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Kid Abelha

Kid Abelha & os Abóboras Selvagens are one of the most important groups of Brazilian rock. The group was formed in 1981 by bassist Carlos Leoni and saxophonist George Israel, who were studying at Rio's PUC. Leoni called his buddy, drummer Carlos Beni, and asked Paula Toller, another student at the university, to try some songs as a vocalist. Guitarist Beto Martins and keyboardist Richard Owens completed the band. The name, clearly inspired by Kid Creole & the Coconuts, was an on-the-spot solution for their first radio performance.

In the early '80s, during the rise of Brazilian rock, the Rádio Fluminense FM known as Maldita (literally, god-damned), propelled the dissemination of rock in Rio, opening generous spaces to amateur bands of the moment. In 1982, the band recorded a demo with new wave songs like "Vida de Cão é Chato Pra Cachorro" and "Distração." The tape was well received at Maldita and opened the doors for shows at the Circo Voador, an alternative space also enthusiastic about Brazilian rock. They opened there on November 13, 1982. In December of the same year, they were invited to EMI/Odeon's release party for the Rolling Stones' Still Life. After another show at the Circo, their two songs were included on the WEA compilation Rock Voador. Soon after came their first single, "Pintura Intima" and "Por Que Não Eu?" Extrapolating the underground scene that Brazilian rock was restricted to in that period, the single reached commercial radios around the country, selling 100,000 copies -- the first gold single of the new style. During 1983, the group performed many shows in Rio and opened in São Paulo.

In 1984, another single, "Como Eu Quero," went gold, yielding a contract for their first LP. Seu Espião, released in May, sold 150,000 copies with the group's new formation: Paula Toller, Leoni, George Israel, and guitarist Bruno Fortunato. On January 15, 1985, the quartet opened one night of the monumental Rock in Rio festival, playing for 250,000 people. In the same year, a second LP was released, Educação Sentimental, selling 200,000 copies. On February 23, 1986, their performance at the Cidade Live Concert festival marked another change in the group's formation. Leo Jaime, who had written "Fórmula do Amor" (together with Leoni), which had been recorded on one of Jaime's albums by Kid Abelha, didn't mention Leoni's name in the presentation of the song. Both disagreed using harsh words afterward, with other bandmembers having mixed reactions.

In the end, Leoni got out and Kid Abelha remained a trio. That was a hard blow for the band, as Leoni was the main composer/lyricist. While Toller and Israel put their brains together in a partnership idealized as a solution, they continued to tour through Brazil with the old repertory during 1986 and the following year, still under the designation Kid Abelha. In September 1987, during their show at the Palácio de Convenções do Anhembi in São Paulo, the LP Ao Vivo was recorded live and released the following year. But in 1987, Tomate was released, the first fruit of their new partnership, and a green one at that. The album sold 100,000 copies, while their shows evidenced a crescent dominance over their audience, as in the II Festival Alternativa Nativa, where, in front of 20,000 people, Toller added a Marilyn Monroe touch to her performance.

In 1989, the release of Kid was accompanied by a selling that was a bit superior to Tomate's. All their albums until 1994 sold around the same cipher: 100,000 copies. Kid Abelha continued their activities with several albums and tours. ~ Alvaro Neder

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