Raúl Guerrero Montemayor & Erik SatieTuesday, March 06, 2007
Yesterday when I picked up Rebecca to take her to her piano lesson I had new CDs (with piano music) loaded and I played a sampling. Immediately Rebecca showed interest in Satie - Piano Works - Daniel Varsano - Philippe Entremont. She wasn't too interested in Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (So What with Bill Evans on piano). She commented that André Previn and J.J. Johnson play Kurt Weill's Mack the Knife & bilbao Song and other music from The Threepenny Opera - Happy End - Mahagonny (is that a long CD/record title?), sounded oriental but she wanted more Eric Satie.
I remember exactly the year and where I first heard Eric Satie. It was in 1967 in the apartment of my friend Raúl Guerrero Montemayor. He played the definitive version at the time which was with pianist Aldo Ciccolini.
I first met Raúl at my Tia Fermina's house on Miguel Servantes Saavedra in Mexico City. Raúl spoke more than 8 languages (German with a Yiddish accent, French with a Hungarian accent and whatever variation of a language you could think of!). Although he was of Filipino heritage he was blond and blue-eyed. There were those who asserted that Raúl was the illigitimate son of the first president of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon. The resemblance is most striking. Raúl was also first cousin to Yvette Mimieux. Raul became my friend and began to remove some of my rough edges. He took me to see French and Italian cinema. He introduced me to the wonders of Monica Viti and Antonioni. We talked about Sartre and books. We drank coffee at a very bohemian coffee shop called La Rana Sabia (The Wise Frog). We drove to Veracruz when I was 18 and I got my first glimpse, as an adult, of the sea (in this case the Gulf of Mexico). Raúl helped me out with my courting of Rosemary and later on became godfather of Hilary (photo above left) who is Rebecca's mother.
It was Rebecca choosing to listen to Erik Satie yesterday that brought home that realization on how important Raúl has been in my life and in my life with Rosemary.