Once upon a time, sometime around 1988 or 1989 in gorgeous Barcelona city, a little girl got hooked up by "Mecano's" videoclip playing on TV with the young Penélope Cruz starring on it, with a song called "La fuerza del destino".
"Mecano" is a Spanish music group who became popular in the 80s and 90s, however everyone always hopes for a come back and the songs are still widely played on Spanish radio stations. It is formed by 2 brothers José María Cano and Nacho Cano, and a female singer Ana Torroja.
Dad came to pick my brother and me up and went to the shopping mall. One of the funny facts is that my dad was (yes was!) Chinese, and asking dad to buy me a Spanish cassette seemed like a mission impossible to achieve. Only when we left the shopping mall ("El Corte Inglés" if you want to know), already near home in a park, I found the courage to express my wish to have that cassette. Dad asked us to stay in the park, he would be back in no time. You cannot say this anymore to your children, back then, it was safe. I could not believe they understood him and he bought the right one for me, I was so happy! Luckily for us he bought us a walkman for my brother and me a few months before. Probably my brother was oblivious to what that cassette was about, but soon we were both playing that special blue cassette in our walkmans. Below I have uploaded pictures of what a walkman and a cassette are, some new generation might not know what I am talking about!
My brother who is 2 years older than me pointed out the sad lyrics from "Laika", it is a rather sad song talking about the Russian dog who was put into space and died. Ever since I started crying whenever I listened to that song. Years later I heard that "Laika" is not a name but a Russian dog breed?? It also amused me to see how long he could sing the end of "Héroes de la Antártida" song, quite a breathing challenge!
We were never a rich family, so I only asked for that tape, but a friend had others we could listen to.
One of the most popular songs from "Mecano" in the gay environments is "Mujer contra mujer", "Woman against woman", it talks very gently about lesbians and who can stop them, they would not be the ones to throw a stone about it...
Years go by and the songs never get old, unfortunately "Mecano" dissolved in 1992, they did a brief come back but it was only temporary.
I read their story in Wikipedia's entry with interest as I did not know much about themselves, funny how José María Cano was the leader at first but everyone knows that the biggest talent is from Nacho Cano, and the group had one of the best voices, Ana Torroja with her amusing outfits and hairstyles. Still today I wonder if she is gay, not that it matters at all of course. I didn't know that she was José María's girlfriend when they first started!
Nacho Cano started a musical called in 2005 "Hoy no me puedo levantar" in Madrid. For years I wanted to go and see it but I always hoped it would come to Barcelona, and it eventually did!
I even forgot about it and as a bus passed by, I saw their advertisement. I had to book tickets asap! Mum spoilt me to a first row in balcony seat, and I introduced my nephew to their music. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, remembering their songs live, and the Theatre storyline was written very well, pointing most of the songs referred to either drugs or social problems from back then. Unfortunately the play went onto South America and now it's over. For some unknown reason Nacho Cano was left out of the Theatre production in 2007 despite being one of the key people of "Mecano".
I was telling a friend who once lived in "Spain" about how I went to see "Mecano's" theatre play and at some point I saw she was confused. It turned out she thought I was talking about the toy "Meccano"!
Ana Torroja released several albums on her own, and so did Nacho Cano, however, they are at their best when they work together…
I was pleased to hear that a couple of French friends knew "Mecano" as they translated some of the songs to French and Italian and released their albums abroad. Also I met once an American man in Australia who said he was recently introduced to "Mecano" and he loved it.
I have never seen them live as I was too young to attend any of the concerts, but who knows, maybe one day they might come back.
Back then we did not have Wikipedia, YouTube or Spotify, so luckily for you, we do now, so I hope you enjoy at least one of their songs.
Feel free and welcome to comment below if you know "Mecano" and what your favourite song/album is.
I got carried away and I left you a few Spanish songs from several artists ;)
"Descanso Dominical" album by "Mecano"
"ANA, JOSE, NACHO" album by "Mecano"
"Descanso Dominical" album by "Mecano"
Walkmans for cassettes to be played.