Roxigénio began their activities in 1980, led by António Garcez (from Porto’s Arte & Ofício).
At the age of 33, Garcez was a figure of Portuguese Rock that did not go unnoticed, due to his “performances” on stage and some controversial statements he produced on stage or in interviews with the media.
After passing through Pentagono and Psico, in addition to Arte & Ofício, Garcez recruits guitarist Filipe Mendes (who came from Psico and had worked in Heavy Band and Chinchilas), Brazilian Betto Palumbo, on drums, and bassist José Aguiar to shape a musical project very close to Heavy-Metal, without New-Wave influences.
At the end of 1980, his first LP “Roxigénio” was released, with a beautiful cover, but whose musical content left something to be desired. Singing in English, the group has many limitations in terms of pronunciation of the language, although Garcez has sung in English in Arte & Ofício. The disc achieves some success on the radio program “Rock em Stock” and the group achieves some of its objectives. Despite this, his dream of internationalization fades away with this record, poor musically and with no chance of going beyond Portugal.
In 1981, Roxigénio released the single “Song at Middle Voice”, which reached number one at the top of “Rock em Stock”. On side 2 of this single is the theme “My Vocation”. On this record the Heavy sound is more notorious and Garcez improves his English accent.
Former Mini Pop Abílio Queiroz joins the drums [he already participates in the single “Song At Middle Voice”] and Garcez gives an interview to “Se7e” where he declares that Roxigénio are 20 years ahead of Rui Veloso.
In 1982 the band released their second full-length album “Roxigénio 2” which included the “hit” “Stiff Nicked Obstinated”.
Much in demand for shows, Roxigénio visited Sabugal to give a concert on November 13, 1982, where all the group’s capabilities could be seen and heard. The concert did not disappoint anyone who was attentive. Garcez continued to be a true “stage animal” and Filipe Mendes a multifaceted guitarist.
In 1983, the third album “Rock’n’Roll Men” comes out, which adds nothing relevant to what was known. The current line-up includes two ex-Go Graal Blues Band members (Hipo Birdie and Fernando Delaere), in addition to Frederic, on guitars, accompanying Filipe Mendes.
This album proves to be a failure and the group tries to approach the public by singing in Portuguese.(1 Without getting to record, in this new phase, with a formation that included saxophone, they present themselves in a music program on RTP2.
Due to lack of public interest, the group disbanded and Garcez joined Stick (an ephemeral band) (2) and recorded in Portuguese with Trabalhadores do Comércio, where he found his former comrades from Arte & Ofício.
Filipe Mendes left for the United States and returned in the 1990s as Phil Mendrix to participate in shows with the Catita Brothers.
ARISTIDES DUARTE / NEW GUARDA
In the mid-1980s, Garcez featured Roxigénio, a “heavy” rock band in which he condemned guitarist Filipe Mendes, also known as “Mendrix”, for distorting the guitar like Jimi Hendrix. The band’s album came out at the end of that year, very well accepted by radio names such as Luís Filipe Barros, Rui Morrison and Rui Neves.
One night, at the heart of the Só Rock Festival, in Coimbra, Garcez remembers having “filled some mugs” with Luís Filipe Barros and going on stage at “100 percent”. In a “high” moment of the show he decided to throw himself from above the speakers and fell badly. The worst was yet to come. The public, in the midst of the Portuguese rock boom, did not like hearing him sing in English and shouted: “Go sing for America!” António decided to respond to the lyrics: “Ai é? Uuuuuuuhhh” he took off his pants, took everything out and shouted: “America is here!” In the stadium was the mayor. Several photographers immortalized the scene. “They even photographed my ass.” He was investigated by the Judiciary Police: “All laughing and saying, ‘listen there, people say they only saw the panties…'” The exhibition would cost him his marriage.
Roxigénio ended in 1983, after hectic passages through Aveiro and Vilar de Mouros, in 1982, the year in which U2 went there. In Aveiro, at a graduation party, Garcez was presented with several glasses of beer. “I warned that I could be electrocuted but there was a guy at the front of the stage surrounded by girls and always teasing him. As we were all tripping on acid, I suddenly took flight and landed on top of him and the girls. I just remember him crying under me and saying he was just kidding me. I got up, the staff picked me up, put me back on stage and the show continued.” Later, one of the security guards decided to hit someone who had gone up on stage. “It was the end of the world. The stage was invaded, the security guard was beaten up and finally the sound system truck was stoned. We had to be escorted by the police.” In Vilar de Mouros, Roxigénio barely managed to play. “The people at the festival had difficulty getting tobacco, I bought a few packs and decided to distribute them, toss them out to the audience.” At the end of music and a half, the audience invaded the stage. Garcez “dropped”.
The economic crisis of the 80s hit the world of Portuguese rock. António and Sérgio Castro also founded Stick, in 1984, recording an LP in Portuguese. “I had always lived to sing, that time I sang to live”, he recalls. Disillusioned, in February 1986 he got on a plane to New York. (…) Until, two years ago, a Portuguese friend sent him a copy of a PÚBLICA with an article recalling the Portuguese rock boom of the 1980s. ” The text, the singer now confesses, touched him emotionally. “I read that and said: ‘Wow, I wasn’t forgotten, after all, Portugal is not just Tó Zé Brito and the olive oil producers'”. The same friend found him a publisher, Numérica. Garcez came to Portugal to record songs of his own, some of which had been in the drawer for a long time, such as “Como um hero”, the ballad from the cd “Rio Below”. He played in Porto, Cascais and Lisbon. At Fnac, in Norte Shopping, he still banged the microphone on the ceiling, like in the old days. “Screw the studio, man, I want to play live again!”
António Garcez moved to the United States where he studied engineering. In 2001 he released, through Numérica, the album “Rio Below”.
Filipe Mendes is one of the best Portuguese guitarists. He was in Brazil and returned in 1994. He played with Telectu and Rui Azul. At that time he reformulated Roxigénio with the bassist’s son and one of the former drummers. He later formed the Phil Mendrix Band. He is currently in Irmãos Catita and Ena Pá 2000.
José Aguiar is Tarantula’s bassist.
Drummer José Eduardo (or José Al´Vesh), who replaced Abílio Queirós, has a jazz group called Al’Vesh Rhythm Machine.