Tequila, the band of Ariel Rot and Alejo Stivel just teenagers.
The intense and exciting career of a Spanish rock group is the axis of the documentary Tequila. Sex, drugs and rock and rollby Alvaro Longoria, presented today at the 70th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival.
But it’s not just another biography, but the future of Ariel Rot and Alejo Stivel, two Argentine boys who arrived in Spain when their parents had to flee the military dictatorship. And they arrived in a country where the dictator Francisco Franco had just died and was starting a transition to restore democracy.
It was just six years of career, but the short and intense life of Tequila, the mythical Spanish-Argentine band of the 70s, has left an indelible mark: a rich and convulsive history that save an era when playing rock in Spanish was a rarity.
“People loved us a lot and we sold a lot of records, so we weren’t cursed artists claiming today,” Stivel demystified during his visit to Donostia with his lifelong friend, Rot, who puts things in their place: ” We weren’t. It’s not exactly a successful group either, “he said.
The documentary record is also responsible for explaining the excesses and shadows of the band “who deflowered Spain,” Alvaro Longoria said in statements to the press.
“The story of Tequila is a series of too many: too young, too many drugs, too successful. They have not been treated,” describes the actress. Cecilia RothAriel’s sister in the documentary that sees her as a narrator, which includes testimonies from pioneering artists such as Miguel Ríos, Ramoncín and Gay Mercader, among others.
From dictatorship to dictatorship
Alejo Stivel was born in 1959 in Argentina, son of legendary writer, director and film and television producer David Stivel and actress Zulema Katz. He is the brother of Andrea and brother-in-law of the late Jorge Guinzburg. He emigrated to Spain and in 1977 joined the Spoonful Blues Band along with his compatriot Ariel Rot. Soon after, the band changed their name to Tequila.
Ariel Rot was born in Buenos Aires in 1960 and has lived surrounded by artists since childhood. Her mother is Dina Rot, a Sephardic music singer. His paternal family, of Ukrainian origin, settled in Argentina first fleeing from Nazism and then from Stalinism. In 1976 he emigrated with his family to Spain, persecuted by the Argentine dictatorship.
Stivel and Rot, together with the Spaniards Julián Infante (guitar), Felipe Lipe (bass) and Manolo Iglesias (drums), were the members of the band that put music in the transition from Franco’s dictatorship to democratic freedom. They had the support of the famous radio DJ Marshal Romerowho immediately introduced them to Moris to record the famous album together fever to live. on the independent label Chapa Discos
Tequila’s first album was called With honor and in 1978 he sold thousands of copies and quickly transformed the group of teenagers into Iberian rock stars, with all the clichés of rock excesses: groupies following them in the sun and in the shade, endless days of alcohol and drugs and, of course, the fights those interns that surfaced early and set an expiration date for the project.
“We had an attitude that helped us explode, we communicated that we were rock stars,” said Ariel.
The seeds of Los Rodríguez
For Argentine rock fans, Tequila is also important because it laid the foundation for the formation of Los Rodríguezwhen Andrés Calamaro arrived in Spain and put together a group with his friend Ariel Rot and the Spaniard Julián Infante.
Tequila’s film, which is part of the “Made in Spain” section of the San Sebastian festival and will soon premiere in Spain, retrieves precious archive images, where one can appreciate the strength and magnetism of the band, which according to the director of the documentary, Alvaro Longoria, in those years of the so-called “Spanish move” gave a chair of talent and addressed all the issues of “sex, drugs and rock and roll”.