The new millennium brought with it numerous changes and novelties. From new diets to a generation more concerned about the environment, the technological revolution has made us believe that we can have it all, even though, spiritually, there is much work to be done.
However, there are cultural revolutions from previous decades that are still valid today, among them, the experiences of an entire generation with the famous Puerto Rican band Menudo.
The band of boys formed in 1977 by the producer Edgardo Díaz is considered one of the most important musical groups of the decade of the ’80s, having sold more than 20 million records around the world.
What seems to have been a chapter we remember with melancholy has been tried to be immortalized in revivals such as the recent series named after one of the band’s hits, Súbete a mi moto, which, although it failed in its attempt, gave rise to other initiatives to keep alive the adolescent illusion of the 80s and 90s.
An example of this is Damarisse Martinez Ruiz’s book, Menudo, el reencuentro con la verdad, that’s back to salvage Menudo’s legacy of the quintet.
“Since I launched in 1998, the only book that, until now, compiles the history of Menudo, I have received hundreds of requests from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and even Russia to acquire the book,” Martinez Ruiz recently said. “After the original publication sold out, it was only available at collectors’ prices online. But, thanks to technology, we have now managed to republish a new edition through Amazon.”
Martinez Ruiz’s book compiles the story of five boys who, while learning about life, shook the earth to its core. Some even go so far as to claim that the members served as a blueprint for boy bands that came later.
“Menudo was the foundation of many of the young artists that emerged at that time and some of who are still part of the artistic scene in various Hispanic and Anglo markets,” the author explains.
The band, whose members were periodically rotated out, had the power to create trends and make them disappear. They were the original influencers, and they accomplished this without cell phones or social media. Now, that’s impressive!
Through their prepubescent voices (that drove all their fans crazy) and the characters they portrayed, Menudo single-handedly took over the world. Without discriminating, their magic swept everyone off their feet and still does.
Martinez Ruiz was in charge of the media relations for the last members of Menudo when they formed the Euforia group. This experience helped her write the book in an objective manner, rather than from just a fan’s perspective.
“The book collects the history of Menudo with the anecdotes, versions, and complaints of the different members, their parents, and part of the team behind the group,” she said. “This was the work of several years, in which I carried serious research with interviews to validate data and confirm events.”
Menudo, el reencuentro con la verdad depicts both the best moments of Menudo and the decisions that flipped the switch on the band’s grandeur — momentarily, of course. She also speaks about the scandal that helped the quintet reach their prime and return to the stage of some former members in El Reencuentro. Every page gives you a glance at “Menuditis,” the musical fever that drove many in the ’70s, ’80s, and even part of the ’90s.
Overall, it is a book whose well-rounded description of Menudo will leave you turning (or scrolling) the page at a similar speed to the power walk one engages in when your flight is about to leave you behind.
The author strived to capture the true essence of Menudo, and that she did.
If you want to dive into the world of Menudo, especially since it’s a much better world than the one unfolding at the moment, you can do so. To get your copy now, head over to Amazon and, well, you know the rest. For those who live in Puerto Rico, for a limited time only, you can also grab your copy at Casa Norberto in Plaza Las Américas and The Bookmark in San Patricio and Santurce (in the old AC Books).