Gianni Morandi tonight in Taormina: “The Ancient Theater how many memories … Here I met Lucio Dalla”


By John

«I still remember that summer of 1961… It was my first tour, nobody knew me. We toured all of Sicily, touching towns such as Lentini, Vittoria, Giarre, Gela and Taormina. They weren’t concerts, they were curtain raisers. I hummed alongside a fire-eater, a magician and a dancer. We alternated with film screenings: two hours for the film and two hours for us. That’s how I started Sicily was my first time away from home…». Sixty years later she is still here. He, the best of the good guys in Italian music, the man who lived twice (perhaps even more). Gianni Morandi at 78 is still «Go Gianni Go! Summer 2023 », ready to dive into the … th (you put the number) tour of his career. A summer that will see him busy with numerous open-air appointments in the most suggestive places in Italy (among others, after the Agrigento date, on the 16th in Isola Capo Rizzuto and tonight, August 10th precisely in Taormina, signed by Rapisarda management ), after a very intense winter, made up of shows in theaters and before that from the five evenings at the Sanremo Festival, alongside Amadeus.

And Taormina tastes like a return to its origins, where in one way it all began.

«But Taormina is also a lot of emotions. A year after that tour I told you about, I returned to the Teatro Antico: I was a very young singer, my first success, and RCA sent me to Sicily for a party with other artists. It was there that I met Lucio Dalla: while we were rehearsing we discovered that we were both from Bologna, we had never met before».

Back to the future, even if the tour that began on July 6 is already present. In winter your new unreleased album “Evviva” with 5 out of eight songs signed by Jovanotti. That in the song that gives the album its name he writes «let’s go a piece of road together». But what kind of friendship is yours?
“I’ll tell you an anecdote. It was 1988, with Lucio we had just released the Dalla-Morandi album. We were sure of first place in the standings. But when we went to check the first place was this guy with “Gimme Five”. Lucio exclaimed: “Who the fuck… is this Jovanotti”. Then over the years I went to his concerts because I’ve always liked him, up until the recent collaboration. He called me when I had the hand injury and he said, “I’d like to send you a song because I’m sure it’s for you.” The collaboration with “Apri tutti le porte” was born, which I brought to Sanremo in 2022. Last year I attended almost all the dates of his Jova Beach Party and now the songs from this latest album».

Jovanotti says that when Morandi enters a room something mysterious happens, the atmosphere is oxygenated, the percentage of air increases, we all breathe better and we are ready for success…

«This thing surprises me a bit, because in reality it is what I think of Lorenzo. He’s really enthralling, he’s someone who exudes positive energy, who gives you positivity. He communicates it to me and I must tell you that it has been my secret in recent years »

New step back. Gianni Morandi: “the man who lived twice”. The overwhelming success at 18, the songs, the movies. An incredible ascent. Then ’68. The world changes. Morandi sinks into oblivion. Nobody looks for it. And he decides to go back to study and enroll in the conservatory. In the eighties the rebirth. How many lives are there in one life?
“There is life. I was lucky to have a father who always warned me. Even in the happiest moments, he always reminded me that the dark ones would come. And so it was. Ugly beast success. Live all at once and you risk getting burned. I will never forget July 1971 in Milan: it was the day of a stage of the Cantagiro and Ezio Radaelli had invited Led Zeppelin. The boys went crazy for them, for that kind of music. When we went on stage they threw everything at us. The world was changing and we didn’t understand it. They looked at me as if I was 100 years old, everything I had done up to that moment had suddenly disappeared. In a moment. I decided to go back to studying. Because when the difficult moments arrive, you have to focus on yourself ».
And then all of a sudden it starts all over again. A phone call from Mogol («Gianni, do you still sing?») And his answer («I sing at home, only with a few friends»). And thus «Songs out of tune» was born. And shortly after «One in a thousand», a song of despair but also of hope.
«Even in the moment of greatest success, we are like a flame. And we must always remember this. I would like to never stop and always think about something that has to happen, because my world is music. I see many of my colleagues who no longer want to give concerts, but I still have the enthusiasm for this job, which has allowed me to travel the world and meet so many people. Seeing that people still want to listen to me gives me energy and strength. In this tour, as in the winter one, it is like this. But I asked my wife Anna to warn me a minute before I become pathetic.
In the latest album there is a song written for your son. You sing “I should have, I still wanted to protect you from what doesn’t happen”. How difficult is the relationship with a child?
“Being a parent is really hard. You don’t know whether to be too much or too little. Whether to pull the bridle or untie it. Many things are understood only over the years. It’s a matter of balance.”
Sicily but also Calabria are ready to embrace you again.
«I love everything about Sicily. Starting with the food, my friend Fiorello recommended a bar in Taormina where I could have granita. But I also have many memories of Calabria: the concerts in Reggio Calabria but also in Falerna and S. Onofrio come to mind. And then for me Calabria is the memory of my great friend Mino Reitano. He had his land on his skin and he always spoke to me about it. My thoughts go to him.”