Saturday, February 27, 2010
Miguel Bose was one of my idols when I was a teen-ager. This is a vintage video for his hit song "Amante Bandido." I remember vividly seeing him on Spanish TV performing in a kimono. This was in the early 1980s. Spain was still emerging from the genocidal dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and in the midst of political turmoil and a yearning on the part of many to make up for lost time and undo decades of repression. In 1977 there was an Amnesty Law, guaranteeing impunity under the guise of reconciliation. On Feb. 23, 1981 there was a failed military coup that was motivated by a desire to return things to the ways they were under Franco and had, according to many, the effect of traumatizing many even more and intimidating those who wanted to shed light on former crimes against the Spanish people. To this day, extreme right-wing groups, many comprising people in the Popular Democratic Party, hold large homophobic demonstrations. At the same time, Spain has been at the forefront in the legalization of gay marriage and transgender rights.
In any case, in the early 1980s, for Bose to perform in what is basically drag was revolutionary. Such gender-bending was of course also promoted by others, including the young Almodovar and in literature by the brilliant Terenci Moix. The subtext in this song's lyrics is intense. There is a part where he sings "Yo sere un hombre por ti, renunciare a ser lo que fui," which means I will be a man for you, I will renounce what I was before." Also, he goes from repressed nerd to brave guerrilla (perhaps I am over-analyzing but until the 1950s guerrillas fought against Franco) and in a third persona, embodies an androgynous satyr, who brings sexuality to the forefront. I love this video!!!!