Borderline Latin: The Rolling Stones, Rolingas en Argentina

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Borderline Latin is an exploration of the influence of Latin music in styles, places and rhythms beyond its traditional borders, and of different types of cross-pollination between Latin music and other musical creatures. Each week, we will feature the works of a ‘non-Latin’ artist via song or musical style whose rhythm, themes, melodic inflections or influences have earned it the name of Borderline Latin.


I must confess: at first, The Rolling Stones didn’t seem to be a right fit for this column. I mean, they are a British band, and their sound comes from the blues and rhythm and blues. They combined these sounds with jazz, later adding trumpets, horns, marimbas, and various percussions –but even so. And ultimately, their music has reached the level of what we call patrimonio de la humanidad in Spanish: it belongs to all mankind. But someone pointed out Argentina’s obsession with The Stones, and it made sense to write about it.

The Stones were a major influence to many Argentinean rock bands from the ’80s and ’90s, more famously Viejas Locas, and the recently disintegrated Ratones Paranoicos. In fact, there’s a whole urban movement in Buenos Aires, called Rolinga –the origin of the name is self-evident. This movement attracted thousands of people, and is based on the music, style, aesthetics and attitude of the Stones, from their early years during the 1960s. You just have to listen to “Rock del Gato” or “Carolina” by Ratones Paranoicos, and you’ll notice the spirit of the young Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, born again in the midst of the Cono Sur.

It may seem hard to understand this obsession of thousands of young, urban, working-class Argentineans for a British band –never mind the Malvinas. But it’s only a matter of remembering the origins of the Stones themselves: they were young, urban, working class rebels, amazed by the sounds created by foreign musicians from overseas. Keith Richards’ early life in Britain has more than one surprising similarity with the lives of many people in the economically depressed Latin American cities at the turn of the century. We know very well that “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Happy holidays.

Now here’s a free mashup treat for you all featuring the Stones with our first Borderline Latin launch feature Beck with “Hotwax” remixed by Stoned Throw.
Beck vs Rolling Stones- Hotwax (Stoned Throw Remix) by King Procrastinator


For comments and suggestions, please contact me at: For more info on “Borderline” work, visit Borderline Projects.