Among the many live shows of these days, I saw this video made by the QUESTION & ANSWER program, conducted by Serena and Alessandro asking Michele Torpedine questions of all kinds. I found the answers very interesting and that help us to better understand the manager of our guys.
Enjoy the reading!
S = Guys, Michele Torpedine, manager of Il Volo and author of the book, RICOMINCIO DAI TRE will soon be with us. (she shows the book).
He is a great character in the world of music, he has launched many famous singers and it is an honor to have him here.
(After 10 minutes, Michele connects)
MT = Hi everyone, so what are we talking about today? What should I expect from you Serena? Should I call the lawyer?? (laughs)
But do I have to answer all the questions?
S = Yes, to all questions, and you cannot ask us questions.
Alessandro asked me if I am a little afraid of you, and I am a little afraid of you, because I have read your book and you say you do not have a nice character.
MT = I have a bad temper with those who deserve it, otherwise I am very sweet.
I become grumpy and unpleasant with those who deserve it, but with people who do well I don’t.
A = Can we also mention names in the questions, or not?
MT = The names yes.
S = My first question is this: is there anything about you that cannot be joked about at all?
(the connection with Michele disappears and when it reappears there is no audio, therefore Michele is asked to exit and return from the live. Michele re-enters, everything is ok.)
MT = No, apart from the physical aspect and the problems of sex, everything can be said about me.
S = But I have all questions about Michele sex!!
MT = I’ll try to answer you.
S = Alessandro ask yourself, the first questions.
A = Which is the artist with whom you have had working relationships, who has been the most underrated?
MT = From me or from the audience?
A = The one who didn’t get what he deserved.
MT = There is one in particular, which I brought to Sanremo years ago, his name was Roberto Amadè, he is a great songwriter. We reached the final in Sanremo, but then, the discography and the television viewing did not appreciate him for what he deserved. He is very strong.
A = Because of him or not?
MT = Because the “connoisseurs” did not consider him suitable. You know, you always see the image of those who are doing well (means those who are welcome), of the others not, and with him there was nothing to do, unfortunately, because he was very strong, and he still is because he writes yet . Sometimes there are unexplained things behind success.
A = Instead, what was your most overrated artist? If you can tell….
MT = None of my artists. Just read their names that you understand that they are really good: Gino Paoli, Zucchero, Giorgia, Pino Daniele, Bocelli, Il Volo ….. with these names, you cannot say that they have been overrated, I clearly speak of my artists.
There are many other useless artists, there are names in rap, in trap, in these genres here, which is no longer music, but something else.
Also in women’s discography, there are many voices that are all the same, once there were singers who each had their own musical genre, and a great personality. Today on radio, you can hardly distinguish one from the other species in young people.
S = Mine are a little more particular questions, listen carefully to this question.
“Who would manage Il Volo when you retire?”
MT = (he makes a superstitious gesture) …. who will take Il Volo ?? The same happened with Bocelli, after 16 years, his wife and relatives continued the journey and they do it well.
The problem is not to continue, the problem is the initial phase, when they are unknown, it takes the person who senses their talent, afterwards, when the thing has exploded, it is not difficult to manage, as long as you continue on the things already done before.
S = But you think that when you retire, Il Volo will divide, or will always remain: Il Volo?
MT = No, they are too intelligent to divide. I always say that the beautiful part of Il Volo has yet to come, they are still young, they still call them “tenorini”, because they still do not have an age to be considered credible, but vocally, with what they learn on stage, at 28 / 29 years will be great stars, because they sing really well and it will always be better.
A = What artist would you have wanted to manage, which you have not managed?
MT = In Italy I was lucky enough to work with many great artists, I would have liked to have more Pino Daniele, it was the most beautiful production that ever existed on the Italian market. If you talk to me about the international market, that’s another matter.
Pino was the best, his concerts were really all live, he had few recorded sequences.
S = Of all the artists you have had, humanly, who is the biggest asshole?
MT = Who has read the book and who follows all my controversies in recent years knows it, is only the artist Zucchero.
The others behaved well, I have nothing to say to Bocelli, to Giorgia, we had a working relationship and then it ended, but I could not say anything about it.
I have been with Il Volo for 11 years, in short, the only one who humanly disappointed me is only Zucchero, luckily like him, there are not many of them, this is an environment where someone still thanks you.
S = In your book you say that no artist has ever thanked you.
MT = It is the vice of the environment, but not everyone is like that, as always, there are intelligent people and others who instead have no sensitivity, or have no memory, because they are greedy of fame.
S = Do you have to say thanks to someone?
MT = Yes. You must know that in the beginning, when I played (he was drummer) I needed money, the whole family was poor, indeed very poor, and when I started playing, my father beat me, because playing, especially in the south, it was not considered a real job, it was wasting time and I had to go to work at 12/13 years of age, otherwise there was no money to eat.
Fortunately then, I started playing for Orietta Berti (Italian singer), and I started to bring home some money. She was the first to trust me, I did a little bit of everything with her and she said that I could be a manager.
Then I went to work for Gino Paoli (Italian singer) and he told me if, in addition to playing, I wanted to take care of him, and with these two characters my life changed.
From a life of total misery, I went to a good time.
(Michele receives a call and the connection jumps, then he reconnects.)
A = In fact I thought that, with Gino Paoli, first you only played and then instead you became his manager.
MT = Yes, in fact, I suggested to Gino to take a tour with Vanoni (Italian female singer), at the beginning they didn’t want because there was a love story between them, then they accepted and it was a great success, a very successful tour, and we made a lot of money and my life changed.
A = I personally met Lucio Dalla (author of Caruso) and I think he was one of the few who remained the same, despite the notoriety.
MT = Yes, it’s true, moreover he lived in Bologna like me, and we met often, because we were friends, but also because he lived the city, he didn’t live a retreat, where nobody could meet him, often you met him in the shops, in bars.
S = If you met fifteen year old Michele Torpedine, what would you say to him?
MT = It is a question that many ask me, but, despite those were the most terrifying years for me, because I only took the beating, we ate little and lived five in a room, but it is the period that I remember, as more absolutely beautiful, so I would tell myself to do the same things again, even if I suffered.
Everything I do, I think back to that first period and for me it is a great victory.
Yesterday on RAI1 the recording of the 2015 IL VOLO concert was broadcast and the boys made high audience, they won the audience of the evening, and for me, this is as if I were doing it for the first time.
S = What you are proud of, but you would never put on your resume.
MT = It is difficult to answer because I am proud of everything I have done and for now everything has gone very well, so there is nothing that I would eliminate.
A = I would like to ask you a question relating to live concerts.
Is there a concert you would like to do in an important location, and with whom?
I remember that with Zucchero you did the concert in the Kremlin.
MT= With Il Volo, next year we will do something for the first time in Piazza S. Pietro (Vaticano).
I was the first to do a concert in the Kremlin with Zucchero, then with Bocelli I did the concert under the Eiffel Tower and the concert in front of the Twin Towers, and I made the proposal for the Bocelli concert at the Colosseum, then he and I parted, but he did that concert, and the idea was mine.
I could think of a concert on the Chinese Wall, or on the Moon ….. with Il Volo I made Pompeii.
A = If you hadn’t become a manager, what would you have done?
MT = I would have continued to play the drums, also because it is the only thing I can do.
I also wrote it in the book, they made us work as children, I practically didn’t see school, so today I would be doing concerts on some cruise ship or in some place, but anyway with that job, I would always have to eat.
S = Once the girls used to say “Come and see my collection of butterflies.” (like a phrase to attract the girls in the house), now what collection would you show?
MT = Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the case, I am part of an industry, where girls do not need many incentives for certain moments, however it would be sad to think of using those means, when there are serious people who hopefully have other topics to show.
S = Now Michele I have some stupid questions. Nothing is known of your private life, we want to know if you are married, engaged, divorced …. we want to know your facts. Always ask you about the guys from Il Volo, but tell us about yourself. Did you ever say I LOVE YOU?
MT = Very few times.
(Michele reads a message)
A message from the president of Sony has arrived at this moment: “The boys don’t miss a beat.”
(certainly referring to the consensus of audience that had the concert on RAI1)
Everyone has his point of view with women, I am now elderly and still single, unfortunately I have a negative attitude with women, I have little confidence in them, perhaps because most women in our environment are very “easy”, there are many temptations, and they are unable to be faithful, and I do not respect this type of woman and I am afraid to put such a woman in my house, in fact I was single. I am a southern man and would be very disappointed if my woman cheated on me, I am also jealous, and when I am on tour around the world, I cannot control the situation at home.
S = But don’t you miss something in your life?
MT = It is clear, I miss a woman and a son, especially a son.
I miss going home in the evening and finding the family waiting for you.
But I have too many examples near me of unfortunate friends who have not found the right woman or have had divorces and I think it could happen to me too, so I avoid. I have my adventures and then it ends.
S = You like being the sex symbol.
MT = Maybe!! I am a sex symbol for those women who want to start singing or dancing in our environment, but if I were a delivery boy, it would be much harder for me.
A = How do you see the situation of the concerts, in this moment of virus?
MT = I see it badly, unfortunately, but it is the same for everyone. Luckily in America we only lost 3 concerts, now in August we will have two dates at the Arena and Taormina then Milan, but we will certainly move them to spring 2021. By now this year it will be difficult to do something live.
S = I keep asking you silly questions. Do you watch porn movies?
MT = No, I don’t watch them because they bore me, in the end they are all the same. Look, I always tell the truth and I have to tell you that I have been to Cuba four times and I have never taken advantage of situations, I saw the colleagues who were with me going back and forth from the hotel, I never did it because I didn’t I like to take advantage of this, it’s horrible.
S = How important is sex in a relationship?
MT = A lot and being able to have a person by your side, that involves you is very important.
Final chat and goodbyes!!
I enjoyed reading about Michele and I think he really gets “naked” in the interviews.
He has really had very difficult years and surely regrets not having his own child. Maybe that’s why he always said that he considers Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero as his children!!
Did you like the interview?
Credit to owners of all photos and video.