Feliz Cumpleaños, José Feliciano, a Boricua Smoothie | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Feliz Cumpleaños, José Feliciano, a Boricua Smoothie

You're likely asking, who the Hell is José Feliciano? Is he Puerto Rican, a la J.Lo? Yes. You can call him Jayfey for all we care; but that's not it, is it? He's this weird guitar-wielding X-Man who fought evil alongside Ray Charles and your neighbor's blind cousin boy. That's the truth. Google it.

Check the following Republican-type Feliciano facts: A) Jayfey was not part of the team of Navy SEALs who excised Bin Laden from reality; B) when your car broke down last June in Medley, Jayfey was not even within three miles of the AAA call center you rang for a tow; and C) when the World Cup plays out in Brazil in 2014, Jayfey will probably be away on a Polynesian island.

Still not clear? What we know is that for the last six decades this old-school, blind troubadour has ruled the world, acoustic guitar in hand. That's his superpower. Who else could make Christmas a less than uncomfortable experience and up Jim Morrison's game in one fell swoop? This fucking X-Man, that's who.

Born on this date in 1945 in Lares on the Isla del Encanto, José Montserrate Feliciano García's world was stymied by congenital glaucoma (please, no weed jokes). But overcoming adversity for Feliciano came with a guitar. He picked up at an early age, and committed himself to the craft. A regular in Greenwich Village after relocating to NYC, the musician was a contemporary of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan on the folk music circuit.

And since Hispanics tend to stick together, his first breaks came from bolero recordings in Argentina. Not one to downplay his condition, one of his better songs was the 1969 acerbic "No Dogs Allowed" in response to the Queen Mother's archaic ruling against rabies. How's that for tits?

Now just a digit away from 666, Feliciano proves himself an eternal jokester and scenester. This year's new release, The King shows him paying homage to Elvis Presley. The cover album is worthy of middle-era Ramones fare. Do you know why we can sit here and poke fun? Because Feliciano wouldn't have it any other way.

Take that Christmas! From the bottom of his heart!!!

Take that Jim Morrison! You fucking hippie!

Take that Royalty! Ass-backwards inbreeds!

Take that love! Blinded with guitars!!!

Take that memory loss and heartbreak!

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Abel Folgar

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