Friday, August 26, 2011

Manitas de Plata

I was looking for a particular Django Reinhardt piece on YouTube yesterday. (Found it.) And got sidetracked. To this:

Bios always say that Manitas first played in the United States at Carnegie Hall in December of 1965. But I attended his true first American performance—at Spalding Auditorium at Dartmouth, the night before. I think his agents or handlers or whatever wanted to let him warm up for what was likely to be the biggest moment of his young career. The place was packed, 800 or so strong, and we went nuts for the next hour plus. And when he was done, we wouldn't let him go. I have no idea how many encores he took, but it wasn’t enough. It remains perhaps the greatest concert performance I’ve ever attended.


Alan Sloman said...

Manitas was a big favourite over here in the UK when I was a boy. He frequently appeared on TV programmes and inspired many a young lad to pick up a guitar (only to put it down again when he realised he had a handful of thumbs that were totally uncoordinated...)

Thanks for finding this Mark - it took me back....

Mark Alvarez said...

Cheers, Alan.