Rumors abound as to why Os Mutantes, the seminal Brazilian tropicalia group, disbanded in the 1970s. One of the least pervasive, yet most convincing rumors:
Arnaldo Baptista decided the band would play a different brand of guitars and urged his brother Sergio Baptista, "From now on, we will play Gibson, the guitars of Jimmy Page."
Sergio, preferring a different make of guitar — presumably Fender — simply would not have it, and Arnaldo was subsequently sent into a catatonic downward spiral, later requiring institutionalization. The brothers underwent a typical Noel-Liam (Gallagher) rivalry for many several years until Sergio decided to let bygones be bygones.
In an act of brotherly kinship, Sergio invited Arnaldo to dinner, whereupon Arnaldo witnessed wall upon wall lined with Fender guitars. Arnaldo lost it again, once again requiring institutionalization.
Last summer, Arnaldo, after seeing the decrepit state of the once virile Jimmy Page, saw it fit to reform Os Mutantes. American audiences were able to view for the first time Arnaldo's wispy tendrils blowing in the Chicago night, his hammy grin showcasing years of near-insanity in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Miami alike.
Though publications such as the Chicago Tribune suggest last year's appearance at Pitchfork Music Festival was one of the top ten live music moments of the year, the audience seemed in on the sarcasm involved in a three-decades-in-the-making reunion. In other words, it was relieving that the festival was ending, the reunion much akin to seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Police. It seems like a good idea; you're glad to experience it, but...
Os Mutantes will release Everything is Possible later this year, a reissue of 1999's greatest hits collection, available through David Byrne's label, Luaka Bop, where an alternative biography may be viewed.
Arnaldo's grinnin' on showcase at these fine American metropolises: