Sunday, November 28, 2021

Alex Lora marks 48 years as Mexico’s rock’n’roll idol

Fotografía del 5 de abril de 2017 del cantante mexicano Alex Lora durante una entrevista con Efe en Ciudad de México.
A sus 64 años Lora, máximo exponente del rock mexicano, nunca imaginó “rocanrolear” durante casi medio siglo junto a su banda El Tri, que define como los “Rolling Stones” mexicanos. EFE/Denisse Torres

Mexico City, Apr 11 (EFE).- At age 64, Alex Lora, the number one star of Mexican rock, never imagined he’d be rockin’ and rollin’ for almost half a century with his El Tri band, which he calls the Mexican Rolling Stones.

The singer-songwriter told EFE that the audience of “a Rolling Stones concert anywhere in the world are all about the same age, almost no young people, while many generations show up to see El Tri.”

The urban street style and reaction against the system were elements that back in 1962 made The Rolling Stones an example for rockers in Mexico and around the world.

Influenced by the musical trends in Mexican border cities, Lora kicked off his career with “Three Souls in My Mind” in 1968.

“Bands normally played songs originally in English combined with Spanish,” he recalled.

He said the Avandaro Festival, held on Sept. 11-12, 1971, which has been compared to Woodstock in the United States, “was a car race to which the rock groups most representative of the ‘Chicano wave’ were invited to attract a bigger crowd.”

The rock music left the cars in the dust and the race had to be canceled because the track was packed with tents pitched there by rock fans.

“Ridiculously dressed and drugged musicians incited their youthful fans to behave outrageously,” to such a point that the government, the press and society relegated rock to a “funky backwater” for over a decade.

Rock survived to make a comeback in the mid-1980s, however, with a rock movement all in Spanish.

Lora went on to carry the Olympic torch at the 2012 London Olympics, and in late 2016 the Mexico City government issued 10 million subway tickets commemorating his career, while this year some urban artists in the capital painted a large mural dedicated to Mexican rock music.

“My music remains in the heart of our people,” said the composer, who has created songs about love, soccer, poverty, the undocumented, taxes and corruption, to name a few.

“No politician is safe,” he said. His songs have criticized many Mexican presidents and some Americans too.

His 50th disc includes songs dedicated to mothers, the centennial of the Mexican constitution, the 43 students kidnapped at Ayotzinapa, and US President Donald Trump.

“We’re not thinking what’s going to happen on our 50th anniversary. Who says Trump won’t go crazy, get mad, drop some bombs and we all die?” Lora said.