BAREFOOT IN THE HEAD – Radio Documentary

THE SURPRISING STORY OF BALEARICA (Written and produced by Simon Poole)

Danny Rampling traces the history of Balearic music and Ibiza. When the word ‘Ibiza’ is put next to ‘music’, you might think 4/4 rhythms and repetitive beats. But that’s only half the story. ‘Barefoot in the Head’ traces the musical and cultural history of the island from the early fifties to the end of the eighties.

During Franco’s regime, oppressed minorities and dissidents flocked here, seeking refuge from the regime on the mainland. The resulting melange of misfits, waifs and strays became the core of one of the most vibrant musical scenes on earth. The film stars and the beautiful people flooded to the island, and Ibiza became synonymous with glitz and decadence. The ‘superclubs’ of today were once nothing more than small fincas or farmhouses in the countryside; glamorous hangouts of rock stars and aristocrats. But soon a new type of club would develop – and the world would never be quite the same again.

‘Barefoot in the Head’ examines the characters, the venues and the music of this important cultural centre. Much maligned, often misunderstood, this programme puts the island in context. Barely policed, exquisitely beautiful, and almost a republic of its own, the island was a kind of paradise.

We visit the first ‘club’ Las Dalias, which became a meeting point for these waifs and strays. Moving into the sixties, and Ibiza becomes a stop on the hippy trail, and also attracts draft dodgers from the USA. This vibrant artistic community begins to attract the international jet set, and they soon begin to frequent the newly opened Pacha club. The island becomes synonymous with glamour, style and decadence.

The music is disco, soul, funk and jazz, with a heavy dose of European pop. As we move towards the eighties, a new club arrives on the scene – Amnesia. This is a place that would change the world.

Contributors:

Nino (AKA Captain Birdseye. An Argentine political refugee who has become part of the scenery of the island) Carlos Diaz (Early DJ from Argentina, arrived 1984) Steve Norman (Ex Spandau Ballet guitarist, saxophonist and percussionist. Came to the Island in the eighties and liked it so much he stayed) DJ Alfredo (the most important living man in dance music. Revolutionised the notion of ‘clubbing’ with his eclectic sets at club ‘Amnesia’) Sis (Everyone knows Sid. Came to Ibiza because he like the ‘Z’ in it, and ended up promoting bands like TomTom Club and Duran Duran) Willy Crichton (Arrived in Ibiza in 1959 bar and club owner) Anthony Pike (Owner of hotel ‘Pikes’ and ex- Grace Jones paramour) Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold, Nancy Noise.

(c) BBC Radio

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