The Prisoners’ kermesse singing “Sex” in a Catholic school

For us, who were just lost boys in a country more and more turbulent, the event meant the possibility of thinking that everything could be, that young Chileans could think, irresponsibly at times, in many things and plan and achieve what we were started to perceive that it would be possible.


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* By Luis Campos, Doctor in Anthropology. Professor at the School of Anthropology at UAHC and the Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies (CIIR).

On April 30, 1986, 33 years ago, the board of directors of the first student center elected by popular vote at the Colegio Hispano Americano (CHA) organized the recital of an emerging Chilean rock group called Los Prisioneros. We all knew that 1986 was the decisive year. After the protests began in 1983, it was expected that the dictatorship would end at last. Participating in the marches that multiplied everywhere and student struggles, we had joined the wave of democratization that should flood Chile thereafter. For the same reason, throughout the year 1985 and supported by the last elected board with indirect voting, we fought for universal elections in which all students from the 7th to the 4th Media would pay. I do not know if we understood the transcendence that this situation could have, being in the middle of the dictatorship and with a manifest opposition of many proxies, which did not see with good eyes that election process. But the Basque priests who administered the school were not intimidated and authorized the campaigns and the voting. And we won.

From that day we began to link with the other centers of secondary students who fought for the defense of public education in a Chile that was becoming increasingly unequal. And while the Prisoners would just launch Pateando Piedras a few months later, they already represented the concerns of this youth that, having grown up in dictatorship, demanded new spaces of freedom. And there we were, that without being so poor and without feeling so imprisoned, we added ourselves to that change that then lived the Chilean society.


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Mixture of naive ingenuity and delusions of grandeur for the success achieved in the election, we spent weeks thinking about what we could do to further legitimize the changes we were living and that was when someone from the board suggested a concert with Los Prisoners I must admit that even though I was the President of the Student Center, I was not the one of the occurrence. Moreover, my musical tastes were close to Eduardo Gatti, Napalé, Eduardo Peralta, Silvio Rodriguez, Hugo Moraga, Los Jaivas and Congress and beyond Soda Stereo, I did not listen to music that was not directly protest. That’s why when the Prisoners told me, I had only a vague idea of ​​who they were and what they were singing. The voice of the 80s? Who killed Marilyn? Sex?. Anyway, the deliberation was quick and it was agreed to contact the group and we defined the date: April 30. In this respect years later I said the following:

“I remind you that 1986 was the year that Pinocchio fell. And we thought of doing the recital on April 30th. Eve of May 1 in the most combative year that Chile had, with cacerolazos, power cuts and everything else. That if that was a revolutionary act. We did not know at the time that April only had 30 days (Luis Eugenio Campos Muñoz).

“To be precise, the recital on the basketball courts of the old Hispanic American School was on April 30, 1986 and the trio was at its height (still Under) because in September of that year they just kicked out the Stones. That night as a Student Center we did the first outdoor recital that is remembered in school and we won a lot of money because there were many people at the recital. There are many anecdotes from that day and memories. I’ll just say it was a great day. (Richard Olate Saavedra).

But everything had begun weeks before when a delegation from the Student Center where Carlos Ortiz and Alejandro Atisha were met at the Drugstore in Providencia with the manager of Los Prisioneros and agreed to hold the recital:

“I also remember that when we went to the Drugstore we looked like the Carmela of the Pergola de las Flores haha, between nervous shit and not knowing what to do. The manager took care of us and we closed the deal very well “(Alejandro Atisha Awad).

Or as another protagonist of that story says frick:

“And I have to say that the total payment was 99 thousand pesos at the time. They took the stage after the opening of the band of the school that included Several próceres and the prisoners played the album La Voz de los 80 completo and they left without an encore “. (Richard Olate Saavedra).

For two weeks we plan everything in great detail. We thought that the school auditorium was too small for the event and as Richard Olate says, for the first time we held an event in the Hispanic courts. We made a poster without a photo that only said The Prisoners, April 30, 9:00 pm Colegio Hispano Americano and we made many copies from the photocopier of the same school, administered by the famous Father Pérez, with his jokes and his oranges from China. And we went out to stick them around the neighborhood, a delegation went to Mary Help of Christians, another to the Divine Shepherdess and how much tree and post we found was left with a poster on a letter and handwritten sheet. In the same way we contacted the bottling company Andina and they set the stage and gave us drinks to sell on consignment, so you had to be very strict and not lose a single fanta to earn money. In this regard, a small anecdote of the night is remembered:

“I told the Turkish Atisha, who was in charge of the lucas, that we were not giving the drinks to the friends, as they were consigned, we would end up paying for them … Well, a few minutes before the recital began, he sent me to call “Urgent” the manager of The Prisoners … I come to the room that we had enabled as a dressing room and I get the claim … -How is it that the group does not give him a drink … That goat tells us that we have to pay first … – ” I could not stand the laugh … I fell back with laughter … I took a java and I apologized … That night I felt we were well protected financially … The Turkish Atisha was the man ..! (Carlos Ortiz)

We mobilized all our colleagues, since the Directive had been made up of second, third and fourth grade students and we distributed the different tasks. The Crazy Climent, with a tremendous stick “tree tutor”, was in charge of security and Turkish Atisha, of the collection. I was free to supervise the different activities and there was no issue or activity that was not planned, all aimed at having a great night:

“I remember perfectly that day, we could not believe that they were there playing, that we shit we sent that day” (Jesus Soto Palomares).

But not everything was easy. The prisoners who should arrive at 20:00 to prepare everything, just came to appear as at 20:45 and Loco Climent came to receive them threatening with his stick, while I bitch no less than Jorge Gonzalez, the apologizing He would go quickly to the stage to get ready and prepare for the recital.

As another protagonist says:

an unforgettable night. I remember they arrived in a citron packed with their equipment on the grid! !!! Remarkable. “(Gonzalo Figueroa)

“Do not forget also … The milestone of being singing” Sex “in a religious school … The beginning of the uncover … !!” (Carlos Ortiz).

And everything could happen because finally the recital was given without any problem. It lasted exactly two hours, the entire Voice of the Eighties was sung and the energy, although it threatened to cut itself several times and they felt in the distance the already daily sirens that augured a hard night of fight with the police forces, The Prisoners concluded their spectacle, they left the stage and they left quickly in the same citroneta in which they had arrived, with their 99 thousand pesos, tired of taking Coca-Cola and with one more show in the body. In September of that year they would launch Pateando Piedras and from then on it would be impossible to have them again in a recital like the one they gave that day at the Colegio Hispano Americano.

For us, who were just lost boys in a country more and more turbulent, the event meant the possibility of thinking that everything could be, that young Chileans could think, irresponsibly at times, in many things and plan and achieve what we were started to perceive that it would be possible.


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