BOD DYLAN, PINK FLOYD AND THE WINDMILLS

Some islanders, including notable Formentera residents, say that, after a serious motorcycle accident, Bob Dylan lived for a while in one of the La Mola windmills. But because there are no graphic testimonies of his passage, his presence has become part of the Formentera legend.

In a conversation with Joan d’es Moliner, who died in 2016, who was considered the last of the islands’ millers and received the Ramon Llull Award from the Balearic Government in 1998 in recognition of his work in the restoration of numerous mills. following the old construction techniques, he told us that he had heard of an American “who never missed visitors” who could have stayed in the mill he had inherited from his grandfather. But he told us with an evasive smile full of mischief, in that very Formentera way in which one never says no to avoid frustrating the illusions of those who ask only to hear only the answer they want to hear.

Joan d´es Moliner/ Foto Xescu Prats

Another testimony, this time from Pío Tur Mayans, a Piano professor at the Valencia Conservatory of Music and a well-known Formentera politician, stated several times that on more than one occasion he played chess with the artist at the Fonda Pepe. It could be a confusion since it seems evident that he had no reason to invent such a fact.

El molino de La Mola/ Foto Formentera In

On the other hand, it is known that between 1967 and 1969 the mill where Bob Dylan supposedly stayed was rented to a Belgian couple. One of its members, Helena Belzer, an artist residing in Formentera since that time, who held an exhibition on the island three years ago, assured that they never received or met Bob Dylan, nor does she understand how this rumor was born based on an assumption with such little foundation.

The explanation could be found in a young American who roamed the island during those years, named Eric Chefé, who posed as Bob Dylan taking advantage of a certain resemblance to the musician. According to what the brothers Toni and Bruce Gartell, known for their summer concerts in Sant Francesc “Jazz a la plaça”, explain, the fake Dylan had the same haircut as the Nobel Prize winner and the same clothing, which included a vest. identical to what the folk star wore in those days. Although, for obvious reasons, he should never have dared to walk with a guitar and a harmonica through the Fonda Pepe, the Plaza de Sant Ferran, or even through the fields of La Mola.

Bob Dylan

In any case, judging by the more than evasive character of the real Dylan, an aspect perhaps and only perhaps acquired during his supposed stay on our island, nothing will ever come out of his mouth that confirms or refutes this modern Formentera legend.

Helena Belzer/ Foto Carmelo Convalia

However, we do have evidence of other members of the counterculture of that time who knew how to appreciate the magic of this place, such as Pink Floyd. The British band traveled to the Pitiusas to film More, which narrates the self-destructive spiral in which its two protagonists immerse themselves and which was filmed entirely in Ibiza, with the exception of one of its scenes in the Sant Ferran mill. , in which both play with their blades like quixotes from the hippy era. The film, apart from the soundtrack composed by Pink Floyd, is directed by Barbet Schroeder and with the collaboration of the great Néstor Almendros as director of photography, who knew how to convey to us the singular beauty of the island of Ibiza before it began to exist. transform due to excessive construction.

Escena de la película More en el molino de Sant Ferran
Escena de la película More en el molino de Sant Ferran
Syd Barrett y Roger Waters
Syd Barrett y Roger Waters
El molino de la película en la actualidad
El molino de la película en la actualidad

Pink Floyd, Barbet Schroeder and Néstor Almendros met again to film together La Vallée, another great cult film, filmed this time in New Guinea, in which its protagonists undertake a journey through the jungle in search of a utopia.

But this was not the only visit of Pink Floyd to the island, since its founding member Syd Barrett was a close friend of Aubrey Powell, a graphic artist who had a house in Formentera and who used to invite the members of the band to spend a few days. famous band. So much so that his song Echoes, from his album Meddle, is said to be inspired by the echoes of the cliff of the La Mola lighthouse.

In addition to the two mills we have referred to, one of which, La Mola, is the only one where you can visit its interior, there are others in Sant Francesc and other points on the island, some of them restored in his day by Joan d’es Moliner, which will help you get closer to the other history of Formentera through these silent testimonies of what the life of its people was like from the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century.