Is it adiós to Tío Pepe?

Madrid's neon knight upstaged by new Apple store Famous

Tío Pepe sign faces uncertain future as technology giant moves into building where it has stood for 75 years

One of Spain's most iconic images, the huge Tío Pepe neon sign that glows above Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square, has been shoved aside at the same time as a more recent force in global brand names – Apple – moves into the building that houses it.

The red and white neon figure of Tío Pepe, a guitar-toting sherry bottle dressed in an Andalucian-style short jacket and sombrero, has blinked at Madrid visitors for three-quarters of a century.


to upstage -

a sign -

to face (an uncertain future) -

an image -

huge (adj) -

to glow -

to shove aside -

a brand name -

guitar-toting -

to blink -

dictatorship (n) -

to loom -

coy (adj) -

a licence -

a firm -

a landmark -

iron (n) -

to gut (a building) -

a warehouse -

to be due to -

to spoil -

to go out (lights) -

a cull -

a commercial hoarding -

Will you miss the Tío Pepe sign?


Anonymous said…
Hi Graham:

When I came to Madrid, in 1957, from my village, the figure of Tío Pepe seemed to me the technological advance most important of the world. I stared it for long time. I like it today because it remembers when I was young, I think. ¡What a pity! I don´t know why I don´t want they move it. It´s a strange thing. It´s possible that people are linking with the things. Time, people and things move together, maybe everything is the same.

See you soon. José.
Graham said…
Hi José,

I agree with you. I don't understand why they would want to remove a much loved landmark from the Madrid skyline. I hope that they will have a change of heart.

... the most important tehcnological advance in the world. I stared at it for a long time. I like it today because it reminds me of when I was young, ... I don´t know why I don´t want them to move it. ... It´s possible that people are linked to things.

I got an e-mail the other day asking me to sign a petition to save Tio Pepe. We should try to get them to reverse the decision.

See you on Tuesday.
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham:

I have heard that they have delayed the decision because there are a lot of protest. See you. José.
Graham said…
Great news, José!

... a lot of protests.