July 26, 2021

“The music or the Atleti? An ‘X’ in the pool “

Julio Ruiz Llorente (Madrid, October 21, 1952) says goodbye to the airwaves this Friday. There he has been making generations of Spaniards vibrate with music for 50 years. Discovering talents on their ‘Disco Grande’, the last three decades on Radio3 (on RTVE since 1983), for which they ‘debuted’ Loquillo, The Secrets, Nacha Pop O The planets. This Friday he will do his last program that he has not stopped in all this time. Not even when he did the military in Lleida and every Friday he returned to Madrid to record the programs for the following week. Nostalgia invades him. It is a long time. He has dedicated his life to music, a world in which he is an institution. And his other passion is rojiblanca. Partner since 1958 (he left it for a few years, because he started working at Marca and it did not seem honest to him to combine both roles) and now president of the Los 50 association, Julio always takes time to talk about his Atleti and attends Mundo Deportivo the day before to ‘hang up the mic’ and put away your ‘Big Disk’. When it is said that music and Atlético de Madrid are intimately linked, Julio Ruiz can sign below.

It seemed impossible, but Disco Grande is leaving. Take a look back, what does it feel like?

There was an agreement between the RTVE management and the unions to promote youth employment, which I think is a very commendable measure. We have an age, in my case extension and penalties, because they are 68 years old, and we must leave the gap for the young people who come. I understand it, but of course, I am annoyed. Throughout my professional life, I am a journalist, I have tasted the three sticks, written press, radio and television and what life has given me is that the red light went on and tell people about my life and infect them with my tastes musicals. They are 50 years uninterrupted, trying to match the program to the passage of time. In RTVE I have been 30 years of the 50.

What moment do you keep from those 50 years?

I’m going to stay with details of interviews with artists. For example, one day at ten-something in the morning in a hotel on La Castellana. Keith Richardsfrom the Rolling Stones, I’m doing an interview. I have a coffee with milk. He a vodka with orange. 30 minutes of interview, there the manager, the assistant, the one from the record house here, the one outside … I with my tape recorder with the cassette, which at 30 minutes would stop … At that moment all the staff rushes at me, but he stops him and with gestures tells me to turn him around. 30 minutes with one of the Rolling Stones and he said let’s go on, he would be enjoying the talk. Later Bryan Ferry (Until 92 he had tunes that were not original, he had songs from him and from Roxy Music), when he was finishing the interview, he told me that if I was the one who played his songs as a tune, because from time to time money would come from Spain For our rights. And another anecdote with PJ HarveyHe suddenly pulled out a bag that he was carrying. They told me he liked it Shrimp and I gave him the Anthology of Camarón. The aunt was amazed, and then in an interview in England she remembered it. I gave it to him, but I was left without it ”.

Julio Ruiz, RNE journalist and Atlético de Madrid fan

Is it true that once, at the Vicente Calderón, they threw a model at him?

Totally true. There is a fellow from the media, Carlos Marcos, which was a few seats behind, like Vicente Valles, in the first amphitheater of the south end. One day I notice that they yell at me, I look, and he threw the model at me. If you ask me what the model was like, I don’t remember, but I’ve heard everything they’ve sent me ”.

Which group of those ‘discovered’ are you most proud of?

Well… The secrets, they came to the program one day to present the demo of Tos, which is the antecedent of Los Secretos, with an instrumental called La Caverna, it had a version of Neil Young… And of recent times, for transcendence, The planets. I get a model of a group from Granada. That cassette, written on a typewriter, ‘My little sister, I said’ I’ll play this tomorrow. ‘ For example, two super fat names.

Very Madridistas are not The Planets

No… Florent the guitarist is from Atleti and Whom of the Barça. The two ‘bosses’. They are very fans of Mendieta. I don’t know if they are anti-Madridistas, but they are not Madridistas.

Where does your passion for Atleti come from?

From my uncle, may he rest in peace. A school teacher from Calle Tribulete in Lavapiés is the one who inoculates me with the poison. I always say that if I were an alien and landed in this world, I couldn’t be from Madrid at all.


Because my way of being does not match the way of being that you have to always win and others.

Imagine that I have to take something out of your life. The music or the Atleti?

Bufff. Very difficult, there I can not. ‘X’ in the pool. But if we go to the beginning of time, Atleti is before music. In 58 I was already a member, I remember the card. The music came a little later, with my mother may she rest in peace, listening to Discomanía, a music classic. She was an avid music and radio fan. I have been fortunate that the two worlds have been part of my life in parallel. Don’t make me choose I was a sports journalist for 13 years, although it has fallen down in recent times, and music journalism, which in this country is Second B or Third division.

Do you agree with that statement that Atleti is rock and roll?

Totally agree. You only have to see one thing, the exhibition by Domingo J. Casas de Los 50, about performances at the Calderón: David Bowie, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Madonna, Michael Jackson… And with all due respect, until four days ago when the Rolling Stones played at the Castellana, they had played there Julio Iglesias, Placido Domingo, Pope…

What musical genre does Simeone like?

Well, I don’t know, I would like to know which foot Cholo is limping on. From German Burgos yes we knew. I discussed the 2010 Europa League final with him on National Radio. He already told me from time to time that there was little left to be with Cholo … I really liked Simeone when he saw him relaxed the other day, at the celebration. Many times when I say that I do not identify with this press, it is because they think that there are two monsters against whom it is going: One is Pep Guardiola and the other Simeone. Why? Because there are two who have touched the pinreles to the team that cannot be touched. One swept Madrid and the other is no longer the friendly team.

Julio Ruiz, DJ Rojiblanco, journalist who retires after 50 years with his radio program Disco Grande

Julio Ruiz, DJ Rojiblanco, journalist who retires after 50 years with his radio program Disco Grande

Did you suffer a lot with the League?

Yes, I have suffered, but I am outraged to see people who think that Atleti has won the League of Hernández Hernández or another referee.

What is the song of your life?

More than a song, an album that marks me. In fact, I pushed the musicians who passed through the program to make versions of that album. As I talk to you I am looking behind a clock and a piece of Atleti photon, Sgt. Peppers of the Beatles. For me it is a basic album that changed the history of music. It is another thorn that I have nailed. I’ve barely shaken Paul McCartney’s hand, but haven’t talked to any of them.

In that of the Beatles it coincides with Pancho Varona …

Sure, sure, I’m telling you. Sometimes I would have to stick my head out and say ‘here the Atleti is me, that Joaquín (Sabina) only moves his lips (laughs). Joaquín took things from Atleti, but the one from Atleti is Pancho.

There are many Atleti artists …

I don’t know, maybe that’s why Atleti is rock and roll. In more than one demo that they have sent me, they have ended up saying ‘Forza Atleti’ in the presentation. I’ve been relentless huh? If things were worth it, he would. Yes No No. There was a lot of athleticism in the 80s, in the 90s … Many bands. Nacho Garcia Vega of Nacha Pop, the cousin of the disappeared Antonio, Glutamato Ye-ye, con Patacho… In the world of rock or pop, and in the street, the one that means is usually from Atleti. Those of Atleti are from Atleti, those of Madrid, sometimes, one who was passing by.

Choose a single word to define what music and Atleti means in your life


Earlier I asked him about the song of his life. And the title?

For being more recent, the Miranda Cup at the Bernabéu. I still see myself in ’27’ going down to Neptune with my son. Everybody singing and screaming on the bus. It was putting an end to the time when they were looking for a worthy rival for a decent derby. And do it at home … They say we win a league every ten years. Well now every seven. And I think the deadlines are going to be shortened.

And now that?

Well, I have to think about it. At first I thought about disconnecting, but then I have seen that when I wake up on Monday the 21st and I don’t have to prepare the program for the day and move on to the next day, I don’t know what will happen. And then the 50s made me president, and it’s going to be an honor to be able to dedicate more time. that an association whose motto is the defense of Atleti, with so many illustrious names, choose me. It will be nice to spend time with it. And then, we will think of something to unite my two passions …