louis merino He was a director of Prisa and one of the most influential people on music radio in our country During a very long time. His career is linked to spoken, written and audiovisual communication. He negotiated with record companies. He has produced and recorded live music. He organized musical events. It was management. AND always with music and radio in the background.

An apprenticeship that has made him a key element in understanding the evolution of the industry during these decades and part of this wisdom, based on experience, has transformed him into When the music was round (with R for radio)a book that brings us closer to those times when music could be possessed and was not ethereallike now.

Few people have had as many relationships with the artists and accumulate more musical anecdotes than he has and some of that has been shared in To live is two daysin the SER, where he chatted with Javier del Pino.

Boss of Mechano

They received it at the rate of Today I can’t get upa success of mechanic It wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for him. When this song was released, Merino was in Valencia and among his tasks was to listen to all the music that came out to choose what was put on the radio.

“I started playing it, but didn’t realize how good it was until a trip to Madrid where we listened chaveson Radio Madrid FM, which presented it with great grace, very passionate and I thought, ‘it’s like I’m Vainica Doble in techno and it’s gonna be a hit’“, remember.

He returned to Valencia and spoke with the band’s record company who assured them that they were going to give them the letter of freedom because it didn’t work well. He asked them for numbers and they told him that of the four thousand somethings they had sold, four thousand had done so in Valencia.

It was then that Merino spoke to his team and, although the disc had come out of Top 40, came home. “It was the first record that was given out, Convinced ’em a band like this couldn’t get away from us, they came in again and were number one”. And the rest we all know. Mecano has become one of the most important groups in the country.

highway collapse

Luis Merino was one of those responsible for the collapse of the A6 during the celebration of 25 years of LOS40 main. Remember he wanted to be far-sighted and they put 150 shuttle buses to different points in Madrid so people could go there for free.

“The problem is that people did what they wanted. The concert started at 8 p.m. and there was a traffic jam on the A6 and people left their cars there and for two hours there were complaints from Zarzuela because it was a security problem that they had never foreseen”.

Elton John concert

These were times when the radio had the power to bring Elton John give a concert for 100 people. “I remember it was a very interesting negotiation with the record company,” he says.

It happened when the British singer released West coast songs. Merino, a huge fan of the artist, suggested the record company bring him in to do a basic gig and they told him it was impossible. He insisted that if he wanted to be number 1 in Spain he had to do it and he finally agreed and was number 1.”There was a technical problem and it was not registered“, he admitted.

Paul McCartney’s studio

Merino was when Paul McCartney He came to Madrid in 1989 to inaugurate the LOS40 Principales radio studio that bears his name and offers incredible views over the rooftops of Madrid. “Paul McCartney came and He said it was the most beautiful studio in the world because it looked like a greenhouse.“, he remembers this historic moment.

Paul McCartney at the opening of the LOS40 studio that bears his name. / Archive LOS40

the merino museum

Javier del Pino said he had been at Luis Merino’s and it looked like a musical museum full of great jewels. “If you told me ‘choose one thing and take it with you’, I wouldn’t know what to take with me: the double bass of prickthe guitar of Bruce SpringsteenPaul McCartney’s bass…” the announcer said.

Merino assures that in the event of a fire, if he had to save one of these relics, “it would probably be Paul McCartney’s bass and handwritten sheet music by Elton John that he gave me”. He admits that he has the phone number of all these artists and that they answer him if he calls.

Merino admits he had to get rid of a lot of records because his house is made of wood and couldn’t support the weight. “I kept about 4,000 LPs and about 25,000 CDs, but in recent years I would have bought another 300 LPs because I still like to buy them“, he admitted.

The future of music radio

If you have to talk about music radio, you do it openly. “This house is a radio cathedral no matter who celebrates masses. Sometimes the masses aren’t good, but it’s a cathedral and sometimes it’s up to scratch and sometimes it’s not,” Merino said earnestly of the house where he worked for so many years. ‘years.

“For me, music radio is very important because I don’t want to have three million songs on one site, but I want to know what to get. I believe that music radio had two fundamental commitments: First, to choose music that the listener might like. And two, sell it with passion. That is to say prescription and communication. The market studies have arrived and instead of being used to see how what I have decided to put on works, it is the studies that program and, then, almost all the stations sound the same and that is a problem, “he said. he told about the reality of the scene.

The radio must retrieve the prescription and the communication and transmit the passion for music because otherwise they will have lost the battle with the platforms”, he explains on what should happen.

And there was the memory of a great colleague of whom many have fond memories: “Joaquin Luqui That was passion and communication. I didn’t understand the technique, I didn’t understand anything, but when I told you ‘it’s 3, 2 or 1, you and I knew it’… he never used a computer, always the Olivetti”.

Undoubtedly, Luis Merino, living testimony to the history of music radio in our country with a thousand battles to tell, some of them collected in his book.

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