Going For It: Secos Y Molhados
Posted: Nov 10 2016
Shirtless, beaded, braided, bedecked with trinkets and totems, leathered, feathered, and face-painted white with black-ringed eyes. Ney Matogrosso was Rocky before his Horrorful Show, Simmons before he could Kiss, a kabuki king with macho mysticism tripped out on the hippie Brasilia scene.
As the magnetic main man of early 70s band Secos e Molhados, Ney sang the high-pitched Portugese poetry – lyrics adapted from writers Manuel Bandeira and Vinicius de Moraes - that led his costumed crew to legacy.
End of the sixties Rio de Janeiro, the arts n’ crafts peddling, ex-stage actor was moonlighting in a vocal quartet as the countertenor-to-come-for; then in 1971 he set his styles on Sao Paulo where he joined glam guys Joao Richardo and Gerson Conrad. In less than 18 months they were a feral phenomenon (thanks significantly to Ney’s stage presence), selling a million records, and stationing themselves as the sickest psychedelic South American sound.
It was a fusion of Rock-Tropacalia, mixed up MPB, funky fado, experimental orgasm, and an indigenous injection into blasted Brazilian camp. Sex appeal was too simple an echo for the icon Matogrosso who is credited not only for cultivating a distinct identity around his singular voice but also with creating SeM’s theatrical make-up and outfits.
Even when the controversial character stuck it out solo he received the same colored accolades as his junk-jeweled, bronzed bod - Golds and Platinums. Dare to dance, make-up yourself to make yourself move, and trance out to Secos e Molhados’ tender gender toss-up.