Irreverent humor, romanticism and freshness were the keys to the success of Hombres G and the huge fan phenomenon that they unleashed in the mid-80s in Spain and Latin America, but also the contempt on the part of a critic -eminently male- to which time has not given the reason.
David Summers and his people talk about all this and much more in We have never been the handsome ones in the neighborhood, a new biography that they have just published in which they review their 37 years of history, with more than 20 million albums sold, from their beginnings as a punk band to their last tour of Resurrection, interrupted by covid-19.
In a musical scene marked by the experimentation of the Madrid Movida, the greatest transgression of Hombres G was to go it alone, try to be true to themselves and have fun, without fear of alternating songs with ska rhythm and delusional or politically incorrect lyrics with bare-chested romantic ballads.
In recent years they have received recognition in the form of awards such as the honorary Grammy and a Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts and the joy of verifying that they continue to fill auditoriums, while they already prepare what will be their next album.
These are some of the key moments and anecdotes that they evoke in the book, edited by Plaza & Janés and written by journalist Javier León Herrera.
Punk was key in the formation of Hombres G with its philosophy of ‘make it simple, your way’. David Summers, who was playing the clarinet at the time, changed course after seeing the film The Great Rock and Roll Swindle (1980) on the Sex Pistols.
Together with his childhood friend Javi Molina (drums) and a punk named Pepe they formed the group Los Residuos, which was soon to be joined by Dani Mezquita (guitar). They played for the first time in the College of Industrials of the Complutense with Alaska and the Pegamoids. In the book they remember those performances more for the spitting left and right and the total riot than for the music.
One day they found out that on the show Applause From the public channel, TVE, they were looking for musicians to record a ‘playback’ of a performance by Carmen and Antonio, Rocío Dúrcal’s children. They paid 5,000 pesetas.
There they presented themselves and that was how they met the man who would end up being the fourth member of Hombres G, the solo guitarist Rafa Gutiérrez. The video of the performance, with the recognizable profiles of some of them in the background, can be seen on YouTube.
The footprint of cinema
The four members of Hombres G were passionate about music. They listened from the Sex Pistols to the Beatles, from Squeeze and Police to Jackson Browne and Carole King, from Bruce Springsteen to Deep Purple or Pink Floyd, passing through the orchestral music of Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller.
Summers was also a cinephile by paternal inheritance and that imprint was reflected in his name. First they put on Los Bonitos Redford, but nobody was convinced and the G-Men came about because of the James Cagney film “G-Men” (1935).
For their first single, released in 1983, the group’s bet was a song called “Miracle in the Congo.” Two days before entering the studio, Summers composed another for the B-side without much pretense. His name was “Venezia”, inspired by a James Bond movie, and he was helped with the lyrics by a half-Italian girlfriend he had at the time. The rest is history.
Only four years later was released the partially autobiographical film of Suffers Mamon (1987), where Marta Madruga, already David Summers’ real-life partner, played the singer’s girlfriend, the one who “left with a posh child” and ignited the hatred of half adolescent Spain.
But the real protagonist of that episode was called Immaculate and she was David Summers’ first love at age 16. “I was getting more and more punk and she was getting more and more posh, until she left me for another pijín,” she recalls in the book.
Before giving one of his first concerts at the legendary Rock-Ola venue in Madrid, Summers found out that Macu was going to be there with her new boyfriend, so he ran home and composed the song to play it right under his nose. “I wrote it exclusively for that day, all I wanted to do was to fuck off the guy who had stolen my girlfriend,” he recalls.
The year that changed everything
After knocking unsuccessfully at the door of all multinationals, Paco Martín offered to publish their first album on a new label, Twins, which went on sale on March 11, 1985.
From then on, everything started to go very fast, but the day they remember as the beginning of the rest of their life was June 1, 1985, a concert at the Sala Astoria in Madrid to which they came by the hair and hungover, and where they were surprised by a crowd that chanted all their songs. That summer they did more than 60 concerts and by October they were already gold records.
From the beginning the concerts of Hombres G were mostly filled with crazed teenagers who threw bras on stage, when they did not climb themselves to the point of having to intervene the riot police on occasion.
They chased them wherever they went, they received avalanches of calls at all hours. Summers dedicated the famous song “Attack of the Crocodile Girls” to them. And if the phenomenon was strong in Spain, in Latin America it was even greater, they were called the Latin Beatles.
Latin America and the reunion
Due to wear and tear, the group separated in 1993, but for years their records continued to be sold, especially in Mexico, and in 2001 the idea of getting together again to give a concert in that country began to gain momentum.
In 2002 they went back into a studio and embarked on a tour of America where they could see that they were still filling large auditoriums and hanging ‘no tickets’ posters. Since then they have released four more albums, with a fifth coming soon.