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Rosendo Mercado Ruiz, known to Spanish rock fans only by his first name, was born in Madrid on February 23, 1954. Rosendo was brought up in the town of Carabanchel, where he would live for most of his adult life. Having learned guitar at an early age, he dropped out of engineering school as a young adult in order to play full-time. He joined a cover band called Fresa, which with time and some personnel changes became the popular Spanish rock band Nu. After recording an album with the group, Rosendo split off in 1977 due to personality conflicts with some of his bandmates. He took the band's bass player and drummer with him and formed a new group called Leño. In this new formation, Rosendo made his recording debut on some compilation records released by the Chapa Discos label in 1978. A year later Leño released their self-titled debut, followed by their sophomore effort Mas Madera in 1980. Following the successful live disc En Directo (1981) and Corre Corre (1982) Leño participated in the wildly successful Rock de una Noche de Verano tour. Having reached new heights of popularity, the band broke up in the fall of 1983. Rosendo wasted little time in embarking on his solo career, initiated by his 1985 release Loco por Incordiar. Though many of his early releases as a solo artists suffered criticism (Fuera de Lugar, A Las Lombrices) Rosendo stayed artistically active. He recorded prolifically throughout the '80s and '90s, generating almost a record per year for two decades. For his achievements and incredible staying power, Rosendo was awarded the Medalla de Oro al Merito en las Bellas Artes in 2006, which was followed by his 2007 release El Endemico Enbustero y el Incauto Pertinaz. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez