Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

Dictionaries always provide two meanings towards subcultures. “A cultural subgroup differentiated by status, ethnic background, residence, religion, or other factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member, or one culture of microorganisms derived from another.”

Yet Rock music has grown up as one major counter culture, and with the decades gone by it has been able to provide fertile grounds for the seeds of many subcultures around the world. Today, a particular nation cannot claim the ownership of Rock as it is belongs to the world.

‘Rolling’… is the name given to an urban style of Argentina, whose popularity exploded in 1995. A synonym of this tribe is the word "stone" or “rolling stones”. This subculture characterized by their aesthetic belief’s was based on various influences and “Mick Jagger”, the rock legend, co-founder of The Rolling Stones in the early 60’s. It is also characterized by his followers like the rolling rock, and the type of behaviors that are characteristic of the "culture neighborhood."

In 60’s the band “Rolling Stones” was hailed around the world as well as in Argentina. They died out quickly but the bar bands they inspired in Buenos Aires cultivated a rabid following that coalesced into the “Rolinga” or Rolling subculture.

“Rolingas” are identifiable by their Polynesian cargo cult style deification of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger hair styles, and disdainful attitude for anything that isn’t “Rolinga”. They heavily borrow customs from soccer hooligans, so concerts are cramped affairs with chanting fans, giant flags with epithets, and the occasional streak of violence.

The “Rolingas” are fans of the style of music they created, the rolling rock, which they call simply "rock and roll."

They are ardent followers of bands such as ‘Street’ , ‘Mice Parade’ , ‘Intoxicados’ , ‘Los Piojos and ‘Sons of the West’, besides a large number of bands playing rolling on the track "underground" as ‘Gardeweg’, ‘the brat’, ‘Slumber’, ‘La Covacha’, ‘The 25’, ‘creature’ etc.

Now, Buenos Aires based Rolingas are one good example of ‘how Rock music spread around world’ and was adopted in various degrees.

By Pathum Punchihewa

Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror (02nd December 2010)


Anonymous said...

This subculture (named "rolinga" or "stone") started in the 80s and become more visible and popular in 1995 (because the media put it focus in it), with the first time that The Rolling Stones played in Argentina. The high popularity (especially in urban working class youth) continued until the end of the 90s. By the way, the names of the Argentine bands who imitated The Rolling Stones (and are considered "rolingas" bands) are wrong in some cases.

"Mice Parade" is the name in English of Ratones Paranoicos (we don't say or write "Las Piedras Rodantes", we say and write The Rolling Stones; we don't say "Reina", we say Queen...; you have to write the name how it is, no matter the language), the first band identified with the rolinga subculture (this band is from Buenos Aires and started in 1986). "The Brat" is La Mocosa, "Sons of the West" is Hijos del Oeste, and there aren't bands named ·"Creature", "Street", "Slumber" or "Gardeweg", even if I translate this words to Spanish.

On the other hand, the "rolingas" are fans of The Rolling Stones, but they listen and go to concerts of many Argentine bands, where are included the "rolingas" bands (bands who imitate the sound and, many times, the image of The Rolling Stones) and many other Argentine bands who are influenced by the English band but not so notoriously, or some times bands who are very little (if not nothing) influenced by The Rolling Stones. Some of them listen also big artists and bands like Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Ramones, AC/DC, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or even bands or artists of blues, reggae or folk.

Today the subculture is not so popular how in the last years of the 90s, but in the biggest Argentine cities (especially in Buenos Aires and it metropolitan area) there is a very healthy number of undeground "rolingas" bands.

Anonymous said...

Bands that can be considered "imitators" of The Rolling Stones are Ratones Paranoicos (the first, and was crucial on the conformation of the "rolinga" subculture), Blues Motel, Viejas Locas, Jóvenes Pordioseros, La Covacha, La 25, Balas Perdidas, La Pulposa, Guasones, La Colosa, La Mocosa, Hijos del Oeste, Barrios Bajos, Ojos Locos, Motor Loco, and many other bands who are really underground.

The most part of this bands imitate The Rolling Stones but are influenced also by Chuck Berry, AC/DC, Ramones, The Stooges, Sex Pistols, The Who or Argentine bands like Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota (very importante band started in the 70s and a.k.a. "Los Redondos", "Los Redonditos", "Los Redonditos de Ricota" or "Patricio Rey"), La Renga, Los Piojos (in its first years this band was considered "rolinga", but later changed it "Stone" sound)... or even by the most important "rolingas" bands (Ratones Paranoicos, Viejas Locas, La 25...). And there is influences that become from outside of rock and roll, like B.B. King, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, La Mississippi Blues Band (Argentina blues band), Memphis La Blusera (Argentine blues band too), Bob Marley, Resistencia Suburbana (Argentine reggae band), Los Pericos (another Argentine reggae band), Bob Dylan, León Gieco (Argentine folk solist)...

In a "second group" of bands who are listened or followed by rolingas, there are bands who are influenced by The Rolling Stones but no so strongely, like Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota (band older than the rolinga subculture, and, in fact, influenced the subculture in some way, like in the "independent spirit" -the value of not being commercial or sponsored by big discographic companies-), Los Piojos, Los Gardelitos, Mancha de Rolando, Intoxicados, Callejeros...

And there are bands followed by many rolingas who aren't influenced by The Rolling Stones (or there is a very little influence), like La Renga, Divididos or Bersuit Vergarabat. Maybe there is a last group of another bands and artist who are listened by very few rolingas (but someone always is in the public), like Andrés Calamaro (solist), Charly García (solist), Attaque 77 or Catupecu Machu. And there are some rolingas who listen or go sometimes to concerts of some bands of blues, folk, reggae, pop (when I say pop, I say the Argentine artist Fito Páez for example, not Madonna) or cumbia (a Colombian music genre very popular in Argentina).

Pathum Punchihewa said...

Thanks heaps for the detailed comment.

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