The Movida Madrileña, the countercultural movement
The movida madrileña or how Madrid became the axis of the artistic explosion in our country
To put ourselves in a situation we have to go back to the Spain of the seventies: big changes are coming, Franco dies in 1975 and leaves behind an open door for the country to get the train of cultural progress and modernity that in that time they triumphed in Europe and the United States and had been oppressed during the regime. Why could not we have our own Bowie or our Joy Division?
And like any artistic movement, the Movida Madrileña also began in the underground stages of Madrid during the period known as the Transition, at the end of the 70s, although some say that the big culprit and the lighter of this mecha was, in fact, Fernando Colomo with his film What does a girl like you do in a place like this?, whose central theme is that of the legendary band Burning of the same title; for others, on the other hand, the pioneers were Kaka Deluxe, with a very young Alaska that would later triumph accompanied by its Pegamoides. Leaving aside who or who were the culprits of the movement, if it is possible to be concrete and it was not a set of things, we will go back to 1979, the year in which the first municipal elections of democracy are celebrated for the first time. Enrique Tierno Galván becomes mayor of the city of Madrid, the young people want modern sound, films and paintings that open their minds to an unexplored world until then, and fortunately, Tierno Galván, that mayor wanted by everybody, contributed in part to this new wave reaching the new generations born between the fifties and the sixties.
At that time, little by little, great groups of what would be known as the Spanish Pop golden age were emerging, like the aforementioned Hombres G, with a David Summers whose voice was already recognizable wherever it sounded; the Zombies, Mecano, The Secrets, Ejecutivos Agresivos, from which Jaime Urrutia and his group Gabinete Caligari would come out. I could write long columns of the groups of the movement and their great successes, but both the readers of this blog and I will agree that if someone deserves a special mention is Antonio Vega and his Nacha Pop band.
Vístete or Lucha de gigantes are two songs that have penetrated very deep in my life, but, of course, talking about Nacha Pop songs is necessary talk about its timeless La chica de ayer, who has been loved and heard generation after generation, by music lovers and those who are not so, and that moves us to that wonderful decade in which the youth of Madrid went out to enjoy the night, in the area of Lavapiés or Malasaña, neighborhood where the famous Penta is still open to the public and the pop anthem makes mention of. And talking about the bars of the movement that have survived over the years, very close to the Penta we find the Vía Láctea, where they can play Almodovar and Mcnamara songs followed by any good Teenage Fanclub song.
But, of course,the Movida Madrileña and Madrid was not the only city that got soaked up in this new cultural resurgence, in Zaragoza we had our beloved Heroes of Silence; in Barcelona, to Loquillo and the Trogloditas; or Duncan Dhu, originally from Guipuzcoa, who made Spain enjoy that pop and punk atmosphere that gave voice to all that youth that finally began to find itself and that would inspire future generations.
But if this is not enough for you, and you still want more, do not worry, because the bar museum Madrid Me Mata will be open for you, in case you want to make a little trip in time and go back thirty eight years to the epicenter of this wonderful moment of Spanish pop.
But if apart from knowing and traveling back to the Movida Madrileña and and the 80’s, you like to go back a little bit more, you can come with us to know an older Madrid in any of our tours. Come and join our Free Walking Tour Madrid