Àngel Casas (Sants, Barcelona, 75 years old) defended the music of artists who did not go down the beaten track, he was godfather of Nova Cançó and was part of the New Journalism troop in Spain. Now, coming out of a nightmare of diseases and pain with the amputation of his legs that, as he says, has made him shorter … he works on another of his facets: that of a writer. In February it will come out Bakunin’s agony.
Ask. TV3 has remembered the journalist Casas and showman; in the Ateneu Barcelonès a reading of his literary work was made; The Catalan Academy of Music has awarded him … Is there an Àngel Casas without sufficient recognition?
Answer. Television is what has given me the most popularity and recognition. The only thing I have pending is to finish consolidating myself as a writer. Now in February I put out a new book, Bakunin’s agony. I think I’ve written books that are funny. The last novel, for example, was very bad, but of course, the pandemic caught me.
P. Why did you stop writing about music?
R. The seventies are my musical years, but I didn’t want to turn 50 and continue writing about music. I didn’t feel like it. I put down the magazine Vibrations, which I created myself. On television he was Popgrama in Madrid and the Musical Express in Barcelona. Already then he had proposed to the directors of TVE-Catalonia to make a talk-show, but they didn’t want to and it was what was later seen on TV3. And wrote in Frames, magazine that created the New Journalism in Spain. Then more came, but in Frames it was written differently. Elisenda Nadal is the best director I have ever had. Now I hardly listen to music. Let it be, Satisfaction… they can no longer be done, they are done. They have to invent others. So much time spinning to end up in hip-hop and reggaeton! It all started with the chumba-chumba of disco music and it has evolved for the worse. And the texts … regrettable. When he was alone in the hospital and the nights were long, he had the Joan Manuel Serrat discography on. I was crying thinking how this man has told it! There’s a song, Memories, which has a huge bad host explaining how memories are made to measure, you stretch them, you shrink them … Joan is the most important songwriter that has been in Spain in the second half of the twentieth century.
P. When he writes, he sometimes gets angry. For example, with the powerful: “You have dynamited our future […] Laugh, laugh, cursed ”(epilogue of Letter from a restless person)…
What affects the most is what happens closer. To not miss anything, subscribe.
R. Here is ideology. It comes from what I tell in the last story. I was very annoyed by an act of contempt from a very powerful and well-known man. I witnessed it.
P. For his stories, they have paired him with Quim Monzó and Sergi Pàmies.
R. I like them a lot, but we are different. It is because I published in Quaderns Crema and Jaume Vallcorba was very good as an editor. He corrected me and learned a lot with him.
P. The Church: the “business of fear,” he writes.
R. I respect that people have faith, but I do not understand that after two thousand years we continue to swallow certain stories. Esade must have the Church as business case. Take creationism: misogyny begins there. Because of Eva, they expel the couple from Paradise. For this to work, after the expulsion, the believers, who have a very big issue with sexuality, must swallow themselves and believe that there was sex between siblings, with children, incest, etc., because if not … it is impossible that of a couple multiply humanity in this way. It amazes me that very intelligent people believe. It can be explained by the fact of death. When you are close to death you realize that you do not want to die and there are those who console themselves by believing that they can buy a little bit of something there, in eternity, where someone shakes your hand … This fear makes religions grow, the Christian, the Muslim, the Jewish …
P. Are you afraid of death?
R. No. I am afraid of pain. I know it. Having pain is very beast. A friend told me about her father’s death. He was holding her hand and the last thing he said was, “Shit.” In a future story I tell a similar story. In stories I copy a lot and lie a lot.
P. On journalism (in Glory to God in the highest), one character says, “This blessed shitty profession. This false and corrupt profession, poisoned ”. Do you understand the loss of prestige journalism suffers?
R. I see. They have even offered me 35 euros to write an article! If they have offered it to me, it is because they are paying this! I did not accept for the professional dignity of my classmates, of the children who leave the faculty. They are crushing them.
P. How did we get here?
R. Bad management of newspapers; a writer must make a story for paper, radio, and the web; there are more journalists than needed …
P. Are you disappointed with the political situation?
R. It annoys me a lot. Before having everything I have had, we talked at home about going to live in Portugal: I would not have the problems of conscience that I have here, because it is not my country and I would not have to be aware of the goings-on that constantly come to light and they are a disgrace. You are ashamed of your contemporaries. I always talk about unfriendly Spain and virtual Catalonia. I have a friend who says that between the two of them he doesn’t know what to do. I am not interested in this policy. They are all not very serious, but I would like mine, here, to be more serious. At the very least, like the Basques. I can not do more with so much political stupidity. What we have does not serve us. Now politicians study and join the party. That is the worst thing that can happen to a person. A president who has only lived as a party … cannot know what life is.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.