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    NewsUSAKiko Veneno relives his trip to the US: a unique coast to coast with street nudes and music in New Orleans

    Kiko Veneno relives his trip to the US: a unique coast to coast with street nudes and music in New Orleans

    In an interview with Kiko Veneno (Figueres, 70 years old) monosyllabic responses are not contemplated. In a chat with the creator of the anthem flying i go there are deep philosophical reflections, interspersed with pranks and jokes typical of the witticism of a child who moved to Seville at the age of nine. His career as a musician, which has lasted for more than 40 years, has taken him to countless cities and countries around the world such as Mexico, Uruguay or Argentina. However, one of the trips that he remembers most fondly, and that he repeated every summer of his childhood, was the one he took by train, together with his family, and that took him from Cádiz to the Catalan town of his maternal grandmother: a journey that passed through Albacete and Madrid and lasted a whole day and in which the inhabitants of the wagons shared their stories and food.

    The other trip to which he is extremely fond, but in this case much further, took him to cross the United States from coast to coast for nine months, between September 1974 and May 1975, when he was still a Philosophy and Letters student. , in the modality of Modern and Contemporary History. The singer, always on tour, premiered at the end of 2022 a documentary about his life entitled One day Lobo Lopez and has participated in Pepe the world, a story with a lot of accent, a mini-documentary made by Cruzcampo, which tells the story of Pepe and Esperanza, who have been running a bar in Mairena del Aljarafe, Seville, for more than 54 years. Quoted in a central Madrid winery, recalls the best moments of those days immersed in Yankee culture.

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    ASK. Is there a place where you have felt at home without being?

    Q. Did you go there to record an album or for a musical project?


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    R. No, in my student days, when I was still a university student.

    Q. How long was he gone and why?

    R. I was gone for nine months and I was touring the New England area, Boston, New Orleans and I went as far as San Francisco and its surroundings to get a taste of the culture hippieand. Although it wasn’t the country of my dreams, I did want to experience American greatness, because all the things that interested me in the world at that moment came from there: movies, music, the great woman like Marilyn, the great rebels. Like Walt Whitman…

    R. I learned that the mentality of the Americans was great. She did not let me down. In addition to learning to speak softly, I got to know another custom that seems very valuable to me, which is that one could not speak ill of anyone who was not present. I loved. I saw in it that there were still vestiges of the pioneering spirit of the people of old Europe and that they had a broader concept of freedom and human respect than we do.

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    Q. And for those places you went to, have you returned afterwards?

    R. In New York yes, already as a musician. I have not physically returned to Boston and New Orleans, although with the series bring me I have the feeling that I did. I did return to San Francisco. What I realized is that more than changing places, the one who has changed has been me.

    R. I always count our naked walks through the streets of New Orleans, doing what is called streaking; It was the fashion of the moment in the city and something that may seem absurd, we loved it, we died laughing running naked through the streets. It was irreverent hippy.

    Pete Townshend of The Who performing at Preservation Hall (New Orleans) on April 30, 2022.Erika Goldring (Getty Images)

    R. I remember the first time I went to Preservation Hall, the temple of the old jazz patriarchs. From there I kept the memory, which made me fall in love, of a fat gentleman playing the banjo. He was lucky to live in front of a bar with a live pianist, and that there was a lot of music on the street. Besides, it was the time of Dr. John, of Jimmy Hendrix, of Stevie Wonder and his song Living for the City… Through his lyrics and my journey from the North—to Boston—to the South, I was able to better understand the period of slavery and American history.

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    Q. What advice would you give to someone going to New Orleans for the first time?

    R. Those who go to New Orleans already know what they are going to find, so my advice is generic: buy good shoes, don’t drink or smoke a lot and enjoy life.

    In short

    Favorite city in Europe? “I’m not capricious in life, that’s why I don’t have a favorite city: maybe London, Paris, Berlin… Look, I don’t know Rome, maybe that’s why it can become a favorite now.”

    Any transport that you hate? “Paragliding. Since I was convinced to travel paragliding, I found a friend in a cast after having traveled like this and I already decided against it.”

    A memorable dish. “How am I going to start fighting fried eggs with potatoes, with gazpacho, with my grandmother’s chop!? That is a crime. If there is only one dish to choose from, I will retire from this world.”

    There is no shortage in his backpack… “Mask, pen and a notebook to write, close-up glasses, books, nail file, wallet and medicines, which I almost never use.”

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