The last of the 3,000 copies of the first edition of ‘Sideral. Estrella fugada’ (Contra) was sold a short time ago, this 2023. The coincidence of the extinction of the initial circulation with the tenth anniversary of the publication of the book encouraged the publisher to launch a second edition. Without forgetting that 3,000 copies of a fictional biography about a little hero of the Barcelona ‘underground’ from the second half of the 90s 3,000 copies have been sold, however much the publisher and the author may have fantasized at the time with larger numbers.
Aleix Vergés Tramullas, son of the doctors Alfonso Vergés and Chisca Tramullas, was born in Barcelona in 1973 and died in the same city in 2006. Héctor Castells was a close friend of his since he was a teenager and occasionally worked as a manager or at least a bounty busker for Vergés, Sideral by his alias in the booths. It is not that they distanced themselves from a certain moment, but that their lives separated. When his friend died, “a literary character was born in Castells’ head,” says the author of ‘Sideral. Runaway Star’. However, it took seven years of mourning and Contra’s invitation before he got down to business. The result was and still is special. Under the premise of reflecting the “personality” of Sideral, whose existence was “absolute chaos at high speed in which reality and fiction were continually confused”, Castells chose to write a “visceral” text in which he combined “literature and life “. Sometimes this works out, and it is the case.
Vergés was an academic disaster in reputable schools in the upper area of Barcelona. His parents tried to find the right center for the boy, but nothing improved with the changes.. Imagine what happens in public education with any student who falls outside the standard range that the educational system is capable of handling.
Castells takes it quite for granted that Vergés suffered borderline personality disorderAlthough he admits that he ran into “a wall” over and over again when trying to figure out if Vergés was born or became troublesome. What he has no doubt about is that a family in which there was a demand to stand out, even if it was shown in progressive ways, did him no good. It was also a family that “adopted a bit” Castells at a difficult time in his life. Castells does not dedicate himself to biting a hand that he fed him but he does not close ranks with it either. “I think Aleix discovered the pleasure of absolutely denying what was expected of him and at the same time showing that he could be number one in another way”, the author assesses.
Not so much with the group Peanut Pie as with his ‘dj’ alias, Sideral, Vergés was the star of post-Olympic Barcelona, a pop faction. Free trend magazines were exploding, club culture was exploding, and Sideral magnetized both. He was tall, bony, and handsome, and what he lacked in cymbal technique he made up for in gusto and daring. For once we can talk about charisma. “He could make you feel like you’re on top of it, and the next moment it can tear you apart,” says Castells. And he adds: “I have never met anyone with so many fears and inner violence and at the same time desire and ability to be charming.” That he approached people while he was DJing made him sick, but people didn’t stop approaching him.
‘Sidereal. Estrella fugada’ describes a moment in Barcelona in which everything is pure and enthusiastic and at the same time the embryo of the current musical superpower is being developed. “Gabi Ruiz would be Darth Vader -compares Castells-. And Sónar would be Luke Skywalker”. Sónar would bet on the creative factor, while Primavera Sound, co-directed by Gabi Ruiz, would bet on the economic factor, Castells thinks. In any case, Sideral got along very well with Ruiz, the writer remarks.
young and old
Castells is not speaking metaphorically when he says that Aleix “never had a projection of himself beyond his youth.” Phrases such as “I will die young”, “I will not arrive at 40 anys or conya” were recurrent in him. The death of his friend, however, caught Castells by surprise: “I thought the most dangerous moment had already passed.” Panic attacks and the “toxic relationship with the entire universe.” But they had not passed, no.
‘Sidereal. Estrella fugada’ offers a complex look at “the last superstar of Barcelona’s booths”, in the words of Castells. And the first that gave a pop aura to the figure of the DJ. His biographer has no problem in acknowledging that he was surely a broken toy from a very specific era. Although it still came broken from the factory, he adds.