This morning, while listening to Carlos Moreno’s (alias “El Pulpo”= Octopus) radio program “Poniendo las calles” (Placing streets), Ramoncín (Spanish rock musician) was then interviewed. Although now he likes to be called Ramón, this show business moonlighter. I mean, he is not only a rock singer, but also a TV show host, a talk-show guest, lecturer, the author of some books…I can’t understand the change of artistic name. Everybody can be Ramón (Raymond), but there is only one Ramoncín (diminutive name of Ramón). Oh! How I hate famous people changing their artistic names! Bibi Andersen will always be Bibi Andersen for me, and not Bibiana Fernández.
Not to mention Prince who, totally disregarding the Latin alphabet, changed his name to the unpronounceable love symbol. So, when he was alive, if you wanted to call him, you needed a portable blackboard with that symbol drawn on plus Harpo Marx’s horn to get his attention.
But let’s go back to Ramoncín. He was talking about his new record, “Quemando el tiempo” (Burning time) What a horrible thing, my God! They played one of the songs and I thought I would die. I have never ever liked his music but, at least, when I was younger, I didn’t shut the radio off with a swipe of my hand when they played “litros-de alcohol-corren-por-mis-venas” (litres- of- alcohol-running through- my- veins = the opening line of one of his songs). Is it possible to describe this hullabaloo as “music”? But I do want to be respectful towards his fans and himself, who I don’t know personally, so I won’t criticize his work anymore. There is no accounting for tastes.
Everybody has something good about them, that is undeniable. And for me, Ramoncín has come to stand out above all others as being a total clean freak. As clean as a new pin. This is not one of my outlandish ideas I am usually obsessed with. It is a proper deduction based on true facts.
Some years ago, when I was a student living in Madrid, I came into a pharmacy on Gran Vía. The pharmacist was assisting a person who was before me. I noticed his leather jacket with fringed sleeves. I then looked at his face and recognized Ramoncín. He took his time buying his stuff, as he bought up practically the whole pharmacy. The guy spent one hundred thousand pesetas (a lot of money back in the 80s) on cosmetics and other personal care products: shower gels, shampoos, body lotions, soaps…all sort of skin care products. No room on the counter for so many creams and ointments. I stood there, stunned, watching the scene from a corner of the pharmacy, waiting my turn to buy a gentle shower gel. A regular customer, he surely was, because with his regularity-based trust he didn’t pay up immediately, but told the pharmacist to charge the purchase on his account. Elementary, my dear Watson. It wasn’t the first time he visited that pharmacy, nor was it, I guess, the first time he exhausted the stock held in the pharmacy. I can’t remember very well, but I think he left without his battery of toiletries. They were so heavy that he could not have carried them anyway. Regular faithful customers, the ones who spend a lot of dough, are offered home delivery service.
Ever since then, every time Ramoncín appears on TV or he talks on the radio or I read some news concerning him, I can’t help recalling that chance encounter, and I stand up for him when everybody criticizes him.
So neat, so trim, so handsome in his apparel, so spruce! I really hate his records, but I would gladly sit next to him on a bus full of sweaty bricklayers, without air-conditioning, at four p.m. on an unbearably hot August day.