Monday, October 22, 2012

Costumes and Masks: Behind the Mask

YouTube version:

I can’t imagine you don’t know Jose Feliciano. Most famous (perhaps) for  “Rain” (listen to the falling rain…) or maybe to you, for “Light My Fire” (c’mon baby light my fire), he hails from Puerto Rico, sings in Spanish, and (for better or worse), is known for being blind, in addition to his guitar chops.

As for this week’s topic, I would be hard-pressed to come up with another musician with credentials that pushed further beyond the subject of masks: who better to perceive beyond the masks we wear everyday than someone who cannot see those masks anyway?

To get to the point of this week’s postings, “Behind the Mask” is a Feliciano work very much in the Santana style to accompany the (short-lived) 2000 TV production of “Queen of Swords”. One YouTube commentator notes, in response to his affability in acting for the video: he is so easy to work with that he even willingly rides a horse – blind!

As for the mask song, there are both English and Spanish versions available online at YouTube. Regardless of the language, what shines through in each is the unique Feliciano vocal skills: 30 years down the line, this is clearly the same vocal powerhouse that belted out the original versions of “Rain” and “Light My Fire”

And in the lyrics, he sings:

Every one of us hides in his own way

Our ways may not be seen …

Behind the mask … there’s a secret life ….


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