I Knew Them When ~~ Mary Bohling

babies double this one

Have I come to the “I Knew Them When” stage in my relationship with Il Volo? My love for them hasn’t changed one bit, but has the connection shifted to a new level?

It seems that they have gone from the personal “my boys” to “darlings of the world,” and the sharing of them is a little painful.
Still I am thankful for the “I Knew Them When” stage. It is grounded firmly in my heart.

I knew them when
they were boys playing soccer in the street….Mary postwhen they were awestruck at being signed by a big studio in LA….

when they were just finding their own identities as individuals in the group. …
…before they were dressed by Armani. Piero for Mary's postRemember Piero’s rolled up sleeves and the ever present vests and his spiky hair?   Remember Gianluca’s curls and Ignazio’s dimples….they are still there, but have receded a bit since his face got more mature?

Remember the boyish charm of their sweet faces before the signs of maturity set in?a - older

Don’t get me wrong….they have gotten more handsome and charming with time, but I’m glad that I was privileged to know them along the way from youthful exuberance to the sophisticated men they have become.

Thankfully, the path to fame hasn’t changed their caring attitude toward their fans. Self-importance hasn’t reared its ugly head.

In spite of it all, they are still “my boys.”

As Piero sang in Non Ti Scordar Di Me, “I’ll always have a nest here in my heart for you.”

So I’ll share them with the rest of the world. I know it’s what they want , but no matter how high they fly, I’ll always cherish the memory of “I Knew Them When.”

Il Volo  Mary

a - very young larger cropped & lg double

27 thoughts on “I Knew Them When ~~ Mary Bohling”

  1. The BOYS are still there in the grown and handsome men. It came thru during their interviews at Eurovision. I think once they go back to singing at concerts some of their old ‘selves’ will came back. I hope their new bosses let them be themselves. The small town boys in awe of their luck.

  2. I am so grateful that I too, “knew them when.”

    They have grown up so quickly, as young men their age tend to do. The change in Ignazio over the past 4 years or so are obvious. I just wanted to pinch those sweet baby cheeks. But Gianluca and Piero snuck up on me! Look at that last comparison picture. Even Gianluca’s thumbs have matured! Makes me feel kind of melancholy. I would like to have had a little more time with the “babies”.

    As far as Ignazio goes…wanting to pinch his cheek (the one on his face) just isn’t good enough anymore!

  3. What a beautiful story filled with love… I think most of us who knew them when feel exactly the same way… I look at their pictures and videos of when they began and wonder how those little boys of yesteryear could magically charm us as they did… How they had so much talent for their age… How they were so poised in interviews… Now they are gorgeous young men who are seasoned performers… But when interviewed, you can see the Charisma and love they show for their music, family, friends and fans… Then I realize they have not changed at all, yes they have matured, and yes the are even more beautiful than they were when they performed “Oh Solo Mio” for the first time together on the talent show that rocketed their career… But they are the same loving charming boys they were way back then… Yes, Mary for us who knew them when, they will always be OUR BOYS…

  4. Mary this is just beautiful and oh so true. Seeing them day to day in all of the social media you don’t really get the full perspective as to how much they really have grown up until you put these photos side by side. I was smiling reading this whole post and remembering how much I wanted MY own children to stay young forever…a bittersweet sigh here… Thank you for sharing this.

  5. A note from our site email:
    patricia moreira viegas ha compartido una publicación contigo sobre Google+.

    Exelente la performance de los chicos de Il Volo en la gran final del Eurovision Song Contest 2015 en Viena.
    Grande IlVolo!!! Grande Italia!! Forza ragazzi!!
    Translation from Spanish:
    Excellent performance of the guys from Il Volo in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna.
    Large IlVolo !!! Grande Italia !! Forza ragazzi !!

  6. Right on, Mary! Last night I played a video of Gian singing La Luna Che Non C’e (one of my favorite oldies) from TLUC days. If you find it on youtube it has photos of the guys from early on. There is one hilarious picture of them wearing white sports coats and baggy pants–Armani is a definite improvement! It’s good to watch the old videos every now and then!
    Still, I remember those days with a lot of fondness, happy I have been around for the whole journey to manhood and international recognition. Underneath it all, they are still our sweet, funny, unpredictable and lovely guys!

  7. They will always be our boys no matter what. I only hope that they come back to us. The world is waiting, but we are still in the wings. Love you “boys” Joanie G

  8. Il Mondo was the first song I heard them sing when they came storming down the walkway in 2009 watching them on my computer.
    The camera on each young boy when they each sang their part in the song & when it came to Ignazio he resembled my grandson so much I started to cry & now every time they sing that song so matter what age they are now or ever will be I’ll still end up crying.
    These cherished young men are permanently etched in my heart & nothing or no one is ever going to replace them.
    My grandson hasn’t lost the weight so he still reminds me of how Ignazio looked when I first saw him. Kuddos to me.

  9. Yes, Mary, I also remember them from “way back then”. When Piero had to have his hair covering his ears because they stuck out. When Ignazio had dimples and chubby cheeks. And when Gianluca was SO shy. They are now young men, but they will always be my boys. Please Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca come back to us. I (we) love you SO much..

    1. They do love the USA, we loved them first. I have been privileged to have watch them through the years. Like fine Italian wine they keep getting better,

  10. Time flies when you are having fun!! Loretta, what caught my eye , also, with the boys was Ignazio, who looked like my Grandson, Austin! Austin is the same age, and he, too, has slimmed down considerably! I was just flipping channels…what luck (fate)! It was love at first note! That video is still my favorite! I have Six Grandsons + il Volo and it’s been a blast watching them grow to be wonderful young men! Thanks Mary for your in put…..Dot…..

  11. Thank you, Mary! What a lovely post!!! I did not find The Boys till the PBS Special aired!!! I knew their greatness as each one sang their part of Il Mondo!!! They captured my heart with the first notes!!! I can not wait until they return to us!!! Have been visiting my kids so the time until they return goes by faster!!! Enjoying being with family very much. It will be wonderful to see the Italian Concerts as this Flight continues to unfold!!! Our sweet boys are still within the marvelous young men that they have become!!!

  12. Amen to all the comments! I think I knew last summer that it would be my last time to talk with them. It was a bittersweet moment, but I will always cherish the personal times I had with them. Those were the days, my friends!

    1. AAAKK! Vicki! There will never be a “last time!” Their lives and our love are only beginning! There will be many more opportunities to speak with them! The younger days are permanently in my heart, but I can’t wait to see them next time!

  13. I am sad I did not discover them as early as some of you have. I first heard them the day AFTER the American Idol performance when a DJ played a snippet of O Sole Mio and a few months later I discovered their first CD. I never buy CD’s unless I know the artist well ( sound, various favorite songs) but I bought it on a total whim. Thats when I fell in love with them solidly. I have to admit I felt a fondness for Ignazio in the beginning since he was the chubby guy and I had the experience of being the chubby kid too…plus his was the voice I could distinguish quicker! It wasn’t until I watched the PBS special in Detroit that I was able to see them perform and thats when I looked at that guy with the red glasses, spiky hair and THE BIG VOICE! That rascal Piero reached out and grabbed my heart.

    But I had trouble finding them on the Internet and so I wandered wishing for more.

    Then I found all of you. Bliss… thanks so much. If I ever meet you I promise I shall hug you til you squeak ( even if I have to stand on a footstool to reach Marie)

      1. Me too! Bringing the footstool.

        As you can see in my avatar/icon above, in heels I’m the perfect height. Lips to dimple!

  14. Mary, very heartfelt feelings, and not limited to just you I’m sure. Many of us here will confess to sharing those same sentiments, yet at the same time, we marval at what handsome, kind, courtious, and loving young men they have become. Soon after I got my computer, my neighbor sent me an e-mail with a you tube video attached. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I asked my son for help. As soon as I saw 3 young boys that were going to sing, I have to admit my immediate intention was to delete, but before I could do so I heard the first few notes and stopped dead in my tracks. OMG, what a shock! This was before the Detroit PBS special. When I saw them there, I was forever smitten. I don’t think I even took my eyes off the screen. They captured my heart in minutes. Now it’s not just their voices I admire, but it’s the guys themselves; who they are inside, outwardly, and what they convey to the world. What a joy they are, and how easily they are able to ignite joy within each of us. Here we are, all of us together, proclaiming our love, our respect, and our undying support. You’ve earned it guys!

    1. Kitty, just like you and Mary and most of us, I turned on the tv one day because there was a program I didn’t want to miss. The program before it was just ending. There THEY were! THEY instantly knocked me off my feet! Spent the remainder of the day on YouTube, watching and rewatching …long before there were thousands of Il Volo videos there.

  15. Marie, your comments about our boys are my sentiments exactly. They are now one of the most loved young performers in the world. The most talented, most beautiful young men I have encountered in my lifetime. I guess the one time meeting with them 1 1/2 years ago, will have to last me for a long time. I still take out my original concert ticket, the scarf, the beautiful tote bag and of course, my picture with the three of them where I’m holding on to Gianluca’s stomach. Sitting in the third row front and center. Ahhhhhh, what a night, what a night. Memories, lights the corners of my mind.

  16. I feel exactly the same way. I saw them on Good Morning America -is it now four years ago this month?! And then I got to hold Piero’s hand in October at their last concert of their first USA tour while he sang. Their music just thrills and unlocks something in our hearts. I still miss Piero’s vests and Gianluca’s curls…but we all get the pleasure of seeing Ignazio’s dimples.

    I don’t think I will ever be in a concert hall of just 1500 people with them again…more like 15,000. Sigh.

      1. Ohhhhh…hold Piero’s hand…I never thought to do that. What a lovely thing to do.
        Thanks Eileen for sharing.

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