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Argentine rocker Gustavo Cerati in intensive care after suffering a stroke

May 19, 2010 |  5:40 pm

Gustavo Cerati When I interviewed Argentine rock idol Gustavo Cerati this spring, prior to a rare L.A. appearance, he sounded energized and upbeat to be touring and promoting his latest disc, "Fuerza Natural."

Now, the former Soda Stereo frontman lies in intensive care in a Caracas hospital after suffering a stroke at the end of a Saturday concert in Venezuela.

According to news reports, Cerati, 50, underwent brain surgery for a potentially lethal blood clot. His doctors say the next 72 hours will determine the singer-guitarist's prognosis for recovery.

"We must have faith," said drummer Charly Alberti of Soda Stereo, one of the most popular and influential Latin American rock bands of the last 25 years. "My head has been boiling since I found out on Sunday."

Cerati is, like his album's title, a force of nature whenever he picks up a guitar. He's also an enduring symbol for a generation of South Americans who first tasted cultural freedom when they were in their teens or 20s, and several of the continent's remaining dictatorships were finally withering away. 

So let's pray he can pull through.

-- Reed Johnson

Photo: Clarin (Buenos Aires)

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