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Guitarist Who Inspired The Beatles, Beach Boys, Hendrix Returns To St. Louis

Courtesy of Angel Romero
Angel Romero

Even if you haven’t heard classical guitarist Angel Romero play, you’ve heard his influence.

“My guitar goes back so long,” he told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “They interviewed George Harrison of The Beatles. They asked him ‘How did you start playing the guitar?’ He said ‘From picking at Angel Romero’s records.’ Jimi Hendrix and all that, they told me that every single night he would put on my recordings before going to bed. My music has crossed over to them as much as theirs has crossed over to me.”

The Romero family moved to the United States in the late 1950s. In 1960, they formed Los Romeros, a guitar quartet with Romero, his father and two brothers. The group still performs: Angel Romero left the group in 1990 for a solo career, and was replaced by a nephew. Romero’s father died in 1996 and was replaced by Angel Romero’s son.

Romero still frequently sees his brothers, and he recently joined the quartet for a Christmas performance.

Angel Romero, who, like his father, also is a composer, will perform Saturday in St. Louis. During that concert, sponsored by the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society and The Sheldon, he will play one of his father’s Cuban-style compositions, “Fantasia.”

“This is one of the most difficult, if not impossible, pieces to play because it has a lot with the left and the right hand hitting within two inches of each other,” Romero said. “It’s a technique that my father developed. All the electric guitar players that have become legendary, they all copied that technique of my father from the ‘Fantasia.’ ”

Romero has a loud personality and wardrobe. Much to the chagrin of his wife and teenage daughter, he’s frequently seen in a tank-top and bathing suit. When he’s not at the beach, he’s most at home on stage.

“I love people, and I always have been very social,” he said. “For me, being on stage, I see the audience as one person. I never take it apart. Even I address them, jokefully, ‘ you out there.’ They are my family. The audience is my family.”

Off the stage, Romero also likes to paint.

“I love nature, so I paint nature,” he said. “I love the impressionists. Also the baroque style of painting. But for me, imagination takes it in life. If you can look at the ocean and imagine anything, or look even into space and your mind creates things. This is where the impressionists come in. They didn’t draw exactly like a photograph. They had the concept of painting what they saw and also what they imagined.”

Related Event

Angel Romero

  • When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015
  • Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.