Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna, known professionally as Rubén Blades, is a Panamanian singer, songwriter, actor, [musician, activist, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban, salsa, and Latin jazz genres. Enjoy Ruben Blades's best quotes below.
"I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance."
"A lot of times you're just conditioned by what's around you."
"People are a lot smarter than anyone gives them credit for being."
"I didn't do drugs, I never did do drugs. Never. I don't have any story of drugs, you know, to speak of. Never did drugs, never was interested in drugs and then I wasn't interested in the people around the drugs."
"I was a kid, and I remember my mother singing. She was also a radio soap opera actress, but my mother sang."
"So that I saw music as a way of documenting realities from the urban cities of Latin America."
"So that when I came to New York again, it was, I'm not too sure right now, but it was '74 or '75. I went to Miami in '74 and then I came to New York, I think, at the end of '74."
"So everything that ever happened, we knew about in Panama."
"It doesn't make sense for me to be a lawyer in a place where there is no law."
"I was born in Panama, the Republic of Panama, on July 16, 1948 in Panama City, in an area called San Felipe."
"I decided we should book ourselves, so I started booking the band."
"We had something to say. Whenever we played, people didn't dance, they listened."
"I was the first person to come into New York with a Latin American point of view which was also very much influenced by political happenings in Latin America."
"What is interesting in this is the exchange of music that occurred between New Orleans and Cuba, I mean, they had ferries that would go from one port to another."
"Rock is young music, it is youth oriented. It just speaks for a generation."
"You know, it was uncomfortable doing the same thing. I don't like a rut."
"And music was a very important part of our lives. The radio was on all day."
"It's almost as if people think that in Latin America we're not hip to what's happening here."
"There was no television, so the radio provided you with everything."
"They're making a ton of money, and no one is getting a nickel."
"But, when I was about thirteen, I began to sort of sing in my neighborhood."
"So I went to Miami in '74 with my family and while I was there it became obvious that we needed money and we needed to do something, because my family, we left without anything really, and we didn't have any money to begin with."
"So that when I came from Panama... my family was exiled in 1973 and they went to Miami."
"And, he'd seen me in Panama, and he talked about maybe doing something in New York so I hooked it up when I came here and I recorded in 1969 my first album with Pete Rodriguez."
"Every band had their own distinctive sound, but it was pretty much dancing music and rhythmic music with a tremendous emphasis on copying the Cuban models."
"Anywhere you had a commerce center, you had a lot of music."
"In those days the big U.S. labels didn't have any particular interest in the Latin market."
"It was very interesting, and we went to Germany and we toured Germany like we were a German band in 1985."
"So that in 1974, when I graduated as a lawyer, I figured I'm not going to be a lawyer under a military regime."
"What I do not accept is the fact that so many people's talents were ripped off."
"Yes, I was going to law school and it was closed in '69."
"The grandmother, the mother, the worker, the student, the intellectual, the professional, the unemployed, everybody identified with the songs because they were descriptions of life in the city."
"I think in New York we had respect and we would pretty much fill up the places where we went, but I never got the sense that we really were Number 1 here in New York among the Latin crowds."