IN MEMORY OF LUCIO
“Large sheets to cover ourselves I do not have…. and if life has no dreams I’ll take them and give to you”
Today is your birthday… best wishes to you, Lucio!
Lucio Dalla (Bologna, March 4, 1943 – Montreux, 1 March 2012) was a musician and a popular Italian singer-songwriter.
Nobody expected it and the morning of 1 March 2012, by a heart attack at age 69 in the Ritz Hotel in Montreux, where he had performed the night before, Lucio left us, with discretion but too soon!
Throughout his long career, which reached fifty years of activity, he has also performed as a keyboardist, saxophonist, and playing the clarinet, his passion from an early age.His extensive artistic production has gone through many phases, from the beat to the rhythmic and musical experimentation, from the songwriting till the boundaries of classical music and opera. Lucio Dalla was also an author known abroad with some of his songs translated and brought to success in several languages, in addition to many duet with artists, nationally and internationally.
Its success takes root in 1971, when for the third time he participated at the Festival of Sanremo with the song “4/3/1943” (his birthdate), a censored song initially called “Gesù Bambino” (Baby Jesus), and that talks about a girl mother, who has a son with an unknown ally soldier.
The success was consolidated the following year when still in Sanremo he sang the touching “Piazza Grande“, dedicated to a homeless man in Bologna, his beloved hometown where he lived. The city that in 1999 gave him an honorary degree in “Arts and Philosophy”.
During his career he has worked with numerous artists, Gino Paoli, Luigi Tenco, Roberto Roversi, Francesco De Gregori, the Stadio, Ron, Gianni Morandi, through whose collaboration many of his songs were born.
In March 1986 the tour with the group “Stadio”, for a series of concerts abroad, culminated with performances in the United States from which the double live album “Dallamericaruso.” arose. In this album is the song “Caruso”, that recounts the last days of the great tenor, and that will give to the singer from Emilia-Romagna, an extraordinary success. The song, which has sold nearly 9 million copies worldwide, is now considered a classic of Italian music. Over the years, the song has been interpreted by many artists of various nationalities, including Mercedes Sosa, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Lara Fabian, Julio Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The song translated into several languages, to date, has sold over 38 million copies worldwide. The singer has repeatedly explained the genesis of this song: “a song of the heart,” born from an intense and unexpected trip in Sorrento. Because of a boat broken, he was forced to stop along the Sorrento coastline, in the same hotel and room where years before the great tenor Enrico Caruso had died.
Lucio’s mother was originally from Puglia, where the singer often went, and here his love for the South and especially for the sea was born, to the point to spend every summer at Tremiti Isles, as well as Lucio loved Naples, where often he docked his boat. In fact, in 1997 he was awarded the “Honorary Citizenship” from the town of Sorrento. Once he said: “I have been influenced by the existence of Totò (note, the Neapolitan artist Antonio De Curtis Gagliardi), in all its forms, for me he was a myth. The beauty of Totò is the beauty of Naples. Naples, not easy to say, seems a city, but is not, it is a nation, a republic….. the admiration I have for Naples’s people was born out by this love for Totò…. Naples is the mystery of life, good and evil are mixed, but pulsate however“. About his love for the South, in an interview he said: “It was during these vacations as an emigrant backwards, which took place in me the split between two different ways of living. So today I have two souls: the northern one (orderly, efficient, futuristic, perfectionist, demanding to themselves and to others) and southern (disorganized, wild, sensual, dreamy, mystical), it is in the south that I became religious, of a religion frantic, irrational“.
From February 2007 began a collaboration with Marco Tutino, artistic director of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, for the preparation of some opera and theater works, and it is here that the long-lasting friendship with Marco Alemanno, becomes more apparent. The Lucio Dalla “different” sexual orientation was known to his few close friends and not to the public, at least not officially. Although because of his success he had the “prigs” (fucking moralists) in the palm of his hand, Lucio remained silent, refusing to declare his homosexuality, fearful of the moralists’ judgment, as if, on the contrary, they were to have him on a string. That is why he had to “disguise” his feelings in the songs, sometimes inventing female names and faces of fantasy. He gave and inspired emotions, hiding his own ones.
Marco Alemanno, born in 1980, left his small town to pursue his passion for art in the city of the great Lucio Dalla, where their paths crossed to then separate tragically on March 1st of 2012. Marco followed him in every show and in every battle. In 2007, Marco appears on Lucio Dalla album “Il Contrario di me” (The opposite of me), as producer and co-author of some texts. The following year, he publishes “Gli occhi di Lucio” (Lucio’s eyes), a book with a DVD-written with Lucio and containing Dalla photographs and unpublished writings. Marco appears again in 2009 as artistic producer and co-author of some songs in the album “Angoli nel cielo” (Angles in the sky), and the year after participated in Dalla & De Gregori tour “Work in progress”, as singer and narrator.
Marco Alemanno has gained a lot of notoriety for the moving words with which he reminded Lucio on the occasion of his funeral in Bologna. His talk brought some controversy about the fact that the singer had never formalized his relationship with him, while the Catholic Church has condemned his intervention during the funerals in church. In his funeral speech, Mark has played some verses of the song by Lucio “Le Rondini” (The Swallows): “I would like to understand, in short, what love is, where is that you take and give it”. Then, before bursting into tears, adding: “For some time now I had the pleasure, honor and privilege to grow alongside Lucio, singer, musician, filmmaker, and above all the man, eternal child, to whom I owe so much.“
Since the singer did not leave a will, his inheritance, estimated at approximately 100 million euros, will be divided between his five first cousins. In the absence of a specific bequest, Marco Alemanno, intimate partner and resident in the same house for several years, has no legal rights.
I want to highlight that, although the ‘coming out‘ is a something useful and liberating for themselves and for those who are less strong, we cannot expect it to be a mandatory practice. People are different, have different thoughts and stories, and there are no rules with regard to their privacy. It would be nice and fair that we all take for granted that love, joy & sorrow’s sharing, and humanity were fixed rules regardless of our beliefs. And then “everyone will love how it goes,” as our dear friend Lucio sang and hoped.
Although the discography of this great songwriter includes twenty-two studio album for the Italian market, a Q Disc, nine live albums, several books and albums for the foreign market, among the many beautiful songs that Lucio has left us, and in addition to those already mentioned, I want to mention: L’Anno che verrà, Attenti Al Lupo, Anna E Marco, Tu Non Mi Basti Mai, Come E’ Profondo il Mare, Caro Amico Ti Scrivo, Stella Di Mare, Disperato Erotico Stomp, L’Ultima Luna, Telefonami Tra Vent’anni, Un Uomo Come Me, Cara, Nuvolari, Il Gigante e La Bambina, Balla Balla Ballerino, Futura. (The Year to come, The Wolf, Anna and Mark, I Just Do not You Never Come and ‘Deep Sea, Dear Friend I am writing, Star of the Sea, Erotic Stomp, The Last Moon, Call me Between Twenty years, A Man Like Me, Honey, Nuvolari, The Giant and The Child, Dance dance Dancer, Futura).
Here’s the literal translation of his words showed in the picture below the title.
“Of many houses, not any one that has no windows, any shred of sky over the roofs of the city, where I lived and where I listened, checked, tried the beating of your heart, your breaths, your curses, the noise of your dreams, the mysterious small daily killings and the miraculous births that every day God sends us and which take place under the skies of all countries and of all the cities on overcast nights of stars. It is from there that have fallen words, stones, stories and sounds that arrive to me by the beautiful deception of love that never ends, or the sensuality of the best encounters, those dreamed, those where there are no more break ups, where you don’t die or die is just disappearing under a sweet, lovely snowfall. It is from that glimpse of heaven and heart that I will listen to you even when no one will listen to me, that I’ll still be looking for you although you will not be looking for me anymore. And from up there, until there will be a window, my heart will sing the life and story that takes it.”
Dear Lucio, although I respect your discretion and silence, I would have liked if you had had the courage to shout to the world your “diversity“, because coming from a great man like you, this would tell someone else that there is no “diversity” as these others still think.