Conversations in Madrid today take place through the digital world of Twitter, Whatsapp or Telegram, and not through the streets, cafeterias and gossip, as it was in another era. Although not always. There are people who continue to receive messages in other, more classical ways. To the Alcazar, for example, news that a political group had offered to dedicate a statue to them came in the traditional way: those who knew them came to tell the story at the place where they had been spending afternoons for the past 17 years. their lives. In front of number 25 on the Gran Via.
“No one told us anything, then people had to read it and we learned by word of mouth since we don’t watch TV or buy a newspaper…” Emilio Alcazar apologizes during a conversation with this newspaper when the sun is hot in May day on Gran Via. Although their attitude towards life is more contemplative, the topic of possibly recognizing the city’s most famous heavyweights seems to have caused them a lot of conversation this week. They say they consider the offer “a great honor for the Madrilenians”, but reject it because they do not have the “vanity to believe” that they deserve it and consider it “dangerous” to consider themselves superior to others.
“A plaque should be placed on the generation that died from drugs,” they argue in unison to explain that they are there, in part, as a memory of a rock band and very vengeful people, about 50 people who were captured. heroin. “For These About to Rock” they release, paraphrasing AC/DC. “Most of our fifth died from drugs, almost us,” they naturally say, citing the case of his brother Eufrasio, who died at the age of 24 due to an overdose.
They are said to have “lived and bled” in Madrid in the eighties and nineties. Those were the days of Studio Rock, in Argüelles basses and in the most powerful Malasaña, “when it was real, now it’s Buenasaña”. They laugh when you ask them if they watch more modern music events like Eurovision and think that current bands have nothing to do with it. Although they recognize the gesture of modernity, because they recently got a mobile phone: “We still don’t even know how to send a message. We don’t have whatsapp. We use it to listen to music and make calls.”
This week, many Madridites flooded social media with opinions about whether the heavyweights deserve a tribute to the Madridis. Also the political parties that expressed their opinion during the debate last Wednesday at the plenary session of the Central District. The reaction of the PSOE sums up his intervention well: the socialists were “bewildered” by this proposal and described the Alcázar brothers as “two men who remained anchored in the space and time of the Gran Vía”, at the same time who wondered “what they contributed to the city to earn recognition.
Daytime on the Gran Via since 2005.
The story of why they come to this place every day is well known to the people of Madrid, albeit in order to remember it: in this place on the avenue, in front of the Telefónica building, until then the music store Madrid Rock operated. 2005. Overnight, its owners closed, leaving many workers out of work and orphaning a legion of music lovers, including the Alcazars. Unlike the others, they continued to go to the same place where they spent so many days, and remained at the already closed door, leaning against the fence.
The ritual was repeated day after day, and at the same time they became part of the Gran Via landscape that changed around them. In 2010, the last of its historic cafeterias, Zahara, closed. Other historic businesses have moved or sold their properties to be replaced by clothing brands, luxury hotels or the Real Madrid store. And in 2017, the fence they rested on disappeared with the widening of Carmena’s sidewalks. The world around them was changing, and their constant presence made them a symbol of resilience.
“Madrid Rock gave this street a very London feel, it was like Piccadilly Circus, with lots of places around used vinyl records and tattoos,” they say, trying to remember when they first got lost among their records. who are looking for heavy as well as medieval and renaissance music, which they consider their favorite. “The first person we met in the store was the one who ran the classical music department,” recall these self-proclaimed city minstrels.
People think that we come here to sunbathe and take pictures, but this is not our goal.
During the speech, Alcazars criticize the transformation of the center with “huge rooms that mean nothing” or the decline of society, trying to explain the deepest meaning of their presence on Gran Via: “People think that we come here to sunbathe and take pictures of us, but this is not our goal,” they say before launching into a speech that seems to have been in the works for years. “We are here to protect culture and that which uplifts the individual, especially rock and roll. This is the cornerstone of what we do here,” explains Emilio. “We degenerate as a society if we change culture to materialism,” he notes.
At this point, the conversation reaches a level spiritual point. “We are dedicated to developing our higher consciousness by helping others understand it and know that they contain the essence of the universe,” says José Alcazar. “When you know yourself, you know your true humanity and the size of your soul,” adds his brother. “Here it seems that you are surrounded by people, but you understand that in fact you are very lonely, this is the paradox of a big city,” they philosophize.
His studded jackets, long hair and chulapo accent (they hail from Chambery) have recently been joined by a poster in support of the Ukrainian people. “This is the end result of forgetting the spirit,” lamented Jose, criticizing Putin and politicians who diverge rather than unite. “We want a world without wars, hatred and shit,” adds his brother.
During the conversation, many look at them as they pass. Others ask them to take pictures. They pose and ask for their will in return. With or without a plaque, it looks like the Alcazar family will be walking the Gran Vía for a while longer, chatting with everyone they meet along the way. Although sometimes it’s worth it. “Now in the summer it is very beautiful here. The hardest thing is winter, when God is not here, ”they admit.
We are launching the agenda of plans in the capital! Find out what to do every weekend in this city and discover interesting places that most people in Madrid don’t know about at the following link. Hoy Se Sale: leisure and cultural plans in Madrid
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