Being much more than the author of the riffs that are chanted, Skay Beilinson turns 70

It could be said that he was the musician who originated that in Argentine rock, and surely worldwide, the public chooses the introductory riffs of each song, however the stamp left on the local scene by Skay Beilinson in his 70 years is much richer and deeper , and resides in a complex combo in which his novel sounds, his romantic family history and his personal mysticism coexist.

The guitarist and brilliant creator, who this Saturday will celebrate his 70th birthday, is responsible for memorable phrases that gave their definitive character to classics by Patricio Rey and his Redonditos de Ricota, but also endowed the group with personal colors from the introduction of elements of Jewish and gypsy music, totally new on the local scene.

All this without taking his foot off the rock sound inherited from guitar “heroes” such as Keith Richards and also taking distance from the old vice of traditional performers of the genre of immersing themselves in long and virtuous solos.

But the mark left by Skay is also explained in his enigmatic figure, who above the stage embodies a rockstar character but below him becomes a man devoted to a simple spiritual life, in which books, music and his endogamous relationship with his partner Poli occupy the exclusive center.

In these planes this man moves with a quasi-Zen wisdom that comes from his intense family and personal experiences, and from his long reflections arising from his own readings and experiences.

Born into a wealthy family of Jewish origin under the name of Eduardo, Skay studied guitar since he was a boy and the possibility of taking a trip in the late 1960s to France and the United Kingdom put him in touch with the rock novelties of the moment . He also had the opportunity to be a direct witness to the famous Parisian student riots of ’68.

Upon his return, he was part of the band from La Plata Diplodocum Red & Brown and was in contact with La Cofradía de la Flor Solar, two experiences linked to psychedelia and counterculture. In the 70s he also lived for a time as a hippie in the Buenos Aires town of Pigüé and suffered the kidnapping of his father at the hands of a guerrilla group.

The association with Indio Solari and the formation of Los Redondos is already a well-known story, although it will be that platform from which he was going to propose a different approach when playing his instrument.

At the request of the news agency Telam, his partner in Los Redondos until 1987, the guitarist Tito Fargo D’aviero, defined him as “a guy with incredible resources and always maintaining a behavior, which has to do with being very effective in the context of the song.”

“He has that particularity of economizing with a very good sound”, summarized the former Redondos and current Gran Martell, who differentiated that style from that of the “emblematic guitarists of the 60s or 70s who did long solos.”

“The biggest virtue that I think he has is that he doesn’t pretend to be a guitar hero. He adapts that to his posture and that puts him in quite a different place than many guitarists we know. It is very specific in that regard, very measured. It puts the instrument in function of the song ”, he added.

Skay also differentiated himself from other local guitar “heroes” in that he did not anchor himself in rock and blues, but instead incorporated “his Jewish DNA and his half-gypsy, Middle Eastern touch”, according to the journalist Mariano del Mazo, co-author with Pablo Perantuono of We were kings, the book that tells the story of Los Redondos.

“The beast pop”, “Superlogical”, “Hee hee hee”, “No one is going to listen to your shirt”, “Semen up” and “Todo un palo” are some of the topics in which the journalist pointed out that it appears clearly the “temperament” of the guitarist within Los Redondos.

“Skay has made limitation a virtue, a style. He says it himself. He doesn’t consider himself a great guitarist. There are many virtuous guitarists, but the musicality that Skay has is much more important than her limitations as an instrumentalist ”, remarked Del Mazo.

That conceptual lucidity is what allowed the interaction with Tito Fargo when they shared a group to take place in a “fluid” way.

“He is not a competitive guy. In fact, when we played together, what came out best was the fluidity of knowing that each of us had their place. As we are both similar in that we always work according to the musical context, it was very automatic who faced one part and who the other. The parts were distributed without the need to speak, it was given alone ”, pointed out the current Great Martell.

But the man who shudders with his riffs and on stage assumes a character whose “sinuous movements” resemble those of Keith Richards, according to the author’s consideration of We were kings, goes through everyday life in total secrecy, without attracting attention.

“There is a big difference between the stage and everyday life. Skay “lookea” rock and roll, but down the stage is not interested in anything. He lives isolated in his own world and his own world has to do with music. He does not read newspapers, he does not have a cell phone, he does not go online. He reads books, plays the guitar and is with Poli, the woman of his whole life ”, summarized Del Mazo.

In this sense, he defined him as “a very spiritual being who stayed away from everything” and who, although he was hidden by the flowery verba of his former partner in Los Redondos, can engage in long conversations on various topics.

“He is a very observant, very cultured guy, in the hippie way, capable of talking to you for two hours about the Tao or the I-Ching,” the journalist graphed.

And he concluded: “In interviews, El Indio always said that they came from a stage in which being clandestine was a benefit and that this saved them. That’s why they were never interested in being on television and all that. I believe that Skay maintains that slogan, that tendency to be involved in his world and give the correct and necessary marks ”.

Shortly after celebrating his 70th birthday this Saturday, the musician will continue on his way without looking back, as usual, and after releasing some singles that followed his album In the heart of the maze, 2019, he is preparing to perform this February 5, together with his group Los Fakires, at the Centenario Stadium in Quilmes, and then participate in Cosquín Rock 2022.

In his reflections, the Borgean stuttering man will surely know that it may not be a T-shirt, but in each show, when the sanguine rocker emerges, he revalidates that his riffs are popular songs marked by fire in the collective memory.

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