Sabina’s professions before being Sabina

The 19 days and 500 nights of Sabina could have become 500 yearsif the singer had had to serve time for this Molotov cocktail he threw in 1970 in front of a bank branch in Bilbao in protest against the Burgos affair. In the famous Burgos trial, 16 ETA members accused of murdering three people were tried. Nine were sentenced to death. But national protests and international pressure succeeded in getting Franco to change the death penalty to life imprisonment (500 years).


Fate wanted Joaquín managed to go into exile thanks to Mariano Zugasti who gave him his identity after meeting altruistically one evening over a drink. He never saw him again. But it was he, one of those who made him “believe in the human race” as he confessed in an interview with carlos boyero.

About to graduate in Romance Philology from the University of Granadatook refuge for a few months in Paris is going to meet up with her girlfriend and university classmate, Leslie, in the UK. Leslie was an Englishman with a very liberal father for the time. It was she who devoted herself to developing a strategy with lawyer friends so that Sabina was granted political asylum in England. This man from Jaen managed to gain public opinion by appearing in different British media where he claimed to be persecuted in Spain due to his political involvement, and with it a year of residency. They settled first in Edinburgh then he left her and settled in London where he spent seven long years but where he could live like the liberal that flowed in his blood.

not even to eat

Director, Fernando Leon de Aranoa, brought him back to that past. At this time when Sabina had no identity, she lived outside the law, he didn’t know the language, he didn’t have any money and he smoked with a cap. It is there that with his long hair, he discovers with Leslie, Bob Dylan, Anglo-Saxon music when he knows nothing about it, intellectual and sexual freedom, and joints. These were “good times” but “not easy”.

In the imminent premiere of his film this November 17, we will see this Joaquín who “didn’t have to eat hot or eat sausages” as he remembers.

his other works

He started working in a retirement home in which they left him a “small room” to live. Sabina worked as a stretcher where “every time a grandfather died” he carried him on a stretcher to put him in a refrigerator while waiting for the family to arrive.

He also worked in a restaurant preparing meals and as a waiter. It was Saturday when guitar in hand, this guitar he asked his father to exchange for the famous gift of the watch he wore at 18, when he sang on a corner of Portobello Road and then passed the cap.

All of this happened to Sabina before she became “a small local star within a circuit of Latin hospitality establishments. In one of them, called Mexicano-Taverna, she even performed the Happy birthday to you for George Harrison himself“, as the story goes Javier Mendez Flores in ‘Forgive the sadness’. A story that the singer himself changed over time because he said Harrison gave him 5 pounds and he kept that note like gold in cloth and then he said he had lost it in a move and on another occasion that, that night, he drank them. Sabina’s magic will always be with him.

It would be in 1977 that the singer could regain his beloved bull skin, after a failed attempt in 1973. Jerónimo, his policeman father, managed to intercept the warrant for his arrest, and warned him that he was in danger if he stepped on Spanish soil.


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