Los Abuelos de la Nada is a band from Buenos Aires, Argentina formed orginally in 1967 by Miguel Abuelo but disbanded in 1969 After a long journey through Europe, Miguel Abuelo returns to Argentina and reforms the band in 1981. The new band had Abuelo as lead singer, Cachorro López himself on bass, Andrés Calamaro on vocals and keyboards, Gustavo Bazterrica on guitar, Daniel Melingo on sax, and Polo Corbella on the drums.
Charly García took the band under his wing after dissolving Serú Girán, and the Abuelos played in García's 1982 Christmas concert. García also drafted López, Melingo and Calamaro for his band, in parallel with their work for the Abuelos. The 1983 debut album included many compositions by Abuelo-López, and a reggae hit by Calamaro's former partner Gringui Herrera, Tristezas de la ciudad (City blues).
For their 1983 album, Vasos y Besos, Melingo wrote his own reggae hit: Chala-man, Bazterrica contributed No se desesperen (Don't despair), and Calamaro chimed in with Mil horas (A thousand hours).
The band became popular with rockers and more pop-oriented audiences. Especially, Calamaro was favored by teenage girls looking for an "edgier" idol than balladeer Alejandro Lerner. The album sold a solid 160,000 records, and was presented in a six-month country-wide tour.
Record executives arranged to send the band to Ibiza for the recording of their 1984 album, Himno de mi Corazón (Hymn of my heart). The album became a sales hit as expected. Later that year, Melingo, who was also working with García and another band (Los Twist), called it quits and was replaced by Alfredo Desiata.
By early 1985, the band's spirits were damaged due to Bazterrica's cocaine addiction, which eventually had him fired from the band, and the rivalry between Abuelo and Calamaro for top billing.
About that time, Calamaro wrote what would be his last mega-hit with the band: Costumbres argentinas (Argentine habits). Sensing that the band was on the verge of dissolution, the band recorded a live album in the Opera theater in Buenos Aires on May 1985. For the occasion, Gringui Herrera replaced Bazterrica, Juan del Barrio reinforced Calamaro in keyboards, and Melingo played some songs as a guest musician.
The band played one last gig on October 1985, in the Vélez Sársfield stadium, to fulfill their contractual obligation to the "Rock and Pop" festival which featured INXS. The crowd reacted badly to the band's evident lack of motivation (the pouring rain and the badly mixed sound did not help), and Abuelo was hit in the face by a bottle hurled from the field. The band played the remainder of their set with Abuelo visibly bleeding.
With the band dissolved, Abuelo started playing small venues, harking back to his roots of poetry-influenced songwriting. Late in 1986, he drafted Polo Corbella, Kubero Díaz, and sax player Willy Crook to form a new Abuelos band, which recorded Cosas mías in 1987 with relative success.
In late 1987, following gallbladder surgery, Miguel Abuelo was diagnosed with AIDS; terminally ill, he died from cardiac arrest a few days after his 42nd birthday, in March 26, 1988. That was the end of the Abuelos as a band; the remaining members reunited several times, with different formations. Notably, Miguel's son Gato played with Calamaro, Bazterrica and Corbella in a 1997 re-union.
The rights to the Abuelos de la Nada name were offered by Abuelo's widow Krisha Bogdan to Kubero Díaz, who refused out of respect. At some point during 2001, it was reported that Bogdan and Gato were fighting in court over the rights to the name and to Miguel Abuelo's unpublished recordings. Read more...