Sunday, May 29, 2011
V A R I A Ç Õ E S
The early 1980s were a fearless time for the outré and the experimental seeping into the mainstream, but the fear was around the corner.
António Variações was a Portuguese pop star who channelled Sparks and Soft Cell and dreamed of the bright shadows of New York. His songs echoed with loneliness and desire. His heroes felt different, outlawed, burning with physical needs unrequited. His first song was a new wave interpretation of fado diva Amália Rodrigues - 'Povo Que Lavas No Rio'. He was brazen, and shimmied on stage like an exotic bird.
All around and on the streets, the mood was a rejection of the grey of yesteryear, but few were as daring as he. His second album 'Dar e Receber'/'Give and Receive') ready, it's 'Canção de Engate´was about to catapult him centrestage. It invaded the radios, just when he died of AIDS-related pneumonio in 1984.
Some 26 years later, slipping through the turgid, grey gay scene of a wonderful but somewhat embattled country, I felt compelled to start a celebratory party in the name of innocent, gaudy fun. Enough of thinking small, or safe. It's early days yet, but as I dream, I think of António Variações, and wish he were here. And I want to create something that honours his wild, wooly energy!