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7 Feb 2017

Vimana" On The Rocks"1977 Brazil Prog Rock

Vimana" On The Rocks"1977 Brazil Prog Rock
Vimana was a Brazilian progressive rock band from the 1970s that has gone through four distinct phases. Featured Lulu Santos (vocals and guitar), Ritchie (vocals, flute), Luiz Simas (keyboards) and Lobao (drums), among others. In the late 1970s, the Vimana came to rehearse with keyboardist Patrick Moraz Swiss (ex-Yes). The expulsion of the band by Lulu Santos Moraz eventually undo the group thus completing the dream of the Brazilian YES. The LP was shelved by the label claimed that no audience for rock music in Brazil..............

The original Vímana members came from two bands: Módulo 1000 and Veludo (formerly Veludo Elétrico), except Lobão.
Some facts, unconfirmed, indicate that Fernando Gama would have abandoned Veludo and began initially rehearsing with Simas and Candinho for a project of a heavy band, something in the line of the Module 1000, but more worked in the arrangements. And then Luiz Maurício (Lulu) would have entered at Gama's suggestion. With this formation, the band played hard-rock, because Lulu came to inject a little bluseira influence and the traditional rock. But shortly thereafter, he took a progressive line, influenced by Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Mahavishinu Orchestra, sung in Portuguese, which was natural since, at the time, the Mutants and The Third dictated the rules by Here in terms of sound. As there were few compositions, the songs were long (praxe in progressive rock).
The group had numerous problems in show houses because of its sound (sophisticated, technologically, for the time) with the indigence of the stage equipment that was used. Luiz Paulo, for example, owned one of the biggest technological innovations in Brazil in 1971: a synthesizer. It was the second in Brazil and first in Rio de Janeiro. It also had an English EMS with matrix, which impressed much in that time.

The first presentations

After several rehearsals, they finally debuted in the New Year's Eve of 73/74. As Lulu once said, it was a "show-and-tell" at the Caetano Game, Praça Tiradentes, downtown Rio. On that same day, the most anticipated were Mutantes (without Rita and Arnaldo), O Terço (with Flávio Venturini) Best show on the occasion and the band O Peso. Other concerts were followed as one in festival in August of 74, perhaps the most expressive one, initially, was in Theater João Caetano (RJ).
A good example of this phase can be seen in the recording of the historical show of Hollywood Rock in 75 (initiative of Nelson Motta to make one of the first rock festivals in Brazil, but, officially, it is not recognized as the first Hollywood Rock), show The one that can be found on pirate tapes. The band shows technical (mainly in the keyboards of Simas), but, the lighting was not good, until the Raul Seixas (that touched later) complained. Unfortunately, the show was marked by disaster, as the sound left the band on hand soon after playing the song "Questions".
Also played on the day: Rita Lee & Tutti-Frutti, The Bubble, Erasmo Carlos and Celly Campello.

Changes in the band

In that year, Candinho leaves, who decided to enter an Eastern sect following a certain guru Mahara-ji, and almost, the band does not end there. In fact, he would have been fired for bothering the other members who ate meat. Despite the departure of the drummer, now as a trio, the Vímana would record his participation in LP's of other artists, as studio musicians. Among these recordings, the album "Ave Noturna" by Fagner, with the songs "Riacho do Navio" and "Antonio Conselheiro" stands out, with Lobão playing as a freelance drummer, and in those sessions he would have met Lulu and the others. And also the album "I wanted to be an angel" by singer Luiza Maria in the track "Maya", arranged by Jim Capaldi (Ex-Traffic), with Rui Motta on drums.
Lulu, Simas and Gama decided to look for musicians to fill the voices of vocalist, since Lulu was willing to abandon the vocal and to focus on the work of guitarist, and is in doubt as to who to call to The posts. For vocalist, it did not matter at first if it was a singer or a singer. Until, between one of the presentations of bands with progressive influences in Rio, Lulu meets Richard Court (Ritchie), English flutist, recently dismissed of the Barca of the Sun, and thought if it would not be interesting to have it in the band and who knows , Do something in the line of Jethro Tull. Lulu had already seen the English in the group Scaladácida in show in the Theater of the Zacharia in Sampa.
The invitation that Lulu, Luiz Paulo and Gama made to Ritchie today is historic - the four met at General Osorio Square in Ipanema, RJ, Lulu would have said: "Glad you got out of that shit! (The Boat). Do you want to play with us? " After much chat in the house of Bernardo Vilhena, with whom Ritchie composed at the time, this one comes to enter. To please English, Lulu would have taken "2 maria-moles!".
But they still needed someone to replace Candinho. The group even made an attempt with drummer Azael Rodrigues, who had played on Scaladácida with Ritchie, but it did not work. This would have said that "it did not like the band so much". After that other drummers followed, but the idea was to put Rui Motta, but this one was fixed in Sérgio Dias's Mutantes some time ago, until, during a rehearsal, they opted for a boy, which was suggestion of Inacio Machado, An admirer of the group, called João Luís Woedenbarg (later nicknamed Lobão), aged 17, who was more in order to play classical guitar and found rock to colonized thing.
To do this test, at the right time, Lobão arrived at the extinct Casagrande bringing the semi-mounted battery inside a Cab Fusca. The rest of the group noticed ... the boy "demolished the drums in a half-Keith Moon", as Lulu said, "... and we thought that was so-so." Ritchie defined as "a samba in the rhythm of Mangueira". It ended up appealing to the group that had to travel with the spectacle "Feiticeira", of Marília Pêra, produced by the then husband of the actress, Nelson Motta. However, they were still only musicians hired for the show, except that the drummer's commitment and willingness made the rest decide that the group should remain united with the Vímana name and so it continued.

Classical formation

This was the lineup that lasted the most (Gama, Lobão, Simas, Lulu and Ritchie), this time as a quintet, and was predestined as the classic formation. With the team formed, they went to São Paulo to perform in the musical-theatrical show "Feiticeira", that despite having been a total failure, the actress had a fixed band and the band had local (Theater Maison de France), taking advantage of the season Of the piece, to rehearse his repertoire. They followed the actress in both the play and the disc, but only in one track: "Grandfather of Jabour". The album was released by Livre Som in 1975 with songs by Jards Macalé, Jorge Mautner, Eduardo Dusek, among others.
In São Paulo, they stayed in an apartment in D. Antonia de Queiroz Street, Consolação neighborhood. It was from then on that the group closed for the resumption.
From there, the band gained a loyal audience, and finally, they had burst out as a relevant band in that half marginal scenario of national rock. They got to do crowded shows at the Teatro Tereza Raquel, Teatro Casagrande, Teatro Galeria and at the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), RJ. Basically, they only played in Rio, because, according to Artur Dapieve's BRock, "the equipment was so heavy that the way was to stay there." The most frequent problems were always with the sound and repression of the military regime. The period was productive for rock, (despite the "disco" wave) and the band opened shows by Hermeto Paschoal, Terreno Baldio and A Bolha.
Sometimes, they also rehearsed at the site of the uncles of Lobão, in Pedro do Rio (RJ).
When they were still in São Paulo, they played at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in the edition of the Progressive Banana Festival held at the Teatro da Fundação on May 29 to June 1, but only in Rio did they get better acceptance, MAM and Teatro Tereza Raquel. On the occasion of Banana Progressiva, they hardly knew where they were in Sao Paulo, because they did not know the city.
There is video recording of this group presentation as well, however, this video is in the possession of one of the organizers of the event. TV Cultura has already released excerpts from this group presentation, which was somewhat of a surprise since it was only known the record of Hollywood Rock that shows the first formation. In this, is the formation with Lobão and Ritchie. The image was low quality but of good resolution and showed the group playing under a strong red light.


In 1977, as a test process (the installation of the first Level studio of 24 channels in Brazil, which were equipment of the newly founded studio of Som Livre and that would have been bought from the American engineer Don Louis) the band was able to record an entire LP , At the invitation of Guto Graça Melo, who was musical director of the Marília Pêra show. In fact, the members of Vímana asked for a moment in this recent studio to record their songs and the operators of the studio released, which fell like a glove for both, after all, the group would record its material while the recent studio was mounted and Equipment tested. Unfortunately, the LP was never released - despite the masters being somewhere -, that is, so much work for nothing. As an official pretext, the label said it would not launch, as there would be no audience for the record. Is today? It certainly has and many ... Would not it at the time?
From this record, the label chose to release only one compact as flagship six months later. The compact became the only official record of the band. The songs: "Zebra (Lulu / Ritchie / Lobão) and" Masquerade "(Simas / Ritchie). 
Recently, it was released in a collection of Lulu Santos, called E-Collection, the song Zebra. "The name 'Zebra' was chosen because only the fact that the album leaves would already be a zebra for us," says Lobão.
At the time, it was poorly publicized and badly released and with mixing errors. It is estimated that it sold a maximum of 2000 copies. There was also a considerable delay in launching the compact. The intention was to distribute a copy for each person of the audience in a show in MAM, that was crowded, that is, the Free Sound lost the chance to divulge and did not try to correct at the time.

After so much frustration with the failure of the compact, the band retired to a place in Pedro do Rio (RJ) where they lived from what they planted. However, the trials were still more frequent. Lobão and Gama played choros from Villa-Lobos, making a kind of guitar duo that even had a name: "Duodeno!". Luís Simas also developed new possibilities in his instrument, including, in the concerts he played a song called "Seems a chorinho" in solo piano, which caught the attention of critics at the time. He had a magazine that announced things like: "Chorinhos are already heard on the Brazilian rock stages." Which proves that there was no radicalism in the style of the group, which was already beginning to compose more funk themes to get closer to something more commercial and current for the time.

Sadly, this attempt was also frustrating, because when it came out, Lulu and Lobão went out to get it and went after the big Big Boy (famous DJ at the time that always opened their programs with the phrase "Hello, Crazy people! is Big Boy! "
they asked to touch" Zebra "and the DJ would have said" Oh yeah? and where's bufunfa? ", which caused a tremendous headache to both at the time, followed after a revolt that continues today . Interestingly, Big Boy died at that time in 1977.

the Beginning of the End!

During this period, the band would meet Patrick Moraz (ex-keyboardist Yes who played the album "Relayer"), who was in Brazil to research the "exotic" culture of our country, including his keyboards in the track " Avohai "by Zé Ramalho, in addition to participating in albums by other artists such as Gilberto Gil. The Vímana musicians met him when he was in Rio de Janeiro, and he appeared in Vímana's show at Bennett College, and he had already given a song at a Veludo group performance at a fantastic show at the Teatro Tereza Raquel in March. 1975.
the boys found the maximum and after that, Louis Paul and Ritchie went to England to take a copy of what would be an unprecedented drive to Patrick hear. One day Patrick called Luís Simas and said that he had just left Yes and that he had plans to set up a band with them, to the general amazement of the class.
Obviously, they were impressed by the interest of the Swiss keyboardist. With him, they secretly rehearsed for 9 months in São Conrado (RJ) without Lulu, because Lulu was not in Patrick's plans ... they say that his style of playing and his personality bothered the gringo.
Apparently they were always tiresome rehearsals, with the right to counterpoint and very progressive progressive suites (they even say that the gringo even made complex bars on the blackboard for musicians to solder, like 9/7, 7/3, 8 / 5). Moraz was aiming to make the band tour Europe and USA, next to him, and to compete with his ex group. They even met one of the directors of an English label. Everything was scheduled for them to live in Europe.
Of course this was sensational for a band that had a hippie life and was living anonymously to commercial success. But the chance was not for everyone, which suggests that Patrick Moraz would take some of the members to the "support band". The same even gave interviews quoting the names of some members of the group and announcing his band called "Patrick Moraz Band". Another legend that runs is that Patrick Moraz wanted at first to make the band play the repertoire of his newly released album with a somewhat strange title (The Story of I), only that the band had to take of ear, because it had nothing On the agenda.

The End

comes the beginning of 1978, the stress became widespread in the group, the fights became constant and patience has run out. Lulu (who was not in the band for almost 9 months) realized that there was nothing to be cloistered in the hope that something would happen, because the band was no longer in their hands and also because they saw no expectation (he still says today that Was fired by the other members!). Lobão disagreed with Moraz (he walked a lot with the gringo's wife!). Another reason acceptable to the end was the fact that Lulu, Ritchie, and Lobão (authors of "Zebra," the most pop music they ever made) were breaking up into song format compositions and wanting to get away from the "endless suites" .
The band was not sure what Moraz wanted, he exaggerated with their promises and the wear was natural. In the period in which Moraz was with the group, the same rehearsed and recorded some recordings, like some compositions of Fernando with Ritchie. One of them, a cry called "Has gringo no Choro", among other things very progressive. Things that perhaps no group in Brazil had produced until then, regarding the sound quality of the very progressive themes. Of these sessions (that no longer count on Lulu in the group), some still remain unpublished. Soon after, the group disbanded and only Fernando Gama topu continue for a while with Moraz, who returned to Europe to finalize his album and integrate "The Mooby Blue". Even so, only recorded a disc that was released in Europe and later, Fernando returned to Brazil and was part of the last formation of the Mutantes in 1978 (which ended soon after also with the last show in Ribeirão Preto (SP)). Some time later, he launched solo, played with various artists and entered Boca Livre. It basically solidified its style based on MPB. Its solo discs demonstrate a very peculiar characteristic and have an excellent quality in the instrumental area.

Lulu began composing and recording with other artists until she launched solo, like Luiz Maurício. It was a frustrating start because the record was a failure. But, it was just changing the stage name that things were going. In a super successful career, Lulu surprises by the bandages of his discs and of the ability to compose songs of extreme good taste, oscillating between the MGP and pop. Of the former members of the Vímana, it is certainly the one that had better commercial success.

Ritchie returned to give English lessons and a few years later he launched himself. It became a sales phenomenon thanks to the mega hit "Poison Girl" and came to sell as much as Roberto Carlos, causing the ire and envy of artists like the singer Alcione, known as "A Maroon", who would have said: "Why Does not this English go back to his homeland? " Among his most interesting works, the supergroup "Tiger of Bengal" stands out. Initially, his music was turned to exaggerated romanticism, but the quality of his less commercial works shows a perfectionist and uncompromising artist. He also worked as a webdesigner doing intensive courses in this area.

Lobão was entertained in books and sheet music and later became a freelancer. He played with some artists (Marina, Zé Ramalho), then formed the "Blitz" and left the band because he tired of the posture "yeah, yeah, yeah" of the group and also by the delay of something happening. Then he formed the "Lobão and Ronaldos". Being a polemic artist and of strong genius, Lobão represents all the rebellion that characterizes the rock and roll. The strength of his compositions is the cynicism and sweet ballads that characterizes his unmistakable style.

Simas also became a freelancer, as well as creating for the Globo network the famous "Plim-Plim", which became the brand's trademark. Some time later, he went to live in the United States. Playing basically Ernesto Nazaré pieces, chorinhos or jazz-fusion, Simas always excelled by virtuosity. Perhaps, of all of them, Simas is the musician who most carries in his luggage the inheritance of the golden times of the progressive, because in his solo works, even though he is unknown to the general public, he makes a well distributed mixture of technique, knowledge, good I like allied mainly to his ideal and make music of the first line.

The Progressive Bridge with today's MPB

The band became cult alongside other seventy bands such as Secos & Molhados, O Terço, Baldio Terra e Moto Perpétuo. But perhaps the most curious of all is that some of its former members abhor the idea of ​​talking about it. Was it a denial of the past? Repentance of what they did even with everyone enjoying that time? As Luís Simas said, they loved that period, so much so that, until today, Lulu is hurt by the fact that his band, that he did everything to stay together, ended up culminating in the idea that he was not good enough to continue and That left him devastated. Ritchie himself confirmed this in an interview. And if, somehow, Lulu wants to forget Vímana, it's because he wants to forget also the vexation that was the end of the band and still see all a work never be released. Luís Simas also says that the songs released in compact do not show a third of what they were really capable of doing and that those that are unpublished were worth showing, showing how much group spirit was in the compositions. You can see this a bit in the Moraz group's available records.

It must be said that musical styles are always voluble, depending on taste. Even when an artist is well-honed in his style, he has already had phases in which he wondered if he could be a Roger Waters or a Noel Rose. This, at times, may seem strange to the listener or fan. Rare are the consecrated artists that one can hear the first record and the last and not realize something strange or changes. With Vímana it was no different. Of course, if ex-members joined a project today, it probably would not make sense unless some of them gave up on each other. A revival of the group took place at a show at Mistura Fina, in Rio, in 2004, when, in a performance by Luís Simas, Ritchie, Lobão and Fernando Gama appeared on the same stage.


- Housing: for a long time, the band lived in a house in Santa Tereza (RJ) and then, for some time, in a place in Itaipava. They had a hippie lifestyle with no money and music all day.
Money: all members came from upper-middle-class families. But as they were surviving as musicians, they divided the accounts among themselves, in the best family way.

- Fights: the band got to fight on the stage on certain occasions. The daily conviviality wore the band more and more, being this, one of the reasons for the group's end. In one of the fights in front of the audience, Lulu disagreed with Simas and left the stage walking over the seats of the semi-empty theater.

- Progressive encounter: after the end of Vímana, in 78, Lulu and Lobão would find themselves in another record very close to the progressive rock: "Lindo Blue", music of the disc "Respire Fundo" by Walter Franco. In this same band, also participated the mutants Sérgio Dias (6-string guitar) by Arnaldo Baptista (piano).

- Lulu Santos plays guitar on Lobão's debut album - Film Scene of 1982. which, by the way, has Ritchie's participation.

- Lobão and Seamus play drums and keyboards, respectively, on Joe Euthanazia disk - CP Mujer Ungrateful 1983.
- Simas wrote with Ritchie the song "Shadow of the match" and Ritchie wrote with Lobão "Bad Boy." Both are on Ritchie's records.

- Ritchie sings on Lulu's "Hyperconnectivity" album on the track "Heart Flight," which was one of his hits.

- Lulu and Lobão play, respectively, guitar and drums on Ritchie's debut album. After the end of Vímana, this was the meeting that stands out for the fact that 3 of the 5 of the classic formation are present. The curious thing is that the sound they played at this meeting had nothing to do with the progressive themes of yesteryear. But, unlike before. The recordings of that encounter won the entire media and selling like water in the desert, well in the pop-romantic style. Songs ocmo "Poison Girl" and Flight of Heart "are part of this encounter.

- Trickster: In a recent interview, Lobão comments that he actually spent months working for Moraz, who only made promises and more promises, without ever realizing any project and that this was making everyone in the band very upset, until one day he Wife of Moraz - who was Brazilian - and told his drama. And the band had full support of the guy's wife. Lobão still says that he became a lover of Moraz's wife, which led the band and such projects to the bottom of the pit ... It was the end of "Yes Brazilian". With this, Lobão won his first wife, Liani Monteiro, a woman 12 years older than him.

- Hard line teacher: they say that while the Vímana was developing a certain theme, keyboardist Patrick Moraz pointed to one of these complicated rhythms (9/7, 7/3, 8/5, etc.) forcing an abrupt variation (characteristic of progressive rock ). When one of them went wrong, Moraz was very annoyed and this obviously made the essays quite tense. In any case, it is likely that they (Lobão and Lulu) were already moving away from the progressive proposal.

- Problems: The clash of egos of Moraz and Lulu - who was the leader of the band - was inevitable. The band began to fragment and having problems with Patrick - especially Ritchie, who felt difficulty in testing whole repertory solo Moraz (very difficult, he said)
In an interview with Bizz magazine in 1995, Lulu, when asked about Moraz , Said that the keyboard player was "a horrible guy," and that the guy was called (from the back, of course!) "Marick Patráz".

- Frustration: When the disc was in the drawer of Som Livre, a fan found Lulu and asked if the disc was going to leave. Lulu said that the record company was thinking of making a metal overdubs for the album to be released, which obviously did not happen..............

01 Perguntas
02 Masquerade
03 On the Rocks
04 Cada Vez
05 Zebra
06 Maya
07 Lindo Blue
08 Masquarade
09 Avô do Jabour
10 Perguntas
11 Riacho do Navio
12 Antonio Conselheiro

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