Buenos Aires, AR – Feb. 17, 2010
I’ve been covering all types of punk music on my tour of South America from hardcore, to Oi! to ska, but I’ll admit I’ve been a little remiss offering coverage of the rockabilly and psychobilly scenes.
There are varying reasons for this, but I promise to do a better job from now on and what better place to start than Mundo Bizarro (Bizarre World), the rockabilly themed cocktail lounge and grill in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Kitu and Anita from Salon Pueyrredon met me at the bar and introduced me to the manager (plus DJ, bartender, decorator, etc.) Pablo Pignatta (AKA Pinata) who has been on the rockabilly scene in Buenos Aires since it’s birth over 20 years ago. Pablo has played an important part of growing the scene from a few dozen dedicated cats in the 1980’s to over 300 plus folks today. He’s traveled to to the U.S. to participate in things like Viva Las Vegas and The Hootenanny and as he stated right off in our interview, rockabilly is his life.
While Mundo Bizarro draws a diverse local crowd, it attracts rockabilly fanatics from all over the world. Once you walk in the place you understand why. The bar is meticulously decorated in a retro West Coast cocktail lounge theme, complete with a deep red color scheme and lighting, Betty Page renderings (all from local artists) and stuffed deer heads on the wall. I felt right at home.
If you go on a Wednesday, you’ll be treated to Pablo’s own extensive collection of rockabilly music all night long, including CDs of favorite local rockabilly bands.
Speaking of local favorites, Pablo is so steeped in the scene that he also finds time to manage a legendary Buenos Aires Rockabilly band Los Primitivos. Like Pablo, Los Primitivos has been on the scene for over 20 years and as anyone who’s played in a band will tell you that’s like 100 normal years.
These guys play their own original Spanish rockabilly music as well as English language covers of rockabilly and neo rockabilly classics. As I interviewed Phonzie and Eurocat from the band, Pablo played one of their latest CDs which featured a unique and very cool cover of Social Distortion’s Ball and Chain. Needless to say they are excited about Social Distortion’s upcoming stop in Buenos Aires.
Once again, good vibes abounded as the cats from Los Primitivos and Pablo proved to be incredible resources for plugging me in to the punk, psychobilly and rockabilly scene here. As I was leaving, Pablo invited me back anytime and said that whenever I was in Buenos Aires to consider Mundo Bizarro the official bar of Punk Outlaw and I will.
If you find yourself in Buenos Aires and you are into rockabilly or you just like to have a good time, drop by Mundo Bizarro, have Pablo fix you one of his signature martinis. Like me, I’m pretty sure you’ll walk out with a few more friends than you had before you walked in.