Madrid is a city full of interesting tales and legendary people dating back centuries. But the story of Ángeles Rodríguez Hidalgo, who inspired this famous statue, is one of my favourites.
Ángeles Rodríguez was born in Argentina in 1900 and relocated to Spain as a small child. She was left to raise five children after being widowed at the age of 41 and worked as an assistant and at the Post Office. She led a modest life in the working-class neighbourhood of Vallecas and did not achieve notoriety until her seventies.
Ángeles probably expected to live out her life like a normal grandmother until the night that her grandson took her to a heavy metal concert. She fell in love with the music and her life changed. Madrid in the 1980s was certainly rocking and she became a fixture in the city’s music scene, always going out in her famous leather jacket and cap. She regularly contributed to radio shows, El búho and Parada, and, into her 90’s, had a weekly column in Heavy Rock magazine, titled La abuela consulta.
She passed away in 1993 at the ripe age of 93. Her legacy lives on in this sculpture, created by artist Carmen Jorba, of Ángeles in her classic clothing, giving the rock salute. While Ángeles’ statue is outside the central core, it is worth the trip to Vallecas to get a sense of her neighbourhood and put her story into context. Come and hang out with her sometime!