The ‘rock n’ roll ‘of Iñaki López

Today anyone wears a toupee: a footballer, a hippestr, a tronista, a policeman. But the toupee has a strong semantic load, already dissolved in the morass of postmodernity. “The roquetas, that we are usually talludites, we see this with surprise. And with envy, because our group suffers a lot of alopecia ”, jokes rocker Iñaki López. It is not the case.

López (Portugalete, 47 years old) is also a journalist and presents every Saturday six hours, as a tamer of gatherings, The Sixth Night. If you have seen him on TV with slicked hair and sideburns, it is no coincidence. Off camera, he takes off his jacket and tie and returns to the scene. rock n’ roll: leather jacket, skinny jeans, chain wallet. He has been in this sect since he was a kid, when in school, the repeating bullies of the eighth grade of EGB, authentic greasers, they introduced you to these rhythms. “I was freaking out,” he says. This is how he met the Stray Cats, the Meteors, the Polecats, etc. Classic rock, rockabilly, psychobilly, garage, ska, some punk. “The punks of the Euskadi of the eighties said that if a song lasted more than three minutes, it was jazz,” he recalls. Forty years later, he is still listening to the same thing and dressing the same. “I’m not an example of evolution,” he laughs.

So much so that López is, along with Marcos Sendarrubias, co-founder of the Hot45 label, dedicated to these genres. “45 is the number of revolutions at which our records, small vinyls, ep’s, only 500 copies, with no possibility of reissue ”, he explains enthusiastically,“ also the age at which we assembled it ”. Among his bets are artists such as Mike Sánchez and the Limboos, Diego Cruz, La Perra Blanco or Sendarrubias himself. It is not a business, because it is ruinous, but it is a hobby thrilling. “There are those who spend it on drugs, we on releasing records,” he explains.

In his youth he experienced the roughness of the left bank of the Nervión River, in Bilbao: industrial reconversion, unemployment, pollution, lead years of terrorism, social conflict, a lot of grayness. He remembers the Eskorbuto hairstyle, similar to MacGyver’s: the punks wore tracksuits rather than crested ones. “We youth were divided into urban tribes, now everything is more uniform,” he says, “on weekends there were hosts. Polarization and precariousness return to our world, even though its surface is now overdesigned. “I think we have lived in a happy arcade until the crises returned: now politics is once again at the center of the conversation,” he says, “the tension of parliament has reached the streets. Social networks are like a bottle ”.

And the media? Is The Sixth Night a way to spectacularize politics, to contribute to the tension? “The television format always looks for the spectacle,” he confesses, “even so, my job is to ensure that the socialists do not get entangled in personal or partisan struggles, to try to get them to talk about the issue at hand. The minutes of anger in each program, as he points out, are few within those six hours, although it is what transcends the most. TV is also rock n’ roll. “If some talkative influences that, if he is dedicated to bursting the debate, he knows that we will end up doing without him.” They have recently won an award from the Television Academy for their commitment to the less spectacular gathering of scientists on the pandemic. “The Spanish news is brutal, it seems the work of Netflix scriptwriters,” he says.

Iñaki López’s son is three years old. His mother is Andrea Ropero, also a journalist for La Sexta (now in The intermediate). His name is Roke, especially after San Roque, the patron saint of Portugalete, but also because Elvis Presley and his father died on his name day (August 16). bluesman Robert Johnson, who, they say, sold his soul to the devil in exchange for being a prodigious guitarist. But rock is no longer the music of youth. “They say that guitars are in the doldrums, that they belong to old people, that young people are into electronic and urban rhythms,” he laments, “but rock has always been cursed music and it always resurfaces: it is cyclical.”

Wait for better times while posing for the photo in the Chopper Monster store, a classic in Malasaña, Madrid, full of pin ups, monsters, vinyl, leather and leopard. Sometimes they come to have a few beers with the owners. “The scene of rock n’ roll It is very much alive: we go to festivals throughout Spain, we eat well and drink wine, not just supermarket sandwiches waiting for the bus, like when we were kids, ”he says. What if Roke gets ragged? “Well,” he sighs, “I’ll love him just the same.”

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