Ten keys to remember the career of Caballero Reynaldo

Caballero Reynaldo says goodbye to music with Cosmos, the last of the almost forty albums that his alma mater, Luis González. César Campoy talks with him to choose ten moments and reflections that the also famous owner of the Hall of Fame seal leaves us.

Text: CÉSAR CAMPOY.
Photos: HALL OF FAME RECORDS.

Caballero Reynaldo dismounts from his steed after more than a quarter of a century riding through the vast and heterogeneous meadow of his own creative incontinence. In all this time, the project’s alma mater, Luis González, has plunged into a tremendous flow of whitewater that has led him to publish, under the Reynaldo mantle, no more and no less than twelve albums with original songs and twenty-four albums. versions. And, best of all, most have a more than obvious interest.

González (November Rojo, Mar Otra Vez, Amor Sucio) is a being who, in addition to directing the fates of the Hall of Fame Records label, the base of operations for artists such as Malcolm Scarpa, Luis Prado, Señor Mostaza, Pando, Dwomo or Johnny B Zero, or leading other adventures under the name of Adults or The Visionaries, dressed in the armor of the Knight Reynaldo has drawn hundreds of recordings from his sleeve (674 have been published, as he recalls) and has achieved milestones as required by the organizers of the Zappanale, the prestigious German festival around the figure of Frank Zappa. To do this, he has surrounded himself with musicians (most of them as crazy romantics as he) of the category of Prado himself, Manoel Macia, Santi Serrano, María and Paco Tamarit, Andrés Mastrangelo, Jose L. Shipley, Dani Cardona or Nick Markham, among many others. With the majority he has produced those works in which he has revisited, in a way as original as surprising, the work of artists as varied as his beloved Zappa, The Beatles, King Crimson, Prince, Depeche Mode, Ilegales, Malcolm Scarpa, Yes or Motörhead; but also those others in which compositional originality became the perfect excuse to invoice original creations wrapped in a thousand and one styles (pop, rock, disco, experimentation, funky, psychedelic, country, electronic, environmental, baroque … ), arising from the surprising eclecticism that characterizes our protagonist.

The last of these creatures is named Cosmos, the end of the Reynalda career, and also the closing of the trilogy started by Cromos (2019) and continued by Cronos (2020), in the company of Román García, Macia and Serrano, with occasional collaborations by Manu Vicente, Rebeca Ibáñez and Aníbal González. While he waxes his saddle, before putting it away, who knows if definitely, Luis breaks down for Efe Eme various philosophical and contextual concepts and principles that have marked the 26 years of the Knight’s existence.

A challenge: eclecticism without rules
The only parameter of this project was to have none. Before my first album I had made a song with Amor Sucio, but my own, nothing more. The rest was being bassist and chorus girl with Mar Otra Vez, Amor Sucio and Malcolm Scarpa. At the time, I decided to start something on my own and with Clásico con twist (1995) I already left a brutal eclecticism reflected, and I suppose that I have been consistent with that premise throughout the discography, although certain albums have more or less uniform styles and are can be pigeonholed into standard genres: pop, country, lounge, funk …

The great reynalda family: a good amalgam
Caballero Reynaldo has been like a bus full of people where I was the driver, but all those who have participated have not done so as mere operators, at all; on the contrary, I have taken advantage of their talent and their ingenuity one hundred and ten percent, because they are all artists like the top of a pine tree. That each one contribute their personality and their vision of the thing was within the (imaginary) contract between us.

Revisions of the classics: free adaptation, in its purest essence
I started making version discs to learn how to handle the new computer programs, and it was easier and more practical to do it with an existing matrix than to come up with new compositions, but from the first (Hispano Olivetti, 2006) with versions of Malcolm Scarpa, who already I had played with him, it never crossed my mind to imitate the originals because that would have been boring, so I used the original chords, structures and lyrics, but everything else was my own (style, tempo, attitude …), and I have kept that method to the end because it meant treating the records as something new and personal.

Original version: the knight undresses
In my opinion, the “original themes” is very distorted. The vast majority of what is normally considered an original composition is not original at all. That is why I have always given the same importance to all my albums. There are compositions of mine that are much less original than many of the versions I have done, which resemble the original like an egg to a chestnut. Adjusting to the traditional meaning, more or less yes, I have shown my authentic self with my songs, although in my case, who do not consider myself primarily a composer, I am still in the learning process.

Hall of Fame Records crown jewels: Malcolm Scarpa and Luis Prado
I should be covered with them, but also with other artists on the label. I am very proud of the entire Hall of Fame Records production. But yes, especially Malcolm and Luis are two colossal geniuses at the height of the great historical figures of pop music, and both commercially and talentedly they are the two pillars of the record company. Our main problem to operate commercially is that all the team, both artists and operators, we stick our lives in the clouds.

An Obsession: Frank Zappa
My eclectic tastes were very early. In my adolescence, hippie and rocker, I already loved the disco scene, in the eighties I vindicated country and Sinatra, so when I was 25 years old I entered the universe of mustaches, I felt fully identified with its stylistic variety and out of all fashion. He plays (almost) all clubs and always at an impressive level. I did not understand his lyrics nor did he know anything about his business vision regarding the industry. As I got to know his life, (almost) everything fit in perfectly, but I was already a curmudgeon before I met him.

A planetary success: his turn of the screw of “Something stupid” conquered Mediaset
In Reynalda’s history there are several very picturesque moments: playing at the most important Zappiano festival in the world for a country album, a genre that Frank hated, or that the best-selling album by far is that of versions of King Crimson in lounge key, a heresy for many progs. But, of course, “Something stupid” takes the cake and was delusional. It took me ten minutes to make and publish it (the Antojos series had that method), but I published it on the Bandcamp platform without realizing that I did not activate the copyright tab, and I imagine that that was crucial for Mediaset to use it for the reality show A prince for Corina, and also because he fit the bill perfectly, of course. Although I could not claim more part of the cake, it is the song that has brought me the most money, and I am not complaining at all. In July 2021 he has more than 900,000 listens on Spotify, and let the party continue, because the happy program has been made in lots of countries keeping the song as the header.

Creative incontinence: a destiny in the universal
It is very difficult to be an artist 24 hours a day and survive, but it is supposed to be what you should aspire to, whatever it is, regardless of whether it feeds you or not. I have had to do a thousand things in life other than creativity, but as far as I could I have dedicated myself to it as if there was no tomorrow because it is what I like to do the most. But making records like churros emerged as a therapy to overcome the mourning for the death of my wife, Begoña. Then I got the hang of it and didn’t stop until today.

The final trilogy: Cromos, Cronos, Cosmos, the swan song
It was not premeditated, but there was a buzz in my head about making records with my own songs again, and I was very comfortable. They are three albums more or less made at the same time and with the same formation (Manoel, Román, Santi and I), and although the decision to settle the Reynaldo project came on the fly, surely the intimate air unconsciously already anticipated that something like this was going to pass. And also that I am very old now, and the sentimental is taking over everything. If ten percent of the hundred and twenty songs that I have composed can be considered decent, I already have a song in my teeth.

The Future of Industry: A Theory
I didn’t create my own record company because I liked business. I have had to live with that by force, and everything I have seen about it is pure mafia, cronyism and suckers, and that is known to all of us who are in some way in this. Until recently I had not been able to accept it, and when I have, I have realized that the only thing I can do is get as far away from it as possible. The music business I do not know if it is becoming more buoyant or not, but what I have clear is that, on an artistic and creative level, the decline is unstoppable. It has been concluded that the great market is not music lovers, but the rest, and almost everything is aimed at them. Ravenous consumerism is about creating unnecessary needs. Hence the production of music for those who do not like music. Varèse already said it in the 1940s: «In music the degeneration is complete».