Loquillo: open 24 hours

As in the literary characters that remain, Loquillo survives in our imagination with the same chassis as always and every two years, similar wedding invitation.

Loquillo: open 24 hours

As in the literary characters that remain, Loquillo survives in our imagination with the same chassis as always and every two years, similar wedding invitation. Also, like those bookish characters, no one really knows who he is, as an artist, alien, or rock star. He doesn't change hairdressers or tailors, apparently he doesn't change friends either, although he does and more often musicians in order to have an impeccable live performance, ideal for shutting up mouths and going on tours.

His is not just ambition or competitiveness, which there is and a lot of, but something deep, tribal and Barcelonan that, almost certainly, not even he knows what it is. The paradox, the mystery, the fable told a thousand times makes Loquillo stay, stay and reign without anyone knowing very well why, or what leads him to do it with such noise and fury, or until when he will feel like doing it. If it is merit or demerit of him or merit or demerit of the country of which he is a star, reference, black hole and sack of blows, it is bar conversation with no possible end. It's that star opacity that has made it indestructible. It is his not wanting to know what he is running away from or what he is looking for – his songs are hymns of the character, never of the person. Not offering us the keys, the weaknesses behind his bravado and greatness, generosity and ambiguity, which has meant that we have not yet dismembered him.

All artists, once they achieve success, seem to need to destroy the deception, show the cards and their magic tricks so that, from that moment on, they will be hated or loved for what they consider genuine behind the removed mask. It usually happens then that the public smells blood and, sooner or later, attacks and kills. The artist, then, has to choose to seclude himself or break his face for the rest of his life with small, stubborn and revenge-seeking enemies. In the case of our man, the mask is his mug and vice versa. You will never catch Loquillo not being Loquillo. There is a familiar José María Sanz but beyond the tribe he is Loco for friends and Loquillo for the audience and detractors. Loquillo is always Loquillo because the stage is the only real thing for him. He is a star such as Dean Martin (what was behind Dino?) or Lola Flores (Leave?), idols who were adored without knowing how to sing, dance and act especially well, but whose magnetic presence, wild talent and ability to not be where you were expected, made them so irresistibly cool.

Loquillo, our favorite Martian, has managed to survive 43 years of the arena for artistic and competitive intelligence reasons, but also for other, less obvious reasons, which are key to the mutation of the lanky Taboo rocker to Guard Rocker of this blessed country. Also its two meters of leather jacket with little edifying friends if you want to ride a motocross civic rig. Let's be honest: Loquillo with 1.60 meters tall would not even have reached La Mafia del Baile (1983).

In the same way that the Stray Cats occupied the rocker share of punk, Loquillo, Carlos Segarra and a few toupees demanded their place in the massacre of heavy singer-songwriters and hippies from Laieta, and the advent of "do it yourself". They were young, cheeky, more fans than musicians. He was crazy at the right time and place. He never pretended to be more sophisticated than anyone, nor did he seek to rub his back in the pijería's pants. And with it he obtained immortality in the appropriate saints: that of the working class. For decades, his songs have not stopped being heard in the popular neighborhoods of this country. It's yours. Not from the progressive and elitist professors of Podemos but from the type that can be at the same time Spanish, from Barça, anarchist, republican, enlightened despot, Barcelonan, businessman, fascist, libertarian, Frenchified and currele. Neighborhood stuff. Maradona Church. Pijoapart code. We are not Rosendo. Neither did Lluís Llach. We are Barcelona City.

But that ugly, strong and formal guy would be nothing without his sincere and incorruptible defense of the musician's job. Both in direct from him and in who is going to supply you with the material. Loco's ego may be huge but he has never made the usual mistake of believing himself to be a composer, arranger or producer. He is a generator of energies, rewards, jealousy and competition. And, if necessary, a cannibal. The boss distributes work, makes headlines and never abandons either the art or the business. And he doesn't wonder if he's happy or alone, or what José María Sanz de Loquillo will think. Instead, he finishes a novel, edits an album, goes on tour and presents the biography that the journalist Felipe Cabrerizo has made of him.


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