Something that serves as light, review of the book by Fernando Navarro

Something that serves as light, review of the book by Fernando Navarro
Something that serves as light, review of the book by Fernando Navarro

In case of Supersubmarine It must be unique in the world. There are many groups and soloists who have seen their lives cut short on the road. But their accident had diabolical consequences: all four survived, but they did so with serious consequences, and the most affected was precisely their vocalist, frontman and composer. The most essential. They neither died nor have they been able to return to activity as a quartet to this day, since that fateful morning in August 2016. And they were lucky to tell it. Is yours a living death? A life without a soul? Or was it more pertinent to console oneself and celebrate the miracle of being alive? There was a real story there, and it is fortunate that Fernando Navarro knew how to see it and turn into a book what was initially going to be just an interview for El País Semanal. The silence around the band was already gathering dust, and this book solves any mystery. Maybe not the most important. Although it probably isn’t either. And I leave it there.

What could have been an oral history (the raw material is made up of more than fifty testimonies) emerges in his hands as a kind of fictionalized story, in which what matters the least is the empathy you feel towards the music of the Baeza quartet. It is the great reconstruction of the success story of four village kids, friends since childhood, which is short-circuited by misfortune, and in which the author immerses himself in depth (the history of the La Loma region, its festivals and traditions, its religious devotion, its olive trees, its landscapes, the character of its people, the stay of a grieving Antonio Machado more than a century ago) to emerge with notable literary material, polished by Fernando over the last decade in any of his previous books, whether cultural essays or novels.

Only a couple of aspects, understandable if I interpret them as concessions to the broad audience to which it is directed (or perhaps they are individual quirks), bother me a little: the logistical and internal dynamic parallels with the Beatles and the fact that there is so much talk about Heroes of Silence, Pereza, El Canto del Loco or Piratas as references and so little of Vetusta Morla, perhaps because the most obvious comparisons tend to be the most odious, at least for the musicians who suffer them. For the rest, the journalist extracts oil from the story, with the right doses of feeling and reality, of stylistic embellishment and crude adjustment to the facts, in a book that also tells some important things about the reconversion of our music industry (the of the album and that of the live: it is also the rise of festivals and the vital crossroads of Ernesto Muñoz and Pink House Management, who bet almost everything on the same number), on the problem of the independent musician and on the stupid cruelty that some spend on social networks.

 
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