Sergio, 1990s.


Claudio Slon on Working with Sergio Mendes:

Brazilian Drummer Claudio Slon, who played on a transparent drum set during his years with Sergio Mendes.

Claudio Slon, a Sergio Mendes drummer for nine years, had this to say about working with Sergio in this excerpt that is quoted from his full interview with disc jockey Cenir on KUVO-FM Radio, Denver. This 2 hour interview is transcribed in full on The Official Claudio Slon Website.

DJ: So I'm going to try to play this "Casa Forte". Claudio, have you ever played at the Blue Note?

CS: Yes.

DJ: You have?!

CS: Yes, in New York with Sergio. Sergio Mendes.

DJ: Oh, wow. We did not talk about your work with Sergio Mendes. Before we go back to Edu Lobo, tell us about your work with Sergio Mendes.

CS: I spent a LOT of time in his group, like nine years total. Everybody told me that nobody can work with Sergio Mendes. And I did and it was fine. He's a very intelligent, very professional person, good player, but he doesn't play a lot anymore and now worries about business and stuff like that. But he can play when he wants to play. And I joined the group and we did 2-3 recordings every year; we toured Japan, Europe, everywhere in the world we toured it was great. The music was great; he always had the best singers, the best group - Paulinho Da Costa was playing percussion, Oscar Neves was playing guitars, then he had Gracinha Leporace singing, and it was a great time. I got to know the world and I got very well paid, which is a good combination!

DJ: Was it always crowded when you toured?

CS: Yes!!

DJ: Really?

CS: We did tours like in Venezuela, Japan - in Japan, for example, we did the Budokan which is a place that holds 50,000 people and it was sold out. And Edu Lobo was opening the show for us and he looked at that huge amount of people waiting for him and he said "I'm not going, it's too scary! I don't want to go on that stage, it's too many people! I'm not used to that." And we pushed him on stage and once he started playing, it was fine. We [also] played at the Lincoln Center, the White House for Nixon, (I have a photo taken with Nixon), so I did a lot of very important performances with Sergio.

DJ: What I'm going to do right now is play one tune of Sergio Mendes' - you are not in this recording, but at least my listeners will know who Sergio Mendes is if they don't know. I will play that because I don't have any here [of Sergio's] that you are on. Since you moved, you could not get your albums [laughter]....

CS: I have all the albums and they are all in storage!

DJ: So I will play this so you know who Sergio Mendes is, I'm sure you will recognize this, he is really really famous. Claudio Slon is not playing the drums there, but he played with this group for nine years. So let me play that and then I will come back and have time for Edu Lobo, my last song.

SONG: [Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, "Mais Que Nada" from Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 Greatest Hits]

DJ: So that was Sergio Mendes and Claudio Slon played with him for nine years. It's very significant. That means you're good! So I have time for my last song, Edu Lobo "Casa Forte" and there Claudio Slon plays the drums for Edu Lobo. And I am going to thank you very much for being here and for taking your time to come here. I loved our interview and talking here.

CS: It was my pleasure.

DJ: Thank you very much!

CS: Thank you!

SONG: [Edu Lobo, "Casa Forte" from Sergio Mendes Presents Lobo]

Back to Index