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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Syd Barret + Brian Wilson = "Meet Arnaldo Baptista"

What can be said about Arnaldo Baptista?

Perhaps we could say that his brother Sergio Dias and himself were the two Brazilian teenage boys to introduce the electric guitar to brazilian music in the mid-60's, or we could stick to the fact that after not being able to cope with a broken heart (Rita Lee - extremely popular Brazilian rock star to date, aka the Mutante's flower child back then!), and the excessive consumption of drugs, led him to a naive Flight of Icarus from a mental institution in early '82.

The two scenes having been described, will certainly lead us to the beginning of this album's comprehension.

In the history of Brazilian music, nothing quite compares to the depth of a depressed mind, the sadness of a human being Arnaldo in his naked mind was able to convey in sheer despair of being heard by the world, by the universe (not as a multi-million bucks musician, but as a man in need of expressing his feelings!

The full "Loki" (Kind of like a slang for "Crazy" in Portuguese) album was recorded in no more than 2 weeks, which included "unthinkable" horns arrangements (written by Rogério Duprat, a man that was there to be Arnaldo's spokesman at this moment of extreme urgency), for his mind was overflowing, his loving and need to show it could not wait.

The whole album was recorded live in studio in late 1974, with Arnaldo taking turns among voice, piano, keyboads, synth and whatever should be played to give birth to this master piece as quickly as possible.

Time was short in his mind, his feelings had to let go, who knows? Reach other minds and hearts other than his own, for he just could not put up with them any longer!

Just listen to Arnaldo singing or crying (that amounts to the same!), regretting for enjoying material things and in the following verse, asking himself whether he'd be bound to turn into mold, or willing to go back to his old house in the mountains, where "the whole Mutantes" framework got a body of its own or even at moments of perfect plastic scenery when he sings: "I don't care about death/I don't care about luck/I just wanna take off (like a plane) every morning"!!!

His mind was reaching dizzy heights - one might say he was anticipating his fate!

It is important to mention that whoever intends to get hold of this master piece has to understand that this is no ordinary mind whatsoever.

This man is the one who can be addressed as "the mind of Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson" in only one person.

Noteworthy: "The American band "Wondermints" pay tribute to him on their "Bali" album - "Arnaldo said" track".

They sure know Arnaldo is still around despite living recluse in a country house where he paints, plants, plays his instruments to his own entertainment and lives life like a child being the man who's always been pure at heart, bound to live as pure as a child to the end of his days in this planet.

Listen to Arnaldo if you have the notion of what depression is about, of what true love is about, of what resistance to accepting that love is gone is all about.

Arnaldo rules! And shall always rule!
He offered his life one day! And isn't life funny after all? The greatest love of his life, Rita Lee, a 62-year-old respected rock musician and singer(undeniable!) who still has gets her kicks off by playing her music to large audiences (perhaps the only "successfull" survivor from "The Mutantes"), with a solid career (though refusing to talk about the past!).

Arnaldo's brother, Sergio Dias, is "supposed to be" a worldwide recognized guitar hero "somewhere" (though he plays wonderfully! - like it has been mentioned before - having introduced the "electric" guitar to the Brazilian music), but the real story is locked up inside the mind of this "Loki" - Arnaldo Baptista, who will certainly not be remembered by this "ever-crushing" music industry!

A story is interesting, but history itself does not always live up to those who "really" made history, and Arnaldo is no "story", he is history, and those who were around him one day, will be part of the story !!!

Long live Arnaldo even after he leaves this planet!!!

Loki Re-recording in 2003


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