Thanks to my priest-musician friend Joaquim Loiola Pereira, I got a copy of of Saudades do Nandinho just this evening. Have been tuned into it for the last hundred minutes or so… and did it bring back memories!
The Sixties were a strange time in Goa. My folks had returned home (from Brazil) just then. But they soon realised that “their home” they had returned to, was a confusing and fast-changing place. Jobs were scarce. Electricity was still to reach the villages, including ours! Bizarre things (since these were then, still, largely uncomprehensible) were happening on the political front. It was in those times that Nandinho grew up.
He passed away, untimely and in his early fifties in July 2007. In between, he was one of the powerful voices (and strummers… and more) of a generation. A generation born in Portuguese Goa, who saw ‘their’ language being eroded before their eyes, and then rebuilt in a museumised way when tourism grew here and needed an experience of The Exotic after the 1980s.
A year later after his death, a collection of his MP3s were put together. I didn’t know Nandinho Lobato de Faria in real-life. But one had heard his name a great deal.
A search in cyberspace yields hardly any hits. This one, an obituary mention, is from Joel de Souza’s Newsclips of 2007 July:
Matildes (also the sister of the late student-activist Cyril Pacheco, another friend, who died untimely due to malaria), put together this set of MP3s. It has some 36 numbers, 19 solos and the rest with the bands he performed with) was keen to pay some kind of tribute to him. I think it’s a very nice idea. If only if it could be heard by more people who listened to Nandinho in real life. Cyberspace could help!
To put it together, she apparently collated the music from a range of places. So, some recordings show it. It’s a kind of rough-cut (but very nostalgic) recording of Nandinho’s music. You can hear instructions being shouted across to the band sometimes, which, I think, lends to the authenticity.
The solo numbers include: Todo Acabou, Jambalahiah (instrumental), Delailah, Rosa Rosita, Disco Voador, La Bamba, Last Thing On My Mind, Maezinha, Manha de Carnival, Portuguese Medley, Minha Terra, Kangassera, Nao Precisa Brigar, Quem Disse Quem Nao, San Joao, Saudades, Black Is Black and two other numbers.
With the bands, Nandinho is part of the performances for Anoche, Autumn Leaves, Blue Spanish Eyes (a song that unfailingly reminds me of my late mum’s singing with her school-mate Marjorie Aguiar accompanying on the piano, on All India Radio), Cavalo, Carribbean Medley, Hava-na-gila, Just Say I Love Her, Love Story, Manha de Carnaval, Maria Isabel, Cavalo, Mustaffa, Quando Quando Quando, Mando, That’s a Song I’d Like to Sing, Maria Isabel and Hava na gila.
It took me back to the 1960s… confusing times in Goa, specially for its Catholic population, caught in a change it was only too ill-equipped to cope with. Lovely bitter-sweet memories, as Nandinho sings those songs (which continued for some more decades, and probably in a smaller way, now too, in the Latin Quarter of Panjim, where Nandinho’s home was close to where the Herald publishes from in recent years).