Coming across unanticipated music in a skateboard video is a small and necessary joy. While watching ANTIHERO's "Fantastic Voyage" full-length video, at minute 7:48, a familiar acoustic melody, a slow building crescendo with the accompanying snare that I immediately recognize as David Bowie, soundtracks the ongoing onslaughts on skate spots by the ANTIHERO team.
As the stunt-wood artists defy and seduce gravity, the familiar melody for Space Oddity introduces a different voice: "Control de Tierra a comandante Tom" (ground control to major Tom).
The version in the ANTIHERO video of Bowie's 1969 release "Space Oddity" is by Hermanos Calatrava from Spain. It is an anti-Fascist version of "Space Oddity."
Originally recorded on the 1974 album Gigi L'Amoroso, the brothers Manuel "Manolo" García Lozano and Francisco "Paco" García Lozano, born in Catalonia and raised in Barcelona, brought their humor, political imagination, and satire to the composition. For example, in their version, "Comandante Tom" immediately responds to ground control, murmuring under his breath. Tom responds with a flurry of political observations and analysis when asked what he sees.
In the Calatrava version, a "mom" at ground control reminds him to take his "protein pills" in addition to wearing his helmet. Responding to the query, "what do you see?" Tom replies, "I can't see the Earth, can't see nothing because I have my mask upside down/Now I can see through one eye, the right one, I think."
Tom then explains that something is floating next to him. It is the Spanish peseta, and next to it is the French franc. Then, the US dollar, "going down like a meteorite!" refers to the global financial crisis of the 1970s, a crisis brought about by organized working-class anti-colonial, queer, and feminist political and social movements that ruptured capital's international order, demanding a transformation of society.
"I see a mob, an unemployed mob, probably the people from SEAT (car manufacturer)/Near by there are like two light bulbs/Perhaps two factories burning/It seems to me you people in Spain are going to be without car this year, I foresee everybody walking."
Paco explained in an interview with Raúl Cosano in Mediorama: "It is the story of a country-bumpkin who is put in a spaceship, he does not know where they are taking him… and he tells what is happening, what he sees from space. The song has some social criticism. We did it in the time of [the Italian dictator Francisco] Franco, and it was very successful."
Here is a link to the complete translation of the lyrics.
Now, we need a brilliant Boing Boing reading musician or band to do a version of Hermanos Calatrava's performance and maybe update the lyrics for the times.
With the recent election in 2022 of Giorgia Melonia, a co-founder of the Brothers of Italy that traces its origins to the end of WWII, we also need more anti-fascist tunes.