1965: Los Saicos - “Demolición”

Music is vital. Music never gets old. But what about battle cries? What about the power of watts gone by? What about the pioneering noise of snot nosed kids who made a tremendous racket because they had nothing better to do? Can they do it again when they are old men?

I asked myself those questions as I attended a concert headlined by living legends Los Saicos, who, in case you were not aware, invented punk. Back in 1965 these Lima, Peru adolescents recorded and released “Demolición”, a song under two minutes long that manages to be rocking in the noisiest way, with singer Erwin Flores proclaimed his general desire to decimate a train station in the hoarsest, most sneering of voices. One guitar strums the chords festively while the other hovers like a surfing helicopter; it’s a thriving song, hard and ugly. No wonder it’s considered the unknown cornerstone in the farthest reaches of the punk’s DNA.

One needs reminded that great songs don’t die, or are preserved as long and as good as giant turtles. Witnessing a reformed (and quite grey) Saicos play “Demolición” twice in front of a Spanish speaking crowd going apeshit over some old men reviving their rocanrol fantasies made me think that a) These guys sound remarkably good for a bunch of oldsters who haven’t been active for a long time and b) This song kicks ass and immediately grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go until you thrash and jump and pogo and scream and dance and do everything that music is supposed to do with you. I wouldn’t know since I am Spanish speaking myself, but I bet you don’t need to sing along to every nuance of the lyrics to get the power of what they are trying to convey.

It’s only rock n’ roll, the Rolling Stones once said. But it’s also fucking Rock n’ Roll. Secreting endorphins and reflecting in the now, that life is happening at this very moment and everything’s real. It’s everything this music aspires to be and it affects the listener, no matter the language or the time that has passed.

What I’m sure about is that Los Saicos weren’t thinking about their legacy when they wrote and recorded this song (How could they? They are singing about tearing down the fucking train station, for crying out loud!), yet here we are and “Demolición” sounds as menacing and vital as anything released on Goner or your favorite scum garage joint connection. It probably represents the very essence of rock n’ roll, distilled to the very core elements — simple yet aggressive instrumentation and performance, angry youth singing mad about something or other no matter if it’s important or not, strong rhythm to dance or to destroy your room to. That makes it great to a lot of us, something we feel the need for in our life. And surprisingly, considering the nihilistic time and attitude it portrays, it has aged quite well.

Here’s fan filmed footage of the show I attended, so you can grasp how the band sounded and the crowd’s reaction. It was quite a great show, I have to say.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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