The Beatles, the guitar and my elders relatives

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Marcelo R, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Marcelo R

    Marcelo R Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2014
    Location:
    Uruguay
    There was once a man called Orestes Rolandi, who was an uncle of my father. In Spanish, the word for "uncle" is "tío" (pronounced "tee-oh"), so, when I was a little kid - about five years or so - I knew him as "Tío Orestes".

    I keep in my mind a very accurate portrait of Tío Orestes. He was a tall man - or maybe I remeber him that way because when we are kids, all grown-ups seem tall to us - he had a white hair combed backwards; he had angular features, wich much later I would recognize as characteristics features of all males of the Rolandi family; and he had a raspy and pleasant sounding voice. My father had told me that Tío Orestes "played guitar", this was many years before I would've had any idea of how a guitar works, or even before I would've seen a real guitar up close. Wich I didn't knew back then was that Tío Orestes was actually an highly skilled player of classical guitar. I regret very deeply that I never had a chance to hear him playing live - and if I would have had it, I don't know if I would have understood what he would played. (Also, I think he could have been a great teacher for me if only he would have lived some years more).

    Here's a story my father told me: one day, being my dad a teenager, he made a visit to his uncle. Orestes lived in an old house and had his quarters in the attic. There was where my father found him: he was sitting on his bed with his guitar on his lap, drinking a "mate" (1) and surrounded by many musical sheets - some of them were printed, some others were handwritten by Orestes himself. My father greeted him: "Hi, Uncle, what are you doing?" Orestes, who was completely inmersed in the writting of the music, didn't answered immediately. A few seconds later, he raised up his head, he saw my father and said: "Uh, it's you... no big deal, I'm transcribing some of Beethoven's piano concertos to the guitar". He said this in the very same casual tone of voice with wich he could have said: "I'm reading the newspaper".

    Later, there was the Sixties, The Beatles appeared and took the world by storm. Beatlemania reached also Uruguay, when the movie "A Hard Day's Night" (known here as "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: Los Beatles") was exhibited on theaters. It was a fellow co-worker of my father who told him: "Yesterday, I went to watch that Beatles' movie. May I tell you something? I think you should go and watch it too". Probably, my dad's firts answer was something like "Piss off, I've got nothing to do with those long-haired guys". At that time he liked Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, the italian opera and a recently discovery (for him) by the name of Frank Sinatra. Though he actually had bought some early 78 RPMs by Bill Haley and his Comets in the late 50s, rock'n'roll was not exactly his cup of tea in these years. However, a few days later, he was walking around the street with nothing to do and he found himself at the hall of the cinema where AHDN was exhibited. "All right, I will watch this", he told to himself. I would like to have seen his face when he left the cinema. He certainly didn't have his hair grown long, but instead, he started immediatly the collection of Beatles' records - wich many years later would introduce me to the universe of the Fab Four.

    And then, with Beatlemania on its higher peak, Tìo Orestes made a visit to my father's house. There he found his brother, my granddad Celestino. Both get embroiled in one of their regular conversations about music, and the names of Verdi, Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and many others were named with reverence and admiration. And then - I'm following here the narration of my father, who was an eyewitness of the scene - my granddad, with his characteristic funny mood, asked to Orestes: "Hey, what do you think of The Beatles?" For a few seconds, there were a kind of embarrasing silence. Then, Orestes raised up one of his index fingers and gave his verdict with an absolutely serious voice: "Aahh... they are very, very good".

    (1) The "mate" (pronounced as in "mathematics") is a typical herbal infusion in many countries in South America - mainly in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    61,003
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Great story, thanks!
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,810
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    SC Lowcountry
    Nice story!
     
  4. Marcelo R

    Marcelo R Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2014
    Location:
    Uruguay
    I'm glad that you guys have enjoyed it. Thanks to you all!
     
  5. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    6,381
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Excellent story! Thanks for sharing... Love the details.

    So did you uncle ever learn to play some Beatles songs on his guitar?
     
  6. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    1,157
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    That is a very enjoyable story, and I like the way you use English. It has a great narrative feel.
     
  7. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,632
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    ohio
    Fun story! But it reminded me of seeing one of those old Mondo Mondo movies. In one scene, they were filming people eating odd things in Mexico. The worst was people taking handfuls of live beetles, and wrapping them in a tortilla, and chomping away!
     
  8. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,351
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Very, very good story, grazie.
     
  9. Coach56

    Coach56 One of the Boys

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    Great story, funny how the Beatles seemed to cross so my boundaries both geographic and cultural.

    My youngest daughter spent a semester interning at a hospital in Chile and acquired a taste for mate, the vessel she would drink it from is still in our curio cabinet.

    Very strong, and very tasty type of tea if I remember correctly.
     
  10. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,275
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    Fl.
    Thanks for the story.
     
  11. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    18,197
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Houston
    Enjoyed your story very much. Well told.

    I think most of our parents and grandparents often had odd reactions to the Beatles. My grandmother watched Liberace on TV every day, he was a favorite along with Lawrence Welk. She saw a story on the news about their appearance on Ed Sullivan and remarked to all of us at dinner. "They're quite good aren't they". She was born in 1882, before electricity. She was the only one in the family older than me who said anything good about them.
     
  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,051
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Su historia de Tío Orestes es increíble y maravilloso. Su inglés es excelente. Por respeto a tu esfuerzo, estoy enviando esta nota en español, pero no es fácil para mí.
    Tuve un abuelo que habia tocado violoncelo. Era el mismo para mí, aunque nunca llegó a oír la música de mí abuelo. Sólo tengo las fotos. Uno de mis primos ha obtenido el violoncelo, pero no creo que el es músico.
    También puedo recordar una conversación con mi abuelo sobre los Beatles. Él dijo, "es bueno para la música popular, pero no está en el mismo nivel como música clásica."

    Gracias de nuevo por compartir su historia.
     
  13. LeeVegas

    LeeVegas Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    ^^ +1 (I think.) Really nice story. Sounds like Tio Orestes knew his stuff!
     
  14. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,839
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    Houston
    Great story Marcelo, great gesture teletimetx

    I enjoyed the both.
     
  15. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,567
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    Erin Prarie, WI
    That was a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us!
     
  16. younkint

    younkint Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Spring, Texas
    Tremendous story! Thank-you.

    I am reminded of how my parents disliked the Beatles until they watched a Leonard Bernstein TV special in which he covered the Beatles' music. This was in the 1960's - not sure exactly when. He showed how composers of the past had used similar devices as were used by the Beatles, how the music was constructed and how solid it was musically. Bernstein treated the Beatles music with great respect. After that program, so did my (rather non-musical) parents. I never heard them dis the Beatles again.




    .
     
  17. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    I could visualize the story as I read it. The old man in his attic surrounded by sheet music and a guitar, the cinema where he saw Los Beatles... Good family story.
     
  18. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,527
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Marcelo - wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
     
  19. Warren Pederson

    Warren Pederson Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,889
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Kelowna B.C., Canada
    thanks
     
  20. Marcelo R

    Marcelo R Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2014
    Location:
    Uruguay
    Thank you everybody for your kind replies, I'm glad that you've found enjoyable this little family story - it really means a lot to me. The Beatles have surpassed all the limits of age, musical tastes or countries: their magic spreads everywhere and everyone of us can find in their music something that really touches our soul, in a moment or another. This little story that I've shared here is just another recognition of their talent and how they've changed our lives.

    Best regards to everybody from Montevideo, Uruguay.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.