Gavito talks about Tango y nada mas

By request, a transcript from a talk during Gavito's San Francisco tour, 1996. Courtesy of Alberto Paz, Planet-Tango. The video embedding is disabled, but if you click on the picture it will take you to the Youtube page. Also, since there were a few places/words that were hard for me to make out, if anyone has corrections or suggestions for the transcript please email me at infinitetango(at)

"And I have to talk about that. Might be boring for you again, but sorry. . . But I have to say that.

"Not too long ago I read on the Internet some note about/regarding someone here in the Bay area saying, which (that) I say, and the others say (in conception?),

'because the history in tango say[s] . . . ',
'because Borges say[s] . . .',
'and because Cortazar . . '

"I don't know. I don't know who.

"'because the tango blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah . . .'

"Listen guys, I'm a milonguero. A dancer. A poet. I dance and I teach tango. I am not a historian. I am not a psychologist. I am not a psychiatrist. I'm not a [*blows raspberry*]. I teach tango and I dance tango.

"And you people, if you think because we teach tango or because we dance tango, we have to give you as well classes of philosophy, psychology, and history, you're wrong. We teach only to dance tango. What say[s] Cortazar? What say[s] Borges? As a tango dancer, I don't care. I don't care . . . not that big. Not that big. And I never will read Borges for tango. Never. I might read Carrero(?) or ___?___. But no, never Borges or Cortazar. I don't know how much they know, or they knew, about tango. I don't know. I don't care actually. I know one thing, they never dance the tango. They never went to a milonga. So I don't care. I'm caring about the people who [were] at the milonga [to] dance tango. [To those] people, I listen. They know. And tango, afterall, is simple.

"I have [a] tango here, just a little tango. It's a little piece I want you to play for me - and that is tango. That's tango - real tango."

(Una Emocion
Ricardo Tanturi orchestra, Enrique Campos)

Come and see what I bring
with this union of notes and words.
It’s a song inspired
by a dream that rocked me last night.

It’s the voice of the tangos
that can be heard on every street corner,
by those who live with this powerful emotion.
I want to sing about this beautiful sound
that is more sweet and seductive every time.

I heard it last night, wrapped in a dream…
an emotional dream of things in my past:
The house where I was born…
the window bars and the vines…
an old carousel, and a rosebush.

It’s a song with a sentimental voice…
its beat is the rhythm of my city.
It's not vulgar,
and it's not pretentious.
It’s tango... and nothing more.

Gavito: "It's tango y nada mas. Tango and nothing else. And that's the tango..."

"This is for those who use the Internet for a lot of hanky panky things, okay? If you use the Internet, use for the positive basis of tango, not negatives. Talk about the ones who dance well. Don't talk about the ones you don't like. Ignore them.

"The tango is built on [a] good basis by people who know, not by those who don't know. That's what I wanted to say. Sorry but I needed to say it here."

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