Luca Maggitti is a good journalist who lives in Roseto degli Abruzzi. In these days of early August, he interviewed, for EMOZIONI MUSICA FESTIVAL, Gianluca Ginoble, Michele Torpedine and also Marino Bartoletti.
Of these three interventions, I will translate the most interesting moments.
Let’s start with GIANLUCA.
After the various initial pleasantries, where Luca Maggitti asks Gianluca the importance of his Abruzzo and thanks him for always bringing the knowledge of his land up high in the world, they remember together the first meeting with Massimo Ranieri, which took place in Roseto, again before Gianluca became part of IL VOLO.
Luca asks Gianluca if Massimo Ranieri is an example for his life, as he is a singer, actor and director, and that’s what Gian answers.
GG= Surely Massimo Ranieri is a great example, he is a complete artist, but I, as you know, am a big fan of American music, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and they too were great actors.
I am closer to the type of music, but also to the type of acting, more American, but Massimo Ranieri, has always been an artist that I greatly admired.
Towards the end of the interview, Maggitti asks Gianluca the plans for the future of IL VOLO.
Gianluca replies that they are celebrating their 10-year career, with a tour that started in Japan and will end in the US, and the first date will be at Radio City Music Hall in New York, for the third time.
And now let’s continue with the interesting parts of the interview with Michele Torpedine.
Maggitti asks Michele, why every year, he comes for a week in Roseto, what he likes about this place, since he could go anywhere, but he chooses to come here.
Michele answers that Roseto is his second city, perhaps more than the first, because in Bologna he lead a retired life, he live in a reserved manner. Here he has many friends, beyond the relationship with Gianluca, everyone loves him here, and for him that’s important.
Maggitti shows the book RICOMINCIO DAI TRE and asks Torpedine for an explanation of his phrase “I love music, but not the world of music.”
Michele explains that there is a lot of ingratitude in the musical world and his book served to explain this fact.
Maggitti congratulates Michele, for his cover photo, of the book, confirming that it is a shot made by Gianluca.
Michele admits that Gianluca is very good with the camera and confirms that the photos that Torpedine uses on his Facebook page are made by Gianluca.
Maggitti asks how important the figure of the manager is. Torpedine confirms that if there is a good relationship, the figure of the manager is of considerable importance. Below he talks about his experience with Pavarotti and the importance of having understood the success of combining classical music with pop music.
But in my opinion, the interview where really important things were said, is this of the dear friend Marino Bartoletti.
At the beginning, Maggitti recalls the early days when Bertoletti came to Roseto, but then, confirming that for him this place has become a fixture, for him, he admits that the second reason for his coming is to re-embrace Gianluca Ginoble. (His exact words.)“Everyone knows my respect for him, but I should say, my friendship, my affection for him.”
Maggitti’s question is very strong: “What has IL VOLO to do 11 consecutive world tours and still fills all the theaters and what is the appeal of you, great music expert and journalist, who talks about them as famous and well-liked in the world?”
Bartoletti = I could answer you by reversing the question, that is, by asking me how there are still people (even our journalist colleagues) who still do not understand, this success of theirs and their talent. I admit, that I am attached to them by affection, friendship and admiration towards them, but they have everything that is asked of bel canto, skill, the ability to transmit the Italian genius abroad. But it’s the same Italian genius that should be better understood in Italy, and then I wonder, what else do these guys have to prove?
They are boys who have reached their tenth year, and sold out everywhere, even here in Italy. I can only say that I admire them very much, that I admire their “spirit of sacrifice” which is extraordinary, because they could “sit on their laurels”, instead they continue to improve, to improve. This year they were very good, even in Sanremo, where they achieved third place, so very elegantly. I would like the Italian guys to look more like them, especially as the families of the Italian boys were more like the families of Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio, because I always say this publicly, that the strength of these guys is what they have behind them, family, culture, education, humility.
I don’t know for you, but for me to read the beautiful and deserved words of Marino Bartoletti, towards IL VOLO, is like taking a sip of fresh and clear water, when you have a throat burned by thirst.
Surely in these days, this beautiful photo has not escaped you, but perhaps (Italians aside), not everyone knows who this man is that warmly embraces Michele and Gianluca.
He is a very good singer, indeed a true complete artist.
For those who do not know him, Massimo Ranieri is a fantastic singer with excellent vocal talents, but also a good actor, a historian, in the true sense of the word.
The photo below has been posted by Ranieri himself, with a beautiful dedication. He was in Roseto degli Abruzzi, for a concert, which was very successful. Michele and Gianluca also went to his concert.
Ieri magnifica serata a Roseto degli Abruzzi in compagnia dei miei cari amici Gianluca Ginoble e Michele Torpedine.
Yesterday wonderful evening in Roseto degli Abruzzi, in the company of my dear friends Gianluca Ginoble and Michele Torpedine.
Il Volo, in 2016, had already been a guest of a transmission conducted by Massimo Ranieri, entitled SOGNO O SON DESTO?
During that transmission, Gianluca showed the photo with Ranieri, whom he jealously kept in his cell phone.
Here is the video of the evening, it is not of excellent quality but it is seen and feels quite well.
Massimo, at the end of the song “QUANDO L’AMORE DIVENTA POESIA”, presents IL VOLO with these words, “Here they are, these three fantastic, wonderful boys”.
After the pleasantries, Massimo says he was moved when Gianluca showed him the photo, stored in his cell phone.
There is a lot of respect and affection between Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero and Massimo Ranieri.
Another thing you may not know, is that the beautiful song “VENT’ANNI”, sung in concert in 2016 by Gianluca and Piero, is a song brought to success by a young Massimo Ranieri.
And here is the video of Massimo Ranieri who sings “VENT’ANNI” during Canzonissima (a transmission of songs) of 1970. Massimo was 19, the song was a great success.
And here, the beautiful words of the lyrics of the song.
La mia vita cominciò Come l’erba come il fiore E mia madre mi baciò Come fossi il primo amore
La la la la la La la la la la
Nasce cosi La vita mia Come comincia Una poesia
Io credo che lassù C’era un sorriso anche per me La stessa luce che Si accende quando nasce un re
Una stella una chitarra Primo amore biondo e mio Con l’orgoglio dei vent’anni Piansi, ma vi dissi addio
E me ne andai Verso il destino Con l’entusiasmo Di un bambino
Io credo che lassù C’era un sorriso anche per me La stessa luce che
si accende quando nasce un re.
Io credo che lassù…..
My life began Like grass like a flower And my mother kissed me How I was the first love
La la la la La la la la
Thus was born My life How it begins A poem
I believe that up there There was a smile for me too The same light that It lights up when a king is born
A star a guitar First blonde love and mine With the pride of twenty years I cried, but I said you goodbye
And I left To destiny With enthusiasm Of a child
I believe that up there There was a smile for me too The same light that
It lights up when a king is born
I believe that up there……
Did you enjoy getting to know Massimo Ranieri better?
It is well known that Michele Torpedine was born in Minervino Murge, a small town in Puglia. In the days of late July, by taking advantage of IL VOLO’s passage for the two concerts in Puglia, Michele Torpedine was awarded honorary citizenship.
Here is a nice article published in GAZZETTA DEL MEZZOGIORNO.
Minervino, the manager of IL VOLO, honorary citizen: party with the trio
The honor to Michele Torpedine, celebrated in his hometown and accompanied by his 3 pupils
“I always thought it was a small country town with few inhabitants. Instead it is an extraordinary community, alive and vital, industrious, kind. I am really moved, and above all proud of being born in this land.” Starting from … Minervino Murge, the internationally renowned manager and music producer Michele Torpedine, who in the 1950s, in swaddling clothes, had left the “balcony of Puglia” to move with his family to the north.
An amazing career of Torpedine, discoverer of talents, producer, manager (from Zucchero and Bocelli, passing through Lucio Dalla, also collaborator of Pavarotti), who returned to Minervino yesterday in the company of “his” three young pupils of Il Volo, Piero-Ignazio-Gianluca, arrived in Puglia for the expected concerts of Barletta and Lecce: in the packed hall of Palazzo di Città, Torpedine received the Honorary Citizenship, welcomed by the mayor Lalla Mancini, the Council and the Municipal administration, by numerous authorities (such as the president of the province Pasquale De Toma, the bishop Monsignor Luigi Mansi, Bruna Piarulli, the regional councilor Francesco Ventola) but above all by his fellow citizens, who among the applauses have named him “ambassador of Minervino Murge in the world”.
In reality, everything is born on the internet: thanks to the social networks and the “I like it”, some time ago some relatives of Torpedine contact their sister Liliana. And so Felicia Angiulo, cousin of the manager’s mother, and then Vincenzo and Nella, together with Mattia and Luigi Spineto(all with different degrees of kinship) intertwine with contacts and memories, unpublished photos of the good old days, memories faded and the desire to meet, to talk about each other and hug each other.
The occasion arrived as if by destiny: the Il Volo concert in Barletta, the decision to confer Honorary Citizenship by the city council. Everything perfect, including the presence in the Hall of the “three tenors”(actually two tenors and a baritone)extraordinary boys who besides their voices also have a great gift of sympathy and humility.
“Minervino Murge is the birthplace of many personalities who, in different sectors, have achieved important successes in their work sector, the result of commitment, passion and also genius – said mayor Mancini – and Michele Torpedine is without doubt one of these.”
Also presented was the autobiographical book of the manager “RICOMINCIO DAI TRE – From Minervino Murge to the White House”, Giuseppe Tucci, president of the Pro Loco, gave him the original volume “Minervinesi distinguished in the world”, also containing the biographical profile of Torpedine. Then the flavors of the Murgia, with Torpedine and Il Volo “To the south of the soul”.
But here’s how the award ceremony took place.
And here is a service aired during the regional newscast and I translate for you.
PR = Il Volo, one of the bands launched by the manager Michele Torpedine, from Bologna, originally from Puglia, received today the honorary citizenship of Minervino Murge.
He is the manager of the IL VOLO group, tonight in concert in Barletta, we talk about Michele Torpedine, a Bolognese from Puglia, in particular Minervino Murge, who today gave him honorary citizenship, the service is by Alessandro Trevisani.
I = We will change, Minervino (laughter)
AT = When they arrive, the city council becomes a show. Il Volo is in Minervino Murge to accompany Michele Torpedine, the manager of the three singers, receives honorary citizenship, from the municipality where he was born 67 years ago.
I = We don’t sing, we came only for our manager, for Michele, we are happy ….
AT = Do you feel a little Pugliese too?
I = A little Pugliese, it is strong to say, but Puglia is a land that we love so much, we love coming so much.
MT = He was over 60 years old, I didn’t come, I was six months old, when they took me away from here, and I never came back.
They (Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca) made me understand that in the musical environment, there is also the good part, the positive part.
AT = In his career, Michele Torpedine, produced, launched and re-launched artists such as Zucchero, Gianna Nannini, Lucio Dalla, Giorgia and Andrea Bocelli, but in Minervino, the eyes of the people, are all for Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero, that this evening will perform at the Fossato del Castello di Barletta.
Are you ready for the Barletta concert?
P = Yes, yes we are ready.
AT = The first song on the lineup?
P = We can’t say.
Girl = Magnificent, fantastic. AT = Where are you from? Girl = From Milan. Woman = I would like to hug that gentleman there, who is above (Torpedine). Woman = They are very nice. I = But you have it with me ?? (he jokes) Man = We wish the guys of IL VOLO, to keep their feet on the ground, and never to take flight with their heads. P = The appeal I make: Minervino Murge, capital of European culture (applause).
And here is what Massimiliano Bevilacqua writes, present at the ceremony.
Impossible to describe with images the emotions experienced on this day. The conferment of honorary citizenship on our fellow citizen Michele Torpedine, beacon of the fantastic boys of “Il Volo”, witnessed the strong bond of the well-known manager with his hometown. The presence of civil, political, ecclesial and military authorities honored the Municipal Council of Minervino and all citizens. Thanks to the Minervino family members of Michele Torpedine, who gave unforgettable moments and rediscovered the great value of the family. A day dedicated to music, which Michele Torpedine brought to the world with Minervino in the heart. Music expresses feelings, represents our emotional part, but above all it unites. Today Minervino has taken off. That it is only the beginning of a path of growth that sees us all involved in overcoming divisions and in considering the beauty that surrounds us with different eyes.
It took more than 60 years for Torpedine to return to his hometown ……. but how wonderful it is to come back and be received with all the honors, in that town, from which his family had to leave, in search of fortune.
Even Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero, were close to you, in this happy moment, because they too, are part of your family affections.
Congratulations, Michele Torpedine.
And here is a summary of the entire day published by Torpediniera.
I want to explain the meaning of the video posted by Michele Torpedine.
During the program Dancing with the Stars, Carolyn Smith, great friend of Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio, said that she loves all three boys and says that next time it would be nice to invite Michele Torpedine to perform a dance, in Dancing with the Stars.
In fact the idea would be good, I think we would all look at Michele juggle into a dance.
But why did Michele Torpedine make a collage of all his interventions in the various television programs, putting in opening and closing, the request of the nice Carolyn?
I’ll explain it to you right away.
You should know that Michele Torpedine, who you have come to know as a person who has no hair on his tongue (says what he thinks), has recently been very critical of Italian talent programs.
He does not disagree with the type of program, but with the judges that are used, because they are often very incompetent people, who know nothing of the subject, but are known public figures, and therefore are used as judges, only to have the audience view the program.
In this way, the work of these program talent is debased, because they should bring to light the true talents, instead there are inexperienced judges who do not recognize the value of the boys who are in front of them, often killing their expectations and their hopes.
Certainly, Michele, with his experience in the musical field, both as an instrumentalist and as a talent scout, would certainly give a nice support, in these programs where music and song seek new talents………..but he is never called to be a judge.
For this reason, Torpedine wanted to make a video collage of all the interventions in TV programs, where he reiterated this concept.
He has made it clear several times that, if he were called to be a judge, he could even think of going into these programs.
Ironically, Michele starts with Carolyn’s video and ends with the same video, to confirm that the only talent program he received a formal invitation to participate in was Dancing with the Stars, through the nice Carolyn.
Too bad the program is a talent for dancing and not singing !!!!
These are the words that Michele Torpedine wrote in a post on his Facebook page, LA TORPEDINIERA:
“Today the discovery of new artists takes place through the commodification of talent.
Without the visibility that only a talent show or a platform like YouTube can give you, there is no way out of anonymity.
However, for someone like me, who does not give up yet and never will, the greatest desire, especially when I see the raging nothing, is still to go to the places where live music is played and there to search, listen, ask … where you least expect it!”
“Discovering and bringing a hidden talent to success, getting it to be applauded all over the world, well, that’s another thing.”
Needless to say, I completely agree with Torpedine.
The Italian talent programs, unfortunately, cannot be judged by people who are not completely educated on the type of talent they must judge or so inexperienced that they cannot be judges.
Congratulations Michele, for stating all of this, in the various programs, you will be more liked …… or more hated ???
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.
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