Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy (belated) 51st Miguel

Miguel Bosé turned 51 on April 3, and his birthday comes just after the release of a tribute album called Papito, chronicling his 30+ years in showbiz. Though never very well known in the U.S. (that whole "if it's not in English it ain't entertainment" thing) he is somewhat familiar with a few roles in Almodovar films and French Twist.

I first became aware of him after seeing a piece in Interview magazine in the early 1980s and was impressed by his lineage, the son of a famed bull fighter and an Italian actress. The fact that he was gorgeous didn't hurt either. How fitting that this late 20th century Tadzio was the godson of Count Luchino Visconti.

I've enjoyed a number of his transformations in music through the years such as the Spanish-language variation on the New Romantics, Sevilla (available here on YouTube with his rat tale, broach and silk matador outfit) and Amante Bandino, the tune that most often has him compared to either or both Bowie and Duran Duran. However, I'd never come across any of his very early stuff. I was well aware that he's butched up through the years, but nothing prepared me for the discovery of his 1977 TV debut performing Eres todo para mi and Mi Libertad. Ay, carumba! This looks like Tommy Tune's nelly little brother performing at Latin Magic Night on Fire Island circa 1978. The first one has to be seen to be believe that the flailing 1970s disco queen would evolve into the papi at the top of this post. Something tells me that Count Visconti and little Miguel were very close.

He's also pretty interesting doing his devil/angel transformation with a bunch of little girls a quarter of a century ago.

I never realized the road to Papito-land started at such a lusciously lavender threshold. Even with gray, facial lines and a goatee, he looks a lot more like a Folsom Street Fair habitue than a papi in a lowrider, as is evidenced in his duet with Paulina Rubio. And I guy that would invite both Ricky Martin and Michael Stipe to sing duets (yup, in Spanish too on the latter) on his career tribute album has got to be telling us something.

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At 2:08 AM, Blogger WAT said...

This is wonderful! AWESOME!

I'm actually liking the new PAPITO album lots. Was not too much into Velvetina or Pos Vos Muero. KINDA EH on those two.

And he is starting to look his age. Good man, good man tho.


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