Monday, 11 June 2012

GATO aka José Provetti

Gato (Cat) was José Provetti's nick name and that's how he was known throughout his adult life. Gato was simply the best rock'n'roll guitar player in Brazil. We don't know much about his early life. He was born in 7 January 1941 in Valparaíso-SP a small town near Guararapes, Andradina and Araçatuba. His parents were poor and worked as farmers. 

In 1948, when Zézinho was 7 years old his family moved to São Paulo. In 1951, when he was 10 years old, Zé joined Zé Cascudo as part of a country music duo. Duos are Brazilian country music's staple. One plays acoustic guitar and the other plays 'viola', a five-string guitar. One sings the melody and the other sings the harmony. Two-part harmony is the soul of Brazilian regional music. Zé Provetti & Zé Cascudo must have been one more duo amongst hundreds. Soon, though Zé had classical guitar lessons with Salvador Viola at Largo Paissandú in the centre of the city.  

We don't know much about Gato's conversion to rock but it is not hard to imagine he must have fallen in love with some early rock guitar player. In 1959, Gato was already a guitar virtuoso and recorded a single for independent label Young Records with 'Kissin' time' backed with 'What'd I say?'. Gato not only played guitar but also sang... and sang it in English... and his English was not bad at all. His rendition of 'Kissin' time' is superb! His 'What'd I say?' is not bad either.

Gato also played guitar in most of the tracks recorded by Young Records, being the leader in The Jester Tigers

Young Records soon folded mainly because they recorded all their material in English which could not compete with the originals coming from the USA. That's elementary, my dear Watson! 

Around 1960 and 1961, Gato played here and there. In 1962, Gato formed The Jet Blacks a rock band that would become a legend playing at Lancaster, a night-club on trendy Rua Augusta in São Paulo. They soon recorded 'Stick shift', a 78 rpm for Chantecler. In September 1962, Chantecler released 'Apache' which went to #1 in the charts. 

The Jet Blacks released two albums in a row and by 1964, there was a flood of imitators all around the country. Brazilian rock'n'roll had come of age. 

Antonio Aguillar MCs and  Gato hands George Freedman a trophy. 
Sonia Andrade the President of Ronnie Cord Fan Club pins a medal on Gato for his good services for the development of rock'n'roll while Antonio Aguillar & George Freedman look on.  
Bobby de Carlo performs at Antonio Aguillar's radio show 'Ritmos para a juventude' circa 1962, having an eager fan by his side. In the back: Valentino Guzzo, Gato, Jose Paulo, Jurandir at the drums. 

The Jet Blacks play at a Radio Piratininga live-show called 'Clubinho da Juventude' that went on air every Friday evening straight from the auditorium of Instituto de Arquitetos on Rua Bento Freitas in S.Paulo. From left to right: programme producer Fernando Zarakauskas, MC Luiz Alberto, Zé Paulo, Sergio Canhoto, unidentified player, Gato & Jurandir on drums.

Nesta foto, do acervo de Serginho Canhoto, estão Zé Paulo, ele, Serginho Canhoto, Gato e Jurandir na bateria. 

Eu, Fernando Zara, estou à esquerda, e era produtor deste programa ao vivo da Radio Piratininga, levado ao ar às 6as.feiras no auditório do Instituto de Arquitetos na Rua Bento Freitas, subsolo, Ao meu lado está o Luiz Alberto como apresentador do programa intitulado 'Clubinho da Juventude', que tinha seu similar na TV Excelsior, Canal 9, às quintas-feiras às 17:00. Fernando Zarakauskas. 

pequena biografia do Gato na revista São Paulo na TV - 1966.
Gato was born in Valparaiso-SP in 1941. 
Gato em compacto-solo pela RCA Victor.

José Provetti nasceu em Valparaíso-SP em 7 Janeiro 1941. Filho de Ricardo Provetti e Antonia Buonvonatti, lavradores. Em 1948, a familia Provetti mudou-se para a São Paulo. Em 1951 formou dupla caipira com Zé Cascudo, esse tocando violão e Gato tocando viola. Estudou violão clásssico com o prof. Salvador Viola no Largo do Paissandú. 

Em 1959, fez parte da turma da gravadora Young, sendo líder dos Jester Tigers, acompanhando a maioria dos cantores. Gravou 2 discos solos pela Young; um cantando 'Kissin' time' e 'What'd I say' e no outro solando sua guitarra em 'Paris Belfort' e 'Parada da Juventude'.

Em 1961 se tornou DJ na Radio Piratininga e Radio Santo Amaro. Na Piratininga José Provetti apresentava os programas 'Diz que não conhece' e 'A bolsa do disco'; com o sucesso absoluto dos Jet Blacks, Gato abandonou suas atividades de disc-jockey. 

Começou a participar ativamente do programa 'Rítmos da Juventude' de Antonio Aguillar pela Radio Nacional de São Paulo todos sábados das 15:00 as 17:00 horas, onde se apresentava como guitarrista e tocava com quem aparecesse. Foi convidado pelo baterista Jurandy Trindade para assumir a lead guitar dos Vampires, que logo depois mudaria o nome para The Jet Blacks

Miguel Vaccaro Netto conseguiu a gravação de um 78 rpm dos Jet Blacks na Chantecler. Gravaram 'Apache' em Outubro de 1962, que estourou nas paradas, começando assim uma nova tendência dentro do rock nacional.



Em Janeiro de 1963 a Chantecler lançou 'TWIST', o 1o. LP dos Jet Blacks, que foi p'ro 1o. lugar imediatamente. Em Junho de 1963 a Chantecler lançava 'Twist Again', o 2o. LP do conjunto. Sucesso absoluto, que abriu caminho para The Jordans, The Clevers e  todos os outros conjuntos instrumentais que 'hibernavam' até então. 


Gato, Sergio Canhoto, Zé Paulo & Jurandir play at Hugo Santana Show on TV Excelsior in 1965.
The Jet Blacks circa 1966, época que adotaram o modêlo de terno sem-gola popularizado pelos Beatles em 1964. Foi a época de 'Chapeuzinho vermelho', em que Gato cantava, além de tocar sua guitarra. 

Gato tocou na banda até sair em 1966, sendo substituido pelo não menos competente Emilio Russo (ex-The Lions).

Gato foi instrumental na formação do RC-3 e depois RC-7 que acompanharam Roberto Carlos durante todo o período Jovem Guarda e até bem depois.

Gato, finalmente, morreu em 31 de janeiro de 1996, vitimado por sequelas de um derrame cerebral, e foi sepultado no cemitério do Cajú no Rio de Janeiro. 

Prini Lorez canta no programa Jovem Guarda, edição carioca, no palco da TV Rio, Canal 13, acompanhado pelos Jet Blacks, tendo Roberto Carlos alí 'torcendo' pelo conjunto.
Mesmo sábado, Os Incríveis [ex-Clevers], ainda tendo Neno no baixo, tocam no Jovem Guarda carioca.

No palco do teatro da TV Rio, Canal 13, programa 'Jovem Guarda' da esq. à direita: Roberto Livi, Nenê (dos Beatniks), Silvio Cesar, Prini Lorez, Gato, Bogô, Ronnie Cord, Tony Campello, Erasmo Carlos, N.I., R.C., Zé Paulo, Sergio Canhoto (The Jet Blacks), Meire Pavão. Atrás: Nino, baterista dos Beatniks, Netinho, Manito, Neno, Mingo e Risonho dos Clevers.
'Melodias' magazine.
Joe Primo, Carlão & Jurandir tocam no programa de Antonio Aguillar em 1963. Joe, Carlão e Jurandir tinham sido The Vampires que depois, com a entrada do Gato, se transformou em The Jet Blacks.
Gato Cat) feeding stray cats at Praça Ramos de Azevedo in São Paulo in 1967. 

'O pulo do Gato' LP lançado em 1967 pela RCA Camden.


1 - See you in September  (S. Wayne-S. Edwards)
2 - Guantanamera  (Jose Marti, adaptação Consuelo Valdez)
3 - Black is black (M. Grainger-S. Wadey-T. Hayes)
4 - Gatinha manhosa (Erasmo Carlos-Roberto Carlos)
5 - Bus stop  (Graham Nash-Gouldman)
6 - Sunny (B. Hebb)

1- Love me, please love me  (Michel Polnareff-F. Gérald)
2 - Namoradinha de um amigo meu (Roberto Carlos)
3 - Quando dico che ti amo  (Testa-Tony Renis)
4 - Winchester Cathedral  (Geoff Stephens)
5 - Piangi con me (Mogol-Shapiro)
6 - As tears go by (M. Jagger-K. Richard-A.Oldham)


We'd like to thank blogger Lucinha Zanetti for many of the photos herewith. Here's Lucinha's page: https://luciazanetti.wordpress.com/ 



Around March 1966 Gato up and left The Jet Blacks who were then Alemão, Zé Paulo & Jurandir. The article at Intervalo says Gato was close to a nervous breakdown due to too many engaments as a musician and couldn't cope with it anymore. The guys understood Gato's predicament and went on the look out for a replacement. The boys went on a raid through most night-clubs in Sao Paulo and finally found lead-guitarrist Emilio playing with The Lions and popped the question to him. Emilio is an excellent guitarrist and a good looking one to boot. As of 19 March 1966, Emilio became the official lead-guitarrist with The Jet Blacks having been introduced by Roberto Carlos at 'Jovem Guarda' on the Sunday 20 March 1966 as the newest member of the band. Emilio was 21 years old (born in 1945) and 1.80 metres tall. Gato would then go into a detox joint and soon join Roberto Carlos's band. 




4 comments:

  1. Carlus Maximus, ou Luiz Amorim, você poderia ter dado os créditos pelas fotos ao meu Blog "We Love the Beatles Forever"...

    https://luciazanetti.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. dear Lucinha, proper credit has been given to you at the end of the post... As I 'poached' many photos from your site, I don't remember which ones have been used. If you spot any photos here taken from your site, please, let me know. I should have given credit on the day I posted them, but I got side-tracked... I'm sorry for that... but it's never too late to give credit to whom its due. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This guy is the guitar player of the Roberto Carlos 1970's Album. The most obscure and groovy of the king's albuns

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are you talking about Roberto Carlos' album which features 'Jesus Cristo'?

    ReplyDelete