In addition to rapping Top That in New Jersey, I also spent some quality time in Brooklyn at EZ Cracker’s place, AKA, Lips Lounge. Hangin’ out at Lips Lounge makes you feel both sassy and crafty. Like Amy Sadaris.
While lounging on the lip sofa, appreciating the abundance of cheetah print and oversized feline stuffed animals, I grabbed the classical guitar that rests near the sofa. Oh my. This is like a Spanish guitar! Images of bullfighters and bossomy women flashed before my eyes. And, right on cue, EZ Cracker busted out some Charo videos.
Here’s one for Dance, Don’t Bullfight. It’s Charo in full-effect: flamboyant, sexy, funny, and completely over the top.
Charo is a mother and also an animal rights activist (that’s what the Dance, Don’t Bullfight song is all about). She raised her son in Hawaii and put her family before many career opportunities that came her way. Her discography is a testament to the motherhood timeline:
1978 Ole, Ole
1981 Bailando Con Charo
1982 Birth of her son, Shel
1994 Guitar Passion
2005 Charo and Guitar
2008 Espana Cani
“I happen to be a hell of a good mother. When the kid was 5, I did not want to hit the road and live the gypsy life. What kind of life would it be to take him on the road? I could not do that. I made my home in Hawaii…I performed at night and during the day I was Mamacita.”
(Source: Courant 2004)
Charo may project some stereotypes: a Spanish sex symbol who loves to sing and dance. But, she’s in on the joke. She’s smart (the woman speaks 4 languages), very funny, and she’s managed to stay relevant for decades by being true to herself and being very good at what she does. If she was pretty but a piss-poor guitarist, she wouldn’t have had such a lengthy career. Talent gives you stamina. Kind of like Dolly Parton. She’s in on the joke, too. That’s what I love about these women.
Charo is an award-winning Flamenco guitarist. She was classically trained by AndrÃ©s Segovia, a world renowned master guitarist. Here is some footage of Segovia teaching. This dude was amazing.