey not only continues, but that the destination is far from being written. Rios and his vocal cords have emerged unscathed from a journey that began in the early 1960s. He then left Granada with the aim of becoming a rocker when the rock and roll It didn’t even exist in Spain. This Saturday she returned to his native Granada to celebrate his birthday with four legendary groups from the city: Los Ángeles, 091, Lagartija Nick and Ninos Mutantes. A concert with which he paid tribute to Granada music and his city, represented by more than 6,000 people gathered in the bullring, celebrated him.

Miguel Ríos’s concert on his birthday was designed for success. A start with Welcome y I return to Granada It is a clear position taken by the singer, who is telling his audience that he places himself before them at their complete disposal, to please them; to give you the music you expect. Because the spirit of many of the attendees could be summed up in what he said while he ordered a few beers before the start of the concert Juan Eloy Mendoza, a Granada native from Trevélez: “I come to cry. Miguel reminds me of my trips from Valencia to Granada when he was studying in which we listened to his songs constantly. Changing cities or situations, many people came to the concert, if not to cry, then to be moved. And Ríos, who knows emotions, complied.

After the start, the octogenarian artist – he is not shy about saying it – gave way to the Granada bands that performed four songs each, while between changes an audiovisual of the history of local music was projected. And of these well-known groups, perhaps it is worth highlighting one perception: What good drummers the Granada groups have! Little has been said about the fact that this land in the south is the land of good drummers: Popi González, Tacho González, Eric and Nani Castañeda. The one accompanying Ríos, Pablo Narea, was not local, but at just over 20 years old he was also superb. Miguel Ríos joined in on the last song of each of the groups and although the date was with the singer, people appreciated the journey through six decades of music from the city. A woman in the audience was heard saying: “These people never had to die.”

A moment from Miguel Ríos’ concert, in Granada, to celebrate his 80th birthday.javier martin ruiz

And after the bands, Miguel Ríos once again took possession of the scene and everything he offered was celebrated, danced and, as protocol dictated, cried. It was heard in the Granada bullring Everything at your lungs, The bus blues —”A portrait of my life as a musician that I wish I had written because it is perfect,” Ríos said when presenting it—, The lineage of Cain —which, perhaps because in its lyrics it says that “there are rich people in Mercedes who shout freedom / The noise amplified / It is an insult to the truth,” the singer chose as “my song for the day of reflection”—, and others among the that there was no lack of Hymn of joy, Saint Lucia o The river. To this she joined, without expecting it judging by her surprise, her daughter Lúa.

Miguel Ríos, after more than six long decades on stage and more than 30 albums released, has no choice but to be pigeonholed at this point, and although he refused for a long time, as a canon rocker in at least one aspect: he performs ballads like no one else.

The Granada rocker was born on D-Day plus one, that is, 24 hours after the Normandy landings. Because of that or because of his determination, his name had to end up linked to history. If his birth was random, not all the milestones that he has marked in his professional life have been. The man from Granada has always had vision and objectives. In his sector, we could call him that, there is unanimity that he has made history in Spanish rock and, therefore, in Spanish culture. Miguel Ríos has opened many paths that now seem like they were always there, clear. In 1971 he held a charity concert and projected slides in the background that, as he himself says, composed “an aesthetic reading of the songs.” It was the first time. That show, Rock and love concerts It was the first album recorded live in Spain. In 1978, she used a laser beam at a concert. His tour with holograms, his solution to perform in the center of a bullring and other ingenuities and decisions show him as an artist interested in resorting to the latest technology available. And of course, his Rock and Ríos tour is a milestone in the history of culture in Spain. But his interest in technology and in bringing dazzling concerts to the Spain of fifty years ago has not prevented the singer from leaving behind something that he considers fundamental: the social and ethical responsibility of culture. His daughter Lúa defines his father for EL PAÍS as “the first artist who defended rock more as culture than leisure.” Ríos himself gives it a further twist by saying that his intention was to “dress rock with an ideology that he did not have.”

A moment from Miguel Ríos' concert, in Granada, to celebrate his 80th birthday.
A moment from Miguel Ríos’ concert, in Granada, to celebrate his 80th birthday.javier martin ruiz

Now, after celebrating his birthday, the singer will spend a few days of rest in Granada, he explained to this newspaper, and over the next year he has set himself the task of promoting, promoting and raising funds for the Miguel Ríos Foundation for Rock. and solidarity, the entity that organized the concert and other events around his birthday. After the break, in 15 days he returns to the road. The stage, however, will not have 30,000 watts. His next gig is in college. In 15 days he will open the Rey Juan Carlos Summer Courses where he will talk about what concerns him now, the social responsibility of culture and the role of artists in the world today. A nightclub with air conditioning but where the music playing can be uncomfortable for more than one person. That’s Miguel Ríos, the artist who invented the slogan “old rockers never die” and then made it a priority for himself.

A celebration with your friends

The 80th anniversary consisted of a series of activities organized by his foundation in which the singer was by no means alone. The director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, the actress María Barranco, Ana Belén, Joan Manuel Serrat, Javier Ruibal and Gran Wyoming are some of the artists present at these events. Iñaki Gabilondo, former judge Baltasar Garzón and prosecutor Dolores Delgado have also been there. And, of course, his family. Always close to him these days is his daughter Lúa, who, when asked by this newspaper about how she found her father, quickly answered: “Great, wonderful, just the way he is.”

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