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Pappo is the pseudonym of Argentine blues and metal/rock musician Norberto Napolitano (Buenos Aires, 10 March 1950 – Luján, Buenos Aires Province, 24 February 2005).
A native of the middle-class La Paternal neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Pappo started playing the guitar at the age of ten, and became active in Argentine rock since its beginnings; Pappo was a force in its transition from English to Spanish as guitarist of Los Gatos, the first rock band to enter the mainstream charts in Argentina. He also played in the first incarnation of cult band Los Abuelos de la Nada and in the quasi-psychedelic La Pesada del Rock and Roll.
With his band, Pappo's Blues, he recorded and toured extensively. He became an underground working-class hero, but received no radio airplay. In the mid-1970s, Pappo spent some time in Brazil and also in England, playing alongside Peter Green (formerly of Fleetwood Mac), Lemmy (who later achieved fame with Motörhead), and other rock and blues greats. By the time in which they recorded the third album (Pappo's Blues Volumen 3), there had been two changes in the group: David Lebón (bass) left, and his place was taken by C.A Machi Rufino and Black Amaya, whose place was taken by Pomo. The recording of Pappo's Blues Volumen 4 was marked by the return of David Lebón and Black Amaya and the incorporation of Alejandro Medina. On the same year the discography company edited "Triángulo" and in 1975 Pappo's Blues Volumen 6 with songs that had already been recorded, in which Pappo played with Eduardo Barbagnatti and Eduardo Beaudoux. In 1978 Pappo, this time with Alejandro Medina playing bass and Darío Fernandez with the drums, recorded Pappo's Blues Volumen 7. On November 14, 1980 the band officially dissolved, but "Pappo's band" kept playing occasionally. The band recorded Hombre Suburbano in 1994; Caso Cerrado in 1995 and Auto Rojo in 1998.
Back in Argentina, Pappo formed Riff, a heavy metal band. During the
1982 Falklands war (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico
Sur), Argentine music was given a large share of radio play, and Riff
became popular with rockers.
Pappo was member of Los Gatos; later he led the bands Pappo's Blues
and Riff. This photograph was published by Pelo magazine in 1977.
Since 1984, Pappo alternated solo work with re-unions of Pappo's Blues and Riff.
In the late 1980s Pappo spent time in the United States and formed a new version of Riff, which became Pappo y Widowmakers (Pappo and the Widowmakers) in 1989. This version of the band was based in the Los Angeles / Hollywood California area, and the bandmembers were as follows: Dave Hatlee (bass), Rick Ness (rhythm guitar) and Saint Bongosto (drums).
Pappo y Widowmaker recorded a two-song EP in late 1989 and then embarked on tour back to South America in December 1989. They performed several successful shows in venues such as Club Satisfaction in Buenos Aires and The Superdomo in Mar Del Plata in 1990.
Pappo's other love was car racing. He raced in Argentina's top stock-car category, Turismo Carretera, and in motorcycle races, with limited success.
Pappo died in a road accident in Luján, Buenos Aires province on 24 February 2005. He went to dine out with his son Luciano and his son's girlfriend. According to the restaurant owner, Pappo left the restaurant inebriated; Luciano denies this allegation, claiming that the three drank no more than a single bottle of wine, so Pappo (a long-time drinker) could not have been intoxicated.
At route 5, km 71, Pappo's Harley-Davidson chopper touched Luciano's motorcycle. Pappo lost control, fell to the ground, and a Renault Clio car traveling in the opposite direction (Luján to Mercedes) hit him, causing his death.