Luis Carlino

Luis Carlino

BandRockPop

Biography

I couldn’t blow my own trumpet if Sachtmo came back to hit me in the head with it, so this is what my friend Carlos Ruano, a brilliant journalist, wrote:

“I’m sorry to be late, but I was busy living,” he told me when I asked why he took such a long time to publish the flashes of genius that make up ‘Emotional exile’. “As far as my music is concerned, I’ve always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and my alternative lives have been too good for regrets.”

His eyes – with turquoise blue irises that, defying science, react to mood changes as well as light – twinkle with irony as he recounts the highlights of what he calls “my cat lives”: posh teenage rocker, philosophy graduate, trained classical musician, foreign correspondent, media executive, three marriages, several close calls and, finally, a wonderful daughter …

I met Luis in the mid 80’s as a seasoned journalist that hid a deeply sceptical philosopher behind a wild sense of humour, but it was the artist that finally dazzled me. It was shortly after arriving in Madrid that, encouraged by the comeback of his idols – like Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon – he began writing the 10 songs that, after years of barking up the wrong tree, try now to hit a road clogged by heavy traffic. It would have been a sin that the work of this major composer remained within the four walls of his friends’ living rooms.

Luis was born on April 9th, 1952 in Buenos Aires. His father, Carlos Carlino, a well-known poet and playwright, was the penniless heir of a family of grain merchants wiped out by the 1929 Wall Street crash, and his mother, Nélida Chiarello, a theatre actress. At the age of four, he started studying classical guitar, but one year later -- watching Elvis Presley on television -- he discovered his two lifelong loves: rock n' roll and the English language.

Educated at an English school for black sheep, he formed his first group -- aptly named The Jerks -- at 14 to sing early Rolling Stones and Kinks material, and at 17 he started writing his own songs -- in English. In 1970, he made his pilgrimage to San Francisco, and six months at the Haight Ashbury finally convinced him that his future was not in the incipient Buenos Aires rock scene, where groups were making the first attempts to develop Spanish language material.

While still a philosophy student at Buenos Aires University, he joined Reuters as a subeditor in 1973, and three years later he was posted to Panama as a correspondent -- a lucky move that got him safely out of the country during the first, bloody years of the military dictatorship. After covering the Panama Canal Treaty negotiations and the start of all the little dirty wars that plagued Central America in the late 1970's, he went back to Argentina and -- bored of the bland pop music of the time -- started studying classical piano and composition.

Following a stint working at Reuters' Fleet Street headquarters, the Falklands war -- which he covered from Buenos Aires --, his first divorce and the death of his parents sealed his emotional exile, and he took a job as correspondent in Spain. After years of blissfully studying the classics with no ambition whatsoever, his songwriting bug reawakened, and well-meaning people helped push him into the thankless task of trying to find an outlet for his music -- in the wrong language by a composer of the wrong nationality living in the wrong place -- while writing lyrics -- in Spanish, naturally -- for his famous friends across the pond.

In 100 hectic hours of 1992, he recorded the demos for his unreleased first album, Emotional Exile, with his lifelong friends Quique Berro playing guitar, Willy Iturri on drums and Octavio von der Heyde adding backing vocals.

Quique -- a Guildhall graduate who recorded two guitar albums with Genesis founder Anthony Phillips – is one of Argentina’s and Spain’s top session men and has worked, among others, with Joaquín Sabina, Pedro Guerra and Alex Ubago.

Willy -- one of Latin America's top drummers -- was the rhythm behind the legendary Charly Garcia’s best albums and a former member of supergroup G.I.T.. He now lives in Chile and has just released his first solo record, AyerHoy. Luis wrote the lyrics for his songs in G.I.T’s last album, Distorsión, and three of the solo album tracks.

Luis spent the next few years banging his head against the walls of the music industry territorial divisions. In the UK, despite the backing of some top record executives and his seasoned agent,
companies said the music was great but he wasn’t there so he should try it in Spain. In Madrid, they said the material was wonderful and he was welcome to come back when he had something in Spanish.

In 2005, with new songs demanding to be written, he started taking digital recording lessons with Guido González – an Argentine musician, producer and sound engineer based in Madrid. When Luis played him the old 16-track Emotional Exile master, Guido convinced him t

Lyrics

Emotional exile

Written By: Luis Carlino

I never had to run for my life,
seek my fortune or the promised land,
but I'd rather be where no one knows my name.
I packed my things when there was nothing left
for me to hope or miss, with no regrets.
Closed the door without ever stopping to look back.
I'm an emotional exile, emotional exile ...
Sometimes a sad smile strikes a distant chord,
and you look again half hoping it wasn't there at all.
Oh, look at the stranger.
Oh, he's an emotional exile, emotional exile ...

They always wanted to be someone else,
or hurt too badly to remain the same,
but most of all they simply felt too much.
When there's no choice but starting over again,
and you have nothing to lose but your pain,
when you feel that you're only leaving ghosts behind,
you're an emotional exile, emotional exile ...
Sometimes a sad smile strikes a distant chord,
and you look away half hoping it wasn't there at all.
Oh, look at the stranger.
Oh, he's an emotional exile, emotional exile ...
We're all emotional exiles, emotional exiles ...

Loneliness

Written By: Luis Carlino

Loneliness
is sometimes just too easy.
Loneliness
can be a way round
all kinds of troubled skies.
Loneliness
has a way of creeping in on you.
Loneliness
is like a frozen breath
going slowly down your neck, so baby.

Is it true that you're finally,
finally leaving me?
Aren't you gonna grant me one more fight
for you?
I know it's not like you to run away,
giving up when things aren't going you way.
So hold your reins,
let's have it once again.

Loneliness,
I've been there many times, babe.
Loneliness
can be an alibi
for when it's cold inside.
Sure I know 'bout
loneliness,
I've cried my own sweet tears, baby.
Loneliness
is like a warm rag
you throw on empty hearts, so baby.

Is it true that you're finally,
finally leaving me?
Aren't you gonna grant me one more fight
for you?
I know it's not like you to run away,
giving up when things aren't going you way.
So hold your reins,
let's have it once again.

Farewells

Written By: Luis Carlino

Here's a sad song for farewells,
as you run away in the morning train
as you take a final leap out of my life.
Here's a mad song to ease the pain,
for we won't be lovers and we can't be friends,
'cause our love's too strong to share with someone else.

You came with the April moon
like rain on thirsty ground,
on a magic night that was slowly dying.
Just the touch of your hand
sent a shiver through my bones
and I knew I had to have you no matter what.
Here's a sad song for farewells,
here's a sad song for farewells.

You were hurting from a broken heart,
and you just weren't ready for love at first sight
as we danced one step into each other's lives.
I was drifting down a long white line,
and I couldn't see beyond my starry eyes
when I finally had the chance to make you mine.

You came with the April moon
like rain on thirsty ground,
on a magic night that was slowly dying.
Just the touch of your hand
sent a shiver through my bones
and I knew I had to have you no matter what.
Here's a sad song for farewells,
here's a sad song for farewells.

Deep in the ocean

Written By: Luis Carlino

DEEP IN THE OCEAN

Deep in the ocean
lie buried all our secrets.
Deep in the ocean
is where it all began.
Deep in the ocean,
in the bottom of our hearts.
Deep in the ocean
you don't take life for granted.
Deep in the ocean,
no mercy for the weak.
Deep in the ocean
what you are is what you see.

I'm a treasure seeker in an isle of doubt.
Down, down, down I hear the call.
I can't believe there's nothing more than this,
some truth must lie beneath this sea of dreams.
Deep in the ocean ...

Deep in the ocean
lie buried all our secrets.
Deep in the ocean
is where it all began.
Deep in the ocean,
in the bottom of our hearts.

I'm a treasure seeker in an isle of doubt.
Down, down, down I hear the call.
I can't believe there's nothing more than this,
some truth must lie beneath this sea of dreams.
Deep in the ocean ...

© Luis Carlino

Fire in my soul

Written By: Luis Carlino

FIRE IN MY SOUL

If someone tells you
about my life.
Should someone tell you
of all the ones that came
before you made your way
into my heart.
Leave them alone,
they're ghosts with no meaning.
I didn't know
there could be someone like you.

No name or number,
nowhere to go,
no snapshots in my wallet
or letters in my drawer.
No one to long for,
no one to mourn,
no path I should have taken
that wouldn't lead to you.
Oh, that's how you'll have me,
as if I'd been born
the day your eyes first started
this fire in my soul.

When nights were lonely,
my heart grew cold.
When nights were lonely,
I took what comfort I could get
from thinking that was all there was.
What could I do?
I didn't know any better.
Closed every door
'till I felt nothing at all.

No name or number,
nowhere to go,
no snapshots in my wallet
or letters in my drawer.
No one to long for,
no one to mourn,
no path I should have taken
that wouldn't lead to you.
Oh, that's how you'll have me,
as if I'd been born
the day your eyes first started
this fire in my soul.

© Luis Carlino

Silently

Written By: Luis Carlino

SILENTLY

She stares into her mirror
and pulls down her skirt.
He flicks the pages of a magazine,
can't take his eyes off her.
He fumbles for a cigarrette,
casts a look of helplessness.
She reaches for her bag and blushes,
hands him one of hers.

And their fingers sparkle
as they brush so casually,
their hearts stop for a beat or two
as words flow silently.
And his eyes look deep into hers
asking quietly:
Shall I try to find you, shall I see you again?

Her eyes turn to the window,
a car door's been slammed shut.
A man's steps close in on the door
while she throws one last look straight at him.
She gets up with the doorbell chime,
works her face into a smile,
she's out before her man can walk in
and risks a final glance.

And her eyes get cloudy
as she backs off casually,
their hearts stop for a beat or two
as words flow silently.
And her eyes look deep into his,
promise quietly:
I'll make sure I find you, we shall meet again.

© Luis Carlino

Sweet dream

Written By: Luis Carlino

SWEET DREAM

Ever since I can recall,
the world's been not
the kind of place I cared to be,
it proved so hard to please.
Someone out there's going through the motions,
but I've always been elsewhere,
nowhere you can find me.

Sweet dream, sweet dream,
don't wanna wake up.
Sweet dream, sweet dream,
don't wanna come back, come back, come back,
I've got a sweet dream,
don't wanna wake up,
don't wanna come back.

Look at me, behind the eyes
a wild wind blows
my ship across the seven seas,
away into the deep.
People may believe their funny notions,
but I've always been elsewhere,
nowhere they can find me.

Sweet dream, sweet dream,
don't wanna wake up.
Sweet dream, sweet dream,
don't wanna come back, come back, come back,
I've got a sweet dream,
don't wanna wake up,
don't wanna come back.

© Luis Carlino

Friday night

Written By: Luis Carlino

FRIDAY NIGHT

It's Friday night.
Laughter ripples through the crack of footsteps
hurrying home.
It's a fiery night.
Lovers rush to dates in their best clothes,
light in their eyes.

And the lonely people,
where do they all come from,
where do they go?
While I ride through the haze
into the glow of a burning pyre.
Maybe some loving, maybe some loving
will come my way.

It's Friday night.
Hustlers in their warpaint comb the sidewalks,
hunt for trade.
It's a fiery night.
Killers stalk for prey in the alleys,
fear in their eyes

And the lonely people,
where do they all come from,
where do they go?
While I ride through the haze
into the glow of a burning pyre.
Maybe some loving, some kind of loving
will come my way.

© Luis Carlino

Don't talk about love

Written By: Luis Carlino

DON'T TALK ABOUT LOVE

Baby, you know I try so hard,
wish I could just believe you.
Some years ago
I would have surely bought it all.
But now that I've been hurt enough,
I just don't let words betray
the feelings that I know will die
just like everything else does.
Some things you'd better keep to yourself.

You can say you need me and that's all.
Don't talk about love ...
You can say you want me and that's cool.
Don't talk about love ...
Don't talk about love,
it's got no meaning.

I've heard it all so many times,
with lots of different meanings.
Four letter words
are very often said in haste.
But now that I've been hurt enough,
I just don't let words betray
the feelings that I know will die
just like everything else does.
Some things you'd better keep to yourself.

You can say you need me and that's all.
Don't talk about love ...
You can say you want me and that's cool.
Don't talk about love ...
Don't talk about love,
it means nothing.

© Luis Carlino

I'll be watching you

Written By: Luis Carlino

I'LL BE WATCHING YOU

I don't wanna be your fantasy,
I don't wanna be your slave.
You've been eyeing me
from afar and above
and I just can't bring myself to get near you.

I've been watching you,
I've seen cracks in your grand facade.
I've been watching you,
there's fire behind your cool smile.
But something tells me
that our time has yet to come.
I'll be watching you ...

I've been chasing dreams way too long
and caught them once too many a time.
I'm not sure at all
that to get what what you want
is worth more than having something to hope for.

I've been watching you,
I've seen cracks in your grand facade.
I've been watching you,
there's fire behind your cool smile.
But something tells me
that our time has yet to come.
I'll be watching you ...

I don't wanna be your toy for just a while.
I don't wanna be just something you use and throw away.
I want you to want me ...
I'll be watching you ...

© Luis Carlino