About a year ago, Michele Torpedine published his beautiful book, RICOMINCIO DAI TRE (Pendragon edition).
In that book there is so much news about the life of Michele Torpedine, that, as happened to me when I read it, I discovered a part of Torpedine’s life, really sad, that I never expected.
Catching sentences, here and there from the book, I try to give you a summary of what happened to Torpedine, you will be amazed at so many things.
In my story, you will find pieces of true stories of artists, such as Andrea Bocelli, IL VOLO, or rather, among their stories, you will find mine, that of an Apulian child emigrated to Bologna, of that boy who from a studio apartment in a small white house (the Apulian houses are often white), it went to the oval room of the White House.
I loved the music, I still love it, the world of music, less.
I was born on 12 May 1952 in a small town in northern Puglia. I don’t remember anything about this place, because I moved to Bologna when I was 5 months old.
My father was called Salvatore, he was a tailor, he was severe, hard.
My mother’s name was Titina, I lost her when I was 27 years old. I carried her down in my arms, wrapped in a sheet, to the mortuary chamber.
She was 51 years old. Hunger, misery and cancer, this was her life, she struggled like a beast, then from one day to the other she fell ill and flew away in less than a year, I still haven’t managed to forgive her for leaving me so early.
In Bologna, we come in search of work and survival, we are poor, but really poor. We lived five in one room.
My parents found a job in tailoring, so the money to eat is insured.
At the age of 8, I started to work, from a shoemaker, straightening the nails that were extracted from the soles.
At 12 I started working as a bartender, then as a waiter and bellhop.
My brother Nino, at the age of 17, assembles his first battery of drums (drum set), I, who was five years younger than him, begin to follow him and learn.
By day I work and in the evening I go to the places where you can play.
At the age of 14 I entered a local orchestra.
At 16, my first dream comes true, a friend of mine called me on a Sunday afternoon and tells me that he was given the task of hiring six bands to open the Jimi Hendrix concert and ask me if I want take part. I accept immediately, I am excited.
Our band is the last one, before Hendrix entered. Bad fate because people couldn’t wait any longer and filled us with booze and popcorn.
Things improve, they call me more and more often.
A group of African musicians, lose the drummer, call me to replace him, play a month with them.
One evening, all together, we go to see a concert of musicians playing with Ray Charles, the place is packed, that evening he is there too, Ray Charles, at a certain point they tell me they don’t have a drummer and they ask me to play. My legs are shaking, I am paralyzed with fear, but then I calm down and play.
Torpedine says that the battery (of drums) is his life, not women, nothing for him is as reliable as a drum set.
Everything goes well, time passes, I was good, but not a genius, I understand that it is better to change.
They propose me to be a road manager, that is the one who takes contact with the local promoters, pays the musicians, takes the money, checks that everything goes well.
I plan a series of concerts for artists like Paoli-Vanoni, a great success, things are getting better and better, from one day to the next I became a millionaire, looked for by everyone.
I start a partnership with Zucchero Fornaciari, he is good with soul singing, nobody in Italy sings like that.
Time passes and Zucchero is very successful, one day he comes to me with a beautiful and sad song: “Miserere”, and he says “this song should be sung with a tenor … let’s try to ask Pavarotti?”
Pavarotti is in America, I have to bring him a demo of the song to make him listen. Contact all the tenors, nobody wants to do a demo with Zucchero, join the lyric, with the pop was not contemplated by the classical tenors.
By pure chance, a friend tells me that in Tuscany, in a club, in the evening, there is a blind boy who plays the piano and is very good, he also sings tenor songs, his name is Andrea Bocelli.
It was the first time I met Bocelli. No one believed in him, not even himself.
He agrees to do the demo, with a lot of fear, because he will be heard by Pavarotti. He is very good and likeable, he sings the demo in a special way. I tell him to persist with music and he replies that he has won a receptionist competition and that the music will remain his passion.
I fly to Philadelphia to give Pavarotti the demo, who immediately tells me that he will never sing a song of light music. I ask him at least to listen to the demo, he accepts. I explained to him that the boy who sings is not a tenor but a simple boy who plays for passion and Pavarotti tells me if I’m kidding him, because for years he hasn’t heard such a beautiful voice.
I go home and call Bocelli and to him incredulously, I propose a contract. Bocelli doesn’t believe it’s all true.
At first it was difficult, nobody wanted Andrea. Too risky.
There were always so many slashes on American newspapers, but people loved him, that’s the only thing he has always counted on.
The live reaction of the people was a show in the show.
Andrea was a great interpreter of emotions, he knew how to take on the feelings of ordinary people. This was its added value: to be a common mortal with a divine voice.
WOMEN, I love them, but I’m afraid of them.
I can’t trust the exclusive relationship with a woman.
I saw mothers trying to get into bed, just to get a TV pass for their daughter.
I’m afraid of falling in love, going to New York for work, calling home and being told that she loves me, and then finding out that she’s in bed with another, the fear that it might happen, would make me live badly.
I am not so naive as not to understand that beautiful women are with me even for what I do, I am wealthy, I ride with beautiful cars and I have some power.
I never married, but I was almost doing it. How it ended makes me feel bad today.
I was 30, she was from Bologna, beautiful and intelligent. We decide to get married.
For work, I leave for Lake Garda, we agreed that she would join me on Sunday.
On Friday, I do a “bachelor party”, two Norwegian sisters, they ask me to go to bed with them and I take them to my room.
In the morning, I hear a knock on the door, and convinced that it was one of the musicians, I go to open, and instead there was my girlfriend who made me a surprise by arriving earlier than expected.
I understand that it is useless to lie. It ends like this.
MY MOTHER, whom I loved very much, left me early, too early, without giving me a way to show her all my love for her. My mother could not share with me that little bit of success, of well-being, that I wanted to give her after so many hardships. I had everything from her, and she, she had no way to say with pride “That is my son”. I feel guilty about this.
But there is another woman who has always been important in my life, and it is my sister Liliana, a little friend, a little mother, and always with me even at work, especially in the most important moments.
I must admit that other female figures have been very important in my career. At the beginning, Cristina Gelsi, who followed me in the 16 years with Bocelli.
Now Barbara Vitali, omnipresent in all my activities, almost my alter ego, she lives traveling the world to assist IL VOLO.
Last, Eliana Monti, who follows the production of IL VOLO concerts.
The easiest way to reach me is to call these two women.
Many disappointments, mainly human and partly, even professional.
At some point, I found myself feeling more disappointed than ever with music, with the environment I mean.
There was never gratitude around me.
I found myself tired, eager for simplicity, for pure things.
The horizon seems closed to me.
One night I was at home, sitting on the couch, three boys, fourteen, fifteen, appear on TV.
Of course they are good, and if I tried to really put them together? A trio, here’s what I could do: IL VOLO.
I think those three determined boys saved me from depression and from the desire to leave everything. Three teenagers, yes, but already great, in all respects. Already great since I first saw them: Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
I hope I have given you a summary of the personality of Michele Torpedine. I was amazed reading these pages, I discovered a very sensitive man, in some respects, I did not expect.
A person for whom family affections are in first place, but then he is afraid to create his own family.
A determined man, but also very fragile.
A man with a particular flair for talent.
Thanks Michele for recognizing and supporting three worthy guys.
Credit to owners of all photos.
Bologna, 27 April 2019 – The Fico Central Eataly World Arena (photo) struggles to contain spectators for the presentation of Ricomincio dai tre. Young, very young and less young, they fill the stands enthusiastically, waiting to be able to hear the sweet and thunderous voices of their idols. Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble. They are the three youngsters, from whom, ten years ago, Michele Torpedine, manager of VIPs, set off again.
You can perhaps call it a bet, the one that Torpedine faced when he decided to “take three small singers by the hand”. Who would have said that, at the time of pop, overseas music and digitization, two tenors and a baritone would have broken through the national and world music scene to the point of becoming the first Italian artists to sign a contract with Geffen Records, US major? “These three talents are here for their great friend – began Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly – who, in the world of music, worked with great artists like Gino Paoli and discovered talents of the caliber of Andrea Bocelli and Giorgia”.
Michele Torpedine, always in the world of music, has seen us along and perceived, right from the start, the potential of the trio ‘Il Volo’ and it is this that is told in his novel, autobiography, Ricomincio dai tre, published from Pendragon. “The first victory at Sanremo was with Bocelli – Torpedine recounts, digging into his memories – an enormous talent that was not easy to break into the music world because of his handicap. But as soon as I put him on the Zucchero tour, everyone noticed the power he had.”
A manager-mentor, who, after working for thirty years as a drummer for big names like Dalla, Orietta Berti wanted “to give” his knowledge to these three boys, today almost godchildren for him. “One thing that all the young people who want to emerge should know is that talent and application are not enough – Torpedine warns in his autobiography – you have to have your head, otherwise you end up off the road before you even get into gear.” Ricomincio dai tre covers the stages of the career of the manager from Puglia with anecdotes, stories, advice and experiences. At Fico, they discussed this, including laughter and chatter, Torpedine, the three of IL VOLO, Farinetti and Red Ronnie.
When, then, the three opera stars took the microphone to sing (video), the spectators reacted with enthusiasm and the boys dominated the Arena as true gladiators. “You have been fundamental for us – Boschetto emphasizes – it is not easy today to find someone to help you realize the dreams and you did this for us.” Piero Barone then underlines: “We are three privileged boys because we travel the world doing what we like.” At the end, they sang “Grande Amore” that moved and united all the fans who are then rushed to the center of the stage to greet the boys and Torpedine without forgetting to get selfies and autographs with the three of IL VOLO.
This nice article was published by the newspaper IL RESTO DEL CARLINO.
The boys sang:
“MUSICA CHE RESTA”
“IO CHE NON VIVO”
The exhibition by Dave Monaco is also beautiful, the tenor supported by Torpedine and our boys, sang a wonderful “Una Furtiva Lagrima”.
Here is the video of the entire event. (starts at minute 7)
Here are other shots.
A beautiful event, very spontaneous and funny to celebrate Torpedine and promote his book RICOMINCIO DAI TRE. Recall that the proceeds of the book will be donated to a hospital of children.
The event took place at FICO Eataly, you will have recognized Oscar Farinetti of Eataly as the host of the event.
FICO is located near Bologna and the logo means Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Peasant Italian Factory).
Fico Eataly World is a park, with a food theme.
Did you like this event?
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Today, April 24th, here in Italy, there will be an interview at IL VOLO on radiovision , or rather two, one on radio RTL 102.5 and one on Radio Zeta.
Let’s start with the direct RTL 102.5.
The program is called The Flight, nothing more appropriate !!
Preparations before the live broadcast:
Start the direct, activate the subtitles.
In the musical interludes the boys have fun.
Here Ignazio is giving the time signal, saying that:
“Even in all the remote villages of Sicily, such as Marsala, Ventrischi and Naro (Naro is called by Piero), it is 4:00 pm!” 😂 😂 😂
The interview was pleasant and they let us hear several songs from the new CD and others already well known.
But now it’s time for RADIO ZETA.
Here is the direct, there are no subtitles, so I translate for you.
Speaker = Wonderful boys, “A CHI MI DICE”, Il Volo. It’s 16.05, I welcome Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, the boys from IL VOLO, are here, ladies and gentlemen .
How are you?
Piero = Well, very well.
Speaker = I remind you 266 of the digital terrestrial channel.
Look there how beautiful you are, we are on radiovision and also on instagram.
Today the listeners are unleashed, there are so many questions, I have chosen some, so soon I will propose them to you.
Piero = I like it.
Speaker = We have just heard live this beautiful song “A CHI MI DICE”, so I would immediately salute Tiziano Ferro.
Piero = Hello Tiziano.
Ignazio = Hello Tiziano
Speaker = Tiziano Ferro who wrote this text in Italian, he loves you very much, and so we also talk about your new CD MUSICA, your new album.
Piero = Our new album.
Speaker = I have to ask you something very nice, how exciting is it, to inaugurate your new album here on Barbra Streisand’s birthday?
Piero = Why, is Barbra Streisand’s birthday today?
Speaker = Of course.
Piero = And do you know what happened on April 24th ten years ago?
Speaker = What happened?
Piero = April 24th 2009, Il VOLO, sings together for the first time, “O Sole Mio”! Do you think it’s a case?
Ignazio = I feel like crying! (jokes)
Speaker = You have already figured out what the atmosphere will be this afternoon. Today is the birthday of this great protagonist, of this woman, who brought you with her, for 13 tour dates. There is a beautiful song that reminds her.
Piero = “PEOPLE”
Ignazio = “PEOPLE”, it’s like a tribute to her, anyway. It is one of the songs that impressed us the most when we were on tour with her and we couldn’t not sing it.
Speaker = You have duet with the older ones really, from Andrea Bocelli, to Placido Domingo, to Barbra Streisand, you have participated in a lot of important things in your life, you celebrate 10 years, I would like to know …….. the thing which has not really changed among you, in 10 years, what is it?
Ignazio = Hunger. (laughs)
Certainly the desire to share music, in fact the album is called MUSICA. The desire for music has never passed, also because we live every day of music, and it is the only thing that understands us and that is closer to us than all, music, also because I think there is a music or a song for every mood and for every occasion.
Speaker = How nice …. from MUSICA, let’s go back to the stage of the Ariston, “MUSICA CHE RESTA” Il Volo. (starts video of “MUSICA CHE RESTA”)
Speaker = Boys, here is Il VOLO, Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca.
Gianluca, are you there? (Gianluca does not speak because he does not have a microphone.)
Gianluca = Yes, here I am.
Someone asks a question.
Speaker = Now we answer him. About this direct instagram, which is becoming more and more lively and interesting …. Ignazio you were very good because you have already quickly remembered the dates of your tour …..
Ignazio = Can I still remember you quickly? (start reading tour dates)
Speaker = Let’s go back to the questions that the fans sent you, we have many questions, I chose two at random.
Erica, asks: Among all your albums, what is the song you like the most?
Piero = Personally, from the last album “VICINISSIMO”.
Speaker = Ignazio?
Ignazio = It’s difficult, I don’t know, it’s like asking a mother who has fifty children, which is your favorite?
Piero = But a mother with fifty children does not exist ….
Speaker = Or anyway a song you are most fond of …. Gianluca?
Gianluca = For me it is “PEOPLE”.
Ignazio = But of this CD? I really like of this CD, “A CHI MI DICE”.
Speaker = And now this question from Laura: “Will there be surprises, in the lineup, in the next tour?”
Ignazio = Come to the concert and you will see it. Yes, there will be some surprises, we do singles every year and then we also sing in duet, and there will be new singles, new songs ….
Piero = Whoever comes to our concerts, he knows very well, that in every concert, we are instinctive, we don’t create a lineup, speeches are always improvised, so every concert is always a surprise. (you can hear the first notes of “Grande Amore” and Piero asks if he can introduce the song): “Gentlemen, you are listening to ‘Grande Amore’”.
Speaker = They are indomitable, Il Volo here, we are with the IL VOLO guys, it’s 4:17 pm, Gianluca put you in the center so you have the microphone all for you and we can finally chat with Gianluca too.
Gianluca = Here I am, I’m there too.
Speaker = So, MUSICA, an album that really represents you well, because all your musical tastes are represented, and then with this cooler pop sound, thanks to Michele Canova, what was it like working with Michele?
Gianluca = Michele certainly gave a more contemporary touch to our vocals and sounds, even if then, it is clear, that maintaining our classicism all over the world, is what wins, because it is what they appreciate of Italy and of the Italian spirit. A bit like Bocelli, these great singers who take Italian music around the world, is the elegance of Italianness that makes us special, especially abroad. But it is clear, that sometimes, daring, doing experiments is not always good.
Speaker = About “bel canto”, highly appreciated all over the world, our Italy, in this CD there are great tributes, There is a Tribute to Sergio Endrigo, “LONTANO DAGLI OCCHI” ….. there is “LA VOCE DEL SILENZIO”, a great tribute to Paolo Limiti …….. now I ask you the question ….. are there any songs that you have sung and that cause you emotion? I have your own song that moves me a lot and then I tell you.
Gianluca = Of our repertoire, surely the tribute to Charlie Chaplin: “SMILE”.
But in this CD, I am very excited, apart from the unpublished works that are beautiful, “PEOPLE”, moves me a lot.
Piero = There is a song that I really care about a lot, which is “LA VOCE DEL SILENZIO”. It excites me so much, because every time we sing it, I think back to my 12/13 years, before getting to know them, because the three of us before we met, took part in regional festivals, and I always sang “LA VOCE DEL SILENZIO”.
Speaker = Wonderful. Great tribute to Paolo Limiti (writer of the song).
Ignazio, meanwhile, think about it and then you will also tell me your song that excites you the most, now we announce the unpublished “VICINISSIMO”.
Il Volo, “VICINISSIMO”, from MUSICA, released on February 22nd, we are presenting it to Radio Zeta, we are with Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Ignazio, then tell me the song you are most attached to. Gianluca said his, Piero said his, now tell me yours.
Ignazio = Honestly, I don’t know …. “A CHI MI DICE”. But instead, of you to us our song that moves you the most.
Speaker = Mine is “CANZONE PER TE”. by Sergio Endrigo and Roberto Carlos (authors).
So, in May you leave for Japan, how long will you stay in Japan?
Ignazio = Two weeks.
Piero = We return on May 23rd.
Speaker = Then officially start with the tour on June 16th from the “capital of culture” Matera, officially opens the celebrations with the IL VOLO concert. Then chase IL VOLO, on June 16th they will be in Matera, then there will be many other dates ….. until September 24th.
Ignazio = Go and read, on ILVOLOMUSIC.COM
Speaker = On your social pages, then, there is everything. There are also some beautiful images that tell of you.
Ignazio = There are also photos of Piero, naked, if you want you can go and see.
Piero= There is also a fanclub, you need to know that we care so much about the fanclub, it’s like entering a house full of friends, people who share the same passion. Our fanclub is like our second family. We always do something with them, for example, we shot the video of the last single, “A CHI MI DICE”, which will be released in a few weeks, and we called three girls who assisted the video …..
Ignazio = It’s not like we called them personally, they won a kind of contest
Piero = Yes, they won a contest, and so they took part in the video shoot.
Speaker = How nice. So they are 100% protagonists and live with you this adventure.
Ignazio = We had lunch together, ate ice cream together …..
Speaker = A quick question, who answers me? What did you try to sing in front of Pope Francis?
Piero = It was an emotion that cannot be explained, but the nice thing about a group is that you have two people next to you who are feeling your own emotions, and that moment was a magical moment, personally I am very Catholic, and then to find myself in front of the Madonna of Fatima, Pope Francis, a million people who were listening …
Ignazio = next to me ….
Piero = Him beside ….. imagine !!
Speaker = Guys, I am happy to have had you here, I leave you the latter seconds to say hello to you from Radio Zeta.
Piero = Friends of Radio Zeta, we are IL VOLO.
Ignazio = We want to send a big greeting to all our friends starting from A to ZETA
Gianluca = From the ZETA to the A, a hug to everyone and thanks for having listened to us.
Piero = See you on tour and don’t miss MUSICA.
Speaker = Thanks to IL VOLO, Grazie mille!
In the Radio Zeta backstage, the boys answered this question:
“How do you expect to be in 20 years?”
Piero = In twenty years we will be … him without hair (Gianluca), I without a beard and he without a belly (Ignazio)
Ignazio = Maybe !!!
Gianluca = Famous.
Ignazio = Under a sofa.
Piero = With a potato chip …
Ignazio = But what a potato chip ???
Piero = With a girl !!!
Ignazio = But you said potato chip …..
Well, even this radio adventure ended, as always the guys tried to be fun.
Their interviews were interspersed with many of their videos and songs, not just the latest album.
I must say that it was nice to see the videos of “GRANDE AMORE”, “L’AMORE SI MUOVE” and “PER TE CI SARÒ”.
On April 25th, in Italy it is a national holiday- Italy’s Liberation Day (Festa della liberazione), but on Friday the 26th there is already a new adventure for you, the tireless Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Hi everyone! This news has appeared on many Facebook pages, but I still want to communicate it here, as I know that many of you don’t have Facebook, who reads on the site, will find this news useful.
The film UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE in which our Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca also act, will be broadcast by CANALE 5 on Thursday, 25 April at 9:20 pm (Italian time).
The news was given by the producer Federica Andreoli.
The news was taken up by the newspapers.
Here’s a “behind the scenes” movie.
And here a short trailer of the film.
And a TV advertisement with a little greeting from the boys, who are going on television to announce the film.
I = It was our first experience.
G = Thank you for giving us this opportunity.
P = We give a big “good luck” to the film UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE.
The film is also available on DVD on Amazon, in Italian language, with English subtitles.
I hope so many of you are able to see this movie, via Channel 5.
It is a sweet love story, with a lot of music and with the participation of our guys, all filmed in the beautiful Verona, which you will see in beautiful images.
Good vision: Daniela
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.