In this fantastic video one sees the birth of Brazilian modern music.
The tension between tradition and the new music brought by the new comers Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso presenting themselves with pop visuals and references to rock culminates into a rally against the electric guitar with the presence of Gilberto Gil and eminent journalists such as Sergio Cabral, gives an insight to a time when the Brazilian left associated that instrument to American Imperialism.
There is also Roberto Carlos, the best-selling Brazilian artist of that generation who headed the Jovem Guarda movement, a Brazilian interpretation of Rock and Roll, singing samba, a rarity in itself.
The participation of the audience is also revealing, it shows the importance that those festivals had and the hopes that the youth put into music as a way to propagate ideas, and indeed democracy and resistance to the dictatorship. It also shows the birth of the Brazilian modern music industry in line with the creeping American influence; the organizers of the event talk about the business side of things and one can see that the artists went along with it. They knew about the marketing potential of those festivals, and were more worried about their careers than any student in the audience could imagine.
There is also an absence of working class people, which gives another insight to a world where the poor were regarded as secondary players and were patronized as the “mass” who the youth were ready to lead into a better world.
There is also Chico Buarque, the darling of the left who, because he was not so aligned with Gil and Caetano’s radicalism, was to remain out of the “cool” club.
The winner was Edu Lobo would end up not being too expressive in the Brazilian musical constellation.
Finally one sees the courage, and perhaps opportunism, of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to introduce radically new forms of music to a hostile crowd, and their winning them over due the sheer quality of the music. They are the ones who most took advantage of the festivals. The two songs that they presented, Domingo no Parque, and Sem Lenco e Sem Documento launched their careers as stars and put non-traditional music on the Brazilian map.
This was a night that set landmarks and its repercussions are still felt to this very day. There is more about it in Lost Samba, the book this blog promotes.