Eubioticamente atraídos

caetano veloso speaks up

caetano veloso speaks up

Tropicalist verb

Caetano Veloso
Published in O Verbo Encantado, n. 5, June, 1972

Discretely here in the newspaper O Verbo Encantado. because there is this little house on a narrow incline coming off the Ladeira do Mauá, with good neighbors. Without politics.

Tropicalism was a tree with a thousand fruits. I say this without pride, without remorse. The stunted and rotten fruits are spread out across the ground and no one is better placed to savor the stench than the hunter of roots. But there was plenty of ripe fruit as well, as Marquinhos, quoting Lu at Porto da Barra, said last week. ”

The good life.

I am content, to a certain extent, to see that, as I hoped, upon my return to Brazil, my decision to come back and live here in Brazil made many people who needed to argue with and not merely praise my work feel at ease. My proximity, the certainty that I arn real and vulnerable, brings my legend back to Earth -to my immense pleasure, since in London I was climbing the walls sometimes, like a ghost .

The good life, as I said. But there are also certain things that, with time, I would like to discuss again, argue about, dis-enjoy, etc. Or rather, my return puts me at fase, so that I might talk with some people about a few things, given time. Butithappens thatwhile some healthily relax in arder to reinitiate a conversation with me, there are also others who are perversely agitated  at the thought of chopping me up and throwing me into the cauldron. That is why it is impossible for me, si,nce I want to stay here in Brazil for a long while, in this sunshine, in this idiocy, in this laziness, and if this kind of commotion gets started around me so soon, it’s not going to work out When I was living abroad, I knew that with my return, the press would change its tone when it spoke about me. I carne home with a relaxed show, tranquilly looking at people in the audience,looking at Brazilian music in a relaxed way, with the past inside of and with me, with Chico [Buarque] inside and Blis [Regina] inside. Notbing more. It was alI right: the journalists relaxed, the Rio de Janeiro gossip relaxed a litcle, everyone relaxed a little bit. But itwasn’tall right: everyone got a litcle disoriented once  more. And there was the hate again. Still because of a misunderstanding. And me, dying oflaziness. Respond? Never. I don’t wantanyone upsetwith me.

Nevertheless, there is, there must be some people who deserve to know how I would cany myself in the face of certain questions. Here it is: What has perhaps always made the situation difficult is that never before has there been a popular figure with as many intellectual airs as me. I am not a national myth, in the -sense that Pelé is, or in the sense that Roberto Carlos is; Nor do I claim to be afie. The diminished myth of”Caetano Veloso” is much more like the Glauber Rocha myth. Except that I appear on television, more people know my narne and face, some records of mine have been successful (though I never sold as many records as, for example, Tim Maia). Like Glauber, (more or less involuntarily), I became a caricature of an intellectual leader for a generation. Nothing more. An idol for consumption, by intellectuals, journalists, and university people in a trance. Except I was casually playing with the terrif}ring means of mass communication. That is the reason, I believe, that they expect so much from me. In its poverty, the Brazilian intelligentsia saw in me a flagbearer, a savior, a scapegoat. Now it feels more comfortable seeing that it can throw on the back of someone like me the responsability for things that wouldn’’ fall under the jurisdiction of any god. Such as: The exhaustingly argued need (and a better arged need than any by Tropicalism, after Cinema Novo) that we underdeveloped peoples have to imitate international trends.

The critical intolerance on the part of younger generations of prior generations. (Tropicalism treated its antecedents with love and humor.) The existence of Bahia. (Tropicalism barely dealt with the subject.) The existence of carnival. (Tropicalism barely dealt with the subject.) The influence of French cultural trends on Brazilian intellectuals (and Argentine ones, certanly). The “É Proíbido Poribir” episode can be summed up in the following way: Guilherme Araújo, my impresario, showed me an article in Manchete about the events in May in Paris that I didn ‘t want to read because 1′m toa lazy to read. I remember that he himself tumed the page and said: it’s funny, they spray-painted beautiful things on the walls. This phrase here is beautiful -”It is forbidden to forbid.” I said, It’s really beautiful. He said -  make a song using this thing as the chorus. I said – OK. That was it, I didn’t do it. Then he insisted. I said, I’ll do it. I did it. I thought it was kind of dumb, but pretty. Everyone thought it was pretty at the time. On the following day, I thought it was awful. Still today, I only really like the rhythm and the part in the lyrics tha says, “ Isay yes, I say no to no.” Then came the Globo festival. I didn’t have any cool song to play. Nor any real desire to enter the festival. I only convinced myself to compete when I decided to take that music I didn’t like, and make fun of the festival. The song was hidden by the happening, and by all the booing. Sérgio Ricardo was  intrigued backstage when he saw my happiness: “I don’t understand how you can see so happy at beeing boored.” When I returned to the song, Gil has already been disqualified (which infuriated me because I thought his number was great) while my “É Proibido Proibir” had reiceved the best marks. I got on stage determined to make a scene. And I made one. I told the jury it was incompetent and the audience that was dumb or something like that. It’s on the record.

Still today, I’m proud fo what I did. And I congratulate myself for the fact that that song was forgotten. In fact, much was said about the scandal, but the record didn’t sell. Of all the songs I have written since “Alegria, Alegria” (Joy, Joy), “É Proibido Proibir” is one of the least well known by the public. I will never permit anyone to claim to be typical of the Tropicalist movement or of my work in particular.

The interest among children from good families is smoking marijuana, taking LSD, or many other drug. (Tropicalismo never dealt with the issue. Regardless, at the time, the press made a point of identifying our work with that type of thing. I remember having seen some of these imbiciles on television typing to prove through A + B that in the lyrics of “Alegria, Alegria” I meant to refer to drugs. It was hysterically funny. What juggling of logic was necessary! It’s the press who depends on these things to servive. The entire press knew the agitation caused by suggesting that, as in England with the Beatles and in the U.S. with Bob Dylan, young musicians in Brazil were also using terrible drugs. To the perpetual disillusion of all (all, without exception), I have traversed these years without a single joint. I am horrified by the effect to lança-perfume, the anesthesia used by dentists, pills, and drinking.

So, discretely, in Verbo. I want everyone who truly likes me to know that I always want to spend more time in Bahia that in any other place. I want, if possible, to work here as well and only leave to take a look around here or there. I really like it here in the city of Salvador. I want everyone to know that I continue to think that João Gilberto is the greatest Brazilian artist and that everything lse can go to hell.


+Eubioticamente atraídos
Tropicalist verb