Manuel Martín, half of the duo

Miguel Fernandez.

José and Manuel, the duo.

Manuel, or Manolo, as his friends call him, got fed up with the music. So much so that it has been more than forty years since he has had contact with anyone from that business. With his brother José Antonio he formed a duo, Jose and Manuel, before joining Solera, one of the most ephemeral and brilliant groups in Spanish pop. Despite the prestige he had obtained as a bass player, Manolo Martín (Málaga, 1946), left the stage to work in a publishing house. “He had two daughters, a family. I do not regret the decision I made ”, he tells me.

The Martín brothers had discovered their musical hobby thanks to a gift from kings. José Antonio was given a bandurria and he went to the Choirs and Dances to learn how to play it. There he met a pizpireta girl who sang very well, whom everyone called Pepita and who barely a year later would become Marisol.

The Martín family would also leave the Malaga capital to settle in Madrid because they transferred their father, a civil guard. Manolo and a sister were the first to leave the house that they occupied in the surroundings of the Plaza de la Merced, a few steps from the birthplace of Picasso, to look for work in the new destination.

“I started as an administrator in a travel agency -Relate Manolo. In the afternoons, my brother and I composed songs. José Antonio played with The Rollovers, some Valencian boys. With them I learned to play the bass while we were performing at the Universal Hotel in Pontevedra. Then we met Joaquín Torres who introduced us to his father, a manager of El Corte Inglés who offered to be our producer. We had our instruments but he bought us better ones, also costumes and he even found us a place to rehearse. One of the members of Los Vuelcos had to marry and the group disbanded. We went to the department store to tell them about it and it was agreed that we would talk but when a few days later we returned to the store, there was nothing. He had taken all the instruments, the ones he had bought and ours. “

Despite the incident, the friendship with Torres, who was part of The steps, led them to the office of Rafael Trabucchelli, the all-powerful artistic director of the record company Hispavox. The producer took a liking to them and was enthusiastic about what they sang to him, even in a “Camelo English”.

-Let’s go out with an LP –Trabucchelli announced. At that time, the normal thing was to present themselves with a small album but José and Manuel did it with Genesis, an ambitious album that received rave reviews.

“Up close, Trabucchelli was an endearing person. Even if he was busy, he always received us. Since we were penniless, we would introduce him to a song and he would advance us some money. He was always happy. This for the next album, it said. He always behaved well with us, although, to be honest, he had different ideas from us. In some songs he put trumpets and things that we had not thought about because we were closer to folk but as he was God we were not going to tell him that we did not like them. He took care of everything and we found the finished album. We always saw Waldo, for example, from afar, with his Lamborghini. We never get to treat it. We recorded the bases and they put the rest. “

After the next LP, Soon it will dawn, they edit a song that plays insistently on the stations, Teresa, wrapped in splendid arrangements by De los Ríos. The brothers, however, are about to start a new stage in their career. With Rodrigo Garcia and Jose Maria Guzman have formed the group Solera and, also under the supervision of Trabucchelli, are preparing to present a dazzling album that includes hits such as Streets of old Paris, Pretty cousin O Juan. However, events are rushing.

“We dissolved in the middle of a promotional campaign for a silly detail. Elvis Presley gave a concert and it was broadcast on television. Trabucchelli had authorized us to rehearse at night in Hispavox’s studio. We had the trite songs so my brother and I decided to stay home to see the Elvis concert. The others got very upset. As the group did not have a drummer, they looked for one and told us that we had to separate but they wanted to keep the name. They even used it in some performance without our permission. In other words, we had taken them to Hispavox and they paid us that way, wanting to stay up to the mark. “

With another band New Horizons, they did not do better. Published Spiderweb, another album praised by critics, and they did not lack performances. José Antonio was tired of that rhythm of work but Manolo preferred it to the insecurity of the cakes.

“In the last gala we did after the album Telaraña, the owner of the place told my brother how difficult the business was. He listed the cats and there he slipped the data:

-We had to pay you twenty mi.

“Twenty thousand?” My brother wondered. “But the manager told us we were coming for fifteen.”

That way we discovered that they had been cheating us, they told us one amount and shared another. Anyway, with so much distaste, I ended up fed up with the music. “

The pair of singles produced by Tony Luz That they recorded later, like José and Manuel again, they hardly got any repercussions.

At that time –keep going- changed the way of promoting. Money began to be paid. At first, Hispavox refused. Also the tastes of the people. All these changes affected us ”.

The professional paths of the brothers diverge. José Antonio, who died in 2017, continued working in the business: he composed Stay tonight, the song with which Clean wheat attended Eurovision in 1980, accompanied artists such as Jose Velez O Juan Pardo and opened an academy to teach music.

Manolo found work in a publishing house and then jumped to other companies. Until today.

“No, I don’t regret it. Nor of having left it later. At that time, we did finery and you didn’t pay a penny to Social Security, no employer paid for you. If I had not found a normal job, today I would not have retirement. I left in time. “


Source: Huffington Post Spain Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.

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