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Ibiza 92

Cuando Montserrat conoció a Freddie

By Pablo Sierra
Photos courtesy of Juan Suárez

In the middle of that glorious decade known as the Eighties, Spain was taking firm steps towards becoming the modern society that we know today.

There was a hurry to take advantage of the opportunities that the Barcelona Olympic Games and the Seville Expo would provide. Music, and Ibiza, wasn’t about to get left behind. Pino Sagliocco, an Italian based in Ibiza, escaped the town of his birth, Mezzogiorno, to become one of the boldest promoters in the world. Based In Ibiza at the beginning of the 80s, Sagliocco was in the right place, at the right time, when he invented Ibiza’92.“What makes Pino Sagliocco great is his ability in thinking bigger, better and further than the rest of us mortals.

That’s what makes him unique and incomparable.” said Juan Suárez, one of the collaborators who worked with Pino on the festival, held in KU discotheque, that hosted concerts from la crème de la crème of the music world, between 1987 and 1990. Grace Jones, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Mick Jones from The Clash, Chris Rea, El Último de la Fila, Hombres G, and Ramoncín were just some of the great names that played.

Frank Zappa attended the concerts and happily chatted to journalists and music lovers about how music was changing culture, something he unfortunately didn’t get to see himself due to his premature death in 1993. Suárez continued “Zappa was living proof that when superstars come to Ibiza they are so much more relaxed, because they get to escape their normal routine”.

Before Ibiza’92, Suárez had already been on the KU stage to present James Brown in concert (which was another Sagliocco production). The Godfather of Soul was in the twilight of his career, and although he gave the promoters a hard time with his extravagant requests, the music that Brother Brown delivered that night made the walls drip with soul. An incredible concert.

Before Ibiza’92, Suárez had already been on the KU stage to present James Brown in concert (which was another Sagliocco production). The Godfather of Soul was in the twilight of his career, and although he gave the promoters a hard time with his extravagant requests, the music that Brother Brown delivered that night made the walls drip with soul. An incredible concert.

Sagliocco’s wish came true on 30th May 1987, and was filmed by the cameras from state channel, Spanish Television, with two thousand people in the audience and a production that cost 300 million pesetas, a large amount of money at the time (equivalent to the annual salary of three footballers from Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, for example). Caballé, as journalist Jacinto Antón wrote in El País, was led by Freddie Mercury dressed in a tuxedo on to the stage and this image entered into the history of music and sports. Five years later the song was the official anthem of the Barcelona Olympic Games.

At a time when the internet was still a distant dream Suarez recalled that “you had to travel to London, Madrid, Barcelona, Los Angeles or the fashion capitals to hire the big artists. Negotiations and contracts were made by telex (note for millennials: the telex, or teletype, was a device that allowed to the sending of typed messages, an analogical fusion between the 19th telegraph and the 21st century WhatsApp, that thirty years ago, was very useful for war correspondents and event promoters to send stories or contracts to the other parts of the world).

This method was followed by fax and telephone. However the personal presence of the promoter was important because it gave credibility, economic guarantees and visibility for projects” The technical side of things was also a challenge. In the late Eighties, organising a festival on the island – the Sueños de Libertad festival is a recent example – was much more expensive and complex than organising it on the Spanish peninsula.

“Setting up a show on the island costs ten times more work, money, passion and effort than in any other part of the world. Back then there were no light or sound companies on the island that had the necessary equipment for a concert.

This meant having to bring in amplifiers, lights and sound equipment from outside of the island, and this made it very difficult to organise any concerts. You had to resort to playback at times, especially when it was recorded for television, for takes, repeats and so on. And some artists would only perform with playback because they loved it so much,” said Suarez.

However, Suárez considers that “Ibiza’92 was a groundbreaking event, both visually and musically, it was well worth the effort”. “The island was then known as a destination for family tourism, or for the British, partying in Sant Antoni. The international broadcast of the festivals, and the number of well-known artists who performed, generated a new trend that turned the island into an unmissable destination for music and entertainment. Pino Sagliocco planted the seed of what Ibiza is now: the mecca of global electronic music “.

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Legendary Hotels: The Mutiny

The Mutiny: Sex, drugs and a monkey with a Rolex

By Pablo Burgués

In the 1960s, Miami was a glorified retirement home where the wildest thing you could do was to participate in an illegal electric wheelchair race. However, the end of the 1970’s saw everything change, and this sunny haven of peace became one of the bloodiest and most violent cities in the USA.


What the hell happened? Well, a handful of drug traffickers from Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia came to the city with the “noble” aim of gaining control of the drug trafficking route in the southern United States. These people mostly let their guns do the talking, and pretty soon Miami became the city with the most homicides in the whole country. The coming and going of corpses became so extreme that the county morgue, having more dead bodies than they could handle, had to rent a refrigeration truck from Burger King. Grilled tastes better !!!

In the middle of this bloodbath was a paradisiacal place where peace and friendship reigned called The Mutiny. This hotel, halfway between The Playboy Mansion and Studio 54, was described by its owner, Burton Goldberg as “the place where anything could happen”… and, oh boy, did those thingthings happen!

Located in the Coconut Grove neighbourhood (South Beach), the place had 130 thematic rooms, with each one more and more extravagant, and it was the place to stay for the biggest and naughtiest stars on the planet: Paul Newman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Led Zeppelin, Don Johnson, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and of course the original latin lover himself: Don Julio Iglesias.

Big as all these dudes and dudesses were, the guys who really ruled The Mutiny were the drug traffickers, who had by now turned the hotel into their personal operations centre. Through this Nar- Coworking passed some authentic legends of the chang such as El Perro, Super Papi, El Raspao and Mr Pablo Escobar himself. Although without a doubt the most ‘chingón’ of all was Mario Tabraeu.
It is said that this lovely human paid $25,000 to fill the bathtub in his room with Dom Perignon, and that he walked around with a chimpanzee who wore some gangster gold chains and a Rolex. It is rumoured that Tony Montana, the character played by Al Pacino in the film Scarface, is inspired on him (Mario Tabraeu, not the monkey).

For years The Mutiny’s installations were in international waters, a kind of free trade zone where the jet-set, the police and the narcos shared a table and happily did business. However, the bad guys begat more bad guys, and pretty soon it became a haven of hired assassins. The hotel stopped being cool and started to become very scary indeed and soon many of the hotel’s clients stopped going.

In 1981 a certain Miguel Miranda, a Santeria drug trafficker who used to drink the blood of slaughtered animals, murdered one of the hotel’s waitresses. Her body appeared days later in Key West, wrapped in one of The Mutiny’s bedsheets. This murder was the final blow for a business that was already in decline, and it finally closed its doors in 1984.

In the mid 1990’s the hotel was reopened by an important luxury hotel chain. It is still open today, but now there is no trace left of its decadent past and the wildest thing you could do on its grounds is snort a ginger detox juice.

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Addicted To Art: Adda Gallery Ibiza

Adda Gallery Ibiza: abducted by urban art

By Pablo Sierra

There are calls that change your life. When Anna Dimitrova, gallery owner and cultural manager, picked up the phone, she did not know that a few months later she would be setting up an art gallery in Ibiza.
When she hung up the phone, this native of Bulgaria, educated in Morocco, and who currently commutes between Barcelona and Paris, was almost instantly convinced to take up the challenge posed to her: to be the artistic heart of Paradiso Ibiza Art Hotel.

–Two years ago Diana Kunst called me and said: “Would you like to open a gallery in Ibiza?” The idea tempted me a lot and, at that moment, I saw everything clearly. I visited the building, which in the future would be the hotel, and I found it impossible not to fall in love with Paradiso.

This is a great example of who Dimitrova is: she isn’t a person to hide her emotions and she doesn’t mind doing drastic turns if passion is behind the wheel. Until 2007 she was dedicated to the world of advertising and communication. From then on she applied her knowledge to branding, marketing and investing her time in what she really loved; art. She especially loves urban art and she said: “There has been an explosion in street art, a real boom, and it is increasingly recognised by a larger audience. It has created authentic fans who follow their favourite artists around the world, and know everything about them. People are very motivated to see this type of art exhibition”. She currently curates artists such as: Escif, Ebok, Levalet, Spok, Smithe, Nuria Mora and Sebas Velasco.

“Desde pequeña me obsesionan la cultura y el arte. Cuando crecí tuve cabeza para darme cuenta de que era bastante mejor organizando que dibujando”, dice Dimitrova. Nobulo y Adda son el fruto de su esfuerzo y de su gusto por la belleza transgresora. A través de sus dos proyectos produce exposiciones por todos los rincones del planeta. En las dos ciudades donde duerme la mayor parte de las noches dirige y gestiona, respectivamente, sendos espacios expositivos: Montana Gallery, en Barcelona, y Adda&Taxie, en París. 

“Ever since I was young I have been obsessed with culture and art. When I grew up I realised that I was much better at organising than at drawing, “says Dimitrova. Nobulo and Adda are the fruit of her efforts, as well as her taste for transgressive beauty. She organises exhibitions in all corners of the world through these two projects. Anna currently directs and manages exhibitions in the two cities where she spends the majority of her time, precisely in Montana Gallery in Barcelona, and Adda & Taxie in Paris.

 In 2018 Paradiso became a part of her working life, as the place where she has launched Adda Gallery Ibiza: “The risk of filling a hotel with art is that the works end up being simple decoration. This does not happen in Paradiso for a very simple reason: the gallery is independent from the hotel, and although it is separate, it is at the same time connected to the rest of the facilities. We nourish each other, but each zone maintains its personality.” For Dimitrova, that fact that each room is dedicated to a different artist, and that the lobby is a place where art experiences occur is something more than the hotel’s hallmark. It is the soul of Paradiso because “works of art transmit the energy and experiences of their creators in the space where they are exposed”.

The coloured pills of the young Catalan graffiti artist Abel Iglesias (in May and June 2019) and the wild fauna that the Madrid muralist Sabek (in July and August 2019) expresses in his art will be the two individual exhibitions hosted at Adda Gallery Ibiza this season. In September and October 2019, the 4th edition of the collective exhibition “O”, will arrive in Paradiso; a visual ode to eroticism and sensuality, where artists such as Apollonia, Saintclair, Mark Bodé, Alphachanneling, Enric Sant and photographer Diana Kunst, Dimitrova’s great friend, will take part. During the summer, Jorge Arévalo’s illustrations, and the suggestive mixture of painting, photography and nudity by Eric Ceccarini, a Belgian artist based in Ibiza, will define the landscape in the Paradiso lobby.

“I love Spain because the urban artists who live in different cities talk and communicate with each other. They are in constantly in contact and carry out common projects that enrich them as creators. This happens less frequently in other countries such as France, for example. Scheduling an exhibition for an artist like Eric [Ceccarini] in the Ibiza gallery is very interesting because then there is a necessary interaction with local art. Since we opened, many artists from the island have passed through Paradiso to introduce themselves and show their work “, says Anna Dimitrova. She continued: “ Me, my Ibicencan gallery and the Paradiso Ibiza were like a UFO, landing in the middle of Cala de Bou. It was something that had never been seen before in this area. I am convinced that the light of the project will also attract the rest of the zone.” It is safe to say that it is already shining brightly.

“I love Spain because the urban artists who live in different cities talk and communicate with each other. They are in constantly in contact and carry out common projects that enrich them as creators. This happens less frequently in other countries such as France, for example. Scheduling an exhibition for an artist like Eric [Ceccarini] in the Ibiza gallery is very interesting because then there is a necessary interaction with local art. Since we opened, many artists from the island have passed through Paradiso to introduce themselves and show their work “, says Anna Dimitrova. She continued: “ Me, my Ibicencan gallery and the Paradiso Ibiza were like a UFO, landing in the middle of Cala de Bou. It was something that had never been seen before in this area. I am convinced that the light of the project will also attract the rest of the zone.” It is safe to say that it is already shining brightly.

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Terry O’Neil

The persistent, invisible photographer

By Pablo Burgués
All photos: ©Terry O´Neill / Iconic Images / courtesy MONDO

Once upon a time there was a young Englishman called Terry O’Neill who wanted to become a jazz drummer. It was the 1950’s, and our Terry dreamed of escaping to New York to learn from the masters of the scene. However Ryanair hadn’t been invented yet, and the tickets were way too expensive for him.

One cold morning, while he was eating his breakfast of baked beans and tea, he had the bright idea of becoming an air steward so that he could fulfil his dream of going to New York, for free. He got in touch with an airline who told him that getting a job in the airline’s technical photographic unit would help his chances of getting an air steward’s job, So O’Neill joined this department as a trainee. He took regular courses at art school and this awakened his interest in photojournalism.

One day as Young Terry was walking through Heathrow Airport he came across an elegant-looking man, wearing a suit and sleeping in the waiting room. The gentleman was surrounded by a group of Africans Chieftains, complete in full regalia, and the situation was so unique that he decided to take a photo.
The man in question was in fact Rab Butler, the British Home Secretary, and the photo, which ran in the papers soon after, was so successful that O’Neill was instantly inundated with work and he began working at popular London tabloid called The Daily Sketch. Overnight the drummer had become a photographer.

At the beginning of the 1960’s, photographers still worked with large and unwieldy cameras. Given the nature of the assignments O’Neill worked on, he couldn’t haul one of these cameras around so he went to a market and bought a 35mm camera, without knowing that this cheap tool of his would end up converting him into a legendary photographer. 

The camera’s small format and ease of use allowed him to move silently around his subjects, making him invisible, and achievachieving relaxed, natural images of a type that had never been seen before.

Moving onto 1963, he took some photos of a group you may have heard of: The Beatles. The photos were taken in the courtyard of Abbey Road Studios, where the group where recording their debut album. These photos were so damn cool that they became some of the first photos of a rock band to be published in the press.
They also brought him to the attention of some the most popular artists in the world and he soon began taking pictures of the big hitters including: The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra. Frank loved Terry’s work so much that they continued to work together over the next 30 years.

Another thing that makes O’Neill such a legend is the fact that he is extremely persistent. Before shooting his subject with his camera, he would often spend days or weeks with the artist, so much so that they ended up becoming friends with him. This in turn made the subject relax when in his presence, allowing for spontaneous and informal photos.

So we’ve reached the end of this little story about Terry O’Neill, a man who never achieved his dream of being a jazz drummer, but who, with his photos, converted a group of unknown kids into some of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll legends of all time. We at Concept Hotel Group are eternally grateful for this, and as a tribute, three of his most iconic photos will grace the walls of our Dorado Hotel forever and ever: The Beatles in the Abbey Road Studios courtyard (Room 409), Bruce Springsteen walking on Sunset Boulevard (Room 403) and Queen in one of their first studio sessions (Room 405).

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