End of the 80’s. I don’t know who and the I don’t know timidly peeping out in the midst of a turbulent music scene. The catchy “Magdalena” began to play loudly and the band aroused the interest of the public and of the trendy venues. One afternoon, in a pizzeria in Miraflores, the wild but talented musicians led by Raúl Romero were performing a sound check for the show they were going to offer that night, when at that moment the first chords of their greatest hit: “Las Torres” emerged. .
“The normal dynamic of any concert is to do a sound check so that it comes out balanced and normally it is improvised to test. That day we started to play a musical base, we improvised, and something interesting came out, we all thought it was a good idea. Then I wrote a list with several names (of people linked to politics) on a piece of paper. That’s where things start. The letter was mutating, initially Fujimori did not exist “, remember Alfredo Sillau, composer and singer of the musical phenomenon of the popular Peruvian group.
These were difficult times for Peru: the end of the presidential term of a young Alan García, a country with MUC dollars, shortages of basic necessities and curfews. Drug trafficking, terrorism, attacks, blackouts and car bombs were news every day.
“In fact, the fact that we took ironically that gray moment we were experiencing made people get hooked on the subject. I think that the sense of humor was a grain of sand for the success of the song, it connected with that side we have of being able to laugh at ourselves and our misfortunes”, says Sillau.
Alfredo Sillau (guitarist), in addition to composing “The towers” Along with bassist Fernando Ríos, he lent his voice to the popular song. “Raúl (Romero) was the singer, obviously, but since he wasn’t in that sound check, I had to grab the microphone and in the end I was in charge of the song. In addition, Raúl did not learn the letter. My forte was the guitar, singing gave me stage fright, but circumstances ended up forcing me”, narrates.
Popular children’s songs such as “An elephant was rocking”, Cucú sang the frog” and “Mi ranchito” served as inspiration to create the hit by Nosewho y los Nosecuántos that was part of the band’s second studio album, “With the respect they deserve.”, published in 1991.
Events and protagonists of the Peruvian history of that time were also part of this musical proposal. the hiker Abimael Guzman, the former presidents Alberto Fujimori Y Allan Garcia, in addition to the apristas Agustín Mantilla and Armando Villanueva are mentioned in the song.
“Everything was articulating, an elephant, a frog, the little pig from Yola’s farm. In ‘Las Torres’, the idea was to accumulate characters that rhyme. And that final sentence: ‘No one went to call an electrician’ sums up the fact that many of us are half at odds with science because when we need people who have the technical capabilities to move a country forward, we don’t call them “, highlights the national musician.
The title of the song refers to a type of terrorist attack: the dynamiting of high-voltage towers to leave several cities in Peru without electricity, especially Lima.
The first time that Nosewho and the Nosequantos performed “The towers” in public it was in the missing local “El Tarot – Pub” by Comandante Espinar. “It was a little before the 1990 elections, in that place all the fashionable groups appeared: Frágil, Arena hash, Río…. The Ignores and the Ignores it was still an unknown band, hardworking and hardworking, we played on Wednesdays, then on Thursdays; but when the songs started coming out, things got good”narrates the guitarist.
He also remembers the moments of tension that the band experienced and the threats they received for interpreting a song that portrayed society, politics and popular discontent at the beginning of the 1990s, when hyperinflation, corruption, drug trafficking and terrorism They shook the country.
“We played that song in many places in Peru when the circumstances were well moved, at that time we were irresponsible, we got several scares, we received some uncaring messages. We live through dark times, but we wouldn’t change those experiences for anything. In a presentation we had in Ayacucho they made us leave the place with bulletproof vests”, recalls.
When in 1995, Alfredo Sillau leaves the band to focus on personal projects, Fernando Ríos assumes the interpretation of “Las Torres”.
“I don’t know if it was the most popular song of the band, but it’s like a kind of son for me because he matured, grew up and made his own life. When I left the group, Fernando was in charge of singing it, it was everyone’s decision”, stands out.
“That something you have created has such a level of acceptance, that it becomes a popular anthem is brutally satisfying, anyone’s ego goes up. On the other hand, it has its painful side: it is still valid because our misfortune does not end “, underlines.
The song returns to our memory thanks to the renewed interest in the career of musician and television host Raúl Romero after it was announced that his emblematic program “Habacilar” will be revived this January 24 at 7 pm
Despite speculation and rumours, Romero has said on several occasions that he does not expect to return to television in the immediate future, preferring instead to focus on music. Thus, he already has some concerts on his horizon, including a participation in Reactivate 6 on February 26. Will he sing “The Towers?”
Correction: This note was initially published on August 21, 2021 and has been republished due to renewed interest in Raúl Romero’s career after speculation about his possible return to the “Habacilar” program.