Los Vidrios Quebrados — “Ficciones”/”Fictions”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — March 15, 2023


763) Los Vidrios Quebrados — “Ficciones”/”Fictions”

You wanna be a paperback writer? Well, the Beatles-inspired Los Vidrios Quebrados (The Broken Glass) “wanna make fictions”! The Chilean garage classic “Ficciones”/”Fictions” is “included in compilations of the all-time best tracks of South American rock history.” (liner notes to the CD reissue of Fictions)

Los Vidrios Quebrados is “unanimously considered as the great lost band of Chilean rock and, along with Los Mac’s [see #123, 203] were the prime movers of psychedelic rock in the country.” (liner notes to Fictions). And that ain’t no fiction!

The notes elaborate:

In a list of the pioneers of Chilean psychedelic rock music, it is impossible to omit the [band]. They are among the most important band in this musical style to emerge from Latin America during the 1960s.  [It had] just one single, “Friend” . . . and one album, “Fictions” (1967) . . . . A love of the Beatles, the Kinks, Yardbirds, and the Byrds united three of its members, who studied law at the Catholic University. . . . [Juan Mateo O’Brien, guitarist and lyricist, notes that] “Oddly, we sang in English and had a Spanish name, whereas the other groups had English names and sang in Spanish. Everything with us was the other way around from the norm in the Chilean musical atmosphere.[“] . . . The band obtained a recording contract at their first public appearance as Los Vidrios Quebrados, in a festival of the Catholic University, in 1965. . . . [O’Brien says that] “At our first concert, we played three songs and we had a record contract!”

liner notes to Fictions

O’Brien also notes that “we were young university students, we were very arrogant, arrogant and smug. We made music that we felt was ahead of the times, with a very high vision of ourselves.” (https://soloartistaschilenos.cl/?p=17569)

Founding member Héctor Sepúlveda recalls that:

Los Vidrios Quebrados began in 1965 at the Catholic Law School. . . . We started with instruments made by ourselves and we played in schools. . . . When we were studying law we started out calling ourselves The Lawyers, then we called ourselves Los Cuervos, until finally we became Los Vidrios Quebrados. We started doing covers of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds . . . . To get a song out, I had to go to a wurlitzer [jukebox] that was in a business near my house, to catch the melodies and tones and then I would come home to get it out. We cut the guitars, we glued them and we assembled the frets by eye and saw. . . .

I went to England in 1969. The idea was to go together with Los Vidrios Quebrados, but it couldn’t be done . . . . In England I played on the street and the best I achieved was opening for the Family group at The Marquee . . . where even Hendrix played.

We sang in English to differentiate ourselves from the commercial music of the time, the New Wave [Nueva Ola]. . . . The lyrics spoke of the things that happened to us on a daily basis, of the lack of freedom, of those tied up for having long hair, in short, we wanted to be spokespersons for people who were experiencing the same thing, in a very formal world. Although we started doing covers, all the songs on our album were original. Parenthetically, we recorded the Fictions album in just 9 hours.


Ana Maria Hurtado says that “Sepúlveda returned to Chile in 1971 and joined former Blops [see #541] drummer Pedro Greene to form the jazz-rock group Nuevas Direcciones in 1975 . . . . He is currently the only one from Los Vidrios Quebrados who continues with music, giving guitar classes at his house, parallel to his profession as an astrologer.” (https://www.musicapopular.cl/grupo/los-vidrios-quebrados/)

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