#108: The original kamikaze

noun: kamikaze; plural noun: kamikazes.
1. (in World War II) a Japanese aircraft loaded with explosives and making a deliberate suicidal crash on an enemy target. The pilot of an aircraft making a deliberate suicidal crash.
adjective: kamikaze.
1. Of or relating to a kamikaze attack or pilot.
Reckless or potentially self-destructive.
“He made a kamikaze run across three lanes of traffic.” Japanese, from kami (‘divinity’) + kaze ‘wind,’ originally referring to the gale that, in Japanese tradition, destroyed the fleet of invading Mongols in 1281. (Taken from one of those free online dictionaries).
OK, that’s a kamikaze. But I’ve got my own kind of kamikaze, and this is is what he looked like in 1982:

His name was Luis Alberto Spinetta (1950-2012), he was/is from Argentina, and he was arguably the greatest Spanish-language rocker ever born. He also never gave a shit and did what he had to do, with zero concern for fashion, popularity, or “serving my fans, without whom I wouldn’t be here” and all that crap so often uttered by minor entertainers. Spinetta was an artist, and he wouldn’t just write songs: the guy could draw, as shown in the cover of the iconic 1969 debut by Almendra, his first band.


From that first album is the following song, in my book the ultimate rocanrol ballad.

In 1982, Spinetta released Kamikaze, his most minimalist, acoustic album. Listen while you read.

In the album’s liner notes, Spinetta asks, “…are there any more kamikazes out there in creative life?”

I have my kamikazes, you have yours. This is a blog about those kamikazes who write songs or make movies or do whatever it is that they do in order to remain sane, and that sanity is the sanity as described by the kamikaze’s own conscience, not that of society’s. I’ll update it whenever I feel like it and, every once in a while, I’ll stray away from art and write about other topics that move me or piss me off.

It’ll be long, and it’ll be short. Sometimes you won’t see it for weeks. At other times, it’ll be a daily bombardment of words, songs, and videos. Not the most recommended recipe in these days of idiotic immediacy and “keeping with the pulse of the city.” I don’t keep with nobody’s pulse but mine; that’s what jobs are for. But this, this is one of my two little gardens (the other one is here).

It’ll be good, and it’ll be bad.

But it’ll be mine, and it will self-destruct after 108 postings (or not). Such is the post-Big Meat Grinder life.

It’s unedited, uncensored, and bad for business.

But that’s what a kamikaze does. Destination Nowhere.

I only hope that at least one person out there discovers one of the artists I write about and shares my passion and love for them with me.

In other (better) words written by the Ultimate Kamikaze:

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Everything that was literature has fallen from me. There are no more books to be written, thank God.

This then? This is not a book. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty … what you will. I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing. (…)

To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing.” (Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer)

Get it?

So, sing. I wanna hear it.

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