[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2-ZmO13_dI[/youtube] Nothing says good morning on a Saturday like watching the Fania All Star greats perform but since we either can't see them or some artists physically can't perform this might be the next best thing. This was on 1974 in the Statu Hai stadium at Kinsasha, Zaire, it was also filmed and released as “Fania All Stars Live in Africa.” Amazing times for music.
Every music lover has that one person that they would've loved to see perform, but either never got the chance to because that artist passed away, or the timing was just off. I have a few on my list... lets start off with The Beatles, Jimmie Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Ray Barretto (Actually I did see him once), Janis Joplin, Company Segundo, Frank Sinatra. BUT there is one that I will never see in person and will hear late night tales of the great that make me upset I wasn't born around that time and he is the legendary Hector Lavoe.
I have always been a huge fan that admired what he went through as a person and what he accomplished in music. Because of his unique voice and amazing musical talent with him (Colon, Pacheco, Blades, Yomo Toro, etc.), his songs has this euphoric uplifting effect that would tell a part of him as it made the people dance. He wasn't a man without faults and if you paid attention to his songs and performances (Thanks internet and dvd's) you got to see a talented amazing artist struggling to live and telling you he is hurt as everyone else was laughing and partying because of him. He was another great artist used for monetary gain and pushed to that edge where he felt that there was nothing else to do but perform for the people. He brought happiness to many with his music and happy-go-lucky attitude, while still battling his inner-self and ultimately lost. Yes I am one of his fans that think he was used and abused by many and was forgotten that he was a human being that felt pain and anguish.
I have always taken his music as something special and not just a Salsa song, it was much more than that... it was a part of his life and him showing what he went thru. He had a good amount of rough patches in life with his dad disapproval, having family members die, his battle with drugs, and even him attempting to commit suicide...and performing in a wheelchair (For his supposed comeback) which was his last performance. I can't even imagine what his last days were like, knowing all you've accomplished and done yet still feel like the world is moving against you. He died a legend and penniless with shame and in a horrible state of mind and body. Seeing his last interview truly makes me sad that a person of talent was raised to that height of life to then fall to a horrific bottom alone.
His music will live on for years always bringing joy to the ones lucky to hear it. Timeless music he created and will never be doubted for his voice transcends time and provokes the same feelings now as it did in the 60's 70's and 80's. If certain things were handled differently he probably would've been alive still spreading his wonderful music to a much-needed people. Wish I was one of the lucky that got to experience such a talented person with the golden voice accompanied by some of the best musicians. Hector I never got to see you in person and watch you sing and play with the greats, yet you still have touched a part of my life which I am forever grateful... thank you.
Below are some of my favorite songs, as well as the last interview that was made.