Archive for December 28th, 2010

1913, December 28 – GARDEL MEETS MADAME JEANNE

One thing is clear about Madam Jeanne, she ran the Chatecler, one of the most chic brothels in all of Latin America…she claimed that her name was Giovanna Ritana and that she was French; she may in fact have been Lucia Combe who had been one of the many young prostitutes who had come over from Italy…the evening had started at the upscale Peru Cafe on Avenida de Mayo, where Pancho Teruel, painting visions of “creme de la creme” of  Buenos Aires,  had prevailed upon Gardel and Razzano to reunite in a performance for a group of politically and socially important people…the event was a great success and a prominent member of the group suggested that they continue the evenings festivities to the Chantecler…it is there that he met Madam Jeanne for the first time; which along with that of Isabel Del Valle, was the beginning of  Gardel’s longest lasting relationship…a relationship that would lead to his brush with death three years later…

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Madam Jeanne, had been in a longstanding relationship with a shady, underworld figure by the name of Juan Garesio….Juan became immensely jealous and intense and violent fights between him and Madam Jeanne were to follow; eventually he hired one Roberto Guevara, apparently the father of future legend Che Guevara, to kill Gardel…on December 11, 1915 Gardel had just finished a performance at the San Martin Theater and was walking away from the place when Guevara caught up with him and shot him….the newspaper La Nacion reported that the victim had been rushed to Juan A. Fernandez hospital where he was in serious condition; the bullet remained lodged in Gardel’s lung and eventually doctors decided that the most prudent course was to leave it there and let him heal without further intervention….weeks later, Gardel now fully recovered, hired Juan Ruggerio to negotiate a settlement whereby no further attempts on his life would be made…on the night of June 24, 1935 when his lifeless, burned body is pull from the plane wreckage in Medellin Colombia, the bullet from the lung that was recovered in autopsy confirmed that the deceased was indeed “Charles Romuald Gardes”, alias Carlos Gardel, singer.

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