Menudo’s Subete A Mi Moto (Episodes 3-6)

The bio-series on the Puerto Rican pop group, “Menudo” has been a serious eye-opener. Subete A Mi Moto is the manager/owner’s testament of group’s rise and fall. I already reviewed episodes 1-3 in a previous blog post, and today I am here to bitch about the next three episodes.

In episodes 1-3, we watched the group go from the last 70s to 1981. In episodes four and five, we spend a lot of time in the year 1982. A lot seemed to happen but at the same time that is when the group’s biggest impact was made. 1982 really did define the group internationally. They had a huge tour in South America that opened a lot of doors for the group.

One of the biggest complaints over this series so far is the producers lack of details. You have series such as the Luis Miguel series, even the Alejandra Guzman series, Gloria Trevi movie… Each of them had the care it took to get outfits correct, hairstyles, and simple things like dates. Fans are screaming over the inaccuracies of this Menudo series. It is almost like they didn’t care who they cast or if they the details correct. Based on the dates of casting, filming, and editing, there should have been enough time to get it correct.

From what we we see in the previous episodes is that Edgardo is making a lot of money and the guys are not seeing any of it. During this time, Edgardo purchased an airplane and a mansion in Orlando. That house could have been purchased in 1981 but I really don’t remember those early years being in the house. Fans really didn’t get to see the house in any magazine or tv show until 1983 during the promotion of the album A Todo Rock.  But we do remember the plane. There are photos of Rene on the airplane, so I will give them that.

During the episode where Rene accidently pushes the girl off the stage and Rene goes in the back to the dressing room. On the mirror in front of him, there is a photo of the real Menudo 1984 in New York in front of Madison Square Garden. I thought that was completely odd and not necessary.

Now, let’s discuss Episode 6. I can write an entire post on what was wrong with six. Seriously. In episode 6, we cover the most extensive span of time to date. This goes from 1982-1984 in a matter of minutes. First, we start with Miguel leaving the group. In the series, this takes place before Xavier leaves and they have brought in Roy to replace Miguel (the replacement is correct, just not the timeline).

If time happened as they stated in the series, this line up for the above photo on Silver Spoons would never have happened. It would have been Charlie, Ricky, Roy, Xavier, and Johnny. Miguel played a strong part of the beginning of the English crossover. He was the first to record Gimme Rock and Motorcycle Dreamer in English and I believe that this period of time was so important to the group. We have history such as Menudo On ABC, that was wasn’t even mentioned. If this part of the group’s history didn’t happen, I don’t think that crossover would have happened with as much success.

My next biggest compliant is the recording of songs in Portuguese. They talk about going to Brazil prior to Robby coming into the group. They show the group: Ricky, Johnny, Roy, Ray, and Charlie recording the album Mania with Roy singing the lead on “Sobe Em Minha Moto.” Sorry, this NEVER happened. Johnny never recorded in Portuguese and Roy didn’t sing it. They eventually re-recorded versions of Gotta Get On Movin’/Cambiale Las Pilas (bi-lingual), Ladron De Amor, and Subete A Mi Moto with Roy’s vocals. But this did not come until after Robby entered the group.

It is possible that Edgardo talked about recording in multiple languages even before the group recorded in English because from what I can tell, his head was so big that wanted to take on the world from such early on. I don’t really believe that Edgardo was thinking past the next album. I think that telling the story now, Edgardo has inflated his foreshadowing abilities.

Next we have Robby entering the group, with Johnny leaving. This was so glossed over in the series that it seemed to not be important either. It was like a spot between commercials that Robby comes in and records “If You’re Not Here.” It has been said that Robby helped record vocals for the album before, so if this is true why not talk about it. Now when Robby auditioned for the group, they stated he was 14 years old. This is technically not true. Robby turned 14 in June of 1984. When he entered the group in either late 1983 (possible audition date) to early 1984, he would have been 13 years old. The album, Reaching Out was released in January 1984, so in order to record the album it would have been recorded in 1983 making Robby’s entrance in the group earlier than officially dated.

I honestly believe that they rushed over everything just to get to Ricky Martin. It is like Edgardo seriously wants to brag on his Ricky Martin connection but honestly, Ricky wasn’t all that in Menudo. He really didn’t sing any leads except one or two until they changed the concepts of the albums.

We are now to summer of 1984 with Ricky Martin coming into the group. Know that at this point in time with Ricky Martin first coming in, the group was still singing tired old songs, just in different languages. During a dance rehearsal, Robby voices his opinion on wanting to sing “new” and “hip” songs. I am glad they showed this. Behind the scenes Robby was pretty vocal about the quality of music. This ultimately led to his quitting the group. But here is my complaint… during this rehearsal, they are performing “Con Un Beso Y Una Flor”, a lead song for Ricky Martin. We are two years away from this song existing. That song came out in 1986 with the album, Refrescante.

There is a lot of inconsistencies in this series that makes me scream and complain in each episode. BUT… we will continue watching and complaining. Until next time.

Menudo – Subete A Mi Moto (Episodes 1-3)

So here we are… 3 episodes into the Menudo television series, SUBETE A MI MOTO, which documents Edgardo Diaz’s recount of the group’s history. Remember, this is Edgardo’s version of the group and not actually complete reality.

The series was produced by Amazon, but it has yet to be released on Amazon in the US. It is only available in Latin American countries via Amazon. Right now, the series was picked up by Estrella TV in the US and can be seen over broadcast television at the moment, which is how I am viewing the show.

Official photo of the series – Note that during his time in the group, Sergio never went by Blass.

Over the first three episodes, I have found myself yelling at the screen – probably just like Rene Farrait did when he watched it complaining about how incorrect this series is. My reasons and Rene’s reasons are completely different but when you have members of the group stating how the facts are twisted, you know there is something seriously wrong with this picture.

I still have Menudo fan friends, and some of them have stopped watching while others are still remaining silent. As a loyal Menudo fan, and probably not a die-hard as some still are, I find offense just in the lack of accuracy with looks, timelines, names, etc… Even with the official banner that they released, there is a factual error. Look above at the back of the jackets. Sergio Gonzales never took the last name as BLASS until after Menudo and they never called anyone by their last names either. Just looking at this pisses me off.

The story begins at the beginning. Edgardo is working with La Pandilla and he comes up with the idea of Menudo and keeping them young. That information could be very true. Here they are doing fun things and all of the sudden Edgardo wants to replace Nefty. I can see the members no believing that it would ever happen but it did. There are going to be moments before popularity that we can not verify unless we begin interviewing everyone.

Things I have noticed that might not be so earth shattering, but here they are so far:

  1. The group always performed with the tallest on one side and the shortest on the other. Throughout these first 3 episodes, they have ignored this fact making the group’s performances look so comical.
  2. The wigs that they are using for the boys are just horrible. You can barely tell who they are supposed to be representing.
  3. If Ricky Martin auditioned for the first time in 1980, he would have been 8-9 years old. They clearly had a boy auditioning that was a teenager. We do know that Ricky auditioned various times, but I don’t believe it was that early.
  4. In 1981 when the group went to Venezuela and got attacked by the fans, they are shown in the hotel waiting to transfer to a different hotel. Behind the boys is a television running scenes of fans. One of the fans is holding up a poster of Evolucion, which was released in 1984.
  5. Still in 1981, Ricky Melendez grew so much that he became taller than Xavier. In the top photo on this page, Ricky is clearly the shortest member and pretty much remained the shortest member during this time in the group. They have made Xavier the shortest on the show.
  6. Outfits have been a little off based on when they wore them and the albums they are promoting.
  7. If they are going in order, some of the songs they are singing, recording, and promoting tend to be a bit off too. Like singing Claridad when they have not even recorded it. There are 2 albums before that became a hit.
Ricky Melendez (with braces) depicted on the series is shown to be taller than Johnny, Xavier, and Miguel. This is inaccurate.

Since the series has been released, various members have come on the record to state how inaccurate the series is. Member such as Rene Farrait (who was on of the group’s most popular members), Ray Reyes, Roy Rossello, Jonathon Montenegro, and Angelo Garcia, have all said that the story was nothing like reality.

On the other hand, MDO members (Abel, Didier, and Alexis) have defended Edgardo, stating that they were never abused and they were aware of the long hours of work it took to be part of a popular group such as Menudo.

I don’t think we will ever really get a true story of Menudo because their are going to be over 30 stories, each one wrong or biased. For now, we continue on with the show and see where it goes from here. According to episode summaries, we will have a lot of jumping around. I think that Edgardo just can’t wait to get to Ricky Martin.

Ricky Martin’s bloody entrance on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

The expected release on the second season of American Crime Story began this week and featured Latin pop sensation, Ricky Martin. With season two, the story focuses on Gianni Versace and the serial killer, Andrew Cunanan, who killed Versace in cold blood along with four others during a three-month spree.

Ricky Martin plays Antonio D’Amico, Versace’s lover of fifteen years. Fans of Ricky have been waiting to see him on the small screen again after quite a while. While Ricky had a small guest role in the TV show, Glee; it has been since the mid-nineties, since he has been a regular on a television show. Ricky is a performer, so being on stage is something that he portrays comfortably. But the stage is so different from television and his overplayed emotions and facial expressions that would be perceived as normal in front of a crowd on stage comes off forced in the emotional scenes that make up the first episode.

While Ricky makes his appearance early on, it isn’t until Cunanan shot Versace do we see Ricky come out on the steps of the Versace mansion and the overacting kicks in. It continues while the police question him about his relationship with Versace. Maybe he was trying to portray “shocked” but I know that if I was in his position, I would have been at the hospital and not sitting down with police. Again, I felt that the situation was far-fetched and overplayed. Even Penelope Cruz’s portrayal of Donatella Versace seemed forced, yet I know little about her personally to know if the portrayal is off.

But fans are happy, and so am I. It is great to see Ricky continuing to get recognition and a role in such a prominent television show that is shown all over the world. Following Ricky since Menudo, it is always nice to see him succeed and maybe one day, I won’t look at him as 12-year-old Little Ricky…but as a Menudo fan, I doubt it.