Marie’s Day With Piero by Susan

The Day Before was Ordinary!

Back in March, when the guys were on the Michelle Huzinker show, “Michelle Impossible,” Michelle asked the guys this question….
Michelle:  Ok, a little more gossip. Who happened to find his autograph on the calf of a Vololover??
Ignazio: On the calf!

Piero: We were in the United States, the morning of the concert I go on the treadmill to run and while I was running, I saw this lady next to me, we say hello, I run with earphones, I see it and I think I know that signature there, it was my autograph, here, tattooed like this (and he marks at the end of the calf).

Michelle: Crazy, incredible! 

Piero says it was his signature, in reality was written IL VOLO.

For those of you who don’t know who Piero was talking about, it is Marie Crider who is one of the founders of the Flight Crew!
As we celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of Flight Crew, I thought it would be nice to talk about one of the founders. Since Marie had this beautiful experience with Piero, I thought what better way to honor her than by publishing her incredible story. Marie is now retired, but her story is a classic and her experience with Piero is incredible because he is incredible! Marie would call him sweet, and I agree and you will too after reading her story!

In 2014, when Marie Crider wrote about her meeting with Piero, she started her story with these words, “You know, the whole day before your life changes forever, it’s just an ordinary day.”
She goes on to say, “Here is what started that next day.”
Marie suggests we grab a cup of tea and pull up a chair. This is going to take a while.
Settle in and together we will hear the story about Marie’s Day With Piero.
After seeing that hotel room view (and realizing the guys were at the same hotel as she was.) and thinking there was a possibility that The Boys really were just above me, I noticed the gym was merely 10 steps from my door. I took that as an omen. I know the Boys work out mornings.
I got up at 6:30 a.m., threw on a t-shirt, sweat shorts and tennis shoes (no makeup – hair, well bad) and headed for the gym. No one there – Left.
7:00 – no one in the gym.
7:30 – no one in the gym.
8:00 – Two guys in the corner. Neither looked familiar.
I figured The Boys took off the night before if they were ever really there at all. I had been either sitting in a car or sitting at a concert for the better part of two weeks. At home I walk every day. I was stiff and crampy, so I hopped on a treadmill. Within five minutes someone jumped on the one beside mine. IT WAS PIERO!
Even writing that made my heart thump!

I took a deep breath and wondered why, since the place was almost empty and there were plenty of machines, he hopped on one less than six inches away. I vowed not to do a fan thing and just kept walking. He immediately said, ‘I see you.’ I said, ‘Yeah? Well, I saw you too.’ He laughed. I made Piero laugh! I will never forget that exchange! At this point I was walking to the pace of, Oh Boy, Oh Boy, pause. Oh Boy, Oh Boy.

Later, when I got back to my room I immediately wrote down everything I could remember.
Michele made me run it all by her, word for word, in case I remembered more. Thanks Michele! I wrote a few more notes on a couple of envelopes in my purse in the car.
Here’s what I remember:
I told him I enjoyed the concert last night. He must have been in a chatty mood ’cause he kept talking. He asked what my favorite part of the concert was. I told him ‘Everything’ (My momma didn’t raise no fool!). I did say that I really liked the solos and the new Caruso arrangement.
I asked him what his favorite part was. He said the big orchestra and the really nice indoor theater.
He asked what I didn’t like. I told him the only thing I didn’t like was not being able to take pictures. He said that it was not their request, it was a rule of the theater. I asked him what he didn’t like. He honestly told me a few things. Think I’ll keep them to myself.
I had an easier time remaining sane than you might think. My nervous energy was lessened by the fact that I was on a treadmill the entire time. However, about this time I had a thought, ‘I can’t believe you’re walking beside me talking like a normal person when last night 4,000 people were screaming your name.’ That made me pretty nervous, and I tried not to think those thoughts again!

I asked him if there were sound problems last night. I said I thought I saw Ignazio giving hand signals to the sound guy. He agreed and said that it was only in the beginning of the show.
I told him I thought I saw him drinking more water than usual during the performance. He said, ‘Not really. When I do this a lot. I need much water.’ It’s hard to describe what he did, but he opened his mouth and made a hard whooshing sound out of his mouth and nose at the same time. I don’t think the average person could do this with such amazing force! He showed me this several times in a row. I said that I could see how it would make his mouth and throat dry. He said it did. He then told me that his solo ‘No Puede Ser’ was the hardest song he ever sang.
Piero said he was glad they had two days off and could get some ‘good sleep.’ I told him I thought his voice was sounding a little tired this morning. He said, ‘No, I always sound like Barry White in the morning?’ Wouldn’t you love for me to say he serenaded me with a Barry White tune right then and there? He didn’t. Hey, a girl can only get so lucky, and I was currently thanking my lucky stars, God, my parents, his parents, the treadmill manufacturer and everyone and everything within a hundred-mile radius! All I said was, ‘that’s not a very bad thing, Piero.’ He laughed again!

He asked how many concerts I had been to. I told him four. He asked which ones. I said Vienna, Virginia first. He said, ‘Oh yes, rain at first.’ We talked a little about Sterling Heights and Elgin, but I don’t recall what was said. I know he talked about them being outdoors. I told him that last night was my last concert. He said he had 3 more concerts in the U.S. and Canada. I asked if he then would get to go home. He said no, they will leave the U.S. and go to… He has a heavy Italian accent you know, and I had trouble understanding the word ‘Cannes.’ At one point I said, ‘Canada?’ He said, ‘No Cannes. Kah-inn-zzz.’ I got it. I asked when he would get home. He said not until July 6th or 8th. I had another thought here. ‘I’m awake, right? No one is going to believe this. Not even me!’
He asked where I lived. I told him Ohio. He said, ‘I know Ohio,’ but looked doubtful. I said, ‘You’ve been to Cleveland Ohio.’ He said, ‘Oh Yes.’ I could see the light go on in his eyes.
Keep in mind we were side by side this whole time. I’m still walking, and he’s started some serious running. I wanted a brief full body view, so I slid back a little on the treadmill. My sneaker hit the side and made a squeaking noise. He grabbed my upper arm and said, ‘be very careful.’ I said, ‘Thank you. I can’t believe you’re running so fast and still talking.’ He said, ‘I run like this every morning.’
I noted the timer on my treadmill said 30.58 minutes.

Piero soon stopped running and talking (darn). He got on some leg machine behind me. I was still walking and trying hard to remember every word of our conversation. Pretty soon I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked around and it was Piero. He said, ‘Will you stop please?’ (WHAT?!!)  ‘Sure.’ Of course, I couldn’t find the off switch and I pulled that plug people use to attach themselves to the machine (Michele is still laughing about that). He said, ‘Can I take a picture of your tattoo?’ Ok, right then I thought I might get sick. He knew who I was! He could not have read the small tattoo on my ankle while I was walking on the treadmill! Now was my chance for proof of our meeting! I said, ‘Sure, if I can get my camera and take one of you.’ He said, ‘sure.’ He got down and took a couple of pictures. I flew to my room got my camera and called Michele.
When I returned he was back on the leg machine. He got up and asked me to join him in the picture. No make-up and dripping with sweat, I refused. He grabbed a barbel and posed for these:

After I took those two pictures do you know what he said? ‘Is that enough?’ What a man! Then I said, ‘Piero, I’m with the Flight Crew.’ He said, ‘I know.’ (Oh yes he did!) I said, ‘then you know I will probably write about this.’ He said, ‘Yes, certainly.’
I got back on the treadmill. Pretty soon, tap-tap again! (Swear to God!) This time I was sure he was going to invite me aboard that big black bus headed for Italy. I know there’s water. I would paddle! I pulled the plug (stop it Michele) and got down. He took my right hand in both of his and said, ‘I’m happy you enjoyed the concerts. I hope I see you again next year.’ I said, ‘Oh, you will!’

He put his towel around his neck, picked up his water bottle and went out the door. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at the door wearing a t-shirt that I hoped was wet from sweat and not drool or tears.

My Dear Piero,
If by chance you’re reading this and I now think there’s a good chance you are, I tried to tell this as accurately as I could. I hope you agree.
You are not only in possession of one of the three greatest voices alive, but you are one of the nicest people I’ve met anywhere. You have surely raised my expectations of you. Next year and the year after that and ten years after that, after you receive much more deserved notoriety, I expect you to be as honest and real with as much kindness and grace as you showed me on that most unforgettable morning.
Yeah, the day before was so ordinary.
This was a fun story full of lots of Marie’s humor!

But this is not the end of Marie’s story. On July 6, 2015, Marie was invited to an Il Volo Wine & Dine at Detroit Public TV. Marie wrote….

Dreams do come true, and Fairytales are real! Here is my story of an evening with those Three Italian Sweethearts.

This, not being my first Il Volo rodeo of extreme fans, I had either met or recognized about half of the 50 people there. Hello to all of you, especially Emilia, (wait until I tell you about Emilia!) from whom I received three hugs. My most proud moment at the dinner table was when one woman pointed my way and said, ‘That’s Marie Crider.’ I turned around to tell Marie how unusual it was that we would have the same name, but no one was there. The other woman looked confused until the first one said, ‘Flight Crew.’ I could see the light go on. She said, ‘Oh, I’ve read that.’ another woman sitting next to the first one, not to be outdone, said, ‘I get their emails every day.’ I politely thanked them all, but on the inside I was trying to decide if the Queen’s wave was the one from just the wrist. I am happy to tell you that there were several people who came up to meet me because I was a member of The Flight Crew! Never forget your Flight Crew Badge!

Michelle Gaisser, Mgr. Member Engagement, Detroit Public TV, (to whom I am forever grateful for my invitation to the event) brought James Lewis over to my table. He asked to join The Flight Crew.  Jim, if you’re reading this I’m sorry I forgot your title with DPTV (marketing?)   I was probably distracted by your good looks. Welcome!

Marie and Michelle 
Everyone was having a nice time and trying to act calm until the first spotting of that Dimpled One and 50 people erupted like there were 500.
The Guys did not eat with us. Meet & Greet was next:

Marie and the Guys 
I watched as Jana was anointed by Ignazio. He is so sweet! I didn’t know if I wanted to pinch his cheek or genuflect. Then it was my turn!!! Being second to last I wasn’t hurried. I told them how happy and proud I was for them for becoming so successful at home. You can only guess which one makes me stutter the most, so I tend to speak to him the least. I hugged him (he hugged back!) then I kissed those dimples. I try to be fair to them both and do really good, yet equal, kisses on each dimple.

 Jim Lewis had my camera and got me sneaking this extra one before the photographer took our group picture. Hey, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I had heard our Gianluca was ill and had a fever. Sure enough he had to step aside and use a tissue several times. As I was kissing cheeks I lingered on his to see if I could tell if he had a fever. (Well, my mom used to do that!)  I think he did. I also whispered a secret in his ear. He smiled. I was kinda hoping I would catch his cold. Didn’t. They all signed my Sanremo DVD insert. I can’t tell you what else was said, it’s a total blank. Did you ever see a dog rub his back in the grass in ecstasy? That’s pretty much how I felt so, no chance to remember mere words.  I was just trying not to smile like a fool. As you can see in the picture, I failed that goal. When I got to Piero I asked him to sign a picture Mary’s daughter took of he and I in 2013 when he jumped in our cab. He remembered! He told me when and where it was. He signed it, ‘With Love. Grande Amore, Piero.’ Then he looked at me and tilted his head. Was he trying to remember me from our conversation last year? or did he just notice my really bad hair day? Then Security thought I had had enough time.  OK, but not before I get my hug!

Emilia greeting Gianluca. Look at Ignazio’s face. How do they stay so ‘normal?’

Now to Emilia. I had met sweet Emilia before. They call her ‘cupcake’ not only because she makes them, but because she is so cute and sweet! She’s around 18. She was immediately behind me at the meet and greet. Emilia went directly to Piero and said, ‘I wanted you to dance with me at my prom.’ That Prince of Princes, that gentle man of gentlemen pulled her to him, started singing and waltzed with Emilia tucked snugly into his chest! I wish all of you could have seen her face. I wish I had taken a picture, but I just stood there reveling in the moment. She has a treasured video of that dance on FB. (Sorry couldn’t find it!) I hope you get to see it!
I know this is long. It will be here. You can finish later if you like. I’ll mark the spot.
We went back to the dining room for dessert. Dessert? Like Jane said in her story, the ‘real dessert of the evening’ was yet to come!  I had chocolate covered strawberries. The Boys were in hair and makeup.  
The Studio:

Shortly, we were ushered into the studio. The Guys also came in. You have to know how astonished and elated I was to realize that we would be spending the next few hours in a small studio with THEM!  Oh, Joy of Joys!  First of all I have to tell you that our Angels did not act like angels all the time off the air! They played like three young brothers. They filmed some. They went live-on-air some. They spent time with us during filming breaks. They played three stooges with each other. Remember the night before last they were singing for 60,000 people at a free concert in Napoli and then spent yesterday waiting for a delayed flight that didn’t get to Detroit until after 10 pm. They were tired and probably a little slap-happy, but they had fun!!! And, OH MY GOSH! So did we! Here are just a few of their antics besides dancing and singing silly songs. Sorry that some are blurry, but they were swift in their play and hard to catch.

These are our Guys.  These are our Guys with Security.  Do you see the really big guy beside Ignazio?  Nice Guy!  He and I had several long conversations.  Went something like this:  Him: ‘Ma’am, you can’t go in there’ Me: ‘Yes, Sir.’  Him: Ma’am, please move on.  Me: ‘Yes, Sir.’ Him: ‘Ma’am, Please stop texting.  The sound is being picked-up by the microphones.’  Me: (oops) ‘Yes, Sir.’  Him:  ‘Put HIM down!’ Me: ‘Nope.’ Only that last one is a lie.

Jana!  Pledge Phone Volunteer Extraordinaire.

I was able to step back and have a brief conversation with Barb Vitali.  We’re women.  We talked about weight.  We spoke just a few minutes longer then we had to get to our seats and be quiet again for another taping session.  Luckily we were allowed to take pictures the whole time if we didn’t use flash.
If I had half a brain, I would stop my story here by telling you how much I enjoyed our Il Volo Gentlemen and the wonderful men and women with whom I shared the experience.  But no… Some of you may never read this site again….  
While Ignazio was wandering through the audience the people in front of me asked him to take a selfie with them.  So, he bent over directly in front of my face, not a foot away there it was!  What could I do? I poked it!  I looked at Jane and said, ‘Oh no! I touched his butt!’  When I looked up there he was looking down at me with one eyebrow up to his hairline!  He tried to give me a stern look.  Didn’t last long and he broke out in a gorgeous smile and said ‘oooo.’  Whew!  I had just traumatized myself and have no idea if he said anything else.  I only know I did not have another conversation with Big Security Guy.  Should have.  It would have kept Allene on my left and Jane on my right from trying to rip off their Flight Crew Badges while crawling under their chairs a few minutes later.  
The people in front of me did not learn their lesson.  I blame them.  So, when Piero came walking by they asked for a selfie with him too.  Only in his compliance he bent over even further than Ignazio had.  To my astonishment I saw two claw-like hands, reach up and… Oh No!…They were my hands!  Of course he jumped!  He turned around and to my great relief said, “Oh, Thank You!”.  I’ll bet you think I sat there in complete humiliation.  I didn’t.  Jane and Allene did.  I was smiling.  I am still smiling.  It was soft, yet muscular and I’m not sorry I know that.

But what happened to Marie?
I March of 2020, Jana challenged Marie to come out of semi-retirement and write something for us.  She figured she was getting bored looking at palm trees, sunshine and sandy beaches!  This is what she quipped…
Something’s Wrong With Me ~ Marie Crider
With the world in a sad and humbled state right now I thought you might like a little something on the lighter side:
~I just listened to an hour interview. It was all in Italian. I don’t understand Italian.
~I can’t lay in the sun without humming “O Sole Mio.”
~I go to concerts with a camera on my lap, but I’m afraid to use it in case I miss something.
~When in the front row at a concert and a security guy walks in front of me I want to shout, ‘How dare you come between me and THEM!?’ What does he think I might do, jump up on the stage?  Ok…I might jump on the stage, but I’ve got Leelee, my concert buddy, holding me down.  Oh, I could get past security anyway.  He doesn’t have a club big enough to pry me off Ignazio’s leg.
~All Il Volo CDs in my car are copies of the originals. Just in case someone should steal my car.
~When St. Mark’s Basilica started flooding, I panicked. I wanted to book a flight, grab a bucket and go.
~Piero neglected to ask me if he could change the color of his glasses.  (I may never get over that one.)

 ~The only pictures on my dresser are my Mom, my Dad and Gianluca.
~I have a strong urge to confess to the murder of someone named Delilah. Just to keep the heat off the Boys.
~I want to stand on a balcony in Italy and sing my heart out.  It wouldn’t matter that I can’t leave my hotel room…the air is Italian and that’s good enough for me.
~I have 17 Il Volo t-shirts (actually 16 plus one nightshirt thanks to Jana) but I can’t wear them. Cause…well, what if one should get a stain on it… or fade…or get lost with luggage at an airport…or destroyed by a rabid dog…or snagged on a barbed wire fence? Makes me sick thinking about the horrible things that could possibly happen to one of them.
~I have “Il Volo” tattooed on my left ankle and an “Il Volo” license plate on my car.
Yep, something is definitely wrong with me.  I may need professional help.
Jana thanked Marie for sharing her thoughts with us and coming out of semi-retirement!  I’m sure we all feel the same in many ways!  But, just one question, why is Gianluca on your dresser and not Ignazio?? 
The answer: It is an autographed picture of Gianluca!
Thank you, Marie, for sharing your story. I can think of at least 20 people who would die to have been in your place in that gym. Marie’s Day With Piero was one of the happiest days of Marie’s life, certainly the day when everything changed!

Happy 10th Anniversary Flight Crew!

On August 8, 2013, Flight Crew was founded. These were the founders, Owners/Administrators and Contributors….


Kelly Aitch ~  Michele Azzara  ~  Linda Snyder
Marie Crider  ~  Elaine Tse


Kelly Aitch
Marie Crider
Jana VandeLaare
Patricia Ward
Lisa Joy – News & Videos
Myron Heaton – “Myron’s Music Notes”
Gina (Regina Hanna) – Bits & Pieces
Danielle Ciarelli – “Danielle’s Diaries”
Daniela Perani – Contributing Author & Translator
Jane Ceminsky – “Personally Speaking”

The Administrators and Contributors Today….
Daniela Perani
Danielle Ciarelli
Jo Ann Tischler
Jana VandeLaare
Mary Jane Ceminsky
Kelly Aitch
Lisa Joy
Myron Heaton
Patricia Ward
Susan De Bartoli ~ “Through the Fields of My Mind”
For you listening pleasure ~ The full concert from Verona September 23, 2015

Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at


19 thoughts on “Marie’s Day With Piero by Susan”

  1. Thank you for that lovely story ,she must have been shocked to have Piero talk to her ,that was wonderful ,he is a gentleman and Ignazio ,regards

  2. What a wonderful write-up about Marie Crider! She must have been a real firecracker when she was with Flight Crew. Is there any way of getting her to come out of retirement?? What a super sense of humour she has and had! I was laughing almost out loud to some of her memories. Such a lucky, fortunate lady to have been so close to our Guys!

    Thanks so much for bringing this to us, Susan. Made my day!
    Hugs to you and Marie! Dol.

  3. What a thrilling article to read. I was in that gym, on that treadmill, every step of the way. I was having a conversation with Piero. Wow, that’s one lucky lady and her persistence paid off. Thank you

  4. Susan, what a wonderful post. It brought back SO many memories!
    Marie is a true gem. Her writing and humor are treasures.
    Thank you for sending me down memory lane!

  5. Susan, this work of yours is amazing.
    I met Marie personally together with Jane and it is a meeting I will never forget, and it was Marie who hired me as a writer and translator. I had so much fun reading everything Marie wrote, for a whole year I just read everything Flight Crew published, then it was time for Notte Magica and in Florence I had recorded several good videos. I plucked up the courage and wrote to Marie if she wanted to publish them on Flight Crew and from that moment my collaboration with this blog was born where I have always found wonderful people who love Il Volo!!
    We hope that Marie reads all this and writes again here.
    A hug Marie!!

    1. What foresight Marie had in bringing you on board the Flight Crew!! I don’t know what we would have done over the years without you! Such good thinking on her part!! I’m very thankful to her for you!! Hugs, Dol

  6. Dear Susan, this was a great way to start off my day! Marie is a talented comic, with warmth and genuine love for our three amazing men. How absolutely fortunate she was to find Piero and to have such a wonderful conversation with him, what a sweetheart he is, they all are! I loved the story and hearing from Marie, is there somewhere I could find some of her earlier writings? She is very entertaining to read!
    Thank you for bringing this to us and all the photos and videos. When I need something to lift my spirits, I’ll go back and read this again!! I cannot wait to hear and see Piero in an opera! His voice is amazing and clear and crisp, so much talent! One of three with Amazing talent and hearts!💖💖💖🎶🎼🙏🏻🤗🎤💕 With great affection, Carol

    1. Go into the Flight Archives. On the website in the search bar enter her name and all articles will come up!

  7. Thank you for this, Susan. Marie is so funny!
    One of the things I love about Piero is what he does at the end of his solos. When Gianluca finishes a song he seems to be in a zone for a few seconds before he opens up to the audience.
    Piero smiles so big, seems to be saying “Did you like the gift I gave you?” Yes, it was truly a gift Piero.

  8. I laugh, I cry and I love it every time I read one of these stories !!! Thank you for sharing !

  9. Marie was still involved with the Flight Crew when I joined. Since I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area I tried to get an Il Volo license plate, but Marie already had it so I got one with just a little add on in the name. She told me when she was leaving Ohio and giving up her Ohio plate. It took me two seconds to apply for it. I have now been the proud owner of the “Il Volo” license plate since she left. I cannot tell you how many people have asked me what it means. Of course we always have a nice conversation about it and what it means to me. Thank you Marie. I think you and I were always planning on how to capture Ignazio and bring him home with us. It was a pleasure meeting you and I miss you on the Crew. Also, if you remember thanks for the heads up in my first Detroit concert with the hotel. Rose Marie Paliobeis

  10. Such great stories from Marie. She has a gift for telling a story and she is very funny. I enjoyed looking back at these. I had the opportunity to meet her back in 2016 I think in Las Vegas. The guys were appearing there and Myron and Jeanette had organized a catered fan dinner at the hotel. We were to gather, meet each other and have dinner and the guys had agreed to come in for a while. And sure enough they arrived after sound check, accepted gifts, made the rounds of the room and took pictures with groups of fans. I remember standing just behind Piero’s left should and touching his shoulder with that soft Italian jacket he was wearing. I think I even gave him a gentle pat on the shoulder. Marie was very present there and was still an administrator of the Flight Crew. I miss Marie’s comments and humor. Would love to hear from her again.

  11. Thank you so much. This actually made me feel like I was there and living it. I have loved these guys for almost 15 years and it never gets old. They brought life back to me, their music is intoxicating, they are so handsome and down to earth. They are amazing gentlemen. Thank you again.

  12. What a fun story! And to think back then Piero was just a kid! Such a sweet boy. Thank you for the link to the Un’avventura Staordinaria concernt. Haven’t watched that one in a while. And CONGRATS, Flight Crew, on your 10th anniversary!

  13. This was so much fun to read! And thank you for reminding us of the founding of the Flight Crew. We take it for granted, but there are many people to thank for keeping the Crew ”employed”. Thank you, Susan, for your part. I look forward to more of your stories.

  14. Sorry I’m so late with this ‘THANK YOU for remembering me’ comment. You just get too relaxed when you retire. Those were great times I will remember all my life. I was always so proud of this site. It has gotten even bigger and better since I left (how dare you). Thank you Susan and everyone who keeps this marvelous site running so beautifully.

  15. He sounds like Barry White in the morning! This is news that will make me smile, and sigh, every single morning :). Thank you! Tee hee. No kidding every morning 🙂

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