And if instead of talking about Gorbachev at Sanremo in 1999 (won by the only bad song by Anna Oxa), if instead of talking about Gorbachev elected secretary of the Communist Party three months before Sting complained that in America and Europe there was a growing sense of hysteria, if instead I went off topic as I always did at school and talked about the summer of forty years ago?
In the summer of my nine years, no one knew who Gorbachev was. The secretary of the Communist Party was Brezhnev, that of the Communist Party was Berlinguer, the problem of the cold war would not have been posed to me for another three years, when Sting recorded Russians and we spent the summer humming that we hoped the Russians would love their children too.
The summer of my nine years I had a pink jumpsuit, by Fiorucci, with the angels on the sweatshirt. The Italian summers were not yet climatically similar to those of Bangkok: one could even wear overalls in the evening.
The summer of my nine years in the arenas we went to see Madly in lovethat the winter had taken a havoc, and we still weren’t tired of watching it again, and – since streaming wasn’t even in the most reckless ideas of science fiction authors – if you liked a movie you would see it in first run, and then in the second, and then to the parish church, and then to the summer arena.
(In Madly in love Adriano Celentano was a bus driver who kidnapped Ornella Muti so as not to let her marry another guy. Today he would be accused of being an apologue for stalking).
The summer of my nine years on the left did not suck those who had fun, that dynamic so fabulously illustrated by Where is Mario?and therefore, although Bologna was governed by the PCI, the nine-year-old me and his Fiorucci suit could go to Piazza Maggiore to jump while Miguel Bosé sang Good guys. In playback, of course, because not even the padded straps are as much Eighties entelechy as the playback.
The demonstration at which the nine-year-old me tore her hair for Miguel Bosé (the ladies of my age didn’t even have a heterosexual sex symbol: what impression do you want gender identity to make), that square meeting there was called Vota the voice.
It was useful for those who had not been lucky enough to be close to some stage of the Festivalbar. Of course, at the Festivalbar they worked harder, and Loredana Berté sang dressed as a bride, but in any case she also came to us to do I’m not a ladyand there is really not much more that a little girl in a pink overalls can ask of life than to be contemporary with a wonderful record of which she does not understand a word: it would have taken me thirty years to realize that that before life dance it was a carretera, not a whole meat.
It was an opportunity, not a limit: the tension towards what is not for you is the only thing that makes you grow, not this era unhappy by Pixar in which any film or music or tailoring production is suitable for minors, and it is the adults who adapt.
In the Festivalbar and in the Vota la voce dell’estate of my nine years there was stuff that even today if they make it on the evening of the Sanremo covers we all jump on the sofas, and I don’t know if this summer of my forty-nine years is producing as much unforgettable. In the squares where the little girls in Fiorucci tore their hair there was Claudio Baglioni singing You will have and Ron singing Soulthere were Al Bano and Romina who did Happiness and Marco Ferradini who did Theoremand the Beastly Sunday by Concato, e A summer by the sea by Giuni Russo: it was the best summer to be nine.
Who knows if today Vota la voce and the Festivalbar would be that spot of Rorschach that is the JovaBeachParty: one thing you look at and if you tell me what you see inside I tell you if you are someone worth talking to. Who knows if the playback consumes more electricity than singing live and therefore there would be controversy about that, or what else. Well, come on Theoremof course: “Take a woman, treat her badly” would be worth a few dozen indignant editorials.
Who knows if today a Lucio Dalla would give a Ron a masterpiece like Soul or, like the Tuscan aristocrat of Sabina Guzzanti, he would toy a little with the idea of being generous, but then he “held on”. Who knows if today a nine-year-old might be passionate about the record she was on I’m not a lady, record whose most beautiful song at one point said “right at the foot of the bed, a newspaper: the question of Algeria”, which the nine-year-old me barely knew there was a Valtur in those parts, because leaflet. Who knows how many science fiction authors it takes, today, to conceive a record where not only is there I’m not a lady, but it’s not the best song on the record either. Who knows how many carters we are missing, with the illiterate lyricists who have replaced Fossati, and how many Festivalbars in wedding dresses we are delegating to sponsors, with the dictatorship of stylists.
They say the most disturbing sign of old age is sighing “ah, in my day”. But at most I feel like sighing “poor you, how I don’t envy you”.
The summer of my nine years was between the two San Remo in which Vasco Rossi went to demonstrate that San Remo is stuff for rock stars only if already established. (The winter of my twenty-six years in Sanremo Gorbachev would have arrived, to reiterate the concept). Then autumn came, Brezhnev died, went out to the cinema ETand a wrong washing machine ruined Fiorucci’s suit.
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