Los Gatos, our Beatles: the story of the “Rock of the lost woman” and a bass player from another planet

Alfredo Toth, Oscar Moro, Litto Nebbia, Pappo and Ciro Fogliatta, the last formation of Los Gatos (Wikipedia)

In every band worth its salt there is a bass. So there’s a bassist in almost every band, so that’s a lot to talk about bassists.

From my point of view, the great bassist of Argentine rock, by permanence and style, is Alfredo Toth. Without detracting from anyone, when I have to draw a bassist I start with him. Despite those heroic bassists from the beginning of history, Emilio del Guercio de Almond or Alejandro Medina of manual, as thick as Alfredo, or maybe more. Not to mention Mr. Flavio, the lung of the Fabulous CadillacsChristian Basso of the port, Friction and The Leagues of Charly García. Lopez puppy in The grandparents of nothing has made a school, Diego Arnedo himself, the most flown of all, is in divided study material, already in Sumo marked differences with the rest. I fall short obviously. But landing on Alfredo Toth is reaching the zenith talking about the matter.

Bassist, singer, composer and producer among other things, Alfredo Toth was part of The cats When I was 17 years old. She recorded all the group’s albums, so obviously she was part of the great Lost Woman Rock, the gem of 1970 that set the pace for what would come later, an album that was decisive and recognized in the world of rock in Spanish. And also that song… Lost Woman Rockfairly.

“Rock of the Lost Woman” by Los Gatos

My cousins, friends and even an aunt I had were hippies. Growing up among hippies was not the healthiest for a child in those years. But it was certainly more fun than for other toddlers my age. Many records were listened to every day, I can perfectly remember the week that the record player came to my house and that LP. The cover caught my attention, that woman without a precise age, far from the stereotype of “cover girl” that they so well displayed on their magazine covers. People and Fausto Papetti’s records.

This one was weird.

And the songs that the long play included were even rarer. I clearly remember taking the bike out of the patio, where after eating my cousins’ hippie friends would begin to arrive, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a crazy guitar began to sound over drums and the bass, that bass that made me shake head uncontrollably After a while I found out that what I had heard was called Lost Woman Rock and it was new to Los Gatos.

The worst was days later, seeing those hippies beheading themselves trying to play it with their cheap guitars. There was one with Kuc bass with no gear trying to make it sound something like Toth did. It didn’t even look like it, which filled me with questions, it doesn’t seem that difficult, although none, not even one named Captain Memo and a year later would be lead from Rabid fish it was close to the crazy groove of that song.

Ciro Fogliatta, Alfredo Toth, Litto Nebbia, Kay Galiffi and Oscar Moro, the group of Los Gatos that arrived in Buenos Aires from Rosario and recorded La Balsa (Wikipedia)
Ciro Fogliatta, Alfredo Toth, Litto Nebbia, Kay Galiffi and Oscar Moro, the group of Los Gatos that arrived in Buenos Aires from Rosario and recorded La Balsa (Wikipedia)

I didn’t get to see Los Gatos live, but they went to see them all the time. At neighborhood club dances, in theaters of all sizes, in nightclubs and development societies. Los Gatos played always and well, they were our Beatles.

The rest of the songs were up to the task, but for a reason the work was called Lost Woman Rock. past time Litto Nebbia clarified that the original name was Rotten Woman Rock, but those of the recorder stopped it in time. That was the last album by Los Gatos, their soaring swan song.

Between 1967 and 1969 they released 4 albums. Los Gatos Vol I and II, We Will Be Friends and Beat No. 1. All great, at times closer to beat than to rock itself. At the end, define Argentine rock.

were from the start Litto, Kay Galiffi on guitar, oscar moro in the battery, Ciro Fogliatta keyboardist and bassist boy Alfredo Toth, from Avellaneda Town, just out of high school. Although he had already been in a band, playing in the churchyard.

When the time comes in the middle of all that musical paraphernalia, Kay leaves the band. He is replaced by a very young guitarist who had only played with Miguel Abuelo in the primitive Grandparents of Nothingthey told him daddy and it was outstanding. The first record of this quintet was Beat No. 1 which was great, something more rocker and psychedelic than the previous ones, with an endless jam called Out of the law, 11 minutes of pure groove, was the harbinger of what was to come.

The cover of the Los Gatos album that made history
The cover of the Los Gatos album that made history

In 1970, with unbeatable circumstances for the group, where they were already allowed sound experimentation and a space for free creativity, privileges available to them thanks to the monumental sales of shows and records, they recorded Lost Woman Rock consecrating forever.

Although all the compositions were even, something detonated with the theme that gave the album its name. It could be the rhythm, also the perfect lyrics, the interpretive beauty of the five or simply that the base of the bass and drums was unbeatable. That is where the name of Alfredo Toth is magnified, because together with Oscar Moro they were the platform from which Pappo, Ciro and Nebbia supported each other to show off in their own way.

“Woman, you will understand

That today, today more than yesterday,

I need to have you by my side until dawn.

Woman, you will find

People who love you the same

But today I need to have you by my side again.

That was enough to make history, some inspired words wrapped in a dizzying coming and going of riffs and solos that inevitably transport you to a place you don’t know.

Alfredo Toth, the bass player from another planet (La Colina Cultural Center)
Alfredo Toth, the bass player from another planet (La Colina Cultural Center)

I needed a private talk with Alfredo Toth, that cool gentleman behind a bass, to clear up any doubt that can be handled when we are facing a masterpiece.

”Although all the records we recorded with Los Gatos were incredible, Lost Woman Rock marked another era, from composition to everything. It was the rockiest album we made and it was the last one too. An absolute smash. Do you want to know what is from me? Recording it was a tremendous experience. Ciro, Moro and I had settled in New York for almost a year. We saw all kinds of bands there, Santana, Frank Zappa with the Mothers of Invention, The Who doing Tommy his rock opera. Every weekend we would go to a theater called Fillmore East where we would see all of these, who sounded incredible, everything that happened was impressive, the time was explosive in every way.

“When we returned, Kay Galiffi was no longer there, who was supplanted by Pappo, so we did Beat No. 1. Listening to the album you notice that the band was in a very big moment. Although on all the albums the songs by Los Gatos were barbaric, on this last one they were better because of the composition wave, first, where Litto wrote some terrific songs, the Lost Woman Rockbut they are also The Days of Actemius, Coal Woman, I was not made for this earth that has an extraordinary drum beat…”

Los Gatos, already with Pappo in the band
Los Gatos, already with Pappo in the band

“Listening to the record now – adds Alfredo Toth – I am not telling you that it is as if it had been yesterday, but everything makes me unforgettable. The company, since we had sold so much, had rented us a studio. We didn’t rehearse the songs, we spent all our time in the studio working on them. We composed them there, we improved them there and we recorded them there.

“Look, what Lost Woman Rock It has two solos that for me are the two best in Argentine rock. Pappo’s solo is unbeatable and Ciro’s is tremendous, everything in that song, which is an atomic bomb. The album was the closure and separation of an amazing time, an incredible album had to come out”.

The cats were already installed when Almendra and Manal exploded
The cats were already installed when Almendra and Manal exploded

And yes, I tell him, adding little to the story but knowing that we are talking about something seriously transcendent. The trip to New York was enlightening, right? I ask him.

Follow Alfredo, then.

”After having been in the USA, and buying equipment, even a Hammond organ, everything was decisive in changing the sound of the shows. We had so many and working with everything we had brought changed our logistics absolutely. To transport the equipment, the Hammond for example, we needed two million people. Imagine what it was like to raise such artillery, touch, lower all that again…

“The presentations were sometimes limited to 20 minutes, let’s say half an hour and that’s it. We couldn’t go further because we thought that afterwards we had to dismantle all that gigantic mess… and especially the Ciro organ that we carried everywhere, that was crazy. Now, Los Gatos sounded like hell, we spent indecipherable moments. I have so many memories that sometimes I don’t remember them. All those years with Los Gatos is an experience that I am daily grateful to have lived. Being part of something like that, that doesn’t happen to anyone. Although, on the other hand, I know that we struggled a lot to live it, always thinking about the future, ”she says.

The days of Actemio, performed by Los Gatos live at the Gran Rex

And he closes with emotion: “Having met these impressive musicians -Litto, Ciro Fogliatta, Oscar Moro, Pappo- they made me have great moments until we parted ways, where each one partyed differently without losing love. We take time to face our own careers. Ciro recorded a couple of divine albums, Litto went solo and we already know what happened, Pappo no way, Moro ended up playing in Serú Girán for example, a band that broke my head when he appeared. For my part, I played a lot with Nito Mestre, with León Gieco, with Raúl Porchetto where I met Pablo Guyot and Willy Iturri, I recorded an album with Santaolalla. Before all that I played in Sacramento with Ciro, a great project, where Gustavo Jelicie was also present, and Bocón Frascino after Pescado Rabioso, great musicians. Too much has happened on this path. That’s why I’m always grateful for music, my projects, the people I’ve met, playing and producing records, something I never would have thought of. And today, with Pablo, after separations and discussions, we rehearsed with GIT. I don’t know where all this will go, but I am always grateful.

Talking with Alfredo Toth is not only gratifying, but instructive. He is number one as a bass player and he is immense as a person. Much more than what has been told is Toth. He always playing first base, performing and sustaining a lot in the big bands that he was part of. Undefeated in his. Of his generation, he is one of the best, not only musically but personally, it’s always a pleasure to see him… and to listen to him, obviously.

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We want to say thanks to the writer of this article for this remarkable material

Los Gatos, our Beatles: the story of the “Rock of the lost woman” and a bass player from another planet