an interview with augustine

as talked about in the show he and I did together, few people have captivated me more than this 71 year-old muso, Augustine.

from the minute I walked into his bar and watched him climb up on a stepladder to reach some of the older disco records he owned, I hated myself for not paying attention more in to my high school Spanish teacher.

through the help of a very kind youngster in town – the one who not translated my horribly edited podcast – I begged Augustine for 5 minutes to find out more about this gem.


this was one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve never understood.


how long have you owned this bar?

I opened it in 1961.

wow. how old were you?

17 years old. I was very young.

did you always plan for it to be a bar dedicated to Colombian music?

no, it kind of just happened organically. I had another bar before, which was fine. but it seemed to be missing something. with this one, I just started to bring records from home.

speaking of vinyl, how many do you own?

[laughs] I’m guessing around 5000, give or take.

which was the first record you purchased?

oh my, that was so long ago. I really don’t even remember. I was probably around 12 years old, I can guess. and I know it was a 78. but that’s all I can remember.

what is it about music that you love – why the obsession?

I cannot answer that question, I’m sorry. it was just something I was born with, given to me by my parents.

who’s your all-time favorite musician?

Carlos Gardel from Argentina. the best.

I’m guessing you’ve attended quite a few live concerts…

oh, so many over the years. if it’s tango or an Argentina orchestra and anywhere in the country, I would try to attend.

are you a fan of any new music?

definitely not. none. these babies today – they have no soul. they want to sing about sex, but they don’t know love. it’s for the attention, that’s all. they say things to make you turn your head, but there’s no depth.

what advice would you give them [new musicians] then?

go live a good life, then write about things that matter. don’t try to shock me. learn from the [musicians] before you.

okay – horrible hypothetical question: let’s say there’s a fire in here, and you can only grab 5 records. what would they be.

[laughs loudly] that’s already happened! twice!

you’re joking.

no! it happened the last time when the shop next door exploded. everyone in here grabbed all they could carry and within 3 minutes, we had all of the records outside. at first, they tried to form a wall between them and the records, but I ordered them not to.

you’re 71 years old now. how many more years do you plan on doing this?

they will carry my body out of here. this is something I can promise you.



note: if you’re ever within 200 miles of Augustine and his bar – El Sotareno, do yourself a favor and go meet this highlight.