Alfonso Méndez completes the definitive book on the origins of Los Planetas

The book ‘On a trip through the Planets’ was published in 2014, inaugurating a publishing house of musical books with a very planetary name as well: ‘Ondas del Espacio’. A decade later, and three since the publication of the brand’s founding album, it can be said that 2024 will be an especially planetary year, and even more so with the premiere of the film ‘Second Prize’, with a script and idea by Fernando Navarro from Granada. , filming focused on the band’s youth.

In that volume, the first years of the company’s life were recalled with first-hand testimonies (filtered through each person’s memory, of course), since its formation in the Los Pajaritos neighborhood, at the beginning of the nineties as Los Subterráneos, until the cassette publications, the legendary Medusa EP and the aforementioned ‘Super8’, reaching, like the original formation, until ‘Nuevas Ciencias’, a title from which Los Planetas already underwent various remodelings.

In light of new data, and taking advantage of the very round date, Alfonso Méndez, 50% of Ondas del Espacio with Julio Le Merchand, has given more than several turns to that text, proposing a much more enlarged version than a revised one with the subtitle of ‘A new dimension’: «there is certainly more information, and the previous one also had a lot, but here it is better organized. We have added unpublished images that had never been seen before. In addition, I include new contributions from front-row witnesses at the beginning of the group. Although it must also be said, we have taken the opportunity to review some things in a timely manner. In the absence of a complete, definitive and updated biography of the people of Granada, which is attributed to the personal secrecy of the protagonists and the impenetrability of their environment, according to those who have attempted it, works such as this one serve to approach the subject in an ‘unauthorised’ way. referential heart of a totemic group for a generation. Of which, for Méndez, that first stage was the one that defined the definitive parameters of the project and its hook flag: «on an emotional level, its first ten years were the most intense period for the group in all aspects. From that original formation with May playing with her back turned, with some imperfect live performances marked by some truly brilliant ones, to certain vital changes that caused a spiral of changes, and therefore notable events, in the group at that time”; Although when it comes to using the well-worn adjective “legendary”, musically he points out that: “legendary, legendary is the album on the album where they mixed the psychedelia of rock with flamenco”, the much later ‘The Legend of Space’ , giving a knowing wink to Camarón.

The idea of ​​returning to that text “somewhat decontextualized in these ten years”, according to its author, arose last summer “when he finally found the cassette tape with the group’s very first songs lost”, and taking into account that “it was out of stock and we received continuous requests” – for second-hand they were asking €300 for a copy on the sales pages! – “we decided to do this second part,” explains the writer and editor.

This comprehensive review of that book, now from a historiographical rather than a choral point of view, goes on sale on May 30 and will be presented this Saturday, the 27th (7 p.m.) at the Marcapasos record store on the occasion of the Record Store Day activities. “Now we can say that we have the definitive book about the early years of Los Planetas, in which Granada and its music scene stand out a lot,” concludes its author.

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