Tuesday, July 5

What we did was secret

During the eighties, the London punk scene was lived in Madrid in real time. You just had to go to the Rastro on a Sunday with a litrona and start drinking on the stairs of the Ribera de Curtidores. Between drinks, the sound show was happening with that accelerated music, the latest in punk London. Groups like GBH, Anti-Pasti or Anti-Nowhere League they bellowed their songs through the speakers of the stall of a punk who called himself Manolo Suizidio and that he was wearing a German cap and dyed hair.

Around his post on the Rastro the most authentic punkarras of Madrid would gather, specimens such as Manolo UVI or members of bands with names as sonorous as Sobako smell or Tarzan and his fucking mother squatting in a flat in Alcobendas. To say it is not that Manolo Suizidio he was also a member of the group Our Lady of Karmen Bakery Bakery and that in his famous position he had, in addition to his tapes, pirated cassettes of the most cutting-edge English punk groups. It was a time when Pistols, the Ramones and the Clash They had been left behind, and the second wave of punk was living with pogo heads and Scottish pants, dexedrine, speed and beers galore.

The charter flights to London left on Thursdays from Barajas and on Sunday you were already back. In three days, Manolo Suizidio and his peña were made with the most sugary vinyls and then recorded them on cassettes. They put a photocopy cover and, from there, to the Rastro on Sundays. The Madrid of the eighties cannot be fully understood without that stall full of noise and colored crests that everyone knew as Dracula’s post. A most picturesque meeting point. If it was Sunday and you weren’t there, like you didn’t exist.

It all started when Madrid punks started getting their girlfriends pregnant. So, abortion in Spain was a delicate matter, not to mention impossible. The closest possibility was in London. He tells it himself Manolo Suizidio in the documentary that they gave the other day on television and that is entitled “What we did was secret”, an investigative work directed by David Álvarez García and narrated by its protagonists, the punks of the time who are telling how it arrived the movement to a Spain that was reborn from the Francoist ashes.

The documentary begins with the pastry and commercial punk of Alaska and the Kaka de Luxe. You have to listen to the producer of the latter, Vicente Mariskal Romero, a guy who is very clear when it comes to criticizing the sons of the ruling class of Franco. From here on, the documentary picks up tone and awareness, and not only stays on the Rastro stairs and at the Manolo Suizidio, but reaches the Basque Country and the most punk city of the time: Bilbo.

The matter gets interesting when he takes a tour of the squatter centers, and that is where guys like Kurdo and Canino come out, activists who were in the front line from the occupation of the premises on Amparo Street to the Minuesa Social Center, the last utopia. It is a necessary documentary for those who do not know the fighter and alternative part of Madrid in the 80s, also for those of us who lived the rebellious explosion of a few years that ended up crossed by heroin. If you have a chance, see it, do not pass it by.