On Joao Gilberto and Caetano Veloso
in Buenos Aires, March 1999

Pablo Avelluto <pabloa@ciudad.com.ar >

part two

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All my dreams last night had images of Joao and Caetano's music. ....Caetano left the stage as Joao began singing Aos pes da Santa Cruz. Melhor do que o silencio. Then, the massage of my soul. A Gilberto in a really great form sang Wave, Eu vim da Bahia, Eclipse, Un abraço no Bonfa, Retrato em branco e preto, O pato, Corcovado, Pra discutir com madame, Sandalia de prata, and others. And believe it or not, he spoke a lot. He said he called Caetano for these shows and Caetano answered him that he adored Buenos Aires. E que ele "gosto muito do jeito em que Caetano disse 'eu adoro' Buenos Aires. He was in good humour, with some problems in tuning the guitar and he joked (!) "the lights had the fault". At that moment the show was in a point that I did not know if it could go higher. But they could.

Caetano Veloso came back. He sat beside Joao and they began to sing together. With Joao making a second voice in Bahia com H, Acontece que sou baiano, Menino do Rio, La mujer que al amor no se asoma, Ave María no morro, Garota de Ipanema, Meditaçao, Avarandado, and a lot more. Joao's voice seemed as a string quartet making harmonies inbelievable. Then, two hours after the beginning, they began to sang together Chega de saudade. And after that I was near my own end.

During all the show Caetano was a guest. The bright went to Joao. Caetano looked at him as a child, with his great eyes plenty of respect. As if he was sitting for an exam.

And after Chega de saudade they went out. And the people screamed. And they came back for twenty minutes of encores. Eu vim da Bahia again, La vem a baiana, Vivo sonhando, and a continuum of gems.

After that I was shocked. And thinking on us, the listeiros. A kind of family that may understand where this music can take us. As a magnificent drug that open our minds to new levels of perception. To a place where the world is more real than what it uses to be. Poetry.

And a little coda. After the show I was taken by the manager to the backstage to meet Caetano. Joao left the theater immediately. I was in front of him for the first time in my life. I congratulated him in my poor portuguese. I felt he had the privilege of being with a kind of craftman in his intimacy. He said it was an important moment in his life. I asked him what Joao said to him between songs. He said he only told him what song would be next. Then I asked him about Pra ninguem and if he had received any reaction from Joao. He said not. Because Joao expresses himself with no words. Then a lot of journalists began to asked him a lot of trivia. And I looked to the door where it was written Sr. Joao Gilberto. The door was open. And I looked for shades.

I left the theater thinking in all of you. In Daniella, Laura -that gave me the information on this list-, Susan, Egidio, Kimsom, Tom, Ellis, and all of you that are reading this now. I felt you very close. And I got home. And began to write this useless lines that cannot answer that question: what happened last night?

With love,

PS: Tonight I'll be there again. In just two hours and a half. And tomorrow, too. To be continued.

JG Home next