This paper aims to chart the origins of the so-called Basque Radical Rock movement and its varied use by different social groups, from political organizations of the time to anarchist, marginalized youth needing to express the pessimistic view of their present circumstances. Basque Radical Rock represented a growing sense of modern Basqueness and difference that shaped the scene, moving away from pastoral images toward urban decadence. Although politics did influence the growth and spread of music throughout the Basque Country, many did not feel represented by these causes. The youth’s backlash against socio-economic conditions and their nihilistic view of the future is key to understanding the music of the period, as well as widespread drug use. The conditions and struggles epitomized in Basque Radical Rock left a lasting impact on Basque society. The music remains and still resonates during the existing crisis and has not been relegated to the past.

About the Author

Edurne Arostegui

Edurne Arostegui is a Ph.D. candidate in Basque Studies (History) at the University of Nevada, Reno, and at the University of the Basque Country. Her dissertation analyzes Basque women’s migration to the American West with an intersectional approach to gender, labor, and ethnicity within migration experiences. The two main focuses of her research are Basque migration to the United States on the one hand, and Basque Radical Rock on the other. She has taught Basque Culture as well as War, Occupation, and Memory in the Basque Borderlands at UNR. Arostegui has written on Basque stereotypes in American fiction, gendering the Basque diaspora, Basque collectivities in the Americas, and book reviews.


B.A. History and Music – U.C. Berkeley, 2009

M.A. History: Europe and the Atlantic World, University of the Basque Country, 2014