It was 1971, two years after Woodstock, and the Brazilian youth still lived under the effects of the "Age of Aquarius", even though a little late. In the wave of peace and love, a group of young musicians and moviemakers from Nova Friburgo, in Rio de Janeiro, deeply got into the production of what in that time was called "the first Brazilian hippie movie". Entitled "Geração Bendita", the movie directed by Carlos Bini, and shot in the same region, left registered, besides the images of a time, a sound track as surprising as rare.

Recorded in the studios of Todamérica, in Rio de Janeiro, the album, also called "Geração Bendita" is signed by Spectrum group, formed by the ex-members of the 2000 Volts band and actors/musicians of the movie. The following musicians Caetano, Serginho, David, Fernando e Toby, who shared the instruments and the compositions that were made in association, composed the group. At the average age of 21 the experience of the group summed up to the local scene where they began by playing covers of The Beatles "so well done the many times people even believed the sound was from a radio or a tape recorder", says today the electric guitar player Caetano.

The album with a little more then thirty minutes assembles twelve songs with the lyrics in Portuguese and some in English, most of them speaking about peace, love, freedom, nature and other themes and meaningful values of that time. The instrumental with plenty of fuzz-guitars and the vocal in a "Beatles-style" tuned with a world production and placed the work of the group above the national patterns of that time. Caetano remembers today that the record called the attention of the disc jockeys Big Boy and Ademir, but ended up ignored by the media. A natural channel for the publishing of the album, the Rolling Stones newspaper, in its national version, only became public in the beginning of 1972, when the group no longer existed.

"We didn't have any technical resources. The instruments were national, second or third hand, but there was a higher power that moved us, which was the feeling of that generation", as Caetano, who still kept on playing in that region, tells. Both him and the other players of the band still live in Nova Friburgo, and share with the city and many of its today's distinguished inhabitants the memory of those "magic moments, bright and intensely lived". Recently, under Caetano's and some other remnants' of the movement enterprise, there was an attempt towards a festival that ended up in a single session of the movie, not going further.

Nova Friburgo and other cities of the Mountain Region of Rio de Janeiro were a center of attraction of musical groups and hippie communities that moved there in search of "peace, harmony and contact with nature". One of the groups that lived there for sometime was the southern group (of Brazil) Liverpool, before becoming "Bixo da Seda", in 1974. The most famous was "Os Mutantes", having only Sérgio Dias, one of the former participants, who settled down in a house in Nova Petrópolis. Nova Friburgo, in a special way, had a strong local scene, with several groups of the region and the presence of some bands from Rio de Janeiro that used to go there to play, like "A Bolha" and "Analfabitles", among others.

Although ignored during its time, that album kept on and, nowadays, it is among the first in the "want lists" (wanted) of world collectors of psychedelic uniqueness (its is one of the LPs of the "2001 Record Collector Dream" book, edited by the Austrian Hans Pokora, who collects covers of rare records from all over the world). According to his own words, "the Record was one of the most Wanted LP's worldwide in this kind of music and it's a nugget for all Collector". This interest recently called the attention of foreign labels specialized in limited vinyl reissues - 180 grams, and even in CD, who tried to contact the band to reissue the album. This issue has been dealt with the original label, holder or the edition rights and may well turn into national pulling, which will finally turn the record "Geração Bendita" available to all the common people.

* Text (reviewed), published originally in the ShowBizz magazine.

Senhor F - A Revista do Rock
Copyright©Fernando Rosa


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