Gabo Ferro: a true troubadour with an unrepeatable gola and indomitable curiosity

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His voice ranged from the baritone to Freddie Mercury to Miguel Abuelo’s falsetto; A man of indomitable curiosity, he was also an actor and historian.

There is a story starring Gabo Ferro that was told countless times, both by its protagonist by all those who, over time, say they have seen it, that today there are more or less the same number of people who also say they have seen Black hand live on a winter Friday at the Obras Stadium.

In the late 90s, in the middle of a Porco show in the auditorium of the Hotel Bauen, Gabo Ferro had enough of everything, rested his microphone on the floor of the stage and ran out of the place to, in that way, end the concert, the trajectory of his band and, incidentally, his relationship with music for almost a decade.

The surprise of those attending that recital was similar to the blow received by everyone this last Thursday afternoon: the news of the death of Gabo Ferro at 54 years of age, for reasons not specified so far. Just a cold news wire, and the feeling of dread, surprise and desolation before the irremediable.

Porco was, together with the first Catupecu Machu, part of a heavy rock scene from the mid-90s with roots in the hardcore and geographic epicenter in the western part of the city of Buenos Aires. Ferro, in the lead voice, was supported by a trio of guitar, bass and drums, and he was the one who had all the attention, thanks to his skills as a frontman and his voice, which could range from a baritone register a la Freddie Mercury to some theatrical falsettos worthy of the best Miguel Abuelo.

Two discs (Pig, 1994 and Still life, 1998) were the band’s testament. Two records with good reception from the specialized press that, however, did not have the support of the public that the band expected and that may have been the trigger for that abrupt decision to leave everything.

And that decision was literal. For several years Gabo gave up music to dedicate himself to studying History. He graduated with honors upon receiving the Gold Medal of the National Academy of History and the Miter Museum Award. He was a magister in Historical Research, had completed his doctorate and published two books that gave an account of this facet: Barbarism and civilization: blood, monsters and vampires during the second Rosas government (1835-1852), who received the Honorable Mention from the National Endowment for the Arts; Y Degenerate, abnormal and delinquent.

His style combined the academic with the didactic, with a written musicality inherited from his other passion, and this could be seen in his other extra-curricular books, which could compile his lyrics, show his poetry and even give an account of a couple of libretti of Opera.

In 2005 the musical muse called Gabo again, and he paid attention to him. As he told at the time Supplement Yes, in just fifteen days he composed the twelve songs that make up Songs a man shouldn’t sing, his solo debut. And accompanied by Ariel Minimal, Pepo Limeres and Rogelio Jara, Ferro recorded a key album for a time when acoustics and the flirtation between Argentine rock and folklore was once again well seenFlopa Manza Minimal, he Toba Trance of Los Natas).

Also, in My father’s friend he dared to show his sexuality with a letter that was not at all ambiguous and long before the discussion about equal marriage took place. In fact, one of his last projects was Loca, where he voiced tunes popularized by tango women of the 20s and 30s such as Ada Falcón, Tania, Sofía Bozán and Tita Merello, and which could be seen at last year’s edition of the Buenos Aires festival of the genre.

Eight were the discs who recorded as a soloist, and five more in collaboration with artists as dissimilar as Flopa Lestani, Sergio Ch. (Los Natas), the writer Pablo Ramos or Luciana Jury, among others. The term troubadour, many times so misused nowadays, suited his image perfectly: a thin, bearded man of impeccable manners and frank smile, that he always listened to his interlocutor and did not hesitate to contradict him if necessary, without raising the tone of that throat an octave that he used to tend almost always with a coat. An unrepeatable gola that suddenly went to the afterlife, and which is already missed.

E.S.

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